After an absence of more than a year a familiar vessel has returned to its anchorage position off Birch Cove in Bedford Basin. While the barge underwent a refit at HMC Dockyard since March 2019, its place was taken by the flat deck scow YC600 that was moored in the same location.
A veritable flotilla of small craft attended today's repositioning. Among them was the ex Provincial cable ferry LaHave2 (red hull at left) with the tug Belle-D, Connor's Diving's Northcom (blue hull at right), the navy tugs Merrickville (pictured above) and Granville and Glenevis (below) and several small scows. [That is CSL Tacoma loading at National Gypsum in the background.]
The barge is used for acoustic calibration work through the Defence Research and Development Corp, and is thus referred to as the DRED barge. (It was previously the DREA barge when it was the Defense Research Establishment Atlantic.)
My own research has determined that the barge itself is YLP451 built in 1959 by Halifax Shipyard. Every five years or so it undergoes a major refit which explains its relative longevity. The 36m x 17m barge carries a large deckhouse that covers a moon pool with an internal gantry to lower devices into the water. It also has shop and lab space on board.
The anchorage position is in 42m of water approximately one km from shore. The barge is secured with several anchors (which mat have been overhauled or replaced too) and is also powered from shore, perhaps explaining why it seemed such a complex operation to reposition it.