Thursday, October 31, 2013

Au revoir to Emerald Princess

The last cruise ship of the season, Emerald Princess sailed after dark this evening.

Looming over the pier 21-22 area, Emerald Princess is the second largest of the big ships that find Halifax a desirable port call every year. It claims 3100 passengers (Explorer of the Sea claims 3114).
Built in 2007 it measures 113,561 gross tons and also has a nominal capacity of 3114 passengers.
The ship made its inaugural visit to Halifax September 25, 2011. Last year it re-routed to the Saguenay River on its way from Quebec City to Halifax to avoid the tail end of Hurricane Sandy. It arrived here November 1, 2012, one day later than its schedule.

An early morning arrival, October 11, 2013. Note the crew man above the bow.


Blades for Anet - embarassed revision

1. Anet at pier 28 soon after arriving on Tuesday.

The question of what the Anet is here to load was answered today with the arrival of rail cars carrying gigantic windmill blades. Usually an import cargo, these blades are for export. They came on specially fitted rail cars (two cars per blade) and supporting frames, that allow the cars to articulate around curves.


2 and 3 Rail cars in the Rockingham yard (Atlantic Companion in the background)

4. The last cruise ship of the season, Emerald Princess, in the background, with three more blades on rail cars in the "downtown" ocean terminals yard.

The blades appear to be too big to wiggle in through the ship's hatches, so may be loaded on deck, using the special frames to stack them. The blades seem to be about 120 feet long.

Seaforth Energy Inc of Halifax is a local builder of wind turbines, and sub-contracts blade construction to DSTN's Trenton, NS, plant called DSME.
In fact Anet DID NOT load the blades - she took a bulk cargo of grain or wood pellets- the blades remain in port-likely to be loaded on Saudi Hofuf due on the weekend of November 9-11.


Westerkade (again)

As reported previously: the Eimskip charter Westerkade is on eof tow ships on the Iceland run from Canada and the US. It visited again today, giving an opportunity to see it from a different angle, and its unusual offset superstructure.
The ship also has a a larger deckload today than on the last trip. It offloaded a number of reefer containers today, probably carrying Icelandic fish.


Flashback Zim New York

Halterm had all four post-Panamax cranes in operation yesterday working the Zim New York.

Back in 1975 Halterm had three cranes available to work a ship of the same name.

 The first Zim New York was built in 1972 by Italcantieri Spa of Genoa as Thermopylae, but was sold to Zim while fitting out. It measured 25,831 gross tons. In those days the TEU capacity was not published in Lloyd's Register.  Soon after the ship went into service, Zim added a secondary wheelhouse above the main bridge, to allow for additional container stacks on deck. Its capacity was then listed as 1426 TEU. It was also a steam ship, powered by a 38,000 shp steam turbine. The ship lasted until 1991 when it was broken up in Kaohsiung.
In those days the breakwater had a small lighthouse on the end and was a gathering spot for fishermen and ship watchers. It also extended out beyond the Halterm pier face.
 A June 1975 view of Halterm with Zim New York approaching pier 41.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CCGS Corporal McLaren - moves to BIO

CCGS Corporal McLaren M.M.V moved from pier 9B fitting out berth to the Bedford Institute today, with a Canadian Coast Guard crew.
1. A Coast Guard quartermaster has the helm as the McLaren leaves the fitting out dock. Sister ship CCGS G.Peddle stands off the BIO.

2. Passing under the A.Murray MacKay bridge, en route to BIO. Note the fast rescue craft has not been re-embarked following the trials mentioned yesterday.


From to Z to A to Z - Zeus joins Anet and Zeelandia

Early this morning the gearless cargo ship Zeus arrived and squeezed into pier 28. By the start of the work day its hatches were open and it was ready to load wood pellets or grain. Owned by BBS Bulk VIKS, the ship forms part of the 50 ship strong Flinter Group fleet of Barendrecht, Netherlands.

Built in 2000 by Ferus Smit shipyard in Hoogezand (although its hull may have been built offshore) it measures 6142 gross tons and 9100 deadweight. It has no cargo handling gear, but a hoist, which travels on deck rails, is used to lift and stack its pontoon type hatch covers.  Its box shaped holds are ideal for grain and other bulk cargoes, but also break bulk such as timber and project cargo.

It joins Zeelandia, a regular caller for Nirint Lines, which is unloading nickel sulfides from Cuba at pier 31. Nirint Lines is a Dutch company, but the ship is owned and flagged in Switzerland. See also for a photo of the ship underway. (It was called Nirint Zeelandia previously.)

