Bob might finally retire; WMI changes ownership

March 16, 2015

Captain Robert CE Kitching, President, Western Maritime Institute Western Maritime Institute’s parking lot was full to the brim last week when I went to visit. The institute’s founder, Capt. Bob Kitching states that he’s even had to find parking out on the road on some days. Capt Kitching founded Western Maritime Institute (WMI) back in 2000, on the site of a surplus elementary school, in a semi rural area, south…

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Winter ship rituals

January 21, 2015

Ocean Intrepid breaks ice, preparing for the arrival of Oceanex Avalon in Montreal As most know, the winters in Canada can be somewhat challenging. In the Great Lakes area, the winter of 2013-2014 was particularly good example of that statement, with record ice covering all of the Great Lakes and their inter-connecting rivers, well past the normal “ice season”. Some ships on Lake Superior even experienced breaking ice in late…

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Sixes, a quick way to a deep six

September 2, 2014

from the interwebs Is there anything worse than working “sixes”? I would submit that there is not. “Sixes” is a watch standing routine common to Canada. It is a brutal watch system where two people share the oversight responsibility amongst themselves, in particular on smaller vessels, like tugs. In the engine room the Chief Engineer stands the 6-12 watch, while the Second Engineer stands the 12-6 watch. These watches last…

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Where’s the money from ?

August 24, 2014

Davie Yard on the St Lawrence River near Quebec City In previous posts we explore the rebound and challenges of Davie Shipyard. The venerable shipyard, established 192 years ago sits across from Quebec City, on the St Lawrence River.  The shipyard is projecting a confident air about them, recently delivering a complex offshore construction vessel to European operators, with two more being completed, and two other ships on contract. Running…

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Insulting and repulsive

July 28, 2014

Silja Festival – from interwebs Last week, the operators of the Delta Spirit Lodge, through a Vancouver based Law Firm specializing in Commercial Law, put advertisements on the BC Government’s taxpayer funded WorkBC website. The advertisement was looking for all ranks of seafarers, including marine professionals holding a Transport Canada engineering Certificate of Competency of Second and First Class. The Delta Spirit Lodge is actually the 28 year old MV…

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TC – Interesting for all the wrong reasons

July 7, 2014

It caught my eye one evening on watch, while catching up on my maritime news. There it was a Transport Canada (TC) advertisement, a few simple lines, in French and English, in a US based magazine. Well, that was strange to start with, I thought to myself, then I read the ad: “News for owners of vessels over 24 meters, change in service delivery for certification and inspections”.   I…

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Canada’s register to add two crude tankers

June 29, 2014

MV Palva in Montreal, now owned by Transport Maritime St Laurent I’m back in Quebec, passing through Quebec City, on our way to Oswego, with a load of Aluminum ingots from the smelter in Sept Iles, bound for Mitsubishi. As we pass my “old stomping grounds” in Quebec City I see no signs of Valero’s “new” Panamax tankers. Apparently the whole deal and its details are quite hush, hush, but…

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Back to life, after a great big wave

June 22, 2014

Seaspan’s Brian Carter received a token of appreciation for his update on NSPS from MC Malcolm Barker As I type this, we are sailing across the Gulf of St Lawrence, having discharged a load of aggregate in Summerside, where I joined the ship.  We are proceeding to Sept Iles to load Aluminum, bound for Oswego, via the St Lawrence Seaway. What a treat it is to continue to explore the…

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