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.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016


At Halifax Shipyard work is progressing on the construction of the first of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels. Since the work is going on indoors in the shipyard's new Assembly facility it is rare to get a glimpse of any activity.

Today I was fortunate enough to see one of a pair of MAN diesel engines underway from pier 9C to the shipyard. Rigging and transport of the engines was being carried out by Anderson Haulage of Stouffville, ON.

 The engine is sitting on a Scheuerle motorized dolly, controlled by an operator walking behind. (The rig is moving to the left in this picture.)

In the background the telephone wire is raised for the dolly to pass. The operator follows and there is an escort vehicle with an understated sign.

The first AOPS, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf was laid down September 1, 2015, followed by HMCS Margaret Brooke. They are to be powered by four x 3600 kW / 4800 hp diesel generators driving two 4500 kW / 6,000 hp electric motors [ratings are approximate].


He Chi - follow up

 It is not often that I get to actually follow up on the movement of a ship. It is also rare to get a decent photo from the window of a commercial aircraft. However I got a chance yesterday when, flying into Montreal en route to Toronto, the airplane flew directly over Section 103, the Shell Canada dock. On the North side of the dock, the Chinese tanker He Chi was berthing with assistance of two Groupe Océan tugs.

It is also interesting to see ships from a different angle. The tanker's manifolds are clearly visible.
On the south side of the dock is the Canadian tanker Algocanada.
Also visible is the "winch only" signage for a helicopter landing spot.

The He Chi had bunkered in Halifax last week - see Shipfax June 15

A low level view of the He Chi with Algoma Dartmouth bunkering in Halifax last week.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

OOCL Washington - Halterm for a change

Ships of the G-6 Alliance normally dock at the Fairview Cove container terminal, but this afternoon OOCL Washington opted to tie p at Halterm instead. The ship was quite lightly loaded, even though there were a lot of containers on deck.

It is likely is that with deck replacement work under way on  Angus L.Macdonald bridge taking place on weekends, and with work this weekend right in the centre span area, it was wisest to remain outside the bridge. Although it was low tide when the ship arrived, and its departure at 0430 tomorrow morning will also be at close to low tide, there might not be adequate air draft clearance for the ship due to the work, or there might be hot work going on above and it would be unsafe. This could cause delays, which shipping lines do not like.

The ship is a regular now since September 2015, and was here most recently on June 9. At 89,097 grt, 99,631 dwt and 8063 TEU it is still classed as Post Panamax. However when the Panama canal's new locks open for business June 27 it will then become possible for this ship and scores of similar size and larger  vessels to pass through with ease.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Nolhanava returns to service, and a BONUS

The much traveled Nolhanava returned to service today after a hiatus of eight months. During that time the ship has been to Nantong, China for the installation of a ceramic membrane exhaust gas scrubber system and to pick up a load of brand new containers for the St-Pierre et Miquelon service. The ship sailed October 3, 2015 via the Panama Canal and Papeete, Tahiti, arriving in Nantong December 5. On completion of the work it sailed form Nantong April 24 returning via the same route and tying up at Pier 9B on June 8.

Colorfully painted and loaded with brand new containers, Nolhanava leaves pier 9B this morning to return to service.

Nolhanava (a name made up from those of the Owner's children) was built for the Halifax to St-Pierre RoRo container service in 2000 by Santierul Naval Constanta SA in Romania as Shamrock. It arrived in Halifax for the first time January 20, 2001, but ended its service early in 2004 amid financial problems. Sold at auction to Clarke Inc, it operated a shuttle between Fort Lauderdale and the Cayman Islands until it was acquired by MG Management SAS of St-Pierre in 2015.
On April 4, 2015 it arrived in Halifax again and re-entered St-Pierre service June 6, 2015.

Dinkeldiep heads for sea after completing eight months work on the St-Pierre service. (June 17)

From October 1, 2015 the St-Pierre service was maintained by the general cargo vessel Dinkeldiep. The 4220 grt, 5646 dwt vessel, built in 2011 by Rongcheng Shipbuilding in China made its final call in Halifax when it arrived Thursday June 16. After unloading it went to anchor in Bedford Basin and sailed Friday 17 for St.John's, NL.

And now from the Mundane to the Sublime:
What more inspiring sight could there be than Bluenose II actually sailing into Halifax on a summer afternoon. Although its engine was burping to life for docking, it was under sail and like its illustrious ancestor before it, was leaving no wake.

Although the "II" has a flying jib, it no longer carries topsails or a staysail, so this is as good as it gets.