Thursday, December 22, 2011

Silk purse from sow's ear

1. Trinity Sea approaches pier 9 this morning.

2. Upper: arriving in Halifax with sister tug./ Lower on the cradle at Dartmouth Marine Slip.

Trinity Sea moved to pier 9 today for a Christmas time refit. The ship was rebuilt from the hull up in 1998-99 and has put in some heavy work as an offshore supplier. On December 7 she arrived in port on one engine, but that seems to have been patched up.

Built in Poland in 1983 as Neftegaz 2 it was part of a huge fleet built up by the USSR Ministry of Gas Industry. With the collapse of the USSR most were laid up, many unused, and eventually sold off. Secunda Marine Services acquired four over the years, but Neftegaz 1 and Neftegaz 2 were bought in 1998. They arrived in Halifax in tow of Magdalen Sea and were rebuilt over a period of a year or so. Work included all new accommodation, and internals, except the main engines, which were retained. The bow was built up, the exhaust uptakes re-routed and a new bridge and wheelhouse installed to improve visibility aft.

Neftegaz 1 became Burin Sea and Neftegaz 2 became Trinity Sea.

The pair have worked off Newfoundland and overseas, with Trinity Sea active off Nova Scotia for the last couple of years. Burin Sea is still in Newfoundland.

A third boat, Neftegaz 14 was rebuilt as Panuke Sea in 2003. The fourth is laid up at pier 9B with the name Neftegaz 29 still displayed, although it has been officially renamed Intrepid Sea. Secunda Marine Services is now J.Ray McDermott Canada.


Monday, December 19, 2011

And Jarrett McKeil/ Robert B No.1 to the same fate

Another classic tug has gone for scrap. Jarrett McKeil, ex Robert B. No.1 will be broken up by current owners, Heddle Marine of Hamilton, ON.
1. Robert B. No.1 at rest in Quebec City, September 3, 1975. The reddish brown deck house was unique to the Davie tugs.

2. Quebec Tugs opted for a stark black and white look. Robert B. No.1 returns to Bassin Louise in Quebec City on hot July 1, 1983.

3. Setting out from Halifax October 23, 1994, towing the barge Black Carrier destined for Boston.

Built in 1956 by Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon, QC, it was built to the yard's own account. The shipyard was owned by Canada Steamship Lines at the time, and it provided tug service in Quebec City, and had the tugs available for salvage work and ship handling. It was named for Robert Black, a member of the management team at the yard. (The No.1 came from the fact that there was another Robert B. (a Vancouver tug) and a Robert B. II (owned in Port aux Basques, NL.)

CSL divested itself of the shipyard, and the tug fleet, so ownership changed to Quebec Tugs. It lost its beautiful paint job and became black and white. As Groupe Océan formed itself, the tug was sold to McKeil Workboats of Hamilton, ON and in 1997 became Jarrett McKeil. They found lots of work for it, towing old lakers, and barges, and it even reached Halifax in 1994 towing container crane components from Sorel to Massport in Boston.

Like fleet mate Wyatt McKeil ex Otis Wack it is a single screw, 1200 bhp GM powered tug, and a member of a now endangered species. It was sold to Heddle Marine a number of years ago and has been laid up for some time, awaiting the inevitable torch.


Otis Wack -off to the scrappers

Of course it hasn't been called the Otis Wack for a long time, but that's how I will remember it.
1. Otis Wack at its berth, dried out at low water.

2. The very attractive funnel, with the distinctive "cobra" funnel mark used by the Fundy Gypsum Corporation. The same logo was used on the company's bulk carriers, but on a tan funnel.

3. A composite photo of the tug afloat, with the old gypsum loading dock in the background.

Built in 1950 at Davie Shipbuilding & Repair Co Ltd in Lauzon, QC, to a design by Robert W. Morrell of New York, the tug was built especially for service at Hantsport, NS. When not working it tied up at a little pier next to the government wharf and dried out at low tide each day. Its hull was designed to take this constant stress, and to deal with a bit of ice from time to time too.

Most unusual for a Canadian tug of the era (they were invariably powered by Fairbanks-Morse) it was powered by a V-12 GM- the American standard. It developed 1200 bhp, on a single screw, which was enough for the small bulk carriers that loaded gypsum at Hantsport, and the other small freighters that docked at Hanstport, Windsor, and several other nearby ports. I have no record of it assisting shipping in Port Williams, Wolfville, Parrsboro or Walton, but it may well have done so.

