Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Time Has Come

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

I've talked - mostly about ships - for 30 years in Shipfax - first as a newsletter and since 2009 as a blog-  but it is time for a break to talk about other things  - perhaps not only those listed above.

Shipfax and its companion Tugfax will now be taking a summer sabbatical.

I will continue to photograph ships in Halifax and anywhere else I happen to be, but I will not have the time to devote to the blog during the summer months.

Come September we will see what transpires, but as I have mentioned before a new format or a new means of communication will be coming.

Thank you for your support and encouragement.

photos: Queen Mary 2 arriving in Halifax July 3, 2016.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Carnival Sunshine -

Carnival Sunshine called today for the first time since her major refit in 2013. Before that she was Carnival Destiny a regular here in the early 2000s.

Dense fog creeps in as Carnival Sunshine gets away from pier 22 this evening.
Built in 1996 by Fincantieri Italiani, Monfalcone, it was the lead ship of the Destiny class of four. Originally with a passenger capacity of 2,642 that was increased in a 2013 refit to 3,006 although crew size remained at 1,150.

 The ship was much sleeker looking in its orginal form.

The refit at Trieste, the biggest in Carnival's history, cost a reputed $155 mn and involved redoing almost all of the public spaces. It also added a large water slide and some new high level spaces forward. The change was so dramatic that the ship was re-branded as Carnival Sunshine .

Passengers got a bit of thrill as the ship heeled over to make a very sharp turn north of George's Island. Another uncooperative pleasure sailor (just off the bow) was the cause.

The ship's sleek appearance in the first go round has been marred by the new cabins up top forward, but it is the water slide that really rankles! Oh well, it is a cruise ship.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Titania takes a turn

It was a breezy day in Halifax harbour, and so must have presented some challenges for turning an auto carrier. However Titania pulled it off, with the help of two tugs.

The ship arrived this morning at Autoport and late this afternoon moved across harbour to unload some non-automobile RoRo cargo.

With the assistance of the tugs Atlantic Fir (5,000 bhp) and Atlantic Willow (4,500 bhp) the ship turned in number one anchorage and backed into the camber at pier 30-31.

Titania dates from 2011 when it was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co in Okpo. Classed as a LCTC (Large Car and Truck Carrier)  It carries 7,800 (some say 7,934) cars in its 74,255 grt, 30,907 dwt on 13 decks. It can also carry significant sized RoRo cargo thanks to some strengthened decks, some movable decks and its 320 tonne capacity stern ramp.


Harbour Icons make strange neighbours

I usually cover the interesting arrivals and departures, particularly ships that have never been here before. However there are a lot of ships that rarely or never leave Halifax harbor, but do move about within its confines.

Among them are Theodore Too and Sackville - two boats that would seem to have very little in common.

Theodore II is a full size version of a children's television series character. The wooden hulled vessel returned to its builder's yard in Dayspring, NS, over the past winter for a refit. It is now back in Halifax offering harbor tours and acting as greeter for visiting cruise ships.

Sackville has returned to its waterfront location at the foot of Sackville Street after spending the winter at HMC Dockyard. The former RCN corvette is the last of its type, and is a genuine article. A true artifact of Canada's naval history, it draws many visitors every year.

The two are rarely seen as close together, but repair work on the seawall where Theodore Too normally docks has forced a temporary relocation.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cars, gas and more waiting - all singing the blues

Much of Halifax's shipping activity this weekend has centered on automobiles and the fuel to run them. Of course there was other activity too and for some reason the predominant colour was blue.

The big autocarrier Neptune Ace spent the morning at Autoport so did not have a huge number of cars to land, although it has a capacity of 6400.

The 59,996 grt, 18,346 dwt ship was built in 2010 and is registered in the Bahamas for Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd of Tokyo. MOL also owns the Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co that built the ship, likely at its Shitanoe shipyard.

Also in for a morning visit was the tanker Citrus, flying the Maltese flag.

Well out of the water, the ship shows off a bulbous bow. Newer tankers are omitting the costly protrusion, since its benefit seems to be mostly at higher speed than the ships usually travel.

Part of the Diamond Ship Management fleet headquartered in Greenwich, CT, it was built in 2008 by Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan and measures 29,295 grt, 46,934 dwt.

 It is high season for flowering plants, including purple lupins, but no citrus is to be found around Halifax harbour.

Algoma Dartmouth is tied up alongside to deliver bunkers - blue on blue.

Citrus was en route from New Haven, CT to Point Tupper, NS when it dropped in to top up on fuel.

Meanwhile waiting patiently since June 23  in Bedford Basin is the tanker Ardmore Seatrader.

