Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gulf Dianne at Port Hawksbury

It was nice to see the tug Gulf Dianne again even if she is still in winter layup. The tug spends the shipping season shuttling gravel barges from Cape Porcupine, Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island, but this winter she was laid up in Port Hawksbury where I caught her on Thursday.
She is an unusual tug for this coast, due to her distinctive open flying bridge.
This is a a west coast tug feature, and indeed Gulf Dianne was built on the west coast as Gulf Diane in 1962.
She came east in 1968 as deck cargo on one of her gravel barges, G of G 270, bedded in a load of limerock. That barge and the other barge G of G 271 were towed by Gulf Joan to Halifax, where Gulf Diane was unloaded. [see previous posting on Gulf Joan.]
She was employed by Gulf of Georgia Towing's "Fleuvetow" venture in Quebec, working from Stephenville, Newfoundland, among other places, carrying aggregate.
When that venture folded in 1976, she was sold to Mariner Towing of St.Eleanor's PEI and in 1985 the second "N" was added to her name.
She has been on the PEI gravel run ever since. She tows one barge while the other is loaded at Cape Porcupine.
And in case you wondered- yes the flying bridge is used. In the May 22, 1995 photo she is transiting the Canso Canal eastbound, towing G of G 270 with two men on the flying bridge, conning the tug and barge.


  1. Hi Mac, my grandfather Captain Callum Smith skippered the Gulf Joan when the Gulf Diane was towed from Vancouver. According to his ship's log they left Vancouver April 15, 1976 and arrived PEI S Side June 8, 1976. The cost to take it through the Panama Canal was $23,000 nearly triple the amount it was 14 mos prior. There's actually a newspaper article dated April 8, 1976 in 'The Province' here in BC with a pic of the Gulf Diane being loaded on the barge. Thank you very much for keeping up these photos as they are part of my granpa's life who died in 1986.


  2. Hello all I sailed with Cal on the Gulf Joan named after my mother and the Gulf Dianne was named after my sister and it was always spelt with 2 n. All the Gulf Tugs named after family or women that worked for company or wives of men that worked there. My grandfather TSB Staff Byrn as most people called him and my uncle Ray Bicknell owned GogG and then my dad JSB Jim Byrn then sold company to Genstar Marine and they amalgamated it with Seaspan.