Saturday 30 June 2012

Escort Maintenance Ship HMCS CAPE SCOTT (ARE 101)

It was the summer of '69. Sorry, no six string bought at a "5 & Dime", but I was standing along the rail of the high masted Argentine sailing vessel ARA LIBERSTAD at HMC docks and saw an Annapolis class helicopter destroyer moored next to HMCS CAPE SCOTT (ARE 101). The oiler was built in North Vancouver at Burrard shipyards in 1944 for the Britain's Royal Navy and named HMS BEACHY HEAD. She saw wartime action near the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and when the Second World War ended, she was loaned to the Royal Dutch Navy in 1947. She was returned to the RN in 1949  and then sold three years later to the Royal Canadian Navy. The CAPE SCOTT served as a fleet replenishment oiler and alongside repair depot until she was decommissioned in 1975. She was sold for scrap and towed to Texas for dismantling in 1978. Meanwhile, her sisters ship, HMCS CAPE BRETON (ARE 100) was used as support and accommodations vessel at CFB Esquimalt until 1993. Later she was sunk as an artificial reef near Nanaimo, BC in 2001.
Photographer unknown from:

Friday 29 June 2012

Carlz Boats: Tall Ship KAJAMA

Carlz Boats: Tall Ship KAJAMA: Whether you're gliding along the shoreline of Lake Huron in a day sailer, or tightening the main while crewing in a cutter in the St. George'...

Tall Ship KAJAMA (Revisited)

Whether you're gliding along the shoreline in a day-sailer, or tightening the main in a stiff breeze on a sailing cutter on British Columbia's St. George's Strait as I vividly recall doing as a young sea cadet in the 60's, the lyrics from Christopher Cross's 1979 hit "Sailing": 'The canvas can do miracles just you wait and see' - basically says it all. Dreams of sailing into paradise can also happen even while simply taking an excursion around the bay like during Canal Days in Port Colborne on the EMPIRE SANDY or around Toronto Island on the 164’ former European cargo schooner KAJAMA. 
When launched in 1930 at Nobiskrug Shipyards in Rendsburg, Germany, her name was WILIFRIED and she traded general cargo from Northern Spain to the Baltic while owned and operated by Captain Wilhelm Wilckens from her homeport of Hamburg, Germany.

Packed to the gunnels sightseers KAJAMA heads out to the Eastern Passage - August 27, 2011

In 1960, she was purchased by Captain Andreas Kohler Asmussen of Egersund, Denmark and was renamed KAJAMA, was an acronym for his two sons and wife: KAywe-JAn-MAria. KAJAMA continuesd to work under sail into the mid-70’s when she was converted to strictly a motor ship. Until 1998 she continued to trade dry bulk goods along Western Europe and Scandinavia, and to ports in Northern Norway and above the Arctic Circle
In 1999 she was purchased by the Great Lakes Schooner Company of Toronto and ever since KAJAMA has operated as a day-sail excursion vessel capable of carrying up to 225 passengers around Toronto Island on Lake Ontario and in the inner harbour like where I saw her again last Sunday, September 2.
"Yes, just a dream and wind can carry me, and soon I will be free. 
I love that song and so miss the experience of SAILING ⛵😊⛵

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Ore Carrier STEELTON

Everyday we see motorists going too fast, running a red light and carrying on without incident. Other times a collision occurs and someone has got a lot of explaining to do. Such was the case on August 25, 1974 when the downbound Bethlehem Steel Company ore carrier STEELTON passed the limit of approach point before the Welland Canal Bridge 12 in Port Robinson was fully raised. As a result the STEELTON struck the centre span of the bridge, crashing it and both 600 foot towers either into the canal or mangled along its banks. That was quite an unbelievable sight as you can see from these photos taken by my then wife-to-be, Janice almost 38 years ago. The canal had to be closed for 15 days and the estimated damage to the bridge was over $15 million dollars but it was never replaced, hence leaving the community divided to this day. The STEELTON's pilothouse was later repaired in Port Colborne and sailed until 1978.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Carlz Boats: Tanker ELEVIT

Carlz Boats: Tanker ELEVIT: I thought my drive today along the St. Lawrence was going to be a total bust until I found the upbound Oil Tanker ELEVIT approaching the Iroquois Lock.

Tuesday 12 June 2012


I thought our drive along the St. Lawrence River today was going to be a total bust. True, though what some might think that they're everywhere here in Canada, it was pretty neat to catch a moose crossing a field east of Iroquois, but it was boats I was looking for and on this drizzly day I was about to high-tail it back to Ottawa when I came across the upbound oil/chemical tanker ELEVIT near Upper Canada Village east of Morrisburg, Ontario. That section of the River is quite wide and the fairly new tanker was making good time when I caught her from the Upper Canada Marina, which is a pretty good vantage point.

