Saturday, December 08, 2007


Who am I?

Thanks to Steamman for identifying the ship as the Irvingwood. The ship was built as a canaller in 1952 for the specific purpose of carrying pulpwood. She was scrapped in 1988. If you would like to see a 1977 photograph of the Irvingwood taken by Mac Mackay, please click here.


Anonymous steamman said...

This is a Canadian ` Canaller ` size Great Lakes and Coastal Bulk Carrier . She was built 1952 and owned by Irving Canada from Saint John , New Brunswick

December 16, 2007 1:18 AM  
Blogger Ookpik said...

Hi Steamman,

Thanks for the information! Do you know the name of the ship?

December 16, 2007 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Steamman said...

Yes Sir , the name of the ship was the M.V. Irvingwood . She carried pulp wood to Irving Pulp mills in New Brunawick until the 1980s.

December 16, 2007 11:49 PM  
Anonymous DAN said...


September 22, 2011 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

My father said on the 'wood' as he called her ... He was on board when she burned off the coast of P.E.I in '80 and was one of the crew assigned to scrap her in '88.

October 16, 2011 1:08 PM  
Anonymous John said...

I also sailed on her in '76. The captain when I signed on was Sitwell if I remember correctly. A younger captain came on in the summer and he had the luck of beaching the boat in the Miramichi. Colourful characters, Sugar, an oiler that could barely speak English, Frenchy the bosun, and an old cook from the Caymens - beans and weiners every saturday night! It was also my first chance to get drunk (and sick) on Screech. Great memories.

May 14, 2012 4:37 PM  
Anonymous john said...

hi my name is john also. when i was on her the captain was bill sitwell.frenchy and the old cook were there we brought as and fuel to all the outports around the island of newfoundland and labrador .also nova scotia p.e.i. and new brunswick.

December 29, 2012 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wood was my first ship,I w3as on her in 73 ,winter of.Frenchy was a hyperactive cajun fro somewhere in north N.B. He went from deck hand to bosun replacing Johnny Mcmahon, a hard core old school sailor who had been at sea since before the second world war.Skipper? Why none other than the notorious willie{ aka Coconut willie ,Captain Cocoanut and lets not forget Captain Crunch!!,rechristened after removing about 50 feet of timber fro the fuel depot in St.John's.]Green also u.k We later wound up getting mooring lines wound around the shaft during an attempt to offload fuel to a floating fuel station ,while pack ice was pushing us into shore.Apparently someone on the bridge ordered full astern in a panic when the pack iceclosed in,completely forgetting the mooring lines,now slacked off and dangling a bout the screw. the tide carried us out into the ice pack and two weeks later ,we were smoke less beerless,and down to fruit cocktail, a 5 gallon tub of instant mashed potatoes tjhat some one found in a life boat,along with a jerry can of frozen water.After a hair raising TOW BACK including an apocalyptic couple of nights ashore in Yarmouth, we came alongside in Saint john along the old h 1060.Looking and probably smelling a lot like the German sailors in the movie Das Boat when they boarded the depot ship in La Speiza We were greeted by The legendary Capt. Philpott, and the equally famous Capt. Addy, Who commended us for having endured a hurricane of b.s. thanks to Capt..coco nut,and I knew ,when he stated thus, my boy, your very first voyage and you have had everything happen except getting killed,hear you even got a dose of crabs!{thanks to Frenchy appropriating my bunk for a dangerous liason,with some floozy or other while I was on a tear with the Cheif engineer] I knew then I could call myself a sailor and endurring hurricanes of B.S. became a hugely transferrable skill when I later served In the !st Destroyer and first Sub Sqdn. a few short years later.I could write a hell of a book just on the Irving wood days let alone the other Irving Vessels I sailed on and the many thatwere to come.The crew was sstraight from central casting and the turn over rate was steady .I even met a guy who I met only breifly in vancouver in 71,who unbeknownst to me was from st. john and wound up being pumpman on her.May be I'll go over my journals and start posting chapters as a series. DAS WOOD!! Lastime i saw the old girl was from the jetty of the Navigation school in Hfx.In *5 I think it was,she was being towed about the harbour as an oiler. I got to go aboard her and met the 2d mate from my wood voyages a guy from gibralter,.Thepoor old girl had been stripped of her bell and any thing else souvenierable and wasfestooned withflourescent orange paint circles indicating no step zones where the deck plates had rusted through. Nothing sadder than a dead ship .So Long Old Girl.As for Coconut Willie ,We mutined while in refit and demanded he be removed from command so long Coconut willy wherever you are.D.W. Melanson,formerly of 1st. Destroyer sqdn. and 1st Subs. Nav.Arc.Res.

December 16, 2014 2:17 AM  
Blogger Melvyn said...

I sailed on the Irvingwood in 1970 when it was an oil tanker as Dan (above) pointed out. Served the east coast, occasionally St. Pierre & Mickelon and once down to New York.

September 16, 2016 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Colin Smith said...

I was Master of the ‘Wood from 1980 to 81. I relieved and was relieved by Bill Sitwell and Jimmy Kerr. She was my first command, so it was a steep learning.curve. Mates were the Scot John Healey from Glacé Bay, then Jimmy Quinn from Halifax, and Reg Bungy from Grand Bank. I took her out of Saint John after she was almost cut in half by the Yankee Clipper. She was a quirky ship with a twisted hull, so she never went straight with the engine stopped. She would wander off to,port, and needed a kick ahead to straighten her. One trip we lost both anchors and had two sent from Boston Metal. I had a great crew except for the Ch.Eng. Wonderful people. But a tough ship to operate in that climate. Quit when l couldn’t get a transfer to a better ship. I loved the Newfie coast, although most of the ports we went into are now closed and the Irving tanks removed. Now Newfie is a great holiday destination, wonderful b&bs and kind people. Didn’t like the boss Big Miller. Thought he was a big blowhard who wouldn’t cut anyone a break. She was a dirty ship inside,with a foot of water often in the crew’s cabins below. Should have stayed on her. Didn’t realise the cod was coming to an end. Anyone who remembers me reach out me at, yes, you guessed it “”. I’d love to hear from you. Been all over since..Caribbean, BC Ferries, etc. Now retired in Inuvik, NWT and loving it. Greetings to all my old shipmates. RIP to the boys who didn’t make it.

May 09, 2018 5:16 AM  

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