The announcement of new names for the Marine Atlantic's ferries that will join the fleet next year has been overshadowed somewhat by events.
Both Atlantic Vision and Joseph and Clara Smallwood are out of service for repairs, leaving Caribou and Leif Ericson to try to cope with Thanksgiving weekend demand. Smallwood has rudder damage and has headed for Boston - the nearest available large drydock - to be repaired. Atlantic Vision is undergoing regular maintenance.
The new ships will come none to soon as Caribou and Smallwood are aging rapidly. Joseph and Clara Smallwood was built by Davie in Lauzon in 1989 and Caribou in 1985.
The two new acquisitions for Marine Atlantic, Stena Trader and Stena Traveller were built in 2006, and are undergoing modification in Europe in preparation for service in 2011. They are to be named Blue Puttees and Highlanders for two distinguished army regiments, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (who wore blue cloth windings on their legs) and the Cape Breton Highlanders.