Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Seven Seas Overnighter

Seven Seas Navigator extended its October 31 scheduled visit to an overnighter and sailed this morning - still into the teeth of a gale.
With The World due to sail this evening that will leave only Emerald Princess to arrive November 1 and  end the Halifax cruise season. The ship spent an extra night en route, sailing to Port Saguenay, then Corner Brook, to avoid storm Sandy. The ship skipped Bar Harbor April 28 and will also skip Newport on its return leg.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halifax Dodges Sandy

The destructive force of Hurricane/Tropical Depression Sandy bypassed to the west of Halifax, with only high winds and rain felt in the port. At high tide this morning there did not appear to be any significant storm surge, although there will certainly have been minor damage to some wharves due to waves.
Several ship arrivals were delayed, and some ships remained in port.
1. Work on the Richmond Terminal extension continued unabated. Water was just lapping the top of the new caissons, but filling operations were not delayed. The tug Whitby works with the dredge Canadian Argosy at the old "knuckle" of Pier 9C as breakers remove the old pier face and remove old fill material.

The cruise ship Norwegian Dawn remained in port all night and sailed this morning and Kobe Express also sailed this morning at first light, without incident.

2. Chebucto Pilot kicks up some spray inbound after working outbounds and an inbound. The outbounds had remained in port overnight. 

3. By the time the autocarrier Turandot was inbound, the highest gusts had abated but there was still a stiff easterly  wind and some waves in the harbour.

Western Nova Scotia received much heavier winds , heavier rain and higher seas, and the Saint John-Digby ferry service was cancelled for the day.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hope fades for two from Bounty [follow updates]

1. Bounty in Tall Ships 2012.

Two persons are still missing after the replica of HMS Bounty sank off Cape Hatteras, NC this morning. Both the ship's long time captain, and a direct descendant of Fletcher Christian from the famed mutiny were wearing survival suits, but did not make into the two life rafts when they abandoned ship early this morning.
The other fourteen persons from the ship were airlifted by USCG Jayhawk helicopters in 40 mph winds and 18 ft seas as Hurricane Sandy battered the area.
Bounty was built by Smith & Rhuland in Lunenburg in 1960 for the MGM film Mutiny on the Bounty and was extensively rebuilt after years of neglect. Reports indicate that it had also recently emerged from a refit and was on its way from New Haven, CT to St.Petersburg, FL when it lost power and began to take water on Sunday, and sank this morning.
A regular participant in Tall Ships events in Halifax, the ship had travelled widely, including a visit to the Great Lakes.

2. Bounty in Tall Ships 2009.

Update 2: The body of the missing crew member was recovered this evening, but the captain is still missing.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

As The World reTurns

1. The World entering Halifax at dusk with the tug Atlantic Willow making up astern to assist it into pier 23.

The passenger ship The World returned to Halifax this evening. This unscheduled arrival falls three weeks after its last call, and has been brought about by Hurricane Sandy. The category 1 hurricane is working its way up the US eastern seaboard and has caused numerous cruise ship reroutings and schedule changes, some of which will be noticed here.
As it now appears Norwegian Dawn and Regatta will also be returning to Halifax, although  not originally intended to do so. Seven Seas Navigator appears to be planning an overnight stay, and Emerald Princess is now scheduled for November 1 instead of October 30. The web site may have more updates tomorrow.
The World is not a typical cruise ship as I mentioned in my October 5 post, but is a sort of floating condominium, with travellers owning their suites. They can also decide where the ship goes.
I did not note in that post that the ship recently set a record as the largest passenger ship to complete a Northwest Passage. This summer it sailed from the Pacific to the Atlantic, through the arctic, without icebreaker assistance. Because the ship was not on a fixed schedule it spent some time awaiting improved conditions, but was still able to visit several northern sites and take passengers ashore by inflatable boat.
It will be spending tomorrow and Tuesday in port before sailing Tuesday evening.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Atlantic Vision - minor fire in Halifax Shipyard

1. Atlantic Vision at 4:30 this afternoon was in the Novadock floaoting drydock at Halifax Shipyard, but had not yet been raised.