It was not the first tug named Otis Wack - that was a wooden tug built in 1921 in Port Greville. The tugs were named for Otis Wack, an American citizen and long time manager of the Fundy Gypsum operations, which were owned by U.S. Gypsum.

In 1995 Fundy Gypsum needed a more powerful tug (they bought Spanish Mist - since sold to the Magdalen Islands.) McKeil Workboats of Hamilton bought Otis Wack. It carried the original name until 1997 when it was renamed Wyatt McKeil and worked around the Lakes and down the St.Lawrence. Being largely in fresh water would have ensured a long life for the tug if there had been work, but a single screw, low power tug is not much in demand these days.

Ownership was transferred to Heddle Marine, also of Hamilton, and the tug is now to be broken up there.

For more on gypsum operations at Hantsport see:


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And the Tamarack too.

1. This morning Atlantic Tamarack goes to work in the Narrows.

2. Back in 2001 it wore the soviet insignia on its funnel for a movie role.

With fleet mate Swellmaster off the Meteghan on another chore, it has fallen to Atlantic Tamarack to take over the wrangling of mud scows for the dredging project in the Narrows. Built in 1969 as Irving Tamarack, and renamed in 1997, the tug did duty as a standby vessel at the Canaport oil buoy off Saint John for many years before going to work for Harbour Development. The single screw tug was re-engined in 2010, and also seems to be going strong after all these years.

It also acted in a supporting role in the movie K-19:The Widowmaker in 2001. It wore the hammer and sickle and was seen pulling a sub out of drydock.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Swellmaster keeps on tugging

Sorry to repeat myself, but I love seeing the Swellmaster working. A tug built in 1965, repowered in 1987 (with remanufactured Cats built in 1973) and knocking about with barges dredges, and coastal tows of same, must be built of stern stuff.
I also love the Admiralty funnel.
Here's a little retrospective.

1. As Irving Hemlock working off Borden PEI in 1996. That's the old Harbour Development Ltd funnel mark.

2. Wearing a Soviet era funnel marking while playing a supporting role in the move K-19: The Widowmaker. She and Tamerack appear in the movie pulling a sub out of the graving dock.

3. The hammer and sickle are gone, and she is now the camera boat for the same movie. The telescoping arm could get right down to a water line view or elevate well above.

4. December 9, 2011 back at the mud scow work.

5. Today, running the Narrows. The ladders must have been added while she worked in Saint John. It's a long way up to the piers when the tide is out. Most of those dents in her bridge dodger are twenty years old.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mister Joe, Beaver Kay and Whitby - oldies but goodies

1. Mister Joe gets underway from pier 9 towing Beaver Kay.

2. On deck is Whitby, much in need of hull cleaning.

3. The barge is on a short tow line until clear of the harbour.

4. Beaver Kay was built as YD 251 a steam derrick for the naval dockyard. What looks like a gun tub as the top of the derrick was a fire monitor. Photo October 10, 1995 at pier 35.

After a hard summer's work the various dredging and marine construction fleets are getting ready to go into the barn for the winter.

This morning the tug Mister Joe sailed form Halifax towing the Beaver Kay with Whitby on deck. Yesterday a crane was offloaded from the Beaver Kay and positioned on the new pier C extension at Halterm where it will continue the work from the land side. Whitby was also working steadily on the pier C project, but will not be needed now.

These vessels all belong to McNally Construction Inc, which, since July is a wholly owned subsidiary of Weeks Marine, Inc of Cranford, New Jersey.

Mister Joe started life as the Churchill River in 1964 at Russel-Hipwell Engines in Owen Sound ON. Built for the Hudson Bay Company it worked for them in the far north until sold to work on the Hibernia project. It moved to Beaver Marine in 1997 and was renamed when Beaver was integrated into McNally. It is a twin screw tug of 750 bhp.

Whitby was built in 1978 by and for McNamara Construction. McNally took over that operation and the tug has worked all over eastern Canada. It is also twin screw with 474 bhp.

The senior citizen in the bunch is Beaver Kay. Built in 1953 by Geo. T. Davie & Sons Ltd in Lauzon, QC, it was the steam crane YD 251 and worked in the HMC Dockyard in Halifax until 1995. Beaver marine acquired it in that year and removed the crane derrick and all the steam machinery, leaving a small portion of the deck house. It was registered for the first time in Halifax December 17, 1996 and named Beaver Kay. It is a very wide (115 feet long x 60 feet wide) and stable hull, and makes a good working platform for some very big cranes for dredging, pile driving and other work.