Zeelandia completed unloading and sailed late this afternoon. The bagged nickel is loaded onto rail cars for transport to Fort Saskatchewan, AB for processing. Built in 2005 it has carried the names Safmarine Basilea, SD Basliea and Nirint Zeelandia since it was built in 2005 by Kyokuyo Shipyard in Japan.. It measures 9990 gross tons, 12,500 deadweight and carries its own cranes of 80 tonnes capacity.

Third ship in the trio is Anet at pier 27, which appears to be loading a project cargo.
Built in 2010 by Damen Shipyard of Gorinchem, Netherlands (although its hull was likely built in Poland or Romania), it measures 8999 gross tons, 12,080 deadweight. It carried the name Onego Bilbao from 2010 to 2011, but is now part of the 180 ship strong Wagenborg fleet, which manages the ship on behalf of its owners, BOS EAK. (Many Dutch ships are owned by consortia of small shipowners, and are chartered to the larger fleet operators.)   The ship has folding hatch covers and two cranes of 80 tonne capacity each.


Geysir - problem solved

A dispute over the cost of a refit to the US flag cargo ship Geysir has been resolved according to an article in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald today.
The ship went into refit at Shelburne shipyard in 2012, but when the owners disputed additional costs, and refused to pay, Irving Shipbuilding Inc, the parent company of the shipyard, suspended work on the ship and had the vessel arrested until matters could be resolved. The press report goes on to say that the matter was settled in August, work has been re-started and the ship may be sailing soon. ( In recent weeks the ships AIS signal has again been activated - also a good sign.)
It should be noted that AIS records show the ship in Norfolk on December 25, 2012, but that is clearly an error. The work started in April 2012 and the ship has been in Shelburne ever since.

1. Geysir on the slip at Shelburne July 14, 2012.

The little ship has had an eventful career, which included a few unscheduled calls in Halifax. It started life at the Equitable Shipyard in Madisonville, LA, in 1980 as one of those rare US built cargo ships.At 2266 gross tons, 2000 tonnes deadweight, and with a capacity of 99 TEU it was originally named Amazonia for trade with Brazil. That service failed and the ship was seized the the US Maritime Administration over unpaid loans.

In 1984 its name became Rainbow Hope  and it began service to Iceland, carrying US military cargoes. This began a long saga, well summarized by Wikipedia:
In the late 1990s it went to Norwegian owners and traded as Juno for a short time. It returned to the US flag and took its current name in 2000 with owners TransAtlantic Lines Shipholding of West Palm Beach, FL (they have since relocated to Greenwich, CT). It then resumed trade between the US and Iceland until the US base in Keflavik was closed in 2006. Since then it was been running between Norfolk, VA and the Azores, suggesting some amount of military cargo. That contract was due to expire during 2012.
There is much more detail on the ownership and its history on the Wikipedia site.

On October 31, 2001 it made its first appearance in Halifax, when it came in for repairs. After 12 hours at anchor it was able to sail again.
Then on January 26, 2004 it arrived again, this time to restow a shifted cargo of pipe.
2. A shore crane was brought in to assist in re-stowing cargo below deck.The ship was originally fitted with two 20 tonne cranes, but they had been removed. A lot of ice had to be chipped away to access the hold.

There is also an 8 minute video on You Tube of the ship in Hurricane Danielle in 2010.

It will be interesting to see what is next for the ship after it leaves Shelburne.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CCGS Corporal McLaren M.M.V.

The newest Canadian Coast Guard cutter, CCGS Corporal McLaren M.M.V., was registered in Ottawa on October 28, signifying that it has been handed over by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. The boat is still alongside the pier 9B fitting out berth,but it has conducted sea trials and boat trials. The latter involved launching the fast rescue craft and rendez-vousing with a civilian helicopter on October 24. I have never seen this particular trial carried out before.

1. Heading for the Basin, October 24, with the crew readying the fast rescue craft for trials.

2. Non-military, non-CCG helicopter passes over the FRC, which is hidden from the camera, on the other side of the ship.

3. A high speed turn left a standing wake at least two feet high. These boats make an impressive sight at speed.

4, During trials, and before handover, the ship flies the Irving Shipbuilding Inc flag.

