Friday, January 31, 2014

More tankers: Maersk Katalin, Piltene and Desgagnés

The tankers keep rolling into Halifax, with both Imperial (Esso) and Ultramar (Valero)  hosting a steady stream of ships.
The Latvian Shipping Company's Piltene arrived on January 29 and tied up at Ultramar in Eastern Passage. Then yesterday it moved to #1 anchorage, which would normally mean a short stay. However she will remain there until at least tomorrow.

Built by the 3 Maj shipyard in Rijeka, Crotia in 2007, Piltene measures 30,641 gross otns, 52,648 deadweight.

Also arriving on January 29, Maersk Katalin, from Houston, has been anchored in Bedford Basin ever since. She had under water surveys going on all day yesterday. Built by Guangzhou International Shipyard in China, she is a very similar ship to the tanker Alice built in the same yard in 2013, and which sailed for Saint John January 29 after a prolonged stay in Halifax since January 5.

Maersk Katalin was built in 2012 and measures 24,463 gross tons, 39, 724 deadweight. Registered in Singapore, she is owned by Maersk Tankers Singapore. She carries the full Maersk colour scheme, unlike fleet mate Maersk Elliot (which sails for Maersk Tankers France) which still has the white superstructure from a previous owner's paint scheme.

Maersk Elliot, now anchored in Bedford Basin  has been in port since January 6 and has been on and off berth.

This morning's arrival was the Canadian flag tanker Maria Desgagnés which is understood to be on charter to Imperial Oil. She anchored for bunkers from Algoma Dartmouth (the first such operation since Sterling Fuels took over harbour bunkering in Halifax.)

The ship is due to move to Imperial Oil this evening, and fleet mate Sarah Desgagnés is also due in port this evening. Maria Desgagnés was due to layup for repairs for about a month. When she leaves Imperial Oil, her place is to be taken by Piltene.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oceanex Connaigra - back at sea

The ConRo Oceanex Connaigra left drydock in Boston  late this morning after installation of a new controllable pitch propeller hub.

( photo contributed and used with permission)

After entering service in October of 2013 the ship experienced a malfunction in mid-November and tied up in Halifax from November 23 to December 8. She entered drydock in Boston December 9 and the new hub was installed late last week.
By this evening the ship was steaming across the Gulf of Maine at better than 20 knots, so the new component must be working!
She is due to sail from Montreal December 31 for St.John's.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A. LeBlanc - launch in the middle of the night

For the first time I can remember Halifax Shipyard is set to launch a ship in the middle of the night. The Canadian Coast Guard's Hero class patrol boat A. LeBlanc is scheduled to enter the water for the first time at the very early hour of 0130 January 27.

The launch, originally scheduled for January 4, was postponed due to weather, an industrial accident and tidal fluctuations. It also appears that a new system of winches was established to move the ship onto the launch ways.
 A strange looking contraption has been established at the end of the trackway to house the winch motor.
[Both photos January 18, 2014]


Monday, January 20, 2014

Today's arrivals- Maersk Elliot, Jana - are they the future

Two very different ships arrived today, but each is becoming typical of the traffic in Halifax due to the seeming dearth of container ships.
While it is true that the number of container ships calling in Halifax is down (Fairview Cove only gets five a week now) there is still the potential for growth in the actual number of boxes handled. The ships are getting bigger, even if the number of callers is not growing. It remains to be seen however how the three major container lines calling in Halifax will fare in the near future.
HAPAG-Lloyd, the largest customer, seems poised to jump into fourth place among the largest container lines in the world with its recent deal to "merge" with the Chilean line CSAV.  This deal looks certain although so did last years abortive attempt to take over Hamburg-Süd. Perhaps with CSAV in the fold HAPAG's luke-warm majority owner TUI will finally be able to sell their holding and let H-L  get on with business.
ZIM and its lenders have just recorded massive write downs in their investment to keep the company alive. This must have been a very bitter pill for all, but the last few years have not been kind to most shipping companies, but as a mid-size one, ZIM took a more severe hit.
Maersk, the world's largest, has still not declared its long term intentions for its transatlantic trade (and thus Halifax); but then they have quit Halifax and returned too many times to count. However they are slimming down their non-core business with the recent sale of their supermarkets and super-tankers. (Yes they were heavy into groceries.) For the time being they have kept their product tankers as one of some 156 shipping companies that they own or control.  

