Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tug move updates - and more

I may have erred in the actual departure date of the tug Atlantic Larch from Halifax. Either that or it came back and left a second time. I caught it outbound for Colon, Panama on Saturday March 5.

Ocean Foxtrot put back to Marystown, NL in tow of Western Tugger and Coast Guard escort. After a four year layup, a day in rough seas stirred up enough sludge in its fuel thanks that it lost power. A thorough cleaning seems to be in order. However it is possible that the C.O.D. tow may have depleted the new owner's funds.Another abandonment seems possible.

The Halifax based tugs Svitzer Njal and Svitzer Nerthus sailed from Halifax March 3, bound for Sept-Iles, QC. It seems an odd destination, since there is little traffic in the port these days and Groupe Océan has all the work there having wrested away the Iron Ore Company of Canada contract from Svitzer several years ago. All I can think is that they are there to assist at Port-Cartier if needed, since ArcelorMittal is a major client. The contract for Svitzer Cartier expires shortly, so even that may be a wild guess.
Sept-Iles is relatively close to Méchins, QC, where Verreault Shipyard often services Svitzer tugs, so that may be a explanation too.

Tugfax Blogger Suffers (another) Sudden Attack of Apoplexy.

My ongoing quest for responsible ship naming suffered another setback recently when I learned about another shipowner that has abdicated the responsibility of sensible ship naming by resorting to a contest for school children. A panel of judges (who obviously didn't know any better) selected the name  Iron Guppy for a new icebreaking tug/workboat for the Port of Toronto.

This ludicrous appellation will be applied to the craft which will be completed in June by Hike Metal Products. The 750 bhp single screw ABS Ice Class C0 boat  may last as long as 45 years, which its predecessor William Rest managed to do.[]
If so, the name should be thoroughly stale by then and so outdated as to be meaningless. Even the six to twelve year olds that came up with it may be thoroughly tired of it by then. I know I am already.
For more on the process see:

Not only is the name undignified for a tug, it is an embarrassment to a Port, that has a long maritime history. Its previous vessels have carried interesting and meaningful names, often with historic antecedents or symbols. Many have also been named for notable persons, such as the Port's fireboat William Lyon Mackenzie [ or for more on the man:
or another (now retired tug) the Ned Hanlan 

If not named for a memorable person, surely a tug deserves a name indicative of force, power, activity, purposefulness, utility or dependability.
For more on the new tug see:
I am rendered speechless by Toronto's choice.

By the way the Toronto Marine Historical Society is a wonderful means of learning about that port's history, and much else related to Great Lakes shipping:


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