Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pups at Work

The Queen's Harbour Master directs a fleet of six tugs in Halifax harbour. Of these, three are small tugs of the Ville class. They range the length and width of the harbour doing various jobs of work for the Navy. Known as "pups" because they are small and tireless, they are most useful in small corners.

One of their tasks today was unberthing the Portuguese naval training vessel Sagres from pier 24. After assisting the barque out into the stream they returned to pier 24 to recover three fenders and return them to HMC Dockyard. They were still wearing their canvas bibs to ensure that they did not mar the white paint of the ship.

It isn't often that I get to see them working up close:

Granville comes in to pick up a fender.

 Merrickville backs away with a fender on its hip.

 Merrickville gets underway.

Granville turns smartly with its two fenders.

Both tugs underway back to HMC Dockyard.

Despite the white water caused by the fenders, the tugs leave surprisingly little wake as the pass west of George's Island. (Note the Coast Guard helicopter next to the lighthouse.).

Sagres did a turn in the harbour before heading for sea. Not a scratch on her hull from her visit.

The three Halifax based pups were built in 1974 in Georgetown, PE and are powered with a 365 bhp Cat engine driving a single screw in a steerable Kort nozzle. They are 45 tons displacement and 64 feet long. Despite their age the tugs are in pristine condition.


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