CCG is constantly replacing old ships with a newer version as is mentioned below:
For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.
Here is a great video taken on board the Coast Guard ship CCGS Sir Wilfred Laurier as it services the mountain-top radio sites using the onboard helicopter. Great shots of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwai) and the old lighthouse and radio station at Cape St. James.
It is titled on Youtube as the “Big Red Restaurant“!
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The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) carries lighthouse keepers and their supplies (groceries, mail, household goods, etc) usually by ship or helicopter. This story describes the inner workings of the Canadian Coast Guard light icebreaker Sir Wilfrid Laurier as told by my friend Abe Van Oeveren. I have been on several ships and they are indeed a complicated piece of machinery run by very competent men and women.
Abe’s comments to me about the story when I asked permission to reprint:
The account is based on material gathered on several trips blended together to make a story that flows end to end. To make it readable I avoided talking about too much crappy weather which keeps everybody on board the ship unable to fly up to Van, Naden or Barry, or how the ship’s crew’s collective mood changes as the 28 day typical patrol proceeds. Continue reading
Reg was never a lighthouse keeper but he was a friend to the lighthouse keeper’s. Please read his story about his life with the lighthouse keepers.
One of the duties on most of the lighthouse stations, and especially on McInnes Island, up to 2003, was the reporting of local weather (weather visible in the immediate area of the station) to Environment Canada (EC) – earlier called the Atmospheric Environment Service (AES) – for re-broadcast to boaters, pilots and climatologists.
This became even more important after the Tropical Storm of October 1984 hit the British Columbia coastline.
Every three hours during the day, starting at around three o’clock in the morning we would collect the information on sky condition, visibilty, wind speed and direction, rain/snowfall, wet and dry bulb temperatures plus maximum and minimum temperatures, station pressure and tendency (whether pressure was rising or falling and how rapidly), and sea and swell height. This was then recorded on AES forms or in a notebook depending on the station. Not all stations reported or had the instruments for all observations. These records were forwarded to AES every month along with a Climate Summary for the month. Continue reading
The highline (aka aerial line, or aerial) was literally the lifeline of the lighthouse in the days before helicopters. It was used and still is used to raise and lower heavy supplies to and from the lighthouse. They were not installed at all lighthouse locations – only the ones with no other access to the ocean within a reasonable distance of the station. For example Cape Scott has a highline but also has beach access but no one would want to move supplies that distance by hand or by road so a highline was built. Some other stations with highlines are Carmanah, Pachena, Cape Beale, Quatsino, Green, Pine, and Bonilla. Continue reading
Reprinted with permission from Jack Knox, Times Colonist
New threat to lighthouses illuminated
Imagine the fuss if the owner of a 152-year-old downtown heritage building just walked away from the structure, allowed it to crumble.
But the Race Rocks lighthouse isn’t downtown. It’s plunked in the waters off Metchosin, as out-of-sight, out-of-mind as many of the other West Coast lighthouses that Pat Carney worries about.
That’s why Saturna Island’s Carney is sounding the alarm (or perhaps the foghorn) about a rapidly approaching deadline that could determine whether lights stand or fall.
This has been an ongoing battle for the former senator and Mulroney-era cabinet minister who, even retired from politics, remains a fierce advocate for B.C.’s coastal communities. This fight goes back years and years, a reaction to Ottawa’s history of tearing down, burning down or neglecting-to-death light stations it no longer valued. Continue reading
I was writing an article that contained a reference to the CCGS Camsell, a Coast Guard icebreaker, and I got to wondering how many people knew about the history of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) ice breakers. Thanks to the generosity of the CCG website I have been given permission to reproduce their material here. It is a very interesting story.
The following article is reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2012
USQUE AD MARE
A History of the Canadian Coast Guard and Marine Services
by Thomas E. Appleton
Development of the Canadian Icebreaker
We have already noted the influence of the Prince Edward Island winter service on the building of passenger vessels able to navigate in ice, ranging from the underpowered and ineffective Northern Light of 1876 to the handsome cruising ship Earl Grey of 1909. The main business of these ships was to maintain communications. While this evolution was unfolding, the problem of flood control on the St. Lawrence demanded attention. From earliest times ice floating down had formed an annual dam between Montreal and Quebec, causing flooding as it built up and further damage to ships when it gave way. In an attempt to control this process by keeping the ice on the move, a requirement now arose for ships whose primary role was to break ice rather than to maintain communications. As a secondary role, which Canadian icebreakers must have to provide an economic year round usage, there was plenty of work to be done in support of aids to navigation.
Following along with yesterday’s story about travel on a CCGS ice breaker, and with the permission of the author, Pamela Coulston, I am reprinting her article here about life on Canadian Coast Guard ice breakers servicing the north and the lighthouses. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Surprisingly, everyone made it to dinner, they also made it to breakfast and lunch. The
Coast Guard icebreaker Sir Wilfrid Laurier was taking a whipping from the weather in the middle of the Bering Sea. But not a meal was missed.
While the two cooks dished up three squares, the seas served up a storm that included winds gusting to 90 knots and 10-metre waves that broke over the bow, drenching the bridge four storeys above.
The captain ordered all loose items secured and all outer decks off-limits – any one of these larger waves could wash a person overboard to their death in near freezing waters. Continue reading