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Derelict Port de la Reine and the Port Quebec

Colin Parkinson

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OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today it is removing two 125-foot derelict vessels from a dilapidated dock on the Guemes Channel in Anacortes. The two vessels are being transported by Global Diving and Salvage to safer moorage at the Port of Seattle.

DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program took custody of the vessels on April 1 due to concerns that the vessels posed a threat to navigational safety in the channel, the structural integrity of the nearby Guemes Ferry Dock, and the health of the area’s marine ecosystem.

On February 25, during high westerly winds, the two vessels, the Port de la Reine and the Port Quebec, began to pull away from the old Shannon Point Seafoods pier, causing the northwest portion of the pier to collapse into the channel. This section of pier is located on state-owned aquatic lands, which DNR manages. DNR was concerned that the vessels could cause further damage to the pier and adjacent property.

When the owner of the vessel failed to move the two vessels to a safer location as requested, DNR proceeded to obtain custody as granted by statute.
http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/News/Pages/2013_04_12_guemes_derelict_vessels.aspx

link to photo
NDerelictTugTow041713WEB.jpg
 

kratz

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What a shame to hear.

I know many people who have served on those vessels.
 

Edward Campbell

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Not too sure what was done to them  over the years, but here is HMCS Porte de la Reine back when she was in commission.

4525379087_327aeff51a_z.jpg



And HMCS Porte Quebec:

6073069241_780de66658.jpg



Edit: added picture
 

medicineman

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They named a drink after her - De La Reine on the Rocks - after her CO grounded her back in the 80's.  IIRC, it was in the San Juan Islands, so I wonder if they just left her there. 

MM
 

Canadian.Trucker

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Did not know what type of vessels these were or their purpose.  For anyone interested there wasn't a lot of info on wiki but link included http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porte_class_gate_vessel

Sad to see these former RCN vessels in such a state.
 

MARS

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A shame...sorta.  Most warships come to somewhat inglorious ends.  Such is life.  They were often referred to as 'pig boats'.  Unsure if that was because of their shape or their handling characteristics.  They were horrible to sail in, near the end.  St Louis and St.Jean required the NCMs to wait on deck, in the elements, on the stbd side to receive our meals through a scuttle.  Then a walk all the way forward on the upper decks to get to the JR's mess.  Then the same walk back to return our plates and cutlery.  Needless to say, the walk back rarely happened and numerous plates were 'lost' over the side.  :dunno:

They were decent training vessels - particularly for junior officers.  The strengthened bows were just that - apparently strengthened with concrete.  Many a pier and jetty met their fate when a CO came alongside with too much speed.  Nary a scratch on the ship though. 

The very high forecastle and the very low well deck combine to form a near 90 degree angle along the gunwhales.  That part of the hull once opened HMCS Halifax like a can opener back in 1990, IIRC.  Halifax had only recently been commissioned.  Whoops.  My bad.  :-[

An interesting, but trivial note:  HMCS Porte St Jean, my first ship, was actually HIS Majesty's Canadian Ship. 
 

Good2Golf

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MARS, great to hear about these vessels.  I've heard "pig boats" used for other vessels as well, namely the YAGs.  Was this a common name for rounded hulled ships that had marginal lateral stability?

Regards
G2G
 

MARS

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I don't know.  I had never actually heard the term used for any other ships myself.  I had a pejorative for the YAGs that also began with the letter 'P", but that phrase was 'Piece of S***'

For the Gate Vessels, when you applied the helm, many an officer, including myself, could be heard to say "Hurry up and turn, you f****** PIG!"
 

Good2Golf

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What was their power?  Diesel? Steam?
 

navymich

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Summer & Fall  of '92, I sailed on the Dauphine.  We stayed in company with the Quebec and de la Reine...had to keep your spare parts close by!  The pigs were my first ship, and I didn't have anything else to compare them to at that time.  But the trips were fun, the stories are still plentiful, and the training was actually good.  Regardless of your trade, you stood watch on deck and helped out the bos'ns.  Those were the days when you were definitely a sailor first.

It wasn't quite as long ago as MARS was on them, but a few old things that I remember: typing up messages (I was a sig) on a typewriter using carbon paper.  Wasn't fun when a 3 page message had an error found in it and you had to start all over again!  And we did rescue stations with a whaler!  Now there was a beast to launch over the side.

