Saturday, April 7, 2012

The old "Grand Manan III"

Old pictures of the ferry "Grand Manan III" have been posted on Facebook recently, with lots of comments of people's memories of the old vessel.  So it seems like a good time to bring up a picture of a painting I did of the old ship several years ago.

The "Grand Manan III" was never built to be a ferry.  Originally a yacht, she was pressed into service in World War II in North Atlantic patrol.  Right after the War, she was purchased in Sydney, Cape Breton, from War Assets, refitted as a ferry in Saint John, able to carry six cars.

The cars were hoisted aboard the stern deck with metal slings on each wheel, with a pole slid through eyes in slings on each side to keep the slings lined up.  In the mid 1950's, her deck accommodations were modified to increase the capacity from 6 cars to 9 cars.

The ferry carried the Island's freight in the fore hold, which required time both on mainland and on Grand Manan for loading and unloading freight in slings lifted by the winch and forward boom.

In the 1960's, before being replaced in 1965, the ferry made five round trips to the mainland each week.  On Monday, she went to St. Andrews and back, stopping at Wilsons Beach.  On Tuesday, she went to Saint John (I think she stopped at Wilsons Beach).  Staying in Saint John on Tuesday night, she returned to Grand Manan on Wednesday, carrying much of the Island's freight.  On Thursday it was St. Andrews and back.  Friday was a long day, going directly to Saint John, and returning the same day.  And Saturday was St. Andrews and back.

(When the "Grand Manan" arrived in 1965, with her 25 car capacity, one old timer remarked "she'll never be full"!)

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