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!Read More
So, anyone who knows me will know that up until recently (as in, within the last oh, 5 years or so) I had a really severe fear of shipwrecks. Yep, the girl who had been studying ships since she could read, was terrified to dive/swim/be physically anywhere near them.It was a bit of an impediment when it came to my preferred area of study, so I decided to do something about it. In the summer of 2010 I went and visited my first shipwreck, the SS Ethie. From there, I made efforts to actually go out on the water and not get nervous. Then a couple of summers ago, I ventured out to Conception Harbour and stood within touching distance of the SS Charcot. Since then (and especially since I started this blog) I can honestly say my phobia is pretty much a non-issue.Read More
To those of you who read these every week, you know it's no secret that I enjoy writing about warships. This week - actually, today - marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of a British warship off the Irish coast. This ship took with her all hands, including 25 members of the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve. One of the largest loss of Newfoundland lives at sea during the First World War, this week we're looking at the story of the HMS Viknor.Read More
After covering an Eastern Newfoundland wreck last week, I decided to go right across to the West Coast for this week. The SS Ethie was a ship of the Alphabet Fleet, a series of vessels that were commissioned by the Reid Newfoundland Company. The vessels were named after Scottish places that ended in 'E', and each was christened with the next consecutive name in the alphabet.Read More
The SS Charcot was a whaling vessel owned by the Hawke Whaling Co. She and her four sister ships, the SS Southern Foam, the SS Sposa, the SS Stoika, and the SS Sukha, sank in this area in the 1960s. The Southern Foam and Sukha were deliberately scuttled by their owner. The Charcot was destined for the same fate, but bad weather pulled her from her moorings and drove her onto the shore. For years some locals discussed pulling her out and sinking her entirely, but for now she and her sister ships are being marketed as underwater tourism attractions.Read More
I've been interested in ships and shipwrecks since I was a kid. I distinctly remember learning the story of the RMS Titanic when I was four years old, and then driving my grandfather crazy while belting out the song "They Built the Ship Titanic" over and over again for hours. She was the first ship I fell in love with, and I was hooked.
As I got older, my interests diversified (as they do). Even though there would be years where my books on Titanic and other ships like her stayed on the shelves as I read about Anthropology or learned French and Japanese, I always came back to them. When I finished my post-grad and had to pick where my internship was going to be, it only seemed fitting that I pick somewhere on the coast.
The minute I landed in St. John's and stood at the side of the harbour, I was taken in by the diversity of the ships there. I had just watched an episode of Mighty Ships and had seen the special on the CCGS Terry Fox, and suddenly there she was, 10ft from me. Ever since then, I've sought out information on every "pretty boat" that has come in through the Narrows.
I created this blog to share my love of ships, both past and present. The format is going to be as follows: Mondays will be "On the Waves", featuring a ship or shipwreck from the past. Fridays are "This Week in the Harbour", which will feature a select few of the ships that have come into the harbour and talk about their functions.
I hope you all enjoy!