Photo Of The Day

Baychimo leaving Vancouver for the Arctic in July 1931. Note her distinctive, rear-mounted funnel - gaily decorated as ever on those occasions.

Baychimo leaving Vancouver for the Arctic in July 1931. Note her distinctive, rear-mounted funnel – gaily decorated as ever on those occasions.

Ghost Ship of the Arctic

The SS Baychimo

The Baychimo was a Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship that plied the waters of the Western Canadian Arctic. The business of the Hudson’s Bay Company was to hunt the animals of the Arctic, the sea lions, polar bears, etc., for their furs and oils. The sailors who hunted them had to be really tough and courageous to withstand the very severe weather conditions. The voyages were always dangerous and could only be done during the short Arctic summer.

Baychimo was built in Sweden for the Baltic trade in 1914, she was 229 feet in length and powered by triple-expansion three-cylinder engines. The Hudson’s Bay Company purchased her in 1921, renamed her Baychimo, and refitted her in Europe. She sailed for Montreal that same year and was put into immediate service, going north to Pond Inlet to establish the Bay’s farthest northern post.

By 1925 she had been reassigned to serve the Western Arctic. A sailor who travelled aboard her described her unflatteringly in these terms: “She was a strange and disappointing craft. I looked desperately for some redeeming feature… She bore no resemblance to the traditional barque-rigged steam whalers. She hardly differed from a hundred other coasting tramps. She was iron and steam, all bulk, not designed to fly with canvas… She was no beauty.” Captain Cornwell who commanded her was apparently no beauty either: “Short, tubby, red, somewhat like John Bull in a bowler hat.”

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Has Pigloo hit some rocks?

Regan at Throng blogs about the exit of Pigloo’s General Manager:


After 18 months on the job, multiple delayed launches and the eventual release of an incredibly terrible service, Igloo’s General Manager has deserted the icy venture.  Chaz Savage heads to Australia to take on the role of General Manager for T-Box, Telstra’s set-top box.

The unsurprising move is made interesting by the fact that his new boss is none other than former TVNZ CEO, Rick Ellis.  Read more »


The New Pig in Town (plus enter to win)

Regan from Throng has looked at (P)Igloo, the new joint venture from Sky TV and TVNZ and he has found that despite the marketing schlock the facts don’t match the reality.

He is also running a nice little competition for a Samsung Freeview PVR:

On Monday, Sky and TVNZ launched their hardly anticipated new subscription television service.

Here’s our list of reasons why it shouldn’t be under your tree this Christmas or anywhere else in your house for that matter.

 10. It’s probably still broken.  

The custom built platform was supposed to be launched months ago but has been delayed due to “technical problems”.  Is the launch simply exploitation of the spending season or a Christmas miracle?

9. TVNZ are involved.

Remember when TVNZ said “TiVo transforms television“? How are all those customers feeling today?  How long before Igloo too melts down?

8. A comparable Freeview box is less than half the price.

There are a number of basic models of DVB-T receivers which also have the ability to record to a connected USB storage device.

7. Sport is ultra-expensive.

The base “30 day channel pack” plus purchasing every Super XV match The Chiefs play during that period would cost you up to $99.74. On Sky this would cost $72.46 and include more channels, every Super XV game and a lot more sports besides.

6. Paying for content that used to be free.

Two of the eleven Igloo channels feature content that TVNZ used to broadcast for free:  Kidzone24 and TVNZ Heartland.

5. All Igloo content is Standard Definition.

The only content that you’ll be able to view in High Definition is from any of the free-to-air channels that broadcast in HD.  All of the extra content you’re paying for is delivered in standard definition.  This includes movies and sport.

4. High per channel price.

The “Sky Basic” package costs approximately $1.36 per premium channel compared with $2.27 per premium channel on Igloo.

3. Igloo is not a middle option.

Currently, a new 12 month “Sky Basic” package (~63 channels) with 3 months free sport and SoHo and free installation costs $553.44.
A new Igloo box (~34 channels) which you install yourself and a 12 month subscription costs $478.05
A new Freeview box (~29 channels) which you install yourself costs from $99.

2. Two thirds of the channels you can already watch for free.

That’s right.  They’re already free.  And also the most watched.

1. You’re not an Eskimo.

They’re the only ones who should have an igloo.

Those are our top 10 reasons why you shouldn’t get igloo and now we want yours.  We’ve got a brand new Samsung MyFreeview HD digital TV recorder (BDE-8500) worth $649 to give away.

In addition, if anyone reposts this on their own blog, we’ll include any comments made there in the draw. Have at it.