Cruise Ship Countdown

The end of the cruise ship season is upon us. The Emerald Princess, due October 31, is to be the last for this season, which saw the first ship arrive May 6. With 136 visits scheduled, 2013 stands to be another record or near record year for passengers. (In 2012, the previous record year, there were 134 calls with 252,000 plus passengers.)
Today saw two ships bidding farewell. Seven Seas Navigator

 1. Seven Seas Navigator getting away from pier 20, made a slow departure to allow for a an unaware yachtsman to get out of the way.

Laid down as Akademik Nikolay Pilyugin by the Admiralty Shipyard in St.Petersburg the ship was originally intended to be a naval support vessel. Those plans were changed and the ship was completed by the Mariotti yard in Genoa as a cruise ship.Radisson Seven Seas Cruises operate the ship from 1999 until 2006 when it was sold to current owners Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Promoting its crew to guest ratio of 1:15, the ship carries only 500 passengers, and many of the cabins have private balconies. 
In 2010, with the intention of addressing severe stern vibration issues, the awkward sponson structure was added by Lloyd-Werft in Bremerhaven. The work also included new rudders and props. While the work helped the ship's maneuverability and speed through the water, there are still vibration problems according to some sources.

Crystal Symphony 

2. Crystal Symphony makes her way outbound, with the shadow of the old Haltern crane falling just aft of amidships.

Built in 1995, Crystal Symphony, with 940 passengers is not among the newest or largest ships by far, but is one of the better looking ones, - free of all the extra graphics, and with remarkably clean and relatively unbroken deck lines.


Monday, October 28, 2013

APL Belgium

APL Belgium slides up through the Narrows this morning, with tugs in attendance and into a stiff head wind. The big ship was built in 2002 by Samsung Shipbuilding + Heavy Industries of Koje, South Korea, and operated for APL under the Singapore flag until July 1, 2013.
On that date it moved to direct APL ownership under the US flag for the G-6 Alliance "AZX" service, running ten ships from Asia to east coast of North America. As a US flag carrier, it is now eligible to carry US military cargo, including several strange looking vehicles in very exposed positions atop the container stacks forward. I am sure they will be thoroughly drenched in salt spray by the time they reach their US destination.
At 65,792 gross tons, with a capacity of 5762 TEU (including 656 reefers) it is slightly smaller than the Hapag-Lloyd ships in the Alliance.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Maria Desgagnés at Imperial Oil

1. The coastal tanker Maria Desgagnés tied up at Imperial Oil's number 3 dock today (that is Seafriend at number 4 dock in the foreground). 

As if more signals of the big changes at Imperial Oil were needed, this arrival is certainly a sign of things to come.Since shutting down their refining activity at Imperoyal, Imperial Oil has seen a variety of foreign product tankers at their terminal (some arriving with little if any cargo and leaving with little if any cargo)  but precious few Canadian tankers. The familiar Algoma tankers have been nowehere to be seen for weeks. Here is the rundown:
Algonova September 26 to 27, departed for St.John's.
Algoscotia September 28 to October 1 departed for Sydney.
Algocanada October 4 to 6.
Rio Dauphin October 18-20 (foreign flag, chartered to Algoma, and is due for one more trip from Sarnia)

When Imperoyal was a refinery, Algonova and Algoscotia were in an out of port every few days, distributing refined product around Atlantic Canada. Since the closure Algonova is now en route to the Ultramar refinery at St-Romuald (Lévis) and Algoscotia  has been to Sarnia and Nanticoke and is now in Montreal.Aside from any foreign product that may have been brought in, the only Imperial oil cargo before today came on the Rio Dauphin's one trip.

The Irving Oil tanker Acadian has been in twice, which is more than usual, but since Irving and Imperial share the terminal dock, it is hard to tell how much of its cargo may have been for Irving use and how much for Imperial. 

Maria Desgagnés, like most Petro-Nav tankers usually serves Ultramar, so it is likely that if the ship brought in any product it came from Quebec.

Maria Desgagnés was built in 1998 by Qiuxin Shipyards in Shanghai as Kilchem Asia. However the original owners, Kil Shipping of Denmark, defaulted on the contract and Transport Desgagnés acquired it in early 1999. It is a modern double hulled chemical/product  tanker of 8848 gross tons, 14,335 deadweight and was built to LR Ice Class 1A. During the past summer it made several trips to the north. The ship is chartered to the Desgagnés tanker subsidiary PetroNav Inc.