The little flotilla is headed for Point Tupper where McNally has its maintenance base. Whitby needs a good shave and a haircut, and there is work to do on Beaver Kay too. Mister Joe usually keeps running until December.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Former Quebec and Montreal tug to the scrappers

1. Charlie S. (left) and Jerry G. off Quebec City in ice- the work for which they were designed.

2. In McAllister colours, Cathy McAllister berths the tanker Le Chêne No.1 in Montreal. The ship also had a full width bridge for winter conditions.

3. Cathy McAllister, again with Jerry G. at the McAllister dock in Montreal.

4. Now in Océan colours, at the same dock, and with Salvage Monarch.

In the early 1950s Davie Shipbuilding Ltd in Lauzon, QC was replacing its old steam tugs, which served the port of Quebec. In 1954 they built Charlie S. a modern tug for the time, with a few unique features. Chief among them was the full width enclosed bridge.

In recognition of the winter conditions that the tug would have to work in , the full width wheelhouse was a useful feature, but never repeated in any other tugs. The wheelhouse was also raised about a half deck above the deckhouse, giving better visibility to the master.

A single screw tug, it was powered by a 12 cylinder 1200 bhp GM, and was named for Charlie Sauvageau, a member of the management team at the yard.

Davie Shipbuilding got out of the tug business in 1974 and sold the tug to McAllister Towing of Montreal. They renamed the tug Cathy McAllister and transferred it to Montreal. The tug was repainted in the black hull and gold stripe, with red house and McAllister funnel.

On January 20, 1975 the tug sank in ice covered waters at a Montreal pier. It was not until February that the tug was refloated, and some rebuilding was no doubt required.

The McAllister family sold its business and the fleet was taken over by new owners, who adopted a new colour scheme of plain black hull, white house and red stripe. They kept the McAllister funnel and company name.

Groupe Océan then bought the McAllister operation and gradually integrated the tugs into its fleet, with their own colour scheme with blue paint on the upper part of the wheelhouse and Océan funnel. They did not rename the tug either.

In 2002 Océan sold both Cathy McAllister and Salvage Monarch to Heritage Harbour Marine Ltd of London, ON and on October 31 Salvage Monarch entered the Seaway towing Cathy McAllister for Goderich, ON. The trip was not without drama, when the tow had problems on Lake Ontario and CCGS Griffon took over. Once in Lake Erie the tug Miseford took over the tow and delivered it to Port Maitland. The tug eventually reached Goderich on November 14, 2002, where it was renamed Seven Sisters.

I am a little fuzzy on the tugs movements after that point, but it seems it was not used much, but did move around from time to time.

In 2005 it was towed to the Welland Canal where it was fitted out for assist work. This meant that the tug would be used as tail tug for other tows through the locks.

Later in the same year the tug was taken over by Distribution Grand Lacs/St-Laurent (Three Rivers Elevators) a member of the Great Lakes Group. They were developing a grain barge service from the Lakes to Trois-Rivières, and a variety of tugs have been used, but I am not sure Doc Morin saw much service.

Upper Lakes Group sold its ships this year, and placed the tugs on the sale market. This fall it was reported that Doc Morin had been sold for scrap, and was being broken up near St.Catharines, ON.


Sunday, November 13, 2011


1. A Sea King helicopter, of about the same age as the Swellmaster, flies overhead as the tug arrives in Halifax November 10.

The venerable Swellmaster arrived November 10 towing the dredge Cranemaster in company with the tug Atlantic Tamarack towing the mud scow HD8. The small flotilla tied up at pier 6, but by this morning both tugs had sailed again for Saint John. I see them heading into Shelburne this evening on AIS.

I have writen about Swellmaster so many times, I don't need to tell her story again. She was British-built in 1965 and seems destined to last forever.

If you want to see what she looked like in 1991, as Irving Hemlock go to Shipfax for November 11:

In that photo-also at pier 6, she is alongside the dredge Shovelmaster. It capsized and sank in 150 meters of water south of Nova Scotia November 19, 2008 while in tow from Saint John for Halifax.