It flies the Marshal Islands flag for Ardmore Shipping Services of Cork, Ireland. Built 2010 by Onomichi Zosen as St.Georg it was renamed in 2010. The 28,552 grt, 47,141 dwt ship arrived from Paldiski, the port for Tallin, Estonia.
Ardmore Shipping's blue funnel continues today's blue theme.

Speaking of patience the crew of the cargo ship Spiekeroog may be getting the blues as their ship is setting a bit of a recent record for Bedford Basin anchorage.

It arrived in Halifax May 8 and was fitted with a undersea cable holding rack in the hold (called a tank in the cable business). It then went to anchor in Bedford Basin May 16. On May 19 it sailed for Newington, NH to load cable and returned May 30. Aside from a one day visit to pier 9C for fuel and water on June 17, the ship has remained in the anchorage ever since.

Would Spiekeroog's crew rather be sailing?

I understand that it will be sailing in mid-July.

Also waiting is the brand new harbour ferry Viola Desmond just delivered last week from A.F.Theriualt + Sons Shipyard in Meteghan River.

It will not be waiting as long however, since it is due to go into service very soon. Its blue, yellow and white colour scheme blends nicely with the picnic tables on the Dartmouth waterfront. A man in blue keeps an eye on things.

There may be some additional waiting overnight in Bedford Basin.

The self-unloading bulker Algoma Mariner arrived this morning to load gypsum. Since that work will not be completed until late tonight after cutting work begins on the Macdonald bridge, the ship has opted to remain in port until morning. Algoma ships' deep blue hull colour appears black in some light.

Algoma Mariner was a frequent caller at Little Narrows, NS on the Bras d'Or Lakes, but Canadian Gyspum Company will not be mining this summer due to week demand for the product. A decision on the future of the mine, which has been in operation since 1935, is expected later this year.

Not likely to wait, the giant G4 ACL ship Atlantic Star is due to sail at midnight.

 The big blue ship strides up the Narrows this morning en route to Fairview Cove.

These June 10 photos show what happens when the torches start up to cut out old bridge deck sections:

New bridge deck sections installed on the Dartmouth (east) (left in photo) side of the span.

Work is coordinated with ship traffic so that there is no hot work when ships need to transit under the bridge.
Since these photos deck replacement has passed beyond the mid point and is now on the Halifax side of the centre span.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Vega Rose - bulker in transit

With the deep decline in bulk shipping these days, it is relatively rare to see bulk carriers in Halifax. Today's brief visit from the Panama flag Vega Rose was for an Asian gypsy moth inspection, so the ship did not stay in port for very long.

The ship is en route from Alumar (Sao Luis), in the state of Maranhao, Brazil to Trois-Rivières, QC with a cargo of alumina. The port of Alumar is named for Consorcio de Aluminio do Maranhao a joint venture between BHP Billiton's Brazilian division South 32, Rio Tinto Alcan and Alcoa Aluminio do Brazil. It is the site of a large aluminum smelter (which has been shut down since 2015 due to week demand), and an alumina refinery with a production capacity of 3,639,000 tonnes per year. The raw bauxite comes from the  Mineraçao Rio do Norte open cut mine.
While the ship's destination is given as Trois-Rivières, the cargo may be going to Alcoa's Bécancour smelter, which on the south shore of the St.Lawrence, opposite.

Vega Rose was built in 2007 by Kawasaki, Kobe for Osaka Asahi Kaiun Co. The 30,847 grt, 55,711 dwt ship is equipped with cranes and clamshells for cargo handling.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fairlift in Halifax - but no lift.

The heavy load carrier Fairlift made a day long visit to Halifax, but from my observation did not work any cargo. It did take on some fuel from RST (Irving) tank trucks,and there was some activity on and below decks as one of the cranes was slewed out for a time. It is likely that the crew was stowing dunnage used to secure the load.

Fairlift emerges from the fog. Fog still surrounds the nature of its visit to Halifax.
My intelligence indicates that the ship may have delivered some component(s) to the drill ship Stena Icemax at the Shelburne Basin well site that was vacated when the drill ship dropped the drill riser due to a heave compensation failure. What that component could have been my sources do not say. This ship could handle some very large pierce of gear. [Of note the supplier Breaux Tide has been idle at anchor in Halifax all the time that Fairlift was reported to be with the Stena Icemax  It would normally have been shuttling back and forth to the drill ship.]

The Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board is still being very tight lipped about the details of the riser drop. 

Fairlift was built in 1990 by Ysselwerft BV in Capelle o/d Ijssel, Netherlands and is a 6953 grt, 7561 dwt shallow draft ship equipped with one 400 tone and one 250 tonne crane (combined for 650 tonne lifts). It was in Halifax in 2006 and 2007 loading locomotives for the UK and once in 2013 with unknown cargo.