The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #5843   Message #1153597
Posted By: Amos
03-Apr-04 - 12:00 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Barrett's Privateers (Stan Rogers)
Subject: Fate of the Blue Dolphin
As regards the fate of the Blue Dolphin, the sister ship of the Bluenose, the following is of interest:

The ship was apparently raised in 1982 and brought to Sarnia where it
was docked for repairs. It's owner was a man named Joe Pica (who
incidentally was a printer). His interest extended primarily to
working on the engine, and Bruce Kemp, who as well as being a
photographer is also a diver, did his best to hold things together as
far as the hull was concerned. Pica was an American, and didn't have
enough money to restore the ship properly. The interior was
apparently beautiful and need buffing up more than major restoration.
In it's earlier history the ship had been used by Wood's Hole Marine
Institute to do geographical underwater surveys. The ship was
apparently large enough that the docking fees were horrendous. Donna
says that really, government funding was needed to restore it and
maintain it, and they were trying to arrange for this, but it would
have meant that Pica needed to give up ownership, and in exchange
would become Captain in perpetuity. He was unwilling to do this.
According to Donna he was not a very social person, and wanted it
repaired only for his own enjoyment. In the middle of the night, he
"pulled a Hank Snow" and disappeared with the boat, leaving all the
dockage fees unpaid. He took her back down to the Detroit River. He
didn't have any diver friends there to help keep her afloat and
without maintenance the wood deteriorated quickly, and she sank again
shortly thereafter and continues to lie on the bottom of the Detroit
River. He is still seeking money to raise her, but can't afford

The Kemps own all the original drawings of the boat. At the time Pica
took her away they had been trying to interest JB Phelan (owner of
Swiss Chalet chain) to invest in her restoration. Who knows what
condition she is in now...

Bev Walkling
Sarnia, Ontario