See J.D.Irving's press release:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Atlantic Hemlock- off again; Atlantic Larch back on the job

1. Atlantic Hemlock stretches out her tow line.

2. Atlantic Swordfish is a former Boabarge 18, built in 2000 in China.

3. The barge has an emergency pickup line trailing aft.

4. Atlantic Larch has been away from Halifax since summer.[file photo]

Atlantic Hemlock left Halifax today after a spell doing harbour work here since October 11.

Earlier this morning Atlantic Larch returned to port with the barge Atlantic Swordfish in tow. Larch immediately returned to harbour work and Atlantic Hemlock left this afternoon towing the Swordfish for Saint John. The barge was carryhing a large J.D.Irving Ltd crane, and had reportedly been working in Newfoundland.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

From the Files, Ten Years Ago: Cocle

1. Cocle arrived in Halifax as a "dry tow" - note the escort skeg, and large cooler inlets.

2. Colon on trials, was launched without incident and arrived in Halifax three days later. The low profile allows her to get under ships' sterns in tight quarters.

3. Atlantic Salvor's Alcos clear their throats as the tug moves its crane away from the dock in Georgetown, PE.

4. The massive Chesapeake 1000 did its work in good time.

5. Atlantic Teak towed the barge carrying Cocle from Georgetown to Halifax.

On July 1, 2001 the new tug Cocle toppled off its launching cradle at the East Isle Shipyard in PEI. What might have proven to be a disaster turned out all right in the end.

East Isle was in the midst of building a four tug order for the Panama Canal Commission. These tugs were based on the original Robert Allan design, but were modified for the Canal with more power, lower wheelhouse, and a large escort skeg. The latter was a new development for this class of tug, but had been proven in retrofits of earlier tugs.

A speedy response to the tip over was made by Donjon Marine of Hillside, NJ, who dispatched their crane Chesapeake 1000 (named for its capacity) in tow of the tug Atlantic Salvor. By July 12 the tug was righted and repairs were underway.

The East Isle tugs usually did their sea trails on the way to Halifax where they received final fitting out and acceptance trials. However Cocle arrived in style on the barge ATL 2402 in tow of the tug Atlantic Teak. This was the first and only "dry tow" of an East Isle tug to Halifax, arriving September 24. Sister Colon arrived September 30 on its own (it had been launched without incident September 27.)

After trials the pair set off for Panama November 3 on their own hulls.

The final two tugs in the order, Herrera and Los Santos were delivered in August and November of 2002.

Since that time The Panama canal has acquired eight (with five more to come) Robert Allan design Z-Tech tugs form Cheoy Lee shipyard in China. The Canal Authority now has 37 tugs in its fleet.

They have also now ordered fourteen more tugs to work ships following the expansion of the canal, to be completed in 2014. The new locks will use only tugs to assist ships, they will not have the typical shoreside rail mules of the old locks.

All the tugs shown are still in service for the same owners:

  • Cocle and Colon 4,486 bhp Deutz, 2 ASD

  • Atlantic Teak ex Irving Teak built in Singapore in 1973 as Essar, 2,300 bhp Deutz, 2 screw.

  • Atlantic Salvor ex Mister Darby, built in 1976 by Halter Marine, New Orleans, 6480 bhp Alco, 2 screw.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Salvage Monarch is refitting

1. As built, Salvage Monarch had a huge steam winch aft, and a smaller one forward. Also a derrick and a chain stopper for ground tackle forward. Photo taken at Kingston, ON ca. 1960.

2. By 1971 the big steam winch was gone, and Salvage Monarch was set up for towing. Seen here in Halifax after towing a retired ferry from Sorel.

3. The tug was on harbour duties in Montreal in 1995.

4. In Groupe Océan colours, the tug spent the winter of 2000-2001 on charter in Halifax.

Word has reached Tugfax that the veteran tug Salvage Monarch is in refit for new owners in Toronto. According to our close personal friend Charlie Gibbons, Toronto Dry Dock recently purchased the tug, which has been idle for some time. This is great news for a tug with a long and interesting history.
P.K.Harris of Appledore, North Devon, UK built the tug for Pyke Salvage & Navigation of Kingston, ON in 1959 in preparation for the opening of the St.Lawrence Seaway that year, and the expected increase in size and number of ships needing salvage assistance. As with many tugs of the era from that yard, it had the new hydroconic (hard chine) hull form developed by Burness Corlitt. The hull was also strengthened for operation in ice.
The 97'-8" long craft was powered by two 8 cylinder Lister Blackstone engines geared to a single screw shaft producing 23 tons bollard pull. It was fitted with an 80 ton steam wrecking (and towing) winch aft and a 15 ton steam winch forward, powered by a 4,500 lbs per hour steam generator. (Apparently electric and hydraulic winches were not up to the game.) There was also a derrick mounted forward of the house, and a hold forward for salvage gear.
At the time of her delivery Pyke was a wholly owned subsidiary of Federal Commerce & Navigation Co Ltd [now Fednav], but Pyke had joined forces with McAllister Towing of Montreal to form McAllister Pyke to service the Seaway.

