Havkatt docked in ballast - Photo Vancouver Sun

The Havkatt

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Havkatt was a medium size cargo ship, registered in Oslo, Norway. It flew the Norwegian flag. In September 1965, we transported grain from Vancouver, across the Pacific Ocean, to Tokyo. The crossing was seasick-rough for the first couple of days, then the long, rolling ocean waves calmed, and we settled in to learn about ship-board routines. We soon became accustomed to the ways of the Norwegian sailors – their food, their language, their lives at sea, and their behaviours in port.

Oh Sea, you are gigantic, so powerful and so wild,
And yet at times you’re gentle, just like a little child,
You command our admiration, your vastness is immense,
But you are so unpredictable, your energy intense.
– Ernestine Northover

Havkatt crossing Pacific Ocean to Japan

Havkatt crossing Pacific Ocean to Japan

The next chapters for the Havkatt…

  • Ch 11 Back to B.C
  • Ch 12 The Wheatsheaf Disaster
  • Ch 13 Cementing the Ballast Tank
  • Ch 14 Ghost in the Fog
  • Ch 15 South to the Panama Canal
Havkatt with lumber to New York, December, 1965

Havkatt with lumber to New York, December, 1965

On our return to British Columbia in ballast, empty of freight and riding high in the water, we descended deep into the dark, empty cargo holds to clean them for the next load of Canadian prairie wheat.

Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, new orders were received to load wood products for New York. We diverted our course to lumber ports on Vancouver Island.

Day after day, cold, dreary November rains fell on the southwest coast of BC. The Longshoremen filled the cargo holds to capacity with lumber, then stacked them high on the ship’s main deck.

As we plied our way south, off the coasts of California and Mexico, the weather warmed. We were soon in a heat wave at the Panama Canal.

The final chapters for the Havkatt

  • Ch 16 Club 61 in Cristobal
  • Ch 17 Signing-Off in New York

NOW AVAILABLE in soft cover.

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