Saturday, October 29, 2022

Kawartha Spirit

 As mentioned in my post yesterday, October 29, the harbour tour boat Kawartha Spirit is not available to assist in passenger service for the visiting USS Gerald R. Ford due to a grounding on October 26. According to reports I have read, the boat found bottom in an area called Jones Rock off Point Pleasant Park, at the entrance to the Northwest Arm of Halifax harbour. It was on a regular tour with 55 passengers from the cruise ship Caribbean Princess and four crew, when the incident took place in fog and rain.

I have no details of how the boat got off the rock, or how the passengers were then landed. In any event the boat went to the CME boatyard in Sambro for survey. The Transportation Safety Board is investigating.



 The Kawartha Spirit 2022-08-12, has had a blue hull since 2021. It was originally white.

Built in 1964 by Hike Metal Products in Wheatley, ON, the 85 gt boat served initially as the Miss  Muskoka then Kawartha Spirit and entirely in fresh water until 2016. It was then acquired by Murphy Sailing Tours Ltd of Halifax (Ambassatours) to replace the Haligonian III. That vessel, of very similar design, was built in 1972 and served entirely in salt water, and was thus in poor condition when removed from service in 2015. (It was scrapped in 2018).

Fortunately it seems there were no injuries in the grounding, but the boat's hull was punctured. As it is late in the cruise ship season Ambassatours will not be able to use the boat for the last few cruise ships or for the "ferry" service to the USS Gerald R. Ford. However they have apparently made arragements to bring the 45 footer Eastern Points up from Lunenburg to assist.

Ambassatours also operates the "tall ship" Silva, the Harbour Queen I and several "Harbour Hopper" amphibians in addition the the Gray Line shore excursion bus tours for cruise ship passengers in Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and Saint John and sightseeing tours in the Niagara region.

The Harbour Queen 1 has conventional screw propulsion and a non-functional, but rotating, stern wheel.
Unless damage is more severe than it sounds, the Kawartha Spirit will likely be repaired and back in service for next summer. This also may be time for the once expected name change to one with more local connection. (Jone's Rock is probably not on the list.)

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