Sunday, January 21, 2018

Winter tow for Mister Joe

Winter towing is fraught with issues, not the least of which is freezing spray. Even if temperatures moderate, weather is still the major issue, particularly with small tugs on coastal voyages.

McNally Construction's Mister Joe arrived in Halifax on Friday on the first leg of a tow from Port Hawksbury, NS to Saint John, NB. There are very few ports to put into along Nova Scotia's eastern and southern shores, and Halifax was the first port aslong the route to provide shelter from predicted high winds and seas.

Mister Joe resumed the tow today, but once outside the shelter of the harbour, they found there was too much strain on the towing gear and so they put back in this afternoon.

Mister Joe has shortened up the tow as it approaches pier 9.

The tug slacks the line and in an adept bit of ship handling.....

...makes up on the bow of the scow, allowing two deck hands to scramble aboard the icy deck, and another to work the towing winch to bring in the bridle and ...

... with the scow "on the hip" moves in to its berth.

There will be another try tomorrow, and if all goes right the next stop will be Shelburne, NS.

Mister Joe was built by the once prolific tug builders, Russel-Hipwell of Owen Sound, ON, in 1964 as Churchill River for the Hudson's Bay Company and worked in Hudson Bay for thirty years. It was sold to Newfoundland owners in the 1990s, then to Beaver Marine in 1997. When Beaver was taken over by McNally Construction the tug was renamed after company founder, Mister Joe (McNally) in 1999. It was re-engined in 2002, with a pair of GMs giving 750 bhp to twin screws. In 2013-2014 it was given a major rebuild, which included a new wheelhouse built to the same pattern as the original, but with better windows.

The tug can be seen all over eastern Canada, ranging from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Coast and Newfoundland, supporting McNally's various dredging and marine construction projects.At sea it works with a crew of five.

Mister Joe prepared for winter work with its accommodaiton ventilators wrapped and duct taped.

The dump scow is ballasted down for the trip with a couple of dredge buckets and some large concrete blocks in the pockets.


1 comment:

  1. Mister Joe left Friday morning and is tied up in Shelburne now