April 25, 2017 OriginalShipster 1Comment

This past week, I was invited to speak at the Crows Nest Officer’s Club about an interesting vessel with a checkered past. For 55 years, the SS Thetis sailed from the North Atlantic to the shores of Hawai’i, and North again to Alaska before ending up back off the shores of Newfoundland for the rest of her career. She had an incredible career, so read on to learn more! Myself and Margaret Morris, Crow’s Nest President, posing in front of the Thetis’ wheel. (more…)

August 18, 2015 OriginalShipster 6Comment

One of the most important rules when it comes to being on the water is that if someone else is in trouble, and you can help, you do it. It doesn’t matter if you and the skipper on the other boat don’t get along, or if you’re competing for the same catch. If someone is in trouble, you help. This is even more evident with this week’s story. The crew of a fishing boat got into trouble off the coast of Cape Breton, and radioed for help. Ships nearby responded, including a Canadian National Railway (CNR) railcar ferry that was…

July 19, 2015 OriginalShipster

Shipwrecks litter the shores and banks of any coastal area. Sometimes they lie just below the surface, or as washed up wreckage on the shore. Occasionally the rusted out skeletons remain above the surface, serving as reminders of time past. Previously I’ve covered the SS Charcot, SS Florizel, SS Kyle, HMS Calypso and the SS Ethie, all wrecks that are visible from land. This week, we look at the wreck of a cargo ship on the shores of Gander Bay, the SS Ahern Trader. (more…)

June 15, 2015 OriginalShipster 2Comment

Hi everyone! I’m sorry for the delay in posting here over the last couple of weeks. Two weeks ago I was in Ottawa, and this past week I have been brutally sick. Today, we get back on schedule, so here we go! Back to the shores of Newfoundland, where in the 1600s North America was still new land and the French and English were fighting over who had rights to what. In one standoff in Bay Bulls Harbour, a ship was sank to prevent it from being captured by the French. Today, the wreck is a protected archaeological site. This week, we’re looking…

May 25, 2015 OriginalShipster

Everyone is a little superstitious. Whether you need to knock on wood when something negative is said, throw salt over your shoulder when it spills, or carry a lucky rabbits foot (or some sort of item like that), everyone has something they do to give themselves reassurance. This is even more evident when you are around sailors and fishermen – everyone has something they believe will keep fate on their side. From a proper christening when she’s launched (or renamed), to objects, rituals and routines, many skippers and their crews have ways of doing things to make sure they stay on the…

May 11, 2015 OriginalShipster 3Comment

Most ships that saw service during the First World War did not last to continue their career during the Second. These coal burning ships were most often times considered outdated and too expensive to refit as desiel/oil burners. There are, of course, a few exceptions. This week, we’re looking at the story of the HMCS Cartier. (more…)

April 29, 2015 OriginalShipster

The Canadian Pacific Railway had been expanding its range since it’s creation in 1881, increasing their portfolio to include both railways and steamships ,and creating a way from someone to travel from Liverpool, UK to Japan, China, or Hong Kong without ever needing to change carriers. In 1901, they purchased the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company and added West Coast coastal ships to their list of services. This new division, the Canadian Pacific Railway Coast Service, sailed a fleet of “Princess” ships from Vancouver, BC to Skagway, Alaska. One of these ships is the one whose story we’re looking at this week – the…

April 21, 2015 OriginalShipster

During the Klondike gold rush, people rushed to the Yukon to try and cash in on the action. A series of prefabricated sternwheelers were constructed in San Francisco, shipped up to Alaska, and then moved across to the Yukon. They were assembled on the shores of Lake Bennett and then used to transport miners, supplies, and equipment up to Dawson City and back again. Today, only one wreck remains that showcases these unique ships. This week, we’re looking at the story of the A.J. Goddard. (more…)

March 30, 2015 OriginalShipster

Hello all! Sorry I’ve been out for the last couple of weeks – between my trip to Ottawa and wrapping up my contract I’ve had a lot going on. Now that everything has wound down, I can get back to writing. This week, I picked a much more recent ship with a story that came to an end just a month or so ago. This ship served a long career as a Great Lake freighter before being retired. Unfortunately, instead of finding her way to a scrapyard in Turkey, she was thrown up on the rocky shores of Scatarie Island,…

March 10, 2015 OriginalShipster

The May 24th Long Weekend is one of my favourite holidays. Over time, the focus has shifted from celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria to celebrating the arrival of summer, but one thing has remained the same – it’s a chance for people to get out and enjoy the first of the summer weather! This sentiment certainly isn’t new, but not every May 24th has ended a happy one. In 1881, this holiday was marred with one of the worst tragedies that London, Ontario has ever suffered. Today, we’re looking at the story of the Victoria. (more…)