Monday, May 2, 2016

Arrivals from the south - BBC Xingang and Posillipo

Nirint Shipping is experiencing an upswing in Cuban trade and has brought in the BBC Xingang for a quick round trip between Rotterdam and Cuba. Forsaking some of the usual wayports it went directly to Mariel and Moa and is returning from Halifax straight to Rotterdam.

BBC Xingang is a heavylift ship, built in 2013 by Tianjin Xingang in Tianjin, China. The 8233 grt, 9279 dwt ship has two 350 tonne cranes, and may have delivered some large cargo to Cuba. However it is a versatile vessel and is returning with containers and the usual breakbulk cargo of bagged nickel sulfides for pier 31. It has a nominal TEU capacity of 660, but 377 if loaded, with 60 reefer plugs.
It is on charter from Briese Schiffahrts, operators of BBC Chartering of Germany and flies the Antigua and Barbuda flag.

It is a sister ship of BBC Mont Blanc that was here April 18 with a very different cargo of steel fabrications, many of which are still on the adjacent pier 30 as they are gradually trucked away.

Arriving from Beaumont, TX,  Posillipo anchored in the lower harbour. Despite its name (a neighbourhood of Naples) and Italian flag, it is one of those SuperIce class tankers. Equipped with full width bridge and large accommodation block, it is a nice break from the usual Korean handysizes.

It was built in 2010 by Guangzhou International, Guangzhou, China and has typical handysize measurements of 29,283 grt, 53,116 dwt. Owners, LGR di Navigazione SpA of Naples, also operate the sister tanker Cenito which has called in Halifax half a dozen times.

The large penguin motif also hints at the ship's ice class. It once operated in the Torm pool, then in the Hafnia pool, but is apparently now on charter to an oil major.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Adelina and Havelstern

It was an unusually quiet Sunday in the harbour.
The deep laden bulk carrier Adelina, bound from Port Cartier for Las Palmas put in briefly for some underwater work. Operating under the Maltese flag for Seven Seas Maritime of London and managed by Alloceans Shipping Co Ltd of Athens, the 22,223 grt, 34,032 dwt ship was built in 2012 by Hyundai Mipo of Ulsan, Souht Korea.

The ship appears to be trimmed slightly to the stern, and is loaded to her marks.

 Another sign of spring is the occasional sail in the harbour, such as Merlin (sail number 175).

Whatever the work was it was accomplished ahead of schedule and the ship was able to sail early this afternoon.

At about the same time the tanker Havelstern moved from the adjacent anchorage (see yesterday) to pier 9c for some maintenance. Thanks to calm conditions, the ship was able to turn off the berth without the assistance of tugs.

Skilful use of the bow thruster brought the ship alongside in short order. Another sail in Bedford Basin shows up the background.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Veendam - first cruise ship and other business as usual

The 2016 cruise ship season began today with the arrival of the Veendam. Built in 1996 as a Statendam class ship, it was refitted in 2009 with the extension of two decks aft and a "duck tail". Now rated for 1295 passengers (maximum) and 568 crew, it is still one of the smaller cruise ships we will see this year.
A pair of hardy kayakers greet the ship as is arrives for the first time this year.

A regular caller since 1996 it will have different fleetmates this year with the reassignment of former sister ship Maasdam. Instead Rotterdam and Zuiderdam will do the honours. In 2014 it had propellor problems and had to cancel three October cruises when it went into drydock for three weeks.

Veendam rounded north of George's Island on its way in to pier 22.

Otherwise it was business as usual in the port: 

The Liberian flag Callisto followed and and anchored for Asian gypsy moth inspection. It is the third ship to arrive for clearance by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. (MSC Cristiana was first March 20, and Cap Lara was the second last Saturday)

Built in 2010 by Yamanishi in Ishinomaki, Japan, the 15,861 grt, 25,981 dwt ship carries three cargo cranes. It is owned by Heinz Corleis of Germany and is bound from Providence, RI for Montreal.

In the afternoon the Canadian tanker Havelstern anchored for bunkers and will remain in port over night.

There was Naval and Coast Guard activity as SAR crews (likely CG college students) exercised with CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell outside, on returning to port, it tied up at the old Coast Guard base.

HMCS Charlottetown and HMCS Shawinigan both sailed.

HMCS Charlottetown takes aboard several matelots from a RHIB as it sails. This was the mooring line party that let the ship go when it slipped its berth at HMC Dockyard.

HMCS Shawinigan builds up speed after passing George's Island.

See also Tugfax.


Friday, April 29, 2016

CSL Tacoma and Oceanex Connaigra - starboard to starboard


The simultaneous passing of the CSL Tacoma departing and Oceanex Connaigra arriving resulted in a rare starboard to starboard passing in the Middle Ground area between Meagher's Beach and Ives Knoll.

CSL Tacoma, a Trillium class self-unloading bulk carrier was built in 2012 at Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin City, China. At 43,691 grt, 71,552 dwt, the ship is too large to take a full load at National Gyspum due to limited draft alongside the pier.  However it did take a part cargo and was sailing for the US. After rounding George's Island it kept to the east of the main channel leaving lots of room for the inbound.

In the background the pilot boats exchange crews and boats at the end of a shift. Chebucto Pilot remains as the outside boat with the fresh crew, and A.P.A.No.1 returns to base with the off duty crew.

The inbound Oceanex Connaigra was heading for the Halterm container pier and it was more convenient for it to stay on the western side of the channel to make its approach to the pier, hence the starboard to starboard meet. It is a 26,786 grt 19,500 dwt ConRo built in 2013 by Flensburger Shiffbau in Germany.