Marine Atlantic's North Sydney/ Argentia ferry Atlantic Vision arrived at Halifax Shipyard today for drydocking. While preparing to be lifted a fire broke out on the ship at about 3 pm. It was quickly put down, but two persons were taken to hospital by ambulance with smoke inhalation. A spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Municipality Fire & Emergency Services was quoted on new reports stating that the ship's crew extinguished the blaze and a spokesperson for Irving Shipbuilding called the incident a "backfire."
There were no outward signs of the incident an hour later, but the ship had not been lifted yet.
Built in 2002 in Germany as Superfast IX, the ship was intended for Baltic service, and operated between ports in Sweden, Germany and Estonia until chartered to Marine Atlantic in 2008.
It operated from 2008 to 2009 under the Cypriot flag, but was but was registered in St. John's June 6, 2009. It operated for time on the North Sydney to Port aux Basques run but it was always intended for the Argentia run, which it took over when Marine Atlantic's Blue Puttees and Highlanders entered service.
At 30,285 gross tons, it is Canada's largest ferry, carrying 728 passengers at speeds up to 30 knots. It is also ABS ice class 1A super.
Today's arrival is the ship's first visit to Halifax.
2. The ship was lifted over night.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Queen Mary 2 and cruise season winding down

1. QM2 passes Meagher's Beach inbound this morning.

With the end of the cruise season in sight on October 30, and after today only three more ships, it was as usual an impressive sight to see Queen Mary 2 arriving in brilliant sunshine. That sun unfortunately made photographing the ship (again) a challenge since shooting was directly into the sun.

2. The ships turned and backed in to pier 22, astern of Crystal Symphony.

Also unfortunately the ship turned and backed in to pier 22, depriving us of a close up view.
On her first visit September 25-26, 2004, the ship obligingly passed east of George's Island and made a triumphant sail past the Halifax waterfront - a truly memorable experience.

3. On her first arrival in Halifax in 2004 she sailed along the Halifax waterfront , which was lined with spectators, and the harbour was choked with pleasure craft.

4. Sailing the next day, the ship has just dropped her pilot off Chebucto Head and is picking up speed. Her first paint job was already in the process of a major touch-up.

At 151,400 tons the ship is still among the largest passenger vessels in the world, and still holds the spot as world's largest transatlantic liner, if only in name, but is certainly the most impressive.
After a short stay in port, the ship was due to sail at 7pm this evening.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Statengracht and Spleithoff's S-class

1. Yesterday at pier 31 Logistec Stevedoring was using their large mobile crane to load crawler crane components on to Statengracht.

The Dutch flag Statengracht is a member of the ubiquitous Spleithoff's fleet of ships that travel the world looking for unusual cargoes to carry. The ships are fitted for heavy lifts, moisture controlled bulk or break bulk cargoes, or cargoes of unusual size or shape.
On a previous visit the ship loaded wood pellets, going to the Netherlands to be used as fuel, and required humidity control during transit. These ships are able to do that with sophisticated controlled ventilation systems. They are adaptable to many kinds of forest products including lumber and paper too. Special sideloading doors and elevators allow for speedy and weather protected cargo handling for rolls of paper and other forkliftable cargoes.
On this visit the ship loaded a number of heavy components for a crawler crane. The largest pieces arrived by rail on special heavy weight cars. The ship's hold is designed to carry heavy cargoes (20 tonnes per sqaure meter on the lower deck) and the ship carries equipment to brace and secure these types of cargo. Although the stevedores used a shore based crane this time, the ship is also fitted with three heavy lift cranes, rated at 120 tonnes each, allowing it to load an unload where shore based equipment is not available.
These ships are also set up to carry windmill components and other large/long cargoes that would not fit on a normal ship. The holds are equipped with removable 'tweendecks that permit a variety of configurations for different loads..
To see an excellent video on the "S class" ships of the Spliethoff fleet, go to their website at:

2. Statengracht sailed early this afternoon.The large shapes on ship's starboard side are the elevator housings and side loading doors.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bunkering Operation Part 2- Mattea

1. Mattea takes bunkers at number one anchorage, an area normally reserved for large deeply loaded ships.
2. The barge Columbia is showing a bit more freeboard.