2. Maria Desgagnés in Montreal in 2002.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Four cranes - No waiting at Haltern

Just like the old barber shop ad for four chairs-no waiting, Halterm had four cranes working today for the first time, working two ships. The new cranes Max 3 and Max 4 now in full service, and the existing cranes Max 1 and Max 2 were busy with Zim Tarragona and Maersk Palermo respectively.

1. Maersk Palermo at pier 42 with cranes Max 2 and Max 1 and Zom Tarragona at pier 42 with the new cranes Max 3 and Max 4 - going full out, with an endless stream of trucks feeding the cranes. Note the blue container in the left foreground.

2. The box belongs to Global Rigging and Transport, and appeared this week. It will likely be used by the crews that will move the old south end crane to its new position.

For more on Global Rigging and Transport, see their web site:


Friday, October 25, 2013

Max 4 in service

The second of the new Halterm cranes, Max 4,  went into service today for the first time, working Oceanex Sanderling at pier 41.
1. Max 4 is aligned with Oceanex Sanderling at pier 41.

Sanderling's usual berth at pier 36 was not available due to the presence of Fusion, which provides the weekly service to the French islands of St-Pierre et Miquelon. 

2. Fusion departing for St-Pierre.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Graceful Leader heads upwind - awaits Oceanex Sanderling

The autocarrier Graceful Leader arrived this afternoon for Autoport, and remained in the lower harbour until Oceanex Sanderling left Autport and cleared Eastern Passage. Due to high winds, Graceful Leader, with the help of the tugs Atlantic Oak and Atlantic Larch, headed bow up in to the wind very close to the Halifax shore and fell slowly back, and with the wind's help swung around for her turn, passing Oceanex Sanderling off Imperial Oil. The tanker Elka Angelique which still appeared to be in ballast, was tied up at Imperial Oil dock 4.

Built by Gdynia Shipyard in Poland in 2007, the Bahamas flag ship is operated by Ray Car Carriers, Douglas, Isle of Man. It is on charter to NYK Lines, the world's largest autocarrier fleet, with more than 100 such ships. About half  the fleet are owned ships and half on long term charter.

Oceanex Sanderling, fresh out of refit at Halifax Shipyard, returned to pier 34 yesterday. There it was reconnected with a portion of its stern ramp that was left on the pier for repairs. This morning it moved to Autoport to load cars for Newfoundland and this afternoon moved to pier 41 to load containers.


Seafriend waiting

Tanker Seafriend spent the day at anchor awaiting a berth at Imperial Oil. Due to high winds, the outer anchorages were not tenable, so the ship anchored inside the harbour. Later this evening the ship will take the place of Elka Angelique at number 4 oil dock. This ship also appears to be in ballast., so will be taking on cargo from the Imperial Oil terminal.

Only six months old, the ship was delivered April 30 by builders STX Offshore and Shipbuilding of South Korea to Thenamaris of Athens, Greece. The ship is registered in Malta and measures 28,950 gross tons, 50,908 deadweight.


Idle ship in St.John's gets new name

The cargo Lady Remington III, idle in St.John's since its arrival there in March 2012 has a new name and new owners. Now, Panamanian flag, with owners associated with Mermaid International Shipping + Trading of Piraeus, Greece,  the ship has been renamed Navi-Wind.

Built in 1984 by J.J.Sietas in Germany, it is a ship of 3120 gross tons, 4281 deadweight and carries two 30 tonne cranes. It had 11 previous names before becoming Lady Remington III in 2012. Owners were listed as Remstoan Investments Inc, with Vanguard Shipping Great Lakes Inc, a Canadian company, as managers. About the time the  ship arrived in St.John's "for orders" the Vanguard parent company entered creditor protection and was eventually wound up, with its two Great Lakes ships sold off. Lady Remington III  was not involved in the bankruptcy, but remained idle.
While in St.John's the ship may have been in the care and keeping of Northern Transportation Ltd, but they did not operate the ship, and it has been alongside ever since.
Earlier this month the new name appeared, leading to the expectation that the ship will sail soon. 


Mokami - Canadian tanker sold

The small tanker Mokami has been sold to Guyanese interests. The ship's Canadian register was closed October 11 and it was reflagged to Bolivia, with owners listed at Japarts of Georgetown, Guyana. The ship had been for sale for some time after owners Coastal Shipping Ltd (part of the Woodward Group) of Newfoundland acquired several new and larger tankers for work in Newfoundland, Labrador and the north.
The ship was rarely seen in Halifax, but it did put in an appearance in June-July 2000 when it was drydocked for repairs to rudder damage.
Built in 1989 by Kvaerner Masa in Rauma-Repola, Finland, as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy it was first registered by Coastal Shipping in St.John's August 28, 1997. Since then it has been used to deliver fuel to remote or icebound locations. Its new owners, a large industrial company in Guyana, will not need that ice reinforcing, but will instead take advantage of its small size. At 3,015 gross tons, its deadweight tonnage is listed as 2,853 on a draft of 4.5 meters, It has eight tanks with heating coils.  


