Doug Gray's love affair with boats began in the womb. His parents owned a cottage which could only be reached by boat, and he was born less than a week after Labour Day. According to his Mother, on a rough day, he could have been born in the boat. During university, he and a couple of buddies took a year off to see the world, which he may tell us about when he is sure that all the statutes of limitations in several countries have run out.
Fifty years ago, Royal Mail Ship Nascopie ended a life full of adventure on an unmarked reef in Hudsonâ€™s Strait. Launched by the Hudsonâ€™s Bay Company in 1911, her main mission was to supply the Companyâ€™s far-flung posts in Canadaâ€™s North. Alone and without any of todayâ€™s navigation and communications equipment, she battled ice and icebergs, fog, storms, and uncharted waters to delivery everything the posts needed to survive and trade.
Few ships played such a prolonged role in developing Canadaâ€™s North and maintaining her presence there. Nascopie was a strong ship sailed by strong men. She played a historic role for Canada and this is her story.