Friday, October 21, 2016

Energy Panther heads up

The tanker Energy Panther took up an unusual position in the harbour today. Ships at anchor are normally oriented with the bows in the northeasterly direction. However with a weather system building in today the winds have backed round and the ship is positioned with its bow in a southerly direction. It also appears to be much closer the Halifax side of the harbor, but that may be as much my height of view, and the scope on the anchor cable.

Dominion Diving's Halmar is alongside and the Maritime Museum's Acadia is in the foreground.

Energy Panther is a typical Korean built mid-range tanker of 29,494 grt, 46,610 dwt. However it was built in 2008 at the little known Sungdong Ship Building + Engineering of Tongyoung. The ship is managed by Enterprises Shipping + Trading SA of Athens, but owned and registered on the Isle of Man. It is part of the Golden Energy pool of tankers.

It arrived from Ijmuiden, Netherlands.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Irving Woodside - official opening

Today was the official inauguration of the new $80 million dollar Irving Oil facility in Woodside. Consisting a of a rebuilt pier, distribution centre and tank storage, the installation is now totally separate from neighbour Imperial Oil. They had shared facilities for about 10 years.

The tanker Acadian was alongside unloading directly to Irving's own tanks. 

It was just a month ago that Acadian delivered the first cargo the new Woodisde dock (and you read about it here: .

In a strange twist however, Acadian will be moving to Imperial Oil dock #4 Friday morning. She could be delivering furnace oil to Imperial.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tortugas and Saldanha Bay - southern ports

Two ships with names recalling southern places perhaps brought a little warm weather with them.

The bulk carrier Saldanha Bay stopped in for bunkers en route from Jamaica. Named for a beautiful section of South African coast line, the ship is nevertheless owned by Nissen Kaiun Co Ltd of Japan. The ship was also built in Japan by Shikoku, Takamatsu. It is a member of the 100 ship plus Pacific Basin bulker fleet.
Unseasonable temperatures for the next few days mean that some recreational sailors are still enjoying their boats.

 The 21,801 grt, 35,947 dwt ship dates from 2015.  It is likely loaded with alumina - the purified form of bauxite, the basic ore of aluminum. The Port Esquivel facility in Jamaica is a major producer of alumina.

Dominion Diving's Halmar alongside the ship while at anchor, likely with agents or a technician.

Wilhlemsen's Tortugas got away from pier 27 this afternoon after arriving at Autoport yesterday, dropping off autos. It moved over to the Halifax side this morning. It normally would have used pier 30-31, but that berth was tied up by Hollandia unloading its nickel suflides cargo from Cuba.

Tortugas unloaded some machinery, tractors and trucks that will be forwarded on from Halifax by road.
Built in 2006 by Mitsubishi, Nagasaki. Its 61,321 grt equates to a 6,354 car capacity. It is named for an extension of the Florida Keys in Gulf of Mexico, and as with all Wilhelmsen ships, its name begins with a "T".

Also in port is the tanker Doric Pioneer. It arrived yesterday at Imperial Oil from Port Arthur, TX.

Greek owned, Liberian flag, the 29,622 grt, 51,565 dwt ship was built by Hyundai Ulsan, Mipo, South Korea.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

More stuff from 1984 - part 3 of a series

Cruise ships were not as big a part of the Port of Halifax business in 1984. In fact the season was fairly short, ending October 1. There were only nine different ships, making about 33 visits. Ships were much smaller too, and some were veterans.

Royal Viking Sea

The Royal Viking pair Royal Viking Sky and Royal Viking Sea were both visitors in 1986. The stylish duo, which set the trend for modern cruisers, were built in 1972 and 1973 by O/Y Wartsila in Helsinki, but were lengthened 93 feet in 1983 increasing capacity from 750 to 848 passengers. The ships actually looked better after lengthening.

Royal Viking Sea before lengthening (1979 photo)

Royal Viking Sea after lengthening (1987 photo)

After many sales and renamings, both ships are still sailing, Royal Viking Sky as Boudicca and Royal Viking Sea as Albatros. The latter called here in 2015.