Monday, October 21, 2013

Morning Concert in the afternoon

The intriguingly named Morning Concert arrived this afternoon for Autoport.
1. Morning Concert has passed Meagher's Beach lighthouse, and in the background CCGS Sir William Alexander exercises with one of several helicopters.

Morning Concert is operating for EUKOR (EUrope KOrea) Car Carriers, which is owned 20% by Hyundai and Kia, 40% by Wilhem Wilhelmsen (Norway) and 40% by Wallenius Lines (Sweden). The ship is pooled with other Wallenius Wilhelmsen autocarriers to provide regular transatlantic service. Its last port was Southampton, but it had previously called in Belgium and Germany. On this trip, the ship is carrying European built cars.

2. With tug Atlantic Hemlock toward the bow and Atlantic Oak near the stern, Morning Concert is ready to turn at Ives Knoll, bound for Autoport in Eastern Passage.

Monring Concert was built in 2006 by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea and is actually owned and managed by Wilhelmsen Lines Car Carriers. The only outward indication of that is the company houseflag flying on the main mast.The ship does not bear a traditional Wilhelmsen name (beginning with the letter T) nor company colours. To add to its multi-national character, the ship is registered in Southampton, England.

3. The ship is flying the blue 'W' on white Wilhelmsen flag, the pilot flag (not visible) the Canadian flag and the British merchant marine flag (the red duster). Between the mast and the Sat dome is an open air crew recreational area.


Elka Angelique - arrives to load

The product tanker Elka Angelique tied up at Imperial Oil today after being at anchor off Chebucto Head since October 16. The ship is in ballast, so it will apparently be loading something  - possibly some unprocessed crude oil, or other remnants of the now shut down refining process.

 1. Tug Atlantic Larch rounds up under the stern of Elka Angelique as it passes the Middle Ground area.

The ship is a bit of departure for the typical product tankers we have seen in Halifax, which are usually built in Korea. It was built by Split Shipyard in Split, Croatia in 2001. It measures 27,539 gross tons, 44,781 deadweight, and flies the flag of Liberia. It is operated by European Product Carriers of Athens Greece.

2. With Atlantic Hemlock on the bow the ship prepares to turn for docking at Imperial Oil. The numerous white dots on the hull amidships indicate the various manifold pipes that can be used to load its many tanks.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen - the Queen

With the cruise ship season winding down in Halifax for the season, we had one last visit from the Queen today - the Queen Mary 2  that is.

The always impressive ship made a stately progression in at sunrise, accompanied by acting pilot boat A.P.ANo.1
She sailed under mostly overcast sky, until reaching the Chebucto Head area where there was a brief burst of sunshine. An auspicious send-off.

If I may be permitted a "pardon me your slip is showing" comment - really Cunard ought to spring for a few more light bulbs- the ship's name is not Queer Mary 2:


Rio Dauphin - working for Algoma

The tanker Rio Dauphin is due to sail from Imperial Oil tonight. The ship is working for Algoma Tankers under a coasting license, due to a shortage of Canadian tankers.

Built in 2009 it is a smallish ship of 8,278 gross tons, 12,713 deadweight tonnes and flies the flag of the Marshal Islands. It is operated by Columbia Ship Management of Hamburg, Germany.  The ship was built by STX Offshore +ShipbuildingCo Ltd at their Jinhae, South Korea yard. It carried the name Ida Theresa until earlier this year.
Its first coasting license was for the period September 25 to October 15 and was for  up to five voyages from Esso refineries in Sarnia and Nanticoke, ON to such ports as Sept-Iles, QC, Sault Ste.Marie and Thunder Bay, ON and Halifax. A second coasting license is pending. It will allow for one trip from Sarnia to Halifax with clean petroleum product.

The ship's presence in Halifax is likely due to Esso's need to stock up on fuel before access to their refineries on the Great Lakes is cut off for the winter. With no refinery capacity on salt water anymore, the company will have to rely on other suppliers during from late December until April.