The 472.5' ELEVIT was built this year at Turkter Shipyards, in Istanbul, Turkey so I presume this is her first trip into the Great Lakes. She flies the flag of Turkey and her home port is also Istanbul. The ELEVIT  is double-hulled and has been strengthened to operate in ice conditions.

The observation area at Iroquois Lock was great place to catch her much slower approach and then passage through the lock. Check it out sometime and another one of my pics of her at ( or not. c);-b

Monday 11 June 2012

Carlz Boats: The Tugboat ST. EVAL

Carlz Boats: The Tugboat ST. EVAL: Just after a short passage across the harbour in March 2004, I took this photo of the former ocean-going tugboat, ST. EVAL moored next to Lonsdale Quay

Sunday 10 June 2012

Carlz Boats: The Canaller BIRCHTON

Carlz Boats: The Canaller BIRCHTON: My father was the Third Mate on the bulk carrier BIRCHTON until 1947 and when he took this picture he was simply hoping to get back up forward....

The Canaller BIRCHTON

My father was the Third Mate on the bulk carrier BIRCHTON until 1947 and when he took the picture, above, he was simply hoping to get back up forward after lunch while Gulf of St. Lawrence breaking waves made that task quite the challenge.
BIRCHTON in winter layup in Toronto - year and photographer unknown.
The BIRCHTON, was built in 1924 in Dumbarton, Scotland for the Mathews Steamship Company which had a fleet of two other ships also named after trees found in Canada, the CEDARTON and OAKTON. They were sold to Gulf and Lake Navigation in 1938 and were kept busy in the grain, coal and pulpwood trade which is what my dad's BIRCHTON was carrying to the Bowaters Pulp and Paper Mill in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, when he met my mother. They were married in 1948 and soon after moving to Port Colborne, my dad started working on the Welland Canal.

Upbound canaller KEYSHEY on Galop Canal near Cardinal 
The BIRCHTON and her sisters were part of a group of 180 other ships her size that were known as "canaller". Each were built to a maximum length of about 250 feet, 43 feet wide and drawing 15.5 feet so that they could traverse the various St. Lawrence River canals upbound towards Lake Ontario.

The Lachine, Soulanges, Cornwall, and Williamsburg Canals were built to avoid several treacherous rapids along the St. Lawrence such as the Long Sault Rapids that you can see in the background in the pic of my sister, Karin and the Cornwall Canal taken back during my parent's road trip probably in 1954's. Heading downbound, the canallers, with their shallow draft and flat bottoms would simply chute the rapids during the day. Chuting the dangerous rapids and passing   through the many small communities where the locks were location, all came to an end when these areas were flooded and lost forever when the St. Lawrence Seaway was opened in 1959.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Classic Tug ST. EVAL (& More - Revised)

Turning 50 has it's rewards and surprises especially when the my family gave my wife and I trip to Vancouver and "Beautiful British Columbia" in March 2004. Just after a short passage across Vancouver harbour, I took this photo of the former harbour tugboat, ST. EVAL moored next to the SeaBus terminal at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. Not only was the ST. EVAL's appearance very impressive with her well varnished wooden wheel house and flying bridge, but so was her long and colourful history as a Falmouth, England tow tug which during the Second World War she was  repeatedly tasked to rescue and tow home torpedoed freighters and warships in the English Channel. Then, she was the 105' Warrior-class CHIEFTAIN who soon after being built in 1930 on the Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland, she went to for work Steele & Bennie Towing at the famous channel port located not that far to the east from England's Land's End.
New owner's Falmouth Towing Company changed her name to ST. EVAL after the famous church and north Cornwall hamlet in 1968. During this time ST. EVAL was given the special honour as lead tow for the original Cunard passenger liner QUEEN MARY and the Royal Yacht BRITANNIA ( In 1980 ST. EVAL was purchased by British tycoon Peter De Savary and was converted into a support vessel for the America's Cup.
In the early 1990's she was converted into a luxury yacht for Dennis Washington, owner of the Seaspan International Marine Shipyards in Vancouver, and though she is no longer a registered as tug, ST. EVAL remains flagged British and the America's Cup Challenge Port Pendennis emblems is proudly displayed on her black funnel.