The Pyke operation had various salavge craft with names such as Salvage Prince, and Queen and is notable that this tradition has been respected through several owners.
Salvage Monarch towed the incomplete tug Stranton from the England to Sorel, where it was completed at Cathy McAllister. (It has since been rebuilt as Ocean Golf and is stationed in Toronto.)
Eventually McAllister took over Pyke completely and by 1962 Salvage Monarch was owned by McAllister Towing & Salvage Ltd.
Many were the salvage jobs, scrap tows and miscellaneous chores the tug performed through the years. Usually confined to the waters of the Seaway, she did make some trips further afield. As time went on she became less of a salvage vessel and more of a tug, and the forward winch and derrick were removed and the after winch was replaced.
Salvage Monarch's first visit to Halifax that I know of was in 1971 when it towed the retired Sorel ferry Napoleon L, which it handed over to the Gulf Joan, which in turn towed the ferry to British Columbia for further service.
When McAllister sold its business Salvage Monarch was mostly a harbour tug in Montreal, but new owners Groupe Océan looked farther afield for work. In the winter of 2000-2001 the tug was based in Halifax on charter for cable protection work.
In 2002 Heritage Harbour Marine of London, ON bought the tug and fleet mate Cathy McAllister ex Charlie S., which it renamed Seven Sisters. It was later sold and became Doc Morin and is presently being broken up at St.Catharines, ON.
Salvage Monarch saw some service under Heritage Harbour ownership, but it was laid up and has been for sale for several years.
It is good to see that the tug will be given new life. Thanks to spending most of its life in fresh water, it will certainly last for a few years longer.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Penn No.6

The big US flag tug Penn No.6 came over to Halifax from Imperial Oil and tied up at the Svitzer dock today. It is only when you get to see one of these tugs up close that you can appreciate how big they really are.

Penn No.6 was built in Slidell, LA by Southern Shipbuilding as Robert Alario in 1970. At 149' length overall and 35' breadth, the tug packs 5700 bhp delivered by two V-16 GMs. Morania Tanker Corp of New York bought the tug in 1992 and renamed it Morania No.6. Morania, founded in 1947, merged into Penn Maritime in 2000, but had shared common ownership since 1985. The tug changed its name as part of the merger and its colour too. Instead of the Morania red, it became Penn grey.

Penn moved its headquarters to Stamford, CT, but it maintains a base on Staten Island and also has an office in Slidell, LA.

Penn specializes in asphalt and heavy fuel transport, and has a fleet of a dozen tugs and barges. The barges are double hull, and the tugs are a mix of wire tow and articulated.

Penn No.6 is a wire tow tug, which can also push in the notch using face wires and has large pads to fit into the barge notch. Its massive tow winch and deck gear are typical of tugs of this size, built to handle very big barges.

See Halifax Shipping News for some excellent photos of the tug's arrival in Halifax towing Barge 120. The barge was built in 2002 and measures 7320 gross tons, 18,000 tons deadweight, and has a capacity of 115,000 bbls of black oil in six heated tanks. (All US units of measure)

Penn Maritime tugs are constant visitors to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John and make calls in Halifax from time to time.

This evening it went back to Imperial Oil and picked up its barge, now fully loaded, and went out to anchor until the wind dies down.


Monday, October 24, 2011

New Life in the old Vim

1. Point Vim at the IEL dock this afternoon.

2. The tug now has a winch and a knuckleboom crane, and new wheelhouse doors.

3. In its heyday in Halifax harbour the tug was called out in all weathers to berth ships, including this blustery Palm Sunday in 1978. Note the single radar and standard compass atop the wheelhouse, which was also fitted with wooden doors.

The once familiar Point Vim returned to Halifax for the first time in five years, showing off her new look.

Built in 1962 for the Foundation Company of Canada's towing operations as Foundation Vim, the tug worked all around Atlantic Canada before settling down to duties as a harbour tug in Port Hawksbury and Halifax. By that time Eastern Canada Towing had renamed her Point Vim (in 1974) and installed a fixed nozzle on her single open prop (in 1981.)