Speaking of which today's arrival of Maersk Elliot is therefore slightly unusual - Maersk tankers are very rare here, and this one, operated by Maersk Tankers France SAS and registered in France,  must be even more of a rarity. Built in 2005 by Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China as Bro Elliot, the ship was acquired by Maersk, and renamed, on the stocks. At 26,659 grt, 36,809 dwt, it is the latest example of the ubiquitous product tanker that now seems to be the most common type of ship arriving in Halifax. Its arrival from Houston with refined cargo for Imperial Oil is just the latest in a virtual floating pipeline steaming into Halifax from all over the world.
If Maersk becomes even more concentrated in its shipping areas, expect to see them expand the product tanker business, an area that seems to be freer of the uncertainties in the crude oil tanker market. 

Also arriving today is another of those smallish European ships, with another cargo of rails for CN. These types of break bulk cargoes, not suited to containers, is also a potential growth area. The proliferation of "open hatch" and "box hold" ships with cranes certainly signals a demand. Halifax's new open pier development at pier 9C will cater to this trade, a looks to expand.
Jana, built in 2002 by Bodewes Shipyard in Hoogezand, Netherlands is typical of the box hold type. It has lift-off hatches the same width as its two holds, allowing compete unrestricted access to the cargo space. Its two 40 tonne cranes can handle most cargoes. At 6301 grt, 8700 dwt with moveable tween decks it can carry a wide variety of cargoes in relatively small quantities. See the ship's specs at:
Part of the large German Intersee fleet, the ship carried the name Chandra Kirana during a ten year charter from 2002 to 2012. Its last port was Vlissingen, Netherlands, sailing form there December 31. It was a stormy crossing, and the ship's list to port indicates that there was a shift in cargo in bad weather.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

More tanker news, Algonova, Algoma Dartmouth and Maria Desgagnés

A fire aboard the tanker Algonova in the Honguedo Strait (between Anticosti Island and the Gaspé peninsula) was extinguished by the crew today. The Oceanex ship Cabot and possibly other ships stood by and the Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax dispatched a helicopter and a Hercules from Greenwood, NS to assist if needed. Latest reports indicate that there was no injury and no spill, but the extent of damage is not clear. The tug Océan Arctique is en route from Sept-Iles.

1. Algonova fresh from drydocking in September.

Algonova was built in 2008 by Medmarine Eregli, Turkey and delivered to Algoma Tankers September 12 of that year. Since 2011 it has worked on this coast, exclusively for Imperial Oil until last fall when it shifted to Valero (Ultramar). It arrived in Halifax on January 14 and was tied up at pier 34 for repairs, moving to Valero, Eastern Passage on January 15. It then loaded kerosene and moved to the Imperial Oil dock before sailing from Halifax Friday, January 17, 2014 bound for Quebec.

Fleetmate Algoma Dartmouth has a new lease on life following the charter deal with Sterling Fuels to provide bunkering services in Halifax. Sterling has bunkering facilities in Windsor, ON and bunkering tankers in Hamilton, ON, but there was a question as to where the fuel would come from for Halifax.

2. Algoma Dartmouth temporarily displaced to pier 9 on January 12 when Algonova was in for repairs.

Fuel for the Halifax operation is en route from Montreal on the articulated tug/barge Victorious / John J.Carrick. Operated by parent company McAsphalt, the tug/barge are usually in the dedicated asphalt trade between Sarnia and Montreal, but have worked on this coast, sometimes loading from Irving Oil in Saint John. On this trip however they will be carrying IFO to be transferred to Algoma Dartmouth likely at pier 33..

Meanwhile the tanker Maria Desgagnés- ironically on charter to Imperial Oil, will be arriving soon for a four to six week layup/repair session. It will be using pier 34, Algoma Dartmouth's usual home base.