After completing operations at Kometik, it was time for Mattea to receive bunkers. The operation lasted into the evening, after which Mattea was to go into Imperial Oil to discharge her cargo of crude, and the tug Siberian Sea and barge Columbia set out for New York.
3. Although a sister to Kometik, Mattea has the more impressive paint scheme. Both ships have been drydocked recently.

Bunkering Operations Part I - Kometik

1. Kometik at anchor on Sunday.

2. The fueling barge Columbia and tug Siberian Sea alongside this morning, with Atlantic Oak which has arrived to assist in shifting the barge to Mattea.

Part 1 of a two part bunkering operation finished up this morning.
The shuttle tanker Kometik (72,216 gross tons, 126,360 deadweight, built 1996) received low sulphur content fuel from the US barge Columbia, which arrived yesterday from New York with the tug Siberian Sea (see also Tugfax) and worked all night.
When the operation was completed at about 10 am today the bunkering barge moved on to sister ship Mattea at anchorage number 1.
3. Kometik sails, west of George's Island, destination Hibernia.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Western Neptune - northwest passage

1. Western Neptune at pier 27. Dominion Diving's Big Steel is alongside with divers.

The seismic research ship Western Neptune has been in port since Sunday for repairs and refitting after working in the Beaufort Sea. The ship was conducting a 3D seismic survey under a coasting trade license from the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Built in 1999 by Ulsteinwerft in Norway (design UT 753) the ship measures 8,369 gross tons and its two engines generate 3970kW (10,600 bhp) giving the ship 150 tonnes bollard pull. This allows the ship to tow 12 seismic streamers of 6,000m. It is also fitted for silent operation. It is also fitted with a helicopter platform, used for crew changes, supplies and medical evacuations (and there was one of the latter, although precautionary, during this mission).
The ship sailed from Vancouver in July and once on station it was assisted by two ice rated supply tugs from Northern Transportation Ltd, Jim Kilabuk and Alex Gordon. (These tugs once worked out of Halifax). One tug acted as a supplier, running back and forth the 12 to 16 hours to Tuktoyaktuk and the other acted as picket boat, leading the ship and spotting ice or debris in the water. The suppliers and the ship itself carried marine environmental observers to watch for whales in particular, but also seals and other animals in an attempt to minimize disturbance to the wildlife caused by the seismic shock waves.
On completion of the work, which was determined by ice conditions, the ship continued eastward, completing a northwest passage.
The ship is operated by Western Geco, whose headquarters is in the unlikely location of Gatwick, UK.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Raymond Croze - French cable ship

1. Raymond Croze slips into harbour at sunrise.

Raymond Croze, a French cable ship, arrived at sunrise this morning and tied up at pier 23. Built in 1983, it is a traditional type cable ship, with bow sheaves. It normally works in the Mediterranean from its base in La Seyne-sur-Mer, and it is unlikely that it has ever called in Halifax before.
On August 12 another cable ship from France Telecom, the Chamarel was totally destroyed by a fire on the Skeleton Coast of Namibia. Based in Capetown, it served the south Atlantic and Indian Ocean. With its loss France Telecom has had to re-deploy its other ships to cover the repair/cable work it must do to maintain its "Orange" network. This may explain why we are seeing Raymond Croze in Halifax.
2. The ship is immediately recognizable as a cable ship  because it has the traditional bow sheaves. Many newer ships work only over the stern.

Barkald loads gypsum

1. Barkald loads at National Gypsum. The shore based loader (above the number 1) moves back and forth along a track on the dock, filling the ship's holds evenly.

