Burin Sea makes its way toward Bedford Basin for DP trials this morning.
It sports a little frozen spray, picked up on its way in from Sable Island.
The tug/supplier Burin Sea is still in service when many boats of its type have long since been relegated to the scrap heap. Its story, and that of sister vessel Trinity Sea has been told here before, but here is a capsule history.
The boats were originally built for the USSR by Stocznia Szczcinska im A Warskiego in Szczecin (Stettin), Poland in 1983. Burin Sea was named Neftegaz I and Trinty Sea was Neftegaz 2. With the democratic transition in Poland and dissolution of the USSR in the late 1980s there were major changes in the oil and gas industry there and the two ships were laid up. Secunda Marine Services bought both at a very good price. (They also acquired a third unit, Neftegaz 14, which arrived under its own power, and became Panuke Sea, and a fourth unit, Neftegaz 29 that was never converted.)
Secunda's own tug Magdalen Sea towed the pair from Norway, arriving in Halifax May 18,1998.
Soon after arrival in Canada, the boat's new name was painted on the bow. The hammer and sickle of the USSR was still displayed on the funnels, but was not to remain long.
After considerable demolition work, Ectug's Point Carroll towed the hull to the Verreault shipyard in Méchins, QC for hull work in July and back to Halifax in September.
The harbour tug Point Halifax assists in setting up the tow to the shipyard for hull work.
Rebuilding was completed by November of 1999. That rebuilding was extensive, and resulted in a very different looking superstructure. However the ice class 1A hull, which was apparently made of very high quality steel, and its original Sulzer engines (producing about 10,000 bhp, delivered to two controllable pitch props) were the reason that it was worth the investment.
Fresh from rebuilding the boat sets out on sea trials in November 1999.
Now, nearly twenty years later, both boats are still in service shuttling between Halifax and the Exxon-Mobil gas field off Sable Island. That installation is being decommissioned and removed, so the boats will be working on that project for some time to come.