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Summer 2014 Search for Franklin Expidition

This summer, the Government of Canada and an unprecedented number of organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors will partner together, using state-of-the-art technology, to locate the historic ships of the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition. The 2014 Franklin Expedition will also have the added benefit of furthering our knowledge in a number of priority areas, including through the collection of important scientific information about Canada’s most remote region.

Government partners for the 2014 Victoria Strait expedition include Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy, Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC) (an agency of the Department of National Defence), Environment Canada, and the Canadian Space Agency, as well as the Governments of Nunavut and Great Britain.

Private and non-profit partners include the Arctic Research Foundation, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society who additionally brings in The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Shell Canada and One Ocean Expeditions as partners.

There will be a record number of ships (4) supporting the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition: CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Canadian Coast Guard), HMCS Kingston (Royal Canadian Navy), research vessel Martin Bergmann (Arctic Research Foundation) and One Ocean Voyager (One Ocean Expeditions), as well as a number of smaller platform vessels.

Some of the leading technologies to be employed will include the Canadian Space Agency’s RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery, high resolution multi-beam and side-scan sonar, Parks Canada’s remotely operated underwater vehicle, and DRDC’s state-of-the-art autonomous underwater vehicle, which was developed in collaboration with private-sector partners.

Since 2008, over 1,200 km2 of the Arctic seabed, which is equivalent to over 2,200 football fields, has been newly surveyed and charted in the search for the Franklin ships. In 2012, the Canadian Hydrographic Service, with the support of the Canadian Coast Guard, completed new surveys of a route farther south into Alexandra Strait, constituting an alternate route around King William Island and has improved marine safety, search and rescue response time, and fuel economization.

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70th D-Day Anniversary

In the painting D-Day (CWM 10558) the atmosphere is almost festive as landing craft of the 262nd Canadian Flotilla bring infantry into Bernières-sur-Mer. The Artist, Tom Wood, Served with the Navy, and was present for the landings.

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200 Years ago Today..

This print (Plate No. 4 of four) depicts Shannon “leading her prize … into Halifax Harbour, on the 6th June 1813”, with the Royal Navy’s “White Ensign” flown above the United States Ensign on board Chesapeake



Colored lithograph by L. Haghe, after a painting by J.C. Schetky based on a design by Captain R.H. King, RN. Published by Smith, Elder & Company, London, in 1830.
Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. Beverly R. Robinson Collection.
The series is dedicated to Captain Philip Bowes Vere Broke, R.N., Shannon’s Commanding Officer. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

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Thomas Harold Beament; Artist and Naval Officer

HMCS Prince Robert in Drydock (n.d.)

Thomas Beament Was born in Ottawa. During WW I he served in the RCNVR as an ordinary seaman, then was promoted to warrant officer. Following the end of the war he returned to Osgoode Hall and completed his studies to became Barrister-at-law (1922). The same year he attended evening classes at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto. He Continued serving with the peacetime Naval Reserve, was promoted to the rank of officer in 1924 and finally Lt.-Commander, Mtl. RCNVR Division in 1930.

HMCS Iroquois (n.d.)

At the outbreak of WW II, Beament entered full-time service with the RCNVR, as a ship commander on North Atlantic patrols for three years, rose in rank to Commander (1943); then as official Canadian war artist going back to sea to paint scenes: in the Mediterranean; on convoy in the North Atlantic; in Newfoundland; making a visual record of assault landings and minesweeping duties in the English Channel. The Canadian War Museum has some 76 paintings by him.

Motor Torpedo Boats Leaving for Night Patrol off Le Havre (1945)


A Collection Of Naval Art Decorated the Chambers of the Speaker of the Senate for the Canadian Naval Centenial. You can view that collection at http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Senate/WorkofNavalArt/index-e.html.

All Works above Are part of the Beaverbank Collection of War Art at the Canadian War Museum

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the SS Royal William


SS Royal William was a Canadian steamship that is sometimes credited with achieving the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to be made almost entirely under steam power, using sails only during periods of boiler maintenance

She was commissioned by brewer John Molson and a group of investors, built in Cape Blanc, Quebec by John Saxton Campbell and George Black she was launched on 27 April 1831. The steam engines were made and installed in Montreal. She made several trips between Quebec and the Atlantic colonies in 1831. Her owners decided to sail her to Europe and find a buyer. She departed from Pictou, Nova Scotia on 18 August 1833 with seven passengers, a small amount of freight and a load of coal and arrived at Gravesend on the River Thames after a 25-day passage.

 Royal William was eventually sold to the Spanish Navy where she served for many years and earned the distinction of being the first steamship to fire a shot in anger during a minor Spanish rebellion.

One of Royal William’s co-owners was Samuel Cunard a merchant from Halifax Nova Scotia who drew important lessons from the ship which he applied when he founded the Cunard Steamship Company a few years later.

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Happy 100th Acadia

 Today marks the 100th anivarsary of the Launching of the CSS Acadia. The Acadia is a  former hydrographic Canadian Survey ship of the Canadian Government, that is now part of the collection of the Maritime Museaum of the Atlantic.

Acadia served Canada for more than five decades from 1913–1969, charting the coastline of almost every part of Eastern Canada including pioneering surveys of Hudson Bay. She was also twice commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Acadia, during the 2 world wars.

Retaining her original engines, boilers and little-changed accommodations, she is one of the best preserved Edwardian ocean steamships in the world and a renowned example of Canada’s earliest scientific prowess in the fields of hydrography and oceanography.

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A bit About the Foundation Maritime Company.

For Hundreds of years man has taken to the seas, and for just as long, been telling triumphant sea stories. Stories of triumph over great odds; Bligh’s navigation after the Mutiny on the bounty, and Shackelton’s voyage to South Georgia island come to mind.

Halifax has a history of Sea Stories, Men Left Halifax to fight in multiple wars, Privateers returned with their captured prizes. The stories that came out of Foundation Maritime were so immense, they filled 2 volumes by Farley Mowat; Grey Seas Under, and The Serpents Coil.

Foundation Maritime grew out of the Foundation Company of Canada, which was a construction firm who owned barges and dredges for constructing Harbour works. They needed a Tug, and found the Laid up ex HMS Frisky, now Gustavo Ipland, in Hamburg Germany. They purchased her, and Named her Foundation Franklin in 1930.

Having a tug, eventually led to it being chartered for salvage work, and Foundation Maritime was born. As the years went on, many additional tugs were purchased and chartered, and the business expanded to include terminal operations, towing and salvage. Foundation Maritime shrewdly perusing Business and ships in distress.

For much of its early years, even finding a ship in distress was a problem. Modern electronic navigation systems were not invented yet, and ships were guided by the stars. in a storm, or cloud cover, it could be days before you could confirm your position. This is also the case with the distressed vessel being sought. their position was days old, and may not have even been correct to begin with. if you could reach them on the radio, it might have been possible to RF Direction find them,Though during the wars, this was a asking to be sunk by a uboat.

The Foundation Company of Canada Still exists today as the construction firm AECON. Foundation Maritime Sold its tugs in 1973, Leading to the formation of Eastern Canada Towing and Salvage (EcTug). the tugs retained thier names, however Point was substituted for Foundation in their names. ECTug was then aquired, and became Svitzer Canada. In 2010 they signed a MOU with Atlantic towing, With Atlantic Towing taking over halifax operations, and Svitzer working Port Hawksbury/ Straight of Canso The foundation Maritime wharfs still stand, at the foot of Salter St.

The Tugs of Foundation Maritime
Salvage Work

Photos Are from Mac Mackay. Check out his Shipfax and TugFax Blogs

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