The self-unloading bulker Barkald loaded at National Gypsum and sailed this morning. Built in 2001, the ship is operated by Klaveness Shipping of Oslo, and is registered in the Marshal Islands. It is part of the CSL/Klaveness/Oldendorff pool of self-unloaders.
The sip was built in Japan and measures 28,924 gross tons, 49,463 deadweight and unloads using its own cranes, clamshell buckets and a conveyor system on deck. The self-unloading boom is mounted on the port side just forward of the bridge. The boom is articulated, so that it can swing out and direct the flow of material without having to move the ship.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Silver Whisper

1. With surf crashing on the breakwater Silver Whisper passes Macnab's Cove early this morning.

A perennial visitor during the cruise season is the immaculate Silver Whisper. Built in 2001 in Italy (the hull by Visenti Shipyard near Trieste, and finished by the yacht builders A. Mariotti in Genoa) the ship made in first cruise to Halifax in September of the same year.
With a passenger capacity of 382 and a crew of 295 it is one of the smaller ships but Silver Seas Cruises provides very high-end package for its guests.
I have taken many pictures of this ship over the years, but this is the first one (so far) this year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Queen Sapphire - catches a glint of sun

1. After a dreary, foggy and drizzly day, the autocarrier Queen Sapphire caught a brief glimpse of the sun just as it was setting.

The ship was moving from Autoport to Pier 31 with the tugs Atlantic Oak and Atlantic Larch and emerged from Eastern Passage in blazing low sun. However by the time it reached the main harbour the sun was fading and was gone before it berthed. After unloading some machinery cargo at pier 31 it will sail later tonight.
Although wearing the colours of the Wilhelmsen Line, the ship is owned in Singapore by Melodia Martitime Pvte Ltd, and managed by MMS Co Ltd of Tokyo. It is on long term charter to Wallenius-Wilhelmsen but does not carry the usual Wilhelmsen name, beginning with the letter "T". Built in 2009 it measures 60,123 gross tons and can carry 6,340 cars. Even so it is among the smallest ships in the W-W fleet. The largest ship in the current fleet is rated for 8,000.
2. The pilot boat APA No.20 returns with the pilot from Norwegian Dawn as Crystal Symphony gets under way from Pier 20.
3. Once into the main harbour the sun has gone. revealing an incomplete repainting job.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hoegh Masan - "new" visitor to Autoport

A different name to add to the list of ships visiting Autoport is Hoegh Masan. It arrived and sailed today after unloading Ford Transit mini-trucks and loading North American vehicles for export.
The ship was built in 1998 as Maersk Teal (and I am certain it called here under that name). It was renamed Hoegh Maran in 2008 but carried the name CSAV Rio Salado for a time in 2011-2012.(and may have called here under that name too.)
A few export autos are lined up on the ship's stern ramp at Autoport. The ship loads and unloads at the same time.

Although owned by Hoegh Autoliners of Singapore (a branch of the Leif Hoegh company of Oslo) it is managed by Maersk's Singapore operation (Maersk is Danish.) 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Crystal Symphony and company

1. Crystal Symphony sails for Bar Harbour.

Today's objective was to see Crystal Symphony as I had not taken a photo of her yet this year. She called in September and has two more visits after today.
Built in 1997, the ship carries 960 passengers and measures 50,202 gross tons. The only difference in the ship since the first photo I took of her in 1997 is the addition of a second satellite dome - the somewhat larger and lower one on the port side.
Today was supposed to be a two cruise ship day, with Norwegian Gem as the second ship, however rough weather forced Maasdam and Regatta to skip Charlottetown yesterday, so they arrived here today, a day early. Maasdam tied up at pier 27-28 and took bunkers. She will move to pier 22 this evening and sail tomorrow on schedule. Regatta sailed today for Saint John.
2. Norwegian Gem heads for Quebec City.

