Monday, November 22, 2010

Just the Fax, Ma'am

This has very little to do with trains.

Atlantic Gypsum's tug Spanish Mist is up for sale. Atlantic Gypsum mines gypsum near Hantsport and exports it via ship at Hantsport. With the downturn in the US housing market, and the long-term outlook for gypsum looking poor, it appears that Atlantic Gypsum will not be shipping very much product. They have a tricky loading situation that does require tugs, and it appears that a company out of Saint John will handle that work from now on.

The train-related portion of this post is that Atlantic Gypsum uses the Windsor & Hantsport Railway to ship gypsum from their mines to Hantsport.

Jeff Keddy told me about this blog post talking about the Spanish Mist. That belongs to the blog TugFax, a blog about tugs in and near Halifax, NS.

The blog owner also has other, related blogs: Armchair Captain; ShipFax; and TruckFax. All of them appear to be quite active.

I liked some of the recent posts on the Armchair Captain blog, because of their military content. I used to live just outside CFB Shearwater in the military quarters, and I was a navy ship geek for a while. From my house on Barracuda Drive, I could often see American naval ships and submarines dock at the jetty in Shearwater. They (used to?) dock there because Halifax banned any ships potentially carrying nuclear weapons from docking in Halifax, and since the USA has a policy of not divulging whether ships are carrying nukes... they went to Shearwater. I am not sure how the few miles of open water really protected Halifax...

I have fond memories of touring US ballistic missile and attack subs with my dad, as well as the occasional guided missile cruiser or destroyer. I remember being woken up one morning by a cruiser blaring the Star Spangled Banner, complete with the crew moving the missile launchers to the tune. I think they got in trouble for that. I also remember looking at my house through a periscope - good optics on those things.

Anyway, if you like ships, go check out those blogs.

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