3. On December 29, 2013, Maria Desgagnés arrived at sunrise.


Full load for Valero

The Ultramar petroleum storage and distribution facility in Eastern Passage is much busier these days, and is now operating under the parent company name of Valero. Although their products are still marketed under the Ultramar name in eastern Canada, the parent name is becoming more widely used.
Today's arrival is a fully loaded product tanker. In a nice change from the utilitarian Korean built ships, this one was built in Croatia.

Alpine Stealth came from the Uljanik yard in Pula in 2002 and carried the names Juniper to 2007, Alpine Stealth from 2007 top 2009, Stena Stealth from 2009 to 2012 and has operated as Alpine Stealth since then.
Of typical handy tanker size, it measures 27,352 gross tons, 47,465 deadweight. Among the more distinctive features of the ship are the projecting wheelhouse and a moulding along the ship's hull right at the loaded waterline.
The ship is owned and operated by Northern Marine Management [an offshoot of the Swedish Stena companies] of Clydeside, Scotland, but is registered in the Marshal Islands. 


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Icy names, icy games Tundra, Louis, Edward and Laura 1

In very un-arctic weather the bulker Tundra made a brief call in Halifax to unload steel coils. I believe these are stainless steel tire cores for Michelin. It has been some time since we have seen this cargo unloaded from a bulker, I suspect they have been arriving from Brazil by container recently.
As a member of the Canfornav charter fleet, the ship is named for a species of ducks, found commonly in the north. Temperatures near the teens yesterday resulted in dense fog. This morning however the temperature had dropped to a more seasonable zero (C) and the air cleared when the ship sailed for Altamira, Mexico.
Built in 1909 by Shanhaiguan Shipbuilding Industry in Qinhuangdao, China, the ship is registered in Cyprus and measures 19,814 grt and 30,803 dwt. As with most Canfornav ships it is a sometime caller in the Great Lakes, but was not there in 2013.

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurtent FINALLY got underway this morning for the Gulf of St. Lawrence to start its winter icebreaking season. The ship had been in refit at its Newfoundland base, but came to Halifax January 11 to fuel and complete some other work.
 The navy tug Glenevis assisted the ship off its old berth at the old Coast Guard base. Once it was clear of the dock it was able to use its thruster to complete the turn. A seal took an interest in the departure (it is visible just below the ship's funnel).
 Always an impressive sight, the Louis slowly heads for sea.

Having already been pressed into icebreaking service to cover for the Louis in western Newfoundland, the light icebreaker Edward Cornwallis has returned to its normal duties and arrived soon after Louis' departure with a load of buoys from Cape Breton for storage and maintenance at the old Coast Guard base.
After landing the navigation markers in Dartmouth Edward Cornwallis headed back to Cape Breton for more.

A ship that made it through the ice, but was damaged when it brushed the icebreaker CCGS Henry Larsen in the lower St.Lawrence finally sailed this evening after repairs. (see January 10). A week seems to be a long time for repairs to damage that did not effect the ship's seaworthiness, but who am I to doubt the sincerity of the CCG's press release. 
 Damage to the ship's starboard bow was never visible from the Halifax side of the harbour, but it was apparently well forward since repairs took place in number on hold.
All week a lot of banging and crashing could be heard though the open hatch cover. The ship sailed this evening for the balmier climes of Savannah, GA.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wild Night in the Harbour

Winds gusting in excess of 70 knots tore through Halifax over night creating difficult conditions in the harbour. There were no actual mishaps as far as I can tell, but there were some tense moments.

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent arrived for fuel (see previous post) but it was too rough to tie up at Imperial Oil, so she went to anchor in Bedford Basin, moving to Imperial Oil dock #3 first thing this morning.(It will take 24 hours to fill her tanks.)

1. Louis S. St-Laurent moving to Imperial Oil this morning.

Next to arrive was the diminutive feeder ship Fusion. After a stormy crossing from St-Pierre, the ship went to Bedford Basin and after a couple of tries managed to anchor securely. Big swells coming in to pier 36 made it unwise to tie up there. The adjacent berth, pier 34 was also untenable so the bunkering tanker Algoma Dartmouth had already moved down to pier 9.

While this was happening the bulker Barkald at National Gypsum was straining its lines and its winches started to payout after reaching their strain limit. Fortunately the tug Atlantic Oak, which had sought shelter at Fairview Cove was nearby and was dispatched by Halifax Traffic. It got to the ship in a matter of minutes and managed to get it back alongside before any lines parted.

