Atlantic Towing's "A-Team" the modern azimuthing stern drive harbour tugs, are kept at work berthing ships and other duties in Halifax.
In the background of the photo, taken this afternoon, Atlantic Larch 4000bhp, built 2000, is seen shifting the former protest vessel Farley Mowat. Mowat's famous tug stories Grey Seas Under and the Serpent's Coil, were based in Halifax, with tugs of Foundation Maritime. He has since lent his name to the seal hunt protest movement.
Atlantic's "B-Team" of much older tugs, find work in the dredging and marine construction areas, and are often laid up for extended periods. Such is the case in the foreground of the picture. Seen is the pier 7 area of Halifax Shipyard where Harbour Development, Atlantic Towing's dredging arm, keeps its equipment. In the front is the small tug Atlantic Tamarack, built in 1969, with 750 bhp. It is a twin screw vessel, used now for handling mud scows.
Bows north (facing to the left) is Swellmaster, built in 1965 in England as Atherfield, and acquired in 1971 when she was renamed Irving Hemlock. She got her present name in 1996. She is a twin screw tug, which was re powered and now has 2000bhp. She handles dredges and mud scows too, and last fall was working in the St.Lawrence Seaway. She returned to Halifax with the scow HD8, to which she is secured.
Facing to the right (bow south) is Atlantic Poplar, built in 1966 as Amherstburg, for McQueen Marine of the Ontario city of the same name. Irving acquired her in 1975 when she was renamed Irving Poplar, and received her present name in 1996. She is a 2920 bhp vessel with twin screws. She arrived in Halifax in tow October 31, 2009, and there is apparently some work going on to refit her. At that time she may rejoin the A-team or become a member of the B-team. Meanwhile she and her mates sit at pier 7 awaiting work, or spring, which ever comes first.