With the demand for more powerful tugs in Halifax, she was in reserve for several years until Svitzer Canada sold her in 2006 to Davis Shipping of Wesleyville, NF. Since then she has had numerous upgrades. The visible ones include a towing winch, a knuckle boom crane, and new watertight wheelhouse doors to replace the wooden relics that she was built with.

Still powered by her original 1,000 bhp Fairbanks Morse, she is going strong at 49 years of age.

The tug arrived towing the barge NT1032 with a load of metal fabrications from Bull Arm, NF. The cargo was unloaded this afternoon.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Salvor now (and back then)

The McKeil tug Salvor arrived this afternoon towing the pollution control barge John P. Oxley from Shelburne. The barge has just completed a refit at Shelburne Ship Repair, and was returned to its berth at the Ultramar dock in Eastern Passage. The barge was built in 2001 by les chantiers Verreault in Méchins, QC and this is the first time it has left Halifax in the interim.
1. Salvor tied up at the Svitzer dock after completing its tow.

2. Salvor leaves the Eastern Passage bound for Halifax.

3, Salvor leaves the Ultramar dock in Eastern Passage after delivering the barge John P. Oxley.

4. Esther Moran arrived in Halifax 1982-05-03. One of her halyards has come free, but she looked quite trim in her Moran colours of green hull, red house, black funnel and huge white M.

The Salvor has been used in a variety of jobs since its acquisition by McKeil in 2000. In August it was pushing the barge Lambert Spirit on the St.Lawrence and Lakes.
The tug was built in 1963 for Moran Towing of New York and was named Esther Moran. It visited Halifax under this name in 1982 to tow out the El Paso Columbia. It was paired at that time with a sister tug M.Moran, which also was acquired by McKeil and renamed Salvager in 2000, and Wilf Seymour in 2004.) It is also in barge service, pushing the Alouette Spirit from Sept Iles to the Great Lakes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

With a little help

Most cruise ships using Halifax do not request tug assistance. They are all bristling with thrusters, and certainly do not want tugs with their black old tire fenders scuffing up their nice white hulls.

However once in a while they do take a tug. Such was the case today with AIDAaura, which was tied up inside pier 23, in a narrow camber, and it was windy.

I don't believe that Atlantic Willow needed to touch the ship however. I think she just put her line up to the ship's stern and pulled her out and helped to turn her to seaward. The tug was built for duty in Point Tupper, and is the only Atlantic Towing tug registered in Port Hawksbury.

Atlantic Willow is a 4,000 bhp stern drive tug built in 1998. She is fitted with fire-fighting gear, but has no towing winch.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"New" tug in town

1. Looking bright and clean Atlantic Hemlock goes out to assist the container ship Thailand Express, October 10.

2. Dressed all over, Hemlock gets away from the dock in St-Malo, France to put on a display. May 17, 2000.

Atlantic Towing Ltd has shuffled some of its tugs around, resulting in a "new to us" tug in Halifax, at least for a while.

One of the regular tugs has been gone since August. At last report Atlantic Fir is towing the barge Atlantic Marlin in the Gulf of St.Lawrence after sailing from Valleyfield, QC last week.

Atlantic Hemlock arrived here October 4 towing the barge Atlantic Swordfish. Atlantic Larch took over the tow, departing October 7 and is now off the west coast of Newfoundland.

Atlantic Hemlock is now on harbour duties in Halifax.

Built in 1996 at Eastisle Shipyard, she is a 4,000 bhp ASD, but has at least one distinction.

She is one of only two tugs of this class to have made two Atlantic crossings under her own power.[The other is the Fjord Saguenay, based at La Baie, QC.]

In early 2000 Hemlock was sent to Europe to promote the East Isle yard's tug program and spent some time there. She may have been to Rotterdam, but in May she attended events surrounding the International Tug & Salvage Conference, and I saw her performing in St-Malo, France.

In July of 2000 she assisted in cable repair work off Broadstairs, UK and then spent time in Southampton. I'm not sure when she returned to Canada, but I assume it was in the fall of 2000.

Since that time the tug has been a bit of a roamer, working on various towing jobs for Atlantic Towing, from the Saint John, NB base. In 2001 she was contracted to tow various submarines and warships in the filming of the Harrison Ford moved K-19:the Widowmaker in Halifax Harbour.