3. Regatta is off to Saint John.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Emerald Princess

Going through the list of cruise ships I hadn't photographed yet this year, I ran across Emerald Princess. Built in 2007 and measuring a beefy 113,561 gross tons and with a capacity of 3,114 passengers, it is one of the larger ships to make regular calls in Halifax. It is scheduled for four visits this year, all in October, and with the days getting shorter, I took the opportunity today to get the picture.
Although fine and sunny it was very windy (see previous post) -perhaps that is the reason that there was scarcely anyone visible on deck for her mid afternoon departure.

Seabourn Sojourn - tight squeeze for pier 23

1. Atlantic Oak comes alongside to add to the scuff marks on the ship's hull.
High winds in the Maritimes today have caused numerous delays and cancellations in ferry services and cruise ship visits.
On the Cabot Strait, the Marine Atlantic ferries are toed up for 24 hours. On the Northunberland Strait some crossings were cancelled, and in Charlottetown three cruise ship visits were scrubbed after winds in excess off 45 knots were expected in the harbour approaches. The three ships due today were Celebrity Summit, Maasdam and Regatta, but all called off their visits.
In Halifax things appeared to be more or less normal with Carnival Glory and Emerald Princess tying up on schedule.
The only wrinkle appears to have been with Seabourn Soujourn which called for the tug Atlantic Oak to assist it into pier 23. The combination of gusty high winds, and Emerald Princess's bow overhanging the end of pier 22 made for a tight squeeze, and a tug was called as a precaution.
Seabourn Sojourn made its inaugural call in Halifax in September 2011. Built in 2010 it carries 450 passengers.
2. A tight squeeze at pier 23, with high winds meant for a cautious approach.
[drive by shot, through car window]

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seven Seas Navigator

The Seven Seas Navigator has made several calls in Halifax this year and is due for two more before the end of the cruise season. Since I hadn't attempted a photo of her yet this year, I was pleased when she got away from pier 22 and made course northbound around George's Island before turning south for sea and her next port of Bar Harbor. On an fairly dismal evening with mist in the air, she still looked pretty good.
As I am not a close follower of all developments in the cruise industry, I had missed the fact that she had a duck tail and sponsons added in a major refit in 2009-02010. These do nothing to improve her appearance, but did have other benefits.
Originally laid down as  naval support ship for the USSR, her hull was launched by Admiralty Shipyard in St.Petersburg. She was towed round to the T.Mariotti SpA yard in Genoa for completion as a luxury suite cruiser for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises in 1999. As a sort of Eliza Doolittle in the luxe cruise world she was noted for her excellent amenities, including mostly all verandah cabins, and high crew/guest ratio. Nevertheless there were many complaints about the build quality, systems, vibration and stability/comfort.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises took over in 2006 and have made numerous upgrades, including the big refit at Lloyd-Weft, Bremerhaven in 2009-2010.
The duck tail and associated sponsons (and new stern geometry) coupled with new high lift rudders and new props have by most accounts reduced the vibration issues to tolerable levels. New water tankage (whether for ballast or potable I don't know) have improved stability, maneuverability and speed. More recent renos in early 2012 have seen many cabins refurbed too.
Originally to be delivered as Akademik Nikolay Pilyugin, the Seven Seas Navigator measures 28,550 gross tons (this may not include the added sponsons and duck tail) and now carries an advertised 490 passengers with 345 crew (that's a 1:1.5 crew/pax ratio).
2. A large duck tail and sponsons added on each side did not improve the ship's appearance but had some other benefits. 

3. As the ship looked in her pre-sponson days, sailing on a brighter day in October 2004.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Way Hay Up She Rises

1. A crane has raised the boat to the surface.

The sloop Rascal broke surface this afternoon after six weeks on the bottom of the Northwest Arm. The pleasure craft sank at its mooring on August 2 . The Halifax Port Authority, which has responsibility for the Arm placed the owner on notice to raise the boat, but there was no response by the deadline.
This morning RMI Marine mobilized a tug, crane scow, tender and motorboat to the scene. Divers secured the hull and placed slings around it, and by early afternoon the crane had raised the boat to the surface.
The Port Authority has possession of the boat and will attempt to sell it to recoup costs.
2. After casting off the slings, the launch Lady Shirleen takes the boat in hand and sets out for pier 29.
3. The job done, the tug Belle D. leaves the scene with the sectional scow and crane.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Artania aka Royal Princess

