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: SS Anglo Saxon

Hi Everyone! I know it's been awhile so let's just jump right in, shall we? As I've discussed before, and many of you will know, ships were once the only way for people to travel from Europe to North America. In the early years of these routes, ships would be filled as much as they could with passengers, cargo, and crew. Most of the time, these ships would make fairly uneventful crossings. However, when things went wrong, they went very, very wrong. One of these, while en route to Quebec, Canada, ran aground off the coast of Newfoundland with a loss of more than half her passengers and crew. This week, we're looking at the wreck of the SS Anglo Saxon.

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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: 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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Over The Waves: SS Princess May

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 SS Princess May.

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Over the Waves: A.J. Goddard

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.

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Over the Waves: Mount Royal

British Columbia has a long list of shipwrecks. Many of them are more recent, including decommissioned Navy ships as artificial reefs (such as the HMCS Annapolis this year), and the sinking of the ferry M/V Queen of the North in 2006. Quite a few of them, however, stem from the turn of the century, when the expansion of the Canadian west was in full swing, and steamships were the way to get people and cargo to communities along the rushing rivers. One such ship was owned by the Hudson Bay Company, and met a quick and unfortunate demise on the Skeena River in 1907. This week, we're looking at the story of the sternwheeler Mount Royal.

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