The FOUNDATION FRANKLIN model card says the steam tug served in Nova Scotia and assisted the Royal Canadian Navy on numerous occasions.  
Perhaps Capt. Irwin Power at the FRANKLIN's port
bridge wing. He skipped her from 1934-39.
If you haven't had your fill in tugboats lately, may I suggest a couple of interesting options. Less than an hour's drive south of the 401 between Belleville and Napanee is the quaint and picturesque town of Picton in Prince Edward County, where the Naval Marine Archive: The Canadian Collection is located. This non-profit charitable organization is dedicated to maritime history and conversations, maritime research and nautical education. Situated at 205 Main Street, the museum holds thousands of maritime and nautical charts, documents, books, images, paintings and several really neat ship models like one of the legendary classic tug FOUNDATION FRANKLIN. Built in 1918 as the Royal Navy admiralty tug HMS FRISKY, and bought by Foundation Maritime of Halifax in 1930, the many daring rescues by the Atlantic salvage tug FOUNDATION FRANKLIN during the Great Depression and World War II is depicted in the must read non-fiction book, 'The Grey Seas Under' by Canadian author, Farley Mowat. The book details the adventures of the 155' powerful tug and her crew, mostly Newfoundlander until she was sold for dismantling in 1948. Can't get to the museum, the book is equally entertaining.
My dad passed on his copy of the book many years ago before he died. I read it, so has my son, and he will pass it on to his young son at the right time. The tradition continues c):-D
Read more about her and fleetmate FOUNDATION JOSEPHINE at

Thursday 7 June 2012

Carlz Boats: R.M.S. SEGWUN

Carlz Boats: R.M.S. SEGWUN: The Royal Mail Ship SEGWUN backs out from the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst, Ontario before turning and heading out into Lake Muskoka.


The Royal Mail Ship SEGWUN backs out from the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst, Ontario before turning and heading out into Lake Muskoka for it's morning cruise on September 23 last year. Built in 1887 in Glasgow, Scotland, R.M.S. SEGWUN  continues to hold status with Canada Post as an official " Royal Mail Ship". It is also North America's oldest operating hand-fired steamship.

Nice engine there WANDA III and worthy of at least my attention. It's the same design as the engines built for the Royal Canadian Navy minesweepers during World War I. The steam yacht WANDA III was built in 1905 in Toronto for Mrs. Margaret Eaton, the widow wife of Timothy Eaton, founder of Eaton's department stores. For more information about the many attractions and cruise times at Muskoka Wharf, I suggest you go to It's certainly worth the visit.

Saturday 2 June 2012

Carlz Boats: M.V. CHICAGO TRIBUNE & 2 Sisters

Carlz Boats: M.V. CHICAGO TRIBUNE & 2 Sisters: Despite accepting change, sooner or later all things come to an end.

Newsprint Carrier CHICAGO TRIBUNE & 2 Sisters (Revisited)

Our trip to Toronto just after Christmas in 1987 was actually to give some pleasure to a special person whose time would soon come to an end. Seeing three old canallers laying and waiting at the harbour front for the next season was bonus and appropriate examples of despite accepting change, sooner or later all things come to an end. My memories of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE were from a time when her owner then, the Quebec & Ontario Transportation Co. (Q&O), always maintained its fleet very well and the ships present a very smart appearance, not like what I saw of her and sisters STELLA & EVA DESGAGNES on that cold winter day in 1987. Though short and stubby, I recall all three ships, (though the sisters had different names), would quickly push their way with ease through the Welland Canal fully loaded and low in the water with newsprint produced in nearby Thorold, soon to be made into newspapers for, you guessed it, the 'Chicago Tribune'. Though I have not been able to find out the fate of the M.V. CHICAGO TRIBUNE, soon after I took these photos, the EVA DESGAGNES which also bore the names GRIFFON and FRANQUELIN when working for Mohawk Navigation was sold to a Mexican company and then scrapped in 1989.
Meanwhile her 349' sister STELLA DESGAGNES which was known as TECUMSEH when when owned by Beaconsfield Steamship and Mohawk Navigation, and then NEW YORK NEWS when Q&O owned her, became WOLF RIVER in 1997 when she started hauling pulpwood for Gravel & Lake Services of Thunder Bay to Duluth, Minnesota.

Go to for more of Brenda's pics on her Summerstown Seaway Ship Watchers group.  
However that stint apparently only lasted for about a year when her new life of sitting idle began which appears to the case when my friend, Brenda Benoit, of Summerstown, Ontario snapped her last week parked in front of the former Navy tug PENINSULA in Thunder Bay. Though the day appeared to be coming to an end in Brenda's beautiful photograph, the built in 1956 WOLF RIVER awaits the new day and work, now as a barge laid up in Thunder Bay. For some, life goes on.
In better days, STELLA DESGAGNES is downbound on the Welland Canal above Bridge 11 at Allanburg in May 1986 - A John Coulter Collection photo courtesy of Fred Miller, Port Huron, Michigan,
BTW, to view thousands of Great Lakes ship photos both modern and vintage, be sure to checkout or for photos of ships from elsewhere around the world. You'll be Glad You Did!!