Two Ships, Two Television Stars

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When you’ve got more than a century to your life, you can have a lot of secrets. This spring, we discovered that our two ships each held a little-known past as television stars!

Not only that, both ships lured people away from their families and friends in each show.

The Swell – The Beachcombers (1974)

In April, a tugboat historian told us that Swell had been featured in an episode of the classic Canadian drama The Beachcombers. It’s from 1974 and the episode is named “The Swell”. Then, not three weeks later, a man on the dock at Sidney walked up to the ship and handed over a copy of the episode!

The man had been the owner of Swell when she was chartered to the CBC for the filming. For you Beachcombers buffs out there, you may remember it; here’s the episode summary:

  • The Swell – 03×03 – Oct 6, 1974 – Jesse is beguiled by the harum-scarum antics of the crew of “The Swell”, and decides to sign on, abandoning Molly’s Reach and Nick’s Salvage for a change of pace aboard this madcap tug-cum-freighter. An incredulous Molly spearheads a series of efforts to bring Jesse to his senses before she and the family realize they must let him go his own way. Guests: Vladimir Valenta, Neil Dainard, and Allan Anderson
  • The episode is available for watching on board the Swell.

But our ships weren’t finished surprising us with their screen-time.

The Maple Leaf – Danger Bay (CBC, 1989)

A month later, the Maple Leaf’s former owner Brian Falconer, told us that the Maple Leaf starred in an episode of the popular CBC primetime drama Danger Bay!

In the Feb. 1989 episode Before The Mast, Jonah and Nicole sign on as crew to take a beautiful, antique tall ship to Haida Gwaii (then commonly referred to as the Queen Charlotte Islands).

You can watch it here:


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