Over the Waves: HMS Investigator

This vessel is yet another piece of the infamous Franklin Expedition puzzle. Along with the HMS Enterprise, the HMS Investigator set out to find Franklin and his doomed vessels, the Terror and Erebus, but with no success. Becoming trapped in ice themselves, the crew would have met their own tragic fate were it not for antoher Royal Navy ship becoming trapped in the ice nearby. Today, we’re travelling over the waves to learn about the HMS Investigator.

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Over the Waves: Santa Maria Manuela

I am fortunate to know some very creative and amazing people, and sometimes I'm fortunate enough to be asked to participate in their projects! Today at 2:30pm, I'll be joining Lacy O'Connell and Andrew Winter of Winconnell Films at The Rooms to talk about their new short documentary, "Sailor on the Hill".

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Over the Waves: Margaret Olwill

Built and owned by James P. Smith (J.P & L.A. Smith) of Chicago, the Margaret Olwill was a steam freighter during an era when almost all goods and services were delivered by ship to the communities along the water’s edge. A reliable vessel, her wood and steel hull kept her sturdy against the weather of the Great Lakes. 

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Over the Waves: SS Florizel

As many of you will know if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I was fortunate enough to be involved in some of the various commemoration events for the centennial anniversary of the SS Florizel. Coming out of that week, I’ve decided to publish an abridged version of the talk I gave at The Rooms on February 22nd.

This is not the full text of my presentation, but it summarizes many of the key points around the story of her sinking.  If you have any questions or stories to share, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

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Over The Waves: SS Thetis

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!

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Over the Waves: M/V Patrick Morris and F/V Enterprise

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 tied up in North Sydney. Through a series of truly unfortunate events, however, this act of kindness and duty would result in some of the crew of the rescue vessel paying the ultimate price. This week, we look at the story of the F/V Enterprise and the M/V Patrick Morris.

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Over the Waves: SS Ahern Trader

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 CharcotSS Florizel, SS KyleHMS 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.

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Over the Waves: HMS Saphire

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 at the story of the HMS Saphire.

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Over the Waves: Steamship Clallam

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 right side of the water.

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