2. Barkald in more pleasant conditions last April.

The weather also delayed loading operations, and the ship's departure, which was scheduled for 0500 Sunday morning, was postponed to mid -afternoon. Monday

The lower harbour anchorages also became untenable, and the tanker Alice was on storm watch as it was at the limits of its scope. However its anchor held more or less, but its position was noticeably different this morning. Not so with Energy Pioneer. Its anchor must have been dragging too, and the decision was made to go to sea instead. It is due to return this morning and tie up at Imperial Oil #4.

3. Energy Pioneer in anchorage #3 yesterday morning

Things seemed to be under control within HMC Dockyard, but the fireboat Firebird spent the night at Jetty Lima on the Dartmouth side of the harbour instead of her normal berth on the Halifax side.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

A. LeBlanc launch delayed after industrial accident

Last week's snow storm delayed the launch of the latest CCGS Hero class patrol boat, originally scheduled for January 4, then moved to January 5. Once the snow removed enough to resume work earlier this week an industrial accident has caused the launch to be postponed indefinitely.
1. A. LeBlanc ready to move to the launch way.

In order to move the ship to the launch ways, it has to be pulled along a trackway, and turned on a turntable then backed down the launch way. It is moved using a systems of heavy sheaves and cable, with a big Kenworth prime mover truck pulling the cable.

As I understand it the cable parted and a worker was injured.
I am assuming a stop work order was issued until an investigation can be completed, and the so the site is secured and the launch postponed.

2. Kenworth truck used to pull the ship by means of a block and tackle system, has been left in position following the accident. Note the security van in the bacground - the only sign of activity in the yard today. 


Now what ... big Louis arrives

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent is hoving into port as I write this. There have been questions about her whereabouts of late - she is late out of refit - some suggesting that she would depart Argentia for the west coast of Newfoundland when she was really needed in the Gulf and St.Lawrence River.
Now here she is in Halifax - where there is no ice in sight and air temperatures of +10C - to take fuel!. Go figure.
But not only that - just watch where she gets it- not at Imperial Oil, but at HMC Dockyard is my bet.
  Lost that bet - she went into Imperial Oil dock 3 for 0830 Sunday January 12.

  1. Louis S. St-Laurent in Novadock, 2009-05-13.

That brilliant decision to base her in Newfoundland makes less and less sense every day. When will they bring her back to her true home port of Halifax. 


Chebucto Pilot and the Union flag

It has been a long time since a Halifax pilot boat has flown the Union flag. Today however was a special occasion as the flag was flown as a courtesy for a committal of ashes at sea.

Although strictly regulated, the distribution of ashes at sea happens several times a year off Halifax. Usually the committal follows a service at the Mission to Seafarers chapel. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Laura I arrives for repairs

The Liberian flag bulk carrier Laura I arrived late this afternoon for repairs after a collision with CCGS Henry Larsen in the vicinity of Matane QC.

1. Tugs turn Laura I to back it in to pier 25-26.

Bound from Quebec to Savannah GA in ballast, there is no apparent damage on the port side of the ship - the starboard side was not visible - but the ship appears to me to be higher out of the water than it normally would be when in ballast, making me think that it has been pumped up a bit due to hull damage somewhere near the water line.

2. The ship's rudder is barely under water.

A photo on when the ship was fresh out of drydock at Klaipedia, Lithuania last April shows the ship's distinctive flared vanes around the propeller:

Divers were waiting for the ship when it tied up, so at least some of the problem is under water.

This is the second ship of the same company to arrive in Halifdax with prpoblems in the last month. Fleetmate Cornelia was in Halifax from December 22 to 30 for repairs after hitting a wall in the Soo locks.
Owners for both are listed as Mineralien Shiff. Spedition + Transport of Schnaittenbach, Germany (an inland city).
Laura I  was built in 1995 by Shinkurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding of Japan as Lucky Grace. In 1997 it was renamed Laura and in 2010 Laurua I. It is a bulk carrier of 17,040 grt / 26,818 dwt fitted with four 30 tonne cranes and buckets for cargo handling. 

