Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Océan Comeau and Dover Spirit - 2018 renames

Two tugs that have been renamed this year were in the area of Ile-aux-Coudres this morning.
First was the downbound Dover Spirit on its way from the Lakes to Sydney, NS.

Built in 1998 by Dovercraft Marine of Nanticoke, ON its first name was Kaliutik for owners the Labrador Inuit Devlopment Corp. In recent years McKeil Marine has been using the tug, but it was not until June 12 of this year that the ownership was transferred to McKeil Workboats GP Inc and the new name registered.

For more on this tug (and better pictures) see:

Océan Comeau is on the slip at Industrie Océan for hull work. Ownership of the former Pointe Comeau was taken over by Groupe Ocean from Cargill as part of the deal to provide tug service at Baie Comeau. Svitzer / Eastern Canada Towing had managed the tug on behalf of Cargill, and under the new contract Cargill acquired the Anse du Moulin the former Svitzer Comeau. Cartier.

The large skeg under the tug's stern is an essential part of its design.It also helps to support the tug in drydocking.

Océan Comeau is now regularly stationed in Sorel, QC, and was re-registered in Quebec City August 17.

There are also large docking plates fitted forward to protect the Voith Schneider blades, and support the hull in drydocking.


Thursday, August 16, 2018


The tug Everlast with its articulated barge Norman McLeod were the cause for some minor excitement off Sorel-Tracy last week. At an early hour August 9 , while at anchor, the barge's anchor cable parted and the the barge drifted aground.

Several workers appear to be admiring their handiwork as Norman McLeod and Everlast lie alongside at Sorel.

The tug was built by Hakodate, Muroran, way back in 1976 as Bilibino for Russian operators and was acquired by current owners McAsphalt in 1996 to be paired with the heavy fuel/asphalt barge Norman McLeod of 6809 grt, built in the same year by Jinling, China.

Sorel based tugs, both with former Svitzer / ECTUG ties, wait their next assignments.

Local Sorel tugs (presumably Océan Sept-Iles and Océan Comeau soon freed the barge. There was no damage. There are conflicting reports as to whether the anchor and chain were recovered or not, however when I happened by August 15, the barge had been re-equipped with an anchor (it carries only one) and sailed later in the day for Detroit (or perhaps Windsor). It regularly works through the Seaway making transits on average every ten days to two weeks.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Despite being business competitors, Canadian tug operators often work together, with short term chartering of each others' tugs depending on need.

Currently Groupe Océan is employing the McKeil Marine tug Lois M. On Monday, the Lois M. went down river from Quebec City to Ile-aux-Coudres to fetch the tug Océan Charlie from the Industrie Océan shipyard and towed it back to Quebec City.

Lois M. tied up at the Océan jetty in the Outer Bassin Louise.

Océan Charlie fresh from the shipyard, but not back in service yet.

Lois M. is set up for towing, and therefore may be substituting for Océan Tundra which has been sent to Milne Inlet. This unexpected trip was likely brought about by the breakdown of Océan K. Rusby, which had a thruster failure. Of course Océan Tundra was built for service at the Baffinland port but has never been there until now.

Groupe Océan also recently hired the tug Point Vim from les Barges de Matane to tow the dredge Océan Borromée Verreault from Quebec to Port Cartier. (Dredging fleet tugs Le Phil D. and R.F.Grant had previously towed dump scows to Port Cartier.)

The next few days may be very busy for Océan as the second re-floating attempt for the grounded Umiavut [see Shipfax] is due for August 16 or whenever lightering operations are completed. The first attempt used the tugs OcéanClovis T. from Quebec City and the Océan Intrepide from the Montreal fleet.

Also fresh from the shipyard, Duga was in Quebec City oin Monday, but has gone on now to Trois-Rivières, its traditional home port, but it has recently been based in Sorel.

Duga tied up at Océan's ship repair unit in Quebec City, newly refitted and readying to go back into service.