Royal Viking Sky after lengthening (1990 photo)

Stefan Batory

This remarkable ship was built in 1952 by Wilton-Fijenoord, Schiedam, Netherlands for the Holland America Line. Launched as Diemerdijk it was wisely renamed Maasdam and began a 35 year career as a transatlantic liner. Fitted with GE steam turbines, which were World War II surplus,  it brought many Dutch immigrants to Canada, as its normal route was Rotterdam / Montreal / New York. From 1960 it ran from Rotterdam / Montreal, making its last trip in 1968.
In 1969 it was sold to the Polish government and renamed Stefan Batory and in April began its service from Gydnia via Copenhagen and Quebec City to Montreal. It would also call in Halifax from time to time and made one call in July 1986.
It made its last sailing from Montreal in 1987 and was the last steamship on a regularly scheduled North Atlantic service.

In its last year of service as a transatlantic liner, Stefan Batory makes its way up the St.Lawrence River.
After some short term service in the summer of 1988 it was sold to Greek owners in November 1988 and renamed Stefan. Under Stena management it served as a refugee hostel in Gothenburg, and moved on the Greece in 1991. It arrived in Alang in March 2000 where it was broken up.

Stella Solaris

Another steam turbine veteran of the 1950s was Stella Solaris. However it was built as a passenger cargo vessel by Atelier + Chantier de France, Dunkerque as Cambodge. It served Cie des Messageries Maritimes until 1970 when it was converted to a cruise ship with 329 cabins and 660 berths.

A stylish conversion, Stella Solaris looked more like a liner than a cruise ship with its high lifeboats and closed decks.

The ship was sold for scrap in 2003 and under the name S Solar made its way to Alang, arriving December 11.

Veracruz I

Called Veracruz Primero, this ship was a regular caller in Halifax, but 1986 was its last year to visit here.
Dating from 1957, it was another steam turbine vessel, built as Theodor Herzl for Zim Israel Navigation Co Ltd of Haifa with a sister ship Jerusalem. Initially for Mediterranean liner service between Israel, Greece and Italy, it had cargo holds fore and aft, but became a cruise ship in  1965. It last sailed for Zim 1969.
Sold and renamed Carnivale it was to be the first ship in the Carnival  Cruise line, but was not converted and remained laid up until 1975 when it was sold again and renamed Freeport. Extensively rebuilt as a cruise ship, it was given a more modern appearance with a new funnel wing, and enclosed side alleys.

With a mix of traditional and modern flourishes Veracruz I was a solid looking ship.
With a passenger capacity of 800 the ship was a regular in Halifax until 1986. It was then transferred to the Caribbean and in 1990 was sold and renamed  Sun Ambassador and in 1991 Fiesta. At that time it was in Piraeus for another major refit, but on October 14, 1991 it caught fire. The ship sank due to ingress of water from firefighting and was a total loss. It was later broken up in place.


The last ship of the season arrived on October 2. Unlike recent years, when October is the peak season, Illiria was also the only ship to call in that month.
Built in 1972 by Cantieri Navali Pellegrini, Naples for Adriatic service as a cargo / passenger ship it had  accommodation for 181.  In 1977 it was converted for 135 passengers for Greek owners.

Illiria sails smartly up the St.Lawrence in 1988.

In 1986 New Frontier Cruise Lines Ltd of Greece acquired the ship and ran it until 1988. It was then acquired by the unusually named First Security Bank of Utah N.A. and reflagged to Liberia.
It became Bali Sea Dancer in 1994 working out of Singapore and in 1998 it moved to South America.
As Galapogos Discovery it hoisted the Ecuador flag but it was a short tenure.
On October 19, 1999 it caught fire at Balboa and sank the next day. It was later raised and towed out to sea and scuttled February 28, 2002.

