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The Canmar Careen - Floating Arctic Drydock
Canmar Careen Floating Drydock Over-wintering in the Beaufort Sea (Captain Alec Provan Photo
When we published the images of HMCS Corner Brook in a floating drydock, Captain Alec Provan recognized the dock (now known as the Seaspan Careen) as one he'd seen close-up in the Beaufort Sea during the oil drilling boom more than 20 years ago. He reports "The large vessel berthed in the drydock is the drillship "Canmar Explorer III", built in Rotterdam as a dynamic positioning drillship, but held in place by anchors while working in the Beaufort Sea, due to the relatively shallow water."
Canmar Careen (Captain Alec Provan Photo
He goes on to say "I believe the large blocks of ice were formed when the dry dock was flooded during the winter, otherwise they may have drifted into place when the dock was flooded in the spring." The Canmar Careen (ON#801801) is now the Seaspan Careen owned by Seaspan Marine Corporation, North Vancouver BC. It was built in 1981 in Tsuneishi Japan by Kambara Marine Development & Shipbuilding Ltd. It is non-propelled 15,879gt 131.09m x 48.80m x 7.28m
Canmar Supplier IV (Captain Alec Provan Photo
"The other two vessels are the "Canmar Supplier III" and the "Canmar Supplier IV" (identified by the 4 on the funnels), two of the supply vessels which provided anchoring, icebreaking and other services to the four drillships in the area."
The Canmar Supplier III (ON#370260)was built in 1975 by Burrard Drydock Co. Ltd. in North Vancouver BC for Dome Petroleum in Calgary AB. (185' x 45' x 18.3' or 56.39m x 13.75m x 4.45m) 1,190.41gt powered by 7040bhp T/S GM diesel engine. She was sold to Northern Transportation Co. Ltd., Hay River NT. After her service with Dome Petroleum she was re-named as the Lamarr J. and then as the Alex Gordon.
The Canmar Supplier IV (ON#370261) was built by Yarrows Ltd. in Esquimalt BC for Dome Petroleum in Calgary AB. (185' x 45' x 18.3' or 56.39m x 13.75m x 4.45m) 1,190.41gt powered by 7040bhp T/S GM diesel engine. She was sold to Northern Transportation Co. Ltd., Hay River NT and renamed as the Jim Kilabuk.
Canmar Supplier III (Captain Alec Provan Photo
Provan recalls, "In a way I acted as ‘ship's husband’ when I was brought in early in the spring of 1982, mainly to act as watchman and fire patrol aboard Explorer 3, while extensive modifications were being made to the drilling mud pumping system, prior to the start of the drilling season. With nobody else on board other than the welders and fabricators I had freedom to wander all over the ship and visit locations which might have been out of bounds when the drilling crews came aboard. Temperatures on the outside of the ship had risen to just below the freezing point due to the almost continuous sunshine, but inside it was a different matter and the temperatures still remained at the winter levels of minus 30 degrees or so. It was somewhat eery to see an apple-core or other food item, looking as though it had just been left on the table in the last few minutes, while recognizing that it had actually lain there unchanged for the previous six months - something like going aboard the Marie Celeste!."
Editor’s note: Captain Alec Provan spent two drilling seasons working with Canmar Petroleum as a Mate in drill ships in the Beaufort Sea. (All photographs in this article copyright to Captain Alec Provan.)
New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!
Volume Four in series
The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four
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Site News: October 15th, 2017
Databases have been updated and are now holding 50,143 vessel histories (with 4,319 images) and 57,540 mariner biographies (with 3,421 images).