A statement released by the Canadian Coast Guard reads as follows:

" the CCGS Henry Larsen was escorting the M.V. Laura 1 outbound through thick ice in the St. Lawrence River (position 48 54.4’ N 067 45.1’ W).

The Larsen suddenly became beset in heavy pack ice and although the M.V. Laura 1 attempted an emergency stop, the escort distance along with the vessel’s inertia caused the two vessels to strike. 

Both vessels sustained very minor damage that did not affect seaworthiness and both continued their voyage."


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tanker shuffle

Another tanker shuffle today saw three  tankers on the move.
Alice moved off #4 oil dock to anchor.

As soon as the tugs were free, they moved to the arriving Energy Pioneer, which was making its way slowly into port waiting for the berth.

Energy Pioneer  arrived off Halifax December 29 and has been anchored at various positions, going back and forth out to sea during storms and high winds. It was expected to go alongside #4 dock, but at the last minute, it went to anchor instead. The cold temperatures may have been a factor-frozen winches are often problem in this weather.

Built by STX Shipbuilding in Busan, South Korea, the ship is operated by Golden Energy Management and is a clone of Energy Protector which was also anchored off Halifax and in port from December 7 to 24 before going alongside at Imperial Oil December 24 and sailing December 28. Both ships measure 30,008 grt, 51,319 dwt and were built  in 2004 by the same builder.

When Energy Pioneer did not go alongside, the tanker North Contender, which has been in port since January 5, was called in from anchorage in Bedford Basin.

North Contender anchored in the lower harbour when it first arrived, but moved to Bedford Basin the next day-indicative of a longer stay in port.

Also arriving late this evening is Irving Oil's Acadian , but it is destined for #3 dock which now seems to be devoted to domestic work, while #4 dock is dealing with foreign ships.

Meanwhile #5 dock, the crude oil import dock remains unused.  


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

News Bulletin and Update

I have heard that there has been a collision in the lower St.Lawrence River, between the icebreaker CCGS Henry Larsen and the bulk carrier Laura I. The incident occurred between Méchins and Cap Chat and resulted in damage to the bulker but only minor scratches to the Newfoundland-based icebreaker.

CCGS Henry Larsen seen from the bridge of the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent at the Dartmouth Coast Guard base in 1991.

More details will be posted when they become available.

January 9 Update
Laura I is due in Halifax mid-afternoon January 10 for survey and possible repairs.

Someday Alice...

The Bahamas flag tanker Alice moved from outer anchorage to Imperial Oil dock number 4 early this afternoon. The ship arrived off Halifax January 5 and was waiting for the berth to be vacated by Marianne Kirk. In terms of waiting time, this was not a long wait - some ships have to wait a week or more. North Contender is still waiting in Bedford Basin after arriving on the same day.

Owned by Gotland Rederi of Visby, Sweden, Alice is a very new ship, delivered in 2013 by Guangzhou International Shipyard in Guangzhou, China. It is a handy-sized chemical/product tanker of 24,600 grt, 39,316 dwt.
With the tug Atlantic Willow alongside, Alice waits in the north end of anchorage #1 for the the departure of Marinanne Kirk and a second tug before going alongside Imperial Oil dock #4.


Havelstern - next for drydock

The Coastal Shipping Ltd tanker Havelstern anchored in the inner harbor this morning, but will be moving into the Novadock floating drydock later this morning.

Built in 1994 in Wismar,Germany the 11,425 grt, 17,083 dwt ship has been running steadily from Saint John, NB to Newfoundland and the far north since spring. It will now get its annual maintenance before resuming the same trade in the spring. Coastal Shipping, part of the Woodward Group, also has two other sister ships in its fleet. One of which, Travestern was here last month for drydocking and a new paint job. The other, Alsterstern, was last reported downbound in the St.Lawrence River for Saint John.
Coastal has two other ships in the fleet, Dorsch and Nanny.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

BBC Pacific - first for bunkers

The first ship to arrive this year for bunkers is BBC Pacific. The ship was headed up the Atlantic coast and actually passed Halifax then turned back to come in for fuel. Whether this indicates a change of mind or was merely to avoid an early arrival is not known (to me). In any event it anchored in the lower harbour and the bunkering tanker Algoma Dartmouth came alongside, effectively blocking a clear view of the ship from anyone on the Halifax side of the harbor

1. Algoma Dartmouth is only slightly smaller than BBC Pacific, but higher out of the water, so almost blocks it out.
A wind shift would change that quickly, but with snow predicted this afternoon, I had to get a photo when I could. However as it turns out there was a burst of sun late in the afternoon after Algoma Dartmouth had completed operations.