Ocean Princess

Dating from 1967 this was one of the early ships built strictly for cruising. Originally named Italia, its owners and builders went broke during construction, but it was completed for Costa Armatore. Working in the Mediterranean and the US west coast it was unofficially named Princess Italia until 1983 when it was sold and renamed Ocean Princess.
 With engines aft to increase valuable mid-ships passenger space, the ship had a very unstylish finnel.

In March 1993 while cruising the Amazon it struck a submerged wreck and sank near Belem. Passengers and crew got off safely, but the engine room was flooded and the ship was declared a constructive total loss.
It was rebuilt as Sea Prince but in 1995 suffered a fire and was sold again, breifly as Sea Prince V then Princesa Oceanica for Louis Cruises. It was renamed Sapphire in 1996 for a Thomson charter.
In 2010 the ship was laid up because it did not comply with the new SOLAS regulations, and in 2012 under the name Aspire it made its way to Alang where it was beached May 11 and broken up.

For the record, the other callers were Royal Odyssey and Sea Goddess II, both of which managed to elude my camera.

to be continued...

Friday, October 14, 2016

CSL Tarantau ex Balto

It has been some time since a ship loaded at National Gypsum. Despite an improving US economy, demand for gypsum is still low and ships have been few and far between.

Today's arrival is perhaps encouraging. CSL Tarantau arrived in ballast from Baltimore, indicating a demand, rather than just a backhaul cargo.

CSL Tarantau arriving in Halifax today.

This is the first time I have seen the ship since it was renamed in January 2016. It had sailed as Balto for  Klaveness Self-unloaders, a partner in the CSL self-unloader pool with CSL, Algoma and Oldendorff. Late in 2015 Klaveness divested its five ships to pool partners CSL and Algoma, and all have since been renamed.

The ship first called in Halifax as Balto.

Balto was built by Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China in 2013 to the ocean version of CSL's Trillium class design, so it was a natural fit in the CSL Americas roster.  At 43,691 grt, 71,405 dwt it is too large to take a complete load at National Gypsum due to draft restrictions at the Bedford Basin pier. However ships of this class take full loads of stone at Auld's Cove and bring in full cargoes of coal also.

The ship's upper works look fine, but the hull paint is decidedly inferior.

CSL's takeover involved repainting the funnel to CSL colours, and a hasty repainting of the name and clumsy paint over of the Klaveness bow banner. Nothing has yet been done to correct the terrible paint job the ship received at the shipyard. (Its starboard side is much worse). I guess that will have to wait until a scheduled drydocking a few years off into the future. At that time of course it will adopt the CSL black hull to match the rest of the fleet.

The ship's name recalls a Great Lakes self-unloader, built in 1964 and sold for scrap in 1999. That Tarantau also used the unusual spelling and pronunciation TARE'-AN-TOE.


More stuff from 1986 - part 2 of a series


Some unusual ships called in Halifax during 1986, but perhaps the oddest was the former USS Brookings. It was built in 1944 by the California Shipbuilding Corp in Terminal Island, as a Haskell class attack transport APA-140 for the US Navy.

 Point Vim nudges Brookings toward a pier after it arrived in tow.

Classed as a VC2-S-AP5, it was an offshoot of the standard Victory ships, but fitted out to carry 1500 troops and their equipment and land them with its own fleet of 25 small landing craft (LCVPs and LCMs).
It was also armed with a 5 inch gun and twelve 40 mm and ten 20 mm weapons

Commissioned in January 1945, the ship saw service in the Pacific including the occupation of Japan and troop landings in Korea and China. It was also used to repatriate troops to the US in late 1945 but was laid up in Norfolk in 1946 and decommissioned. It later became part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet in the James River, but was never used.

Alongside at pier 31, there is a very long pilot ladder positioned just aft of the superstructure to allow the tug crew to board the ship for berthing.

