Bridging the waters of BC

September 24, 2013

I have a special fondness for the Marine Branch of the British Columbia Ministry of Transport. They accepted me as a Marine Engineering Apprentice a long time ago, when very few companies chose to invest in training future Marine Engineers. The Marine Branch ran all the provincially owned ferries in the province until the 60’s, when BC Ferries was created. The ferries in the province where then separated into Fresh…

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Confusing messages

June 25, 2013

Today, the IMO celebrates the seafarer with a Day of the Seafarer. Seafarers are a crucial part of shipping, which is a crucial part of world trade. Unfortunately, decades of abusing and neglecting seafarers has cast a shadow on the profession, making it a tough career sell. So the IMO is aiming to increase the image of the job. All of which is good really, but from my perspective, would…

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Night at the museum

January 23, 2013

Maritime Museum in Victoria, BC The BC Maritime Museum is holding a special exhibit to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard. Located on the second floor of the museum, you will find videos, pictures, and dare I say, artifacts from the Coast guard, many of which I recognize from time there – model coast guard ships, fog horn, a Marconi radio station – where kids can decipher…

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Reap what you sow

October 29, 2012

BCIT in Vancouver Western Canada’s only formal Marine Engineering school I’ve had the unique opportunity to be intertwined in many aspects of the marine industry in Canada. Whether is in my professional life working on ship across the nation, or through my hobby Marine Engineering website, www.dieselduck.net, I get to see many different perspectives. One of which, I would like to share with you, regarding the formal training of Marine…

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Cutting steel in BC

June 20, 2012

MV Galena 1997 Last week, without much fanfare, the BC provincial government announced the awarding of a 26.5 million dollar ship building contract to Water Bridge Steel of Prince George to build a new ship.  The 250 passenger, 80 car, roll on roll off ferry will be built in the tiny hamlet of Nakusp, BC, on the shore of Upper Arrow Lake, in the “interior” of the province. The new…

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News “deja vu”

May 22, 2012

Sorel Tracy on the St Lawrence We finally made it down to our anchorage off of Sorel-Tracy, just east of Montreal. Unfortunately, we did not have internet access, much to my chagrin. I resorted to going on small boat rides, frequently pestering the locals, to get my connected fix for the day. As it turns out, the only coffee shop in town closes at 5 pm, a serious criminal offence…

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Mr. Duck goes to Ottawa

April 13, 2012

I am at the airport now, about to leave Ottawa after five days here, heading back home for a few days before going back to sea. I arrived in Ottawa on Sunday, and enjoyed our nation’s capital by visiting the parliament building, the war museum, and extensively walking around the downtown core, taking in the sights and experiences. On Tuesday, the true purpose of my visit, attending Mari Tech 2012,…

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Seaspan swallows another west coast player

March 3, 2012

Seaspan has once again opened up it’s wallet to beat the competition. This time, Van Isle Barge Service was acquired by Seaspan and rolled into it’s Seaspan Ferries Corporation portfolio. Van Isles Barge Service was operated by Peter Brown’s Sea Link Marine Services, and by all account was Seaspan Ferries main competition in the “drop trailer” freight ferry service to Vancouver Island. Seaspan spokesperson, Kelly Francis, stated that all the…

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