2. BBC Pacific shows minimal freeboard at main deck level.

Unlike fleetmate BBC Kwiatkowski earlier in the week, which has folding hatch covers, BBC Pacific has lift off and stacking hatch covers, that are moved by a travelling hydraulic gantry (it is stowed against the house). The ship is a multi-purpose, tween deck, general cargo ship, capable of carrying bulk or break-bulk, and has two 60 tonne cranes for moderately heavy lifts. BBC's 130- ship fleet specializes in multi-purpose ships with lift capacity, in a variety of ship sizes. Based in Germany, BBC's ships are usually registered in Antigua, as this one is. It was built in Dalian China in 2007 and measures 5261 gross tons, 6192 deadweight tonnes, and is mid-size in the BBC fleet.

Algoma Dartmouth still had fuel aboard as reported last month, but it still remains to be seen how many customers the ship will find. Reports now indicate that owners of large ships are likely to continue burning heavy fuel and install scrubbers to meet the low sulfur guidelines in effect in Canada and the US and coming next year in Europe. Owners of smaller ships now burning heavy oil, will make necessary conversions to their ships to use Marine Gas Oil.


We're not in Kansas anymore... Topeka sails

The autocarrier Topeka sailed at 0800 this morning after cancelling last night's scheduled departure. The ship arrived yesterday afternoon at Autoport and after discharging it was ready to sail at 2100. It had tugs alongside, the lines boat was ready to cast off head lines from the mooring buoy and the pilot was aboard (he had arrived on one of the tugs.) However, due to zero visibility in Eastern Passage and the harbor, the departure was scrubbed.

Topeka outbound in clear conditions this morning.

A reversal from the frigid conditions of last week saw air temperatures soar up in the +5C to +7C range, and with water temperatures still hovering around +2C, fog was the inevitable result.
As a trough passed over Nova Scotia over night, the infamous polar vortex covering the rest of North America made its way toward Halifax. Between 0600 and 0800 the temperature plummeted from +4C  to 0C and the fog vanished as daylight arrived. Temperatures are expected to keep falling to the -5C to -10C range today. If the air temperature gets that low we could see the "polar" opposite: sea-smoke. (see January 1 posting).
Topeka was built in 2006 for Wilhelmsen Lines Car Carriers (and its name starts with the Line's traditional letter "T') and sails for the Wallenius-Wilhelmsen joint venture. It came from the Mhi Nagasaki Shipyard and Engineering Works and measures 61,321 grt. It has a capacity of 6,354 cars. Its next port is New York.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tanker Parade - never ending

Halifax has become a parade ground for tankers- the seemingly never ending parade continues today with two more tankers in port.

Arriving last night Mariannne Kirk is a product tanker of 29,955 grt/ 51,291 dwt and is another typical product of STX Offshore + Shipbuilding of Jinhae, South Korea. Built in 2009 as Blue Jade it was renamed in 2011. It is operated by Tome Ship Management of Singapore for Hafnia Tankers of Hellerup, Denmark.

1. Marianne Kirk has an impressive display of 12 manifolds for different cargoes and tanks. Each manifold location is marked by a symbol near the deck, just aft of midships.

A slightly different tanker anchored this morning after a trip down from the St.Lawrence River. North Contender is more of a chemical tanker, as can be seen from the variety of vents and other devices on deck. It has 18 different stainless steel tanks suitable for carrying a variety of chemicals, and a pump for each. Built in 2005 by Fukuoka Shipbuilding in Japan, it flies the Panamanian flag and runs under the Eitzen Chemical USA LLC brand. However it is owned by a company associated with Carisbrooke Shipping of Cowes, IOW, UK. It measures 11,662 grt/ 19,925 dwt.