You can find more info for them on the Ready Aye Ready site:  http://www.readyayeready.com/ships/shipview.php?id=1324&ship=PORTE%20DE%20LA%20REINE
 

navymich

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Good2Golf said:
What was their power?  Diesel? Steam?

G2G, they were diesel.  It was after they were gone that the trade Diesel Mechanic started it's change to MESO (Marine Engineering Systems Operator).
 

Colin Parkinson

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We had a buoy tender called the Sir James Douglas, similar size and layout, but powered by direct drive diesels (no neutral) That vessel quickly separated the men from the boys in regards to ship handling. You only got about 10 switches from ahead to astern before the air tanks had to be topped up again.
 

MARS

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No idea, actually.  I suppose I must have known the answer to that at some point when I was a junior officer, but for the life of me I cant recall.  Something onboard was powered by steam - there was always a lot of it leaking from whatever hoses the engineers hooked up whenever we were alongside.

'Loud' would be an apt description - whatever the plant.  The XO's cabin in Jean and Louis was aft and below decks, next to some machinery space.  The XO had to wear ear defenders whenever he was in his cabin - doing paperwork, reading a book, sleeping...didn't matter.  If the ship was underway, ear defenders were a requirement.

Bunks were 4-high, until the Navy made sleeping in the top rack verboten.  Too dangerous to get in an out of in heavy seas.  And too dangerous for others when the General Alarm went off and some dude came dropping down on you from 4 racks above as everyone was flying their of their bunks.

I don't ever recall the heads being upgraded from the hand-operated levers which required a series of valves to be opened and 25 pumps of the lever to make your business disappear.  And doors.  I don't recall doors to the heads either.  We must have done something when women starting serving at sea - maybe we got doors then

Damn, I can't believe we still had these things in our ORBAT in the 1990s...

Where is oldgateboatdriver?  He hasn't been on in a while but I gurantee he will have more accurate anectdotes.
 

Sailorwest

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They look a little nicer than when I was last on de la Reine. I think that was 95 or 96, just before she was paid off. I remember wondering how I could make off with some peice of the ship for posterity. Pretty sure there were no plank holders around looking to lay claim to parts of her. The gates were drive by a single diesel engine with a right turning screw that caused substantial paddle wheel effect when going astern. Starboard side approaches were interesting because if used too much power astern (i.e. approached jetty too fast), your stern would kick out to port, creating great excitement for all. If you were used to driving the sweeps, with the 9 knot minimum speed, your alongsides would not go so well.
 

GK .Dundas

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There's one up for sale In the Vancouver area .I note that she has had a bow thruster added.
 

Good2Golf

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Thanks for all the stories about the gate boats...kind of personalizes them for me. BZ, the gate boats' crews.

G2G
 

Stoker

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MARS said:
No idea, actually.  I suppose I must have known the answer to that at some point when I was a junior officer, but for the life of me I cant recall.  Something onboard was powered by steam - there was always a lot of it leaking from whatever hoses the engineers hooked up whenever we were alongside.

'Loud' would be an apt description - whatever the plant.  The XO's cabin in Jean and Louis was aft and below decks, next to some machinery space.  The XO had to wear ear defenders whenever he was in his cabin - doing paperwork, reading a book, sleeping...didn't matter.  If the ship was underway, ear defenders were a requirement.

Bunks were 4-high, until the Navy made sleeping in the top rack verboten.  Too dangerous to get in an out of in heavy seas.  And too dangerous for others when the General Alarm went off and some dude came dropping down on you from 4 racks above as everyone was flying their of their bunks.

I don't ever recall the heads being upgraded from the hand-operated levers which required a series of valves to be opened and 25 pumps of the lever to make your business disappear.  And doors.  I don't recall doors to the heads either.  We must have done something when women starting serving at sea - maybe we got doors then

Damn, I can't believe we still had these things in our ORBAT in the 1990s...

Where is oldgateboatdriver?  He hasn't been on in a while but I gurantee he will have more accurate anectdotes.

The ships were powered by a Dominion Alco 12 cylinder locomotive unit.  Just one machinery space. The steam came from a small boiler, used for heating and domestic hot water. The Port st Jean, had a Evac blackwater system. I sailed as a Engineer for a time on them before I went MCDV's.
 

dimsum

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Those were the ships where "they" (junior officers?  MARS IV students?) would play some weird drinking game that involved running around the ship and doing a carrier landing in the Wardroom at the end, right? 
 
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