Brookings was returned to the USN as  a non-destructive target, and that is what brought it to Halifax in August 1986 in tow of the USN tug Apache. It only remained in port for two days before setting out again. Tugs had to exercise extreme care in getting away because the deck bitts were so badly rusted, they could not take much strain.
[n.b. Wikipedia says the ship was returned to the US Navy in November 1987, but it was clearly in USN control much earlier.]

Point Vim and Point Vigour take it easy as the ship casts off at dusk. The heavy towing gear is rigged and ready on the bow. 

Once clear of the pier the tugs took the ship out in the stream where Apache could take over the tow.

In September 1989 Hurricane Hugo blew the ship aground in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico and it could not be refloated intact. Resolve Marine Group cut the ship down to refloat it and scuttled the hull offshore April 1, 1992.

USNS Apache a Powhatan class ocean tug, T-ATF-172 dates from 1981 when it was built by Marinette Marine in Wisconsin. The 7200 bhp twin screw tug has a bollard pull of 87 tons and a top speed of 14.5 knots. It is still in USN service, and on October 31, 2015, using side scan sonar, located the wreck of the ship El Faro in 15,000 feet of water. The ship sank with all hands in Hurricane Joaquin October 2, 2015 while en route from Florida to Puerto Rico.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

More of the same, a newby and some old stuff

More of the same

It was five cruise ships today, but much fewer passengers, and two of them were small and one was a hold over.
Disney Magic (2400 passengers) remained in port all night and only sailed this afternoon, giving its passengers a second look around Halifax or shore excursions farther afield.
The extra day gave the ship time to take on fuel and perform some other chores.

 Algoma Dartmouth delivers fuel on the port side and platform lift works from the dock side, and as always the painter attends to the ship's name.

Disney Magic is certainly one of the most striking looking cruise ships.

Zuiderdam (1916 passengers) and Crystal Serenity (1080 passengers) also spent the day in port.

 Zuiderdam is free of the decorative excesses of some other lines and has a remarkably clear upper deck.

Pearl Mist arrived at pier 23 on her final visit of the season. The Halifax-built ship sailed mid-afternoon. With a capacity for 210 passengers, it has a gross tonnage of 5109 grt.

Pearl Mist sailed for Lunenburg, where it will spend the night.

Victory I arrived at pier 24 and sailed mid-afternoon for Yarmouth. It has a capacity of 210 to 215 passengers.

 The ship was a late addition to the cruise schedule after its previous operators went bankrupt after a collision with the end wall of a Seaway lock last year. The former Saint Laurent was hastily re-branded and went back into service. It spent the summer on the Great Lakes from July, with cruises from Chicago, Toronto and Montreal. 
Built as the Cape May Light in 2001 it also carried the name Sea Voyager from 2009 to 2015. Last year's planned cruises from Florida to Cuba were cancelled but are scheduled for this winter. 

A newby

Atlantic Sea is the third of ACL's new G4 ConRos. It tied up at Fairview Cove early this morning and sailed late this evening.

The 100,430 grt ship is registered in Liverpool. UK, where it will be welcomed October 10 for a christening ceremony. The sponsor will be Princess Anne. 

Some oldies 

I have been mentioning that Shipfax was started in 1986, and that is the same year that two active Canadian Coast Guard ships were built. In the background of the Atlantic Sea photo above is CCGS Earl Grey, built by Pictou Industries in Pictou, NS. It entered service in June 1986. The ship received a nine month $11mn+ Vessel Life Extension refit at Davie Quebec and returned to Halifax in January of this year.

Also recently refitted is CCGS Edward Cornwallis. It had a $2.6mn re-do at Newdock, St.John's a year ago. It arrived this afternoon.

Built by Marine Industries Ltd in Sorel, QC, it arrived in Halifax for the first time August 21, 1986, with a firetug greeting. It did not enter service immediately due to engine and derrick problems and first set sail in December, but returned to port with electrical problems. It still had issues in January and February of 1987 but those were apparently worked out by March when it was at work icebreaking in the Gulf of St.Lawrence as far north as Blanc Sablon.