2. and 3. North Contender has no manifold markings on the hull and has an array of vents and other equipment on deck. In addition to the usual "No Smoking" sign on the superstructure, it has an added "Dangerous Cargo".  What appears to be a containment boom around the ship is just a reflection.

Meanwhile the tanker Energy Pioneer seems to have forsaken Halifax. It arrived and anchored off Devil's Island December 29. It put to sea during the January 3 storm, but was returning toward Halifax last night, then put back to sea on a southeasterly course.

Today another tanker, Alice  arrived at anchorage off Chebucto Head, giving Halifax as a destination. It is another intermediate sized product tanker of 24,400 grt, 39,316 dwt, built in 2013.


Dalian Express gets away

Hapag-Lloyd's Dalian Express finally got away from Fairview Cove at 0600 today. The ship arrived on Friday January 3 but had to wait out the day's blizzard, and the snow clearing operations which followed.  

It kept its escort tug Atlantic Oak until it was well down into the main harbour, and slowed to a stop to let it go at 0730 just as the sun was about to rise.

Meanwhile at the Svitzer Canada wharf the launch Halmar was disembarking the pilot and ice adviser from the tanker North Contender which had just arrived at anchor. Halmar, operated by Dominion Diving, is contracted to fetch and carry pilots when the duty pilot boat is otherwise engaged. The pilot boat was outbound to stay ahead of the Dalian Express.

As I observed yesterday, the regular pilot boat Chebucto Pilot is out of service and the back-up boat A.P.A. No.20 is working.

  • Dalian Express was built in 2001 as Hamburg Express. A post-Panamax container ship of  88,493 grt, 100,006 dwt, it has a capacity of 7506 TEU (including 2700 reefers) and acquired its present name in 2011. Its first call in Halifax was on May 27, 2013. 
  • Halmar was built by Halifax Shipyards in 1960 as a workboat for use in the main shipyard and at Dartmouth Marine Slips. It was sold to Dominion Diving in 1992 and rebuilt by them in 2009.
  • A.P.A. No.20  was built in 1974 by Breton Marine of Point Tupper, NS and has worked in Halifax and Placentia Bay over the years.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

BBC Kwiatkowski - trying conditions

Arriving just as a blizzard got under way January 2, BBC Kwiatkowski had to cool its heels all day yesterday as the snow continued blow around and pile up. Once the storm had passed late last night it took until this morning to clear away enough space before the ship could begin to unload its project cargo.Even then it must have been a cold and awkward job at the very exposed IEL dock in Dartmouth.

Built in 2008 by the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, the 6155 grt, 7732 dwt ship has its own pair of 120 tonne cranes.There were also a couple of shore based cranes to assist in repositioning the cargo once it was landed. But it was slow work. The ship's departure time was continually advanced during the day from 1300 to 1800 to 1930, but it should be able to sail this evening.

The ship is operated by Briese Schiffs. of Germany and as with many German ships flies the flag of Antigua and Barbuda. The ship was built as Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski, but assumed its current name before completion to take up its charter with BBC.

This is not the first ship to bear the name of the Polish politician and hero (see: A 1975 built container ship of 10,129 grt operated by Polish Ocean Lines was also named Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski. I am not sure if it ever called in Halifax, but several of its sister ships, also honoring Polish heroes were frequent callers here. That ship could only carry 218 TEUs whereas  the newer one can carry 532, although the older ship did have capacity for twelve passengers.

I did not go over to Dartmouth to see what cargo BBC Kwiatkowski unloaded, so I will have to update that later.

Update: The ship must have loaded cargo, since the pier was completely bare when I got there Sunday January 5. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

Halifax welcomes 2014 with record setting cold temperatures and an incoming blizzard, so this may be the only shipping photo we will see for a few days.
White on white. The George's Island lighthouse presides over a sea-smoke covered harbour, with a ghostly Oceanex Sanderling tied up at Autoport. The Ultramar (Valero) tanks in the middle are seeing more activity these days, with product coming in from their refinery in Quebec.
Sea smoke, which is really a form of fog, occurs when very cold air temperature meets relatively warm water (In today's case the air is -17C and the water +2C.). The air cannot absorb water evaporation quickly enough so the vapour recondenses immediately.