1. Artania sailed at dusk this evening.

The veteran cruise ship Artania paid a return visit to Halifax today, many years after its first visit and under a different name.
Built in 1985 by Oy Wartsila in Helsinki as Royal Princess the ship first visited Halifax in 1991. It returned  for several years thereafter until renamed Artemis in 2005. Last year it took on its current name Artania for V Ships Leisure of Monaco.
Still very smart looking, the ship the ship carries only some 1300 passengers in 600 cabins.
2. Royal Princess sailing from Halifax on October 2, 1993.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Maran Sagitta - a quick turnaround

The crude oil tanker Maran Sagitta made a quick turn around at the Imperial Oil refinery, sailing this evening after less than 48 hours in port.
The ship anchored off Halifax for a time before heading into port late Thursday evening, tying up about midnight.  It had tugs alongside preparing to sail at 6 pm tonight.
It was also on a rather strange route for a crude tanker in Halifax. Its last port was Houston, TX and it sailed for Fawley, UK. (Other sources claim its last ports were Puerto La Cruz and Sint Eustatius - who can you believe these days?)
Built in 1999 by Hyundai in Ulsan, South Korea and the ship measures 56,957 gross tons, 105,333 deadweight and is owned and registered in Greece.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The World at our doorstep

The cruise ship The World sailed this evening after spending two days in Halifax. It arrived yesterday morning and tied up at pier 31 - not at a regular cruise ship terminal. But of course it is not a regular cruise ship. Built as a sort of floating condominium, the travelers actually own their suites (and can rent them out like time shares if they wish.)
This ship initiated the concept when it was built in 2002. It also called in Halifax September 26 of that first year. Measuring a modest 41,388 gross tons it has a high ratio of staff to passengers and provides a more intimate experience than the behemoths such as Jewel of the Seas at 90,090 gross tons (seen leaving port in the background).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Oops - landing craft sinks in Dartmouth

The small landing craft belonging to Larinda Ltd sank in Dartmouth recently. It's bow has enough trapped air in it that the boat is not completely submerged, but most of it is under water.

I don't know the boat's history, because it is registered as a small craft, with registration number C11040QC, which tells me only that it was built by E.S.M. Quebec Ltd and it measures 13.25 gross tons. I suspect that it was built for the Canadian Coast Guard, and assigned to one of its ships for supply/buoy maintenance work and declared surplus by them in 2010. It has been anchored at the same spot in Dartmouth since last year and I have never seen it working.
At the moment is seems to be tethered to the small tug Carly J and well secured and boomed with absorbent material, so it likely poses no risk.
This is just as well since Larinda Ltd and its associated company are very busy now with removing international garbage from cruise ships. One of their barges was moored nearby this morning waiting to unload.

This is what the boat looked like before its recent dive:
If I were to speculate I would say that recent heavy rains may have been a factor in it sinking.

Cruise Parade

It is the height of the cruise season, with up to five ships in port on a given day. The late afternoon parade of ships is a great sight.
Sunday, September 30 -the weather was not too pleasant, and Eurodam was the only ship in port.

When it sailed in the late afternoon, the fog and rain did not bode well for a pleasant trip on to Boston.

Yesterday, October 1 -there were five ships in port:

left to right:
Maasdam, pier 20; Caribbean Princess pier 22; Quest for Adventure pier 23;  Emerald Princess pier 31, Regatta pier 34. Unfortunately weather did not co-operate for departure time photos.

Today was a different case however and there were four ships in :
left to right:
Norwegian Gem pier 31; Quest for Adventure pier 23, Norwegian Dawn pier 22, Arcadia pier 20.

The weather certainly did co-operate at departure time and the ships left in the following order:
Did you notice Wilhelmsen's Topeka? The autocarrier certainly stands out in crowd!