Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Seismic update

Seismic activity continues apace south of Sable Island, but with some activity in Halifax. Scotian Sea returned this morning from her first supply run to the fleet.

As with the other supplier Mainport Pine, the Secunda boat has large fenders rigged for coming alongside other ships. One of the fenders is rigged to a davit aft of the bridge, where it can be lowered as needed. The fender near the stern appears to be on a painter where it can be floated alongside.

Meanwhile Western Pride returned to the field of action this evening after several days in port. Normally these ships to do not come into port unless they need some form of repair.

Western Pride is one of three gunboats for BP's seismic project. It was also in Halifax last July and August for Shell's seismic exploration project.


First timers: Tongala and Northern Grandour

Autocarrier Tongala made its first Halifax call this morning. A 2012 product of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Nagasaki Shipyard and Engineering Works, the ship has a capacity of 6,459 cars, accommodated by a gross tonnage of 61,106 (a measure of internal cubic capacity) and 22,585 deadweight tonnes (its lifting capacity in tonnes).

 Tongala approaches Ives Knoll with the tugs Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Oak alongside. Connors Diving's Divecom III keeps well clear on its way northbound.

As with all Wilhlemsen ships, its name begins with "T", in this case for the town of Tongala, 225 km north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Proving once again that tide, time and ships wait for no man, I was late for the arrival of Northern Grandour, and it was alongside before I got to pier 42.  Working for Zim, the German owned ship was built by Hyundai Ulsan in 1998. At 