Goodbye Dominion I – Off to the Scrapyard!

Dominion I At Dock

Dominion I At Dock

The Dominion has finally begun it’s last voyage. If we ever see it again, it’ll be in the form of a new steel coffee table, the springs in our new mattress or perhaps even a door panel in a new car. It’s going to the scrap yard, and that’s just fine with everyone in Cowichan Bay Village.

The deep sea tug Gaviota under the direction of Captain Salvador Cardenens took our long term guest in tow today (at 00:06 Saturday June 22nd) for it’s final voyage. It’s off to to Ensenada Mexico just south of San Diego California.

Captain Salvador Cardenens

Captain Salvador Cardenens (in red) inspects the Dominion

Captain Cardenens a Master Mariner with some 40 years experience on deep sea towboats and who teaches celestial navigation to students back home in his spare time,  is undoubtedly glad to be underway after several days of idleness caused by the legal wrangling and red tape associated with taking the dead ship out of Canadian waters. The second hulk, a former US marines repair shop barge dating back to the second world war, is also in the tow.

Tug and salvage company owner Robert Van Ritter couldn’t be more pleased. Every day spent idle costs more money and the figures add up rapidly when you have a full crew and a large vessel such a long distance from their home port.

The Gaviota is a vessel of some 29 meters in length, 10 meters wide, has 3000 total horsepower from two EMD diesels and carries around 55,000 US gallons of fuel. Naturally they fuel the vessel in Mexico, where diesel costs 3 dollars per US gallon. In Canada we pay more or less double that amount.

The trip to Canada from Ensenada used some 5000 gallons of diesel and was accomplished at 5 knots using just one of the engines, to save fuel. The plan for the return voyage is much the same, and with prevailing currents a speed of 4 knots is estimated for the entire tow. These days the cost of fuel must be carefully factored into any towing equation.

After the Tug has delivered the hulks to the scrap yard, it is scheduled to deliver several Chinese made barges to Cuba, a journey that will see it traversing the Panama Canal.

Unfortunately there was no moon at the time of Gaviota’s departure, and therefore no photographs of Dominion’s departure to share. A few were taken, but all that’s visible is the green starboard light of the Dominion as it moves out of our bay.

You can follow the voyages of the Gaviota (Seagull) and thereby the final journey of the Dominion I via (when the vessel is in range of a receiver station) by clicking HERE.

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  1. Cookie
    June 22nd, 2013 at 12:22 | #1

    It would have been fun to have watched it leave, but we were fast asleep. Too bad couldn’t have been scraped up here, but I guess prices better down in Mexico. Thanks for all the updates.

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