Oceanex Connaigra has shifted from its usual St.John's / Montreal run to the St.John's / Halifax service to cover for the refitting Oceanex Sanderling. Starting March 31- April 1, it is expected to continue until May 13 when Sanderling returns from Gibraltar. Since coming to the Halifax route it has made two extra mid-week trips in addition to the weekend calls - with the exception of last weekend when it did not show up.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Masterpiece of timing

Halifax pilots performed a masterpiece of tining today -as they often do - when three container ships departed and one arrived within an short span of time.

First out was NYK Diana from Fairview Cove. Its pilot timed the outbound route to meet the incoming CMA CGM Cendrillon after the inbound had picked up its pilot.

Next off was Aeneas (sailing for Zim) which took the western channel to give CMA CGM Cendrillon lots of room.

Then the Zim Tarragona sailed, also taking the western channel as CMA CGM Cendrillon kept well to the east in the main channel, and would then tie up at the same berth - pier 41 at Halterm.

All this was also done with two tugs working from one ship to the other in turn from Aeneas to Zim Tarronga to CMA Cendrillon without any apparent delays.

18:44 hrs: On the right, NYK Diana is outbound. At centre, Aeneas in the western channel outbound and at left, CMA CGM Cendrillon inbound in the main channel.

1847 hrs: Aneas (left) has made the 90 degree course change off Ferguson's Cove heading back toward the main channel as NYK Diana (right) bears toward the pilot station.

 1850 hrs: Zim Tarragona has worked its way off pier 41 and its tugs have moved on to the inbound CMA CGM Cendrillon.

1859 hrs: CMA CGM Cendrillon  makes its way, with tugs alongside, toward pier 41.


Monday, April 25, 2016

A lightly loaded Vera D arrived for Melfli Lines and tied up at Halterm this afternoon. The ship is en route from Italy, Spain and Portugal for Cuba. This is its 15th trip for Melfi - Voyage #1 was November 24, 2014.

The 17,188 grt, 22, 513 dwt ship can carry 1519 TEU. It was built in 2004 on a hull by Daewoo Managalia, Romania, and completed by J.J.Seitas in Germany.  Launched as Pyxis it was renamed Maersk Veracruz on delivery to Peter Doehle Schiffahrts of Hamburg. It became Vera D in 2009.

Federal Oshima completed loading its cargo of wood pellets and sailed for Immingham, UK this evening.

Surely there is a way that such cargoes can be loaded without creating so much dust.

CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell left port for SAR exercises offshore. The Newfoundland based Search and Rescue vessel has been seconded to Halifax for the last several weeks.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell sails with the old Coast Guard base in the background where the idled Jones Tide is tied up.

 Built in 1985 by Marystown Shipyard, it was originally a supply boat, ordered on spec by the Newfoundland government to keep the shipyard afloat. In 1986 the government of Canada acquired it and converted the ship for SAR duties.

The new SAR ships will have helicopter capability. A CCG helo laded service techs on George's Island this morning. 
A replacement for the ship is among five SAR vessels to be built by Seaspan under the  National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, but it it is several years off into the future, after Seaspan builds the Joint Support Ships for the navy, the Polar Icebreaker John G. Diefenbaker (to be renamed by the current government one expects-can you guess the new name?) and Ocean Research vessels.

Speaking of replacements there is still no word on how the navy plans to replace its Glen class tugs. Glenevis was going about its business in the harbour today, still in fine condition, but underpowered by today's standards.

 The new tugs will not be part of the NSPS program, and several Canadian yards have expressed interest in building the new boats.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Follow Ups

Following up from yesterday:

The heavy lift ship Palau was ballasted down by the bow this morning, which just bared the top control mechanism of the Becker rudder flap.

The flap was stuck at about a 45 degree angle to amidships, which would certainly be inconvenient for steering!

a.m.: rudder flap at a 45 degree angle

p.m.: rudder flap in line

By late afternoon the flap was back in line -whether repaired or just fixed in that position there was no way to tell. However blasting back to an even keel was underway and the ship is scheduled to sail later this evening, resuming its voyage to Hamilton, ON.

The ballast box is a pontoon which can be placed over side to counterbalance heavy lifts by filling it  with an appropriate amount of water.

Trimming the ship down by the bow was achieved at least in part by shifting the ballast pontoon (a box which can be floated overside) to well forward and slewing the cranes forward. Also some hatch covers were removed and stowed forward.

With the ship back on an even keel workers pack up their gear and the ship's crew is repositioning hatch covers and 'tween deck covers..

Another interesting feature of the ship was revealed when it was ballasted down. A very prominent ice knife is fitted above and abaft the rudder. Rudders can be jammed by ice, particularly when backing. I suspect the Becker flap rudder is even more susceptible, and thus needs even more protection.

The ship is also fitted with a stern anchor, a requirement for transiting the St.Lawrence Seaway, but also a useful appendage when loading or unloading at an anchorage. A large blister below the anchor is needed to keep it clear of the ice knife.

The tanker Doric Pioneer arrived last evening and anchored in Bedford Basin until this afternoon. On departure of the Irving Oil tanker East Coast it moved to Imperial Oil's number 3 dock.

Built by Hyundai Mipo of Ulsan, South Korea, the 29,622 grt, 51,565 dwt ship is operated by Chios Navigation (Hellas) Ltd of Piraeus, Greece and flies the Liberian flag.

The only recorded arrival today was the Skandi Flora, returning from the Stena Icemax foe another load of drill riser. The supply boat has been conducted a constant shuttle of the new riser out to the drill ship transferring the replacement riser sections.

Skandi Flora at pier 9C, ready to load the remaining riser sections for the Stena Icemax.

Even when the new riser sections and other related gear are all aboard the drill ship it remains to be seen when it will resume drilling for Shell. The Offshore Petroleum Board has been quiet on when that will be allowed to take place.