What Do They Do With an Old Coast Guard Boat?

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) has had many ships since it began – the old and the new.

CCG is constantly replacing old ships with a newer version as is mentioned below:

Newest Canadian Coast Guard ship named for fallen soldier Jun 09, 2014 

ccgs-corporal-mclaren

The 43-metre CCGS Corporal McLaren M.M.V.  — named for Cpl. Mark McLaren — was formally presented in Dartmouth on Monday. (CBC)

but what does the CCG do with the old ships? Many are sold for scrap (eg CCGS Camsell) but this man found out what he wanted to do with one that was decommissioned:  Continue reading

Mise Tales Forty

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One. As mentioned earlier on the front page of my website, any photos or cartoons, or short bits of information, when it is removed from the front page, will also be included again later in the next Misc Tales. That way you can keep track of it, search for it, or copy it.

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necklace5_1024x1024

survival necklace s1401 from Cougar Fashion in Tahsis, British Columbia

from the rainforest, for the rainforest price $12.50 this necklace is transformed to emergency fishing gear within minutes. all you need is a pocket knife.

contents: – 3.8 m. fishing line  – 3.5 cm. bait hook – interlock snap swivel  – split ring  – 6 cm. hoochie

Now this is a unique West Coast piece. It is a very beautiful necklace and would draw comments wherever it is worn. dsc_6902I am not too sure how practical it would be with only 3.8 meters (12.5 feet) of fishing line, but anything could work in an emergency.One would be better off also wearing a Survival Strap (get one in a matching colour) to add length to the necklace. Hey, two unique pieces of survival jewelry which you can wear anytime. Check out all the other items which you can find at Cougar FashionContinue reading

You Just Thought Moving Was a Pain!

#1 McInnes Island - photo Rob Desmanche

#2 McInnes Island - photo Mike Mitchell

Let’s face it, nobody likes moving. All the packing, loading, carrying, lifting, unpacking. There’s probably nothing more unpleasant to go through, even when you’re moving to a better place and looking forward to moving in.

#3 Loading under the highline

#4 Bonnet slings

But try compounding that with the almost insurmountable obstacle of living on an island. Not just any island, but a remote island with no ship docking facilities, and no aircraft facilities beyond a helicopter pad. That’s

#5 Work crew helping

#6 Work crew place snotters on the crates

exactly what a

friend of mine was doing here. Glenn is a member of the Canadian Coast Guard, and was at the time the principal lighthouse keeper at McInnes Island Lightstation, but had received orders for a change of station. Check out these aerial views of the island he lived on. (photos #1 & #2)

Yeah, you just thought moving was a pain. Glenn provided me with a little photo-essay to show us what he went through, and I decided to share it with you. The thoughts and sentiments are his, and the photos illustrate the story well. Continue reading

Highline Operation at McInnes Island c. 2004

Aerial highline - photo Glenn Borgens

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

Development of the Canadian Icebreaker

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

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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.

CCGS N.B. McLean working in the St. Lawrence.

Continue reading

In Memorium – Donna (Sheppard) Viereck (1947 – 2012)

Donna Marie (Sheppard) Viereck (January 8th, 1947 Whitney Pier, NS – February 26, 2012 Prince Rupert, BC) – friend of the lightkeepers.

I met Donna for the first time in 1976 when I moved to Green Island lighthouse as Principal Keeper. The ship overnighted at the Prince Rupert Coast Guard Base, and such a reception from CG personnel I had never before experienced. The welcome and help was outside their normal duty.

One of the memorable people was Donna Sheppard, the boss of the Personnel office and a nicer person one could not ever meet. She had almost ten (10) years experience there before me.

Over the years of working out of the Prince Rupert office I had a lot of contact with Donna. She and I fought like brother and sister over Personnel matters but remained good friends throughout. 

I am going to miss you Donna. I only wish that i had been able to say goodbye. RIP.

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To include your memories in Donna’s memorial please click this link.

More information on Donna’s life can be found here on the InMemoriam.ca website.

Of Ice and Men

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.

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Of Ice and Men

Surprisingly, everyone made it to dinner, they also made it to breakfast and lunch. The

Photo courtesy of Gerald Rohatensky

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

Coast Guard Auxiliary’s New Rescue Boat is Big Improvement Over Last One

With many thanks to the Prince Rupert Northern View website, I have the following article to reprint for your information. More volunteers helping the Coast Guard. Pretty cool rescue boat too!

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxilliary  is a nonprofit organisation and a registered charity made up of volunteer resources throughout Canada. The CCGA has been in existence since 1978 and provides assistance to the Coast Guard and the National Defense with search and rescue and safe boating programs.

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Coast Guard Auxiliary’s new rescue boat is big improvement over last one

The Coast Guard Auxiliary's new rescue boat the Orme G. Stuart cost over half a million dollars, all of it fundraised - photo Alan S. Hale

By Alan S. Hale – The Northern View
Published: January 21, 2012 1:00 PM 
Updated: January 22, 2012 11:28 AM Continue reading

Shiny New Guest Blogger, Bearing a Letter

Hi all. Our lovely blog master asked if I would make a guest post now and then, and, since the world as I appreciate it is where everyone listens to me, of course I said “yes!”

By way of introduction, I’ll post a letter that I sent to Hon. Mr. Keith Ashfield, Minister of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, on the topic of Marine Communications and Traffic Services cutbacks. This blog has already posted on this topic, but I thought I would add my voice.

I also sent a copy to my MP Jean Crowder. Ms Crowder responded promptly. She thanked me for my concern, and linked me to a letter her party has already sent on the matter. I have yet to hear back from Hon. Mr. Ashfield, or his office.

 

Dear Hon. Mr Keith Ashfield,

I am writing because I feel very concerned about proposed government cuts to Coast Guard’s Marine Communication and Traffic Services. In an effort to save costs, the Coast Guard has proposed slashing overtime and holiday time for its operators, leaving the BC’s MCTS stations vulnerable to understaffing. Continue reading

MCTS To Lose Staff To Save Money

For those of you that do not know, MCTS (Marine Communications and Traffic Services)  is “the Branch of the Canadian Coast Guard that provides communications and vessel traffic services to the sea-going public”. 

“MCTS monitors for distress radio signals; provides the communications link between vessels in distress and the JRCC/MRSC; sends safety information; handles public communication; and, regulates the flow of vessel traffic in some areas. MCTS is an important link in the SAR system”.

The above is a quote from the official Canadian government website on Maritime Search and Rescue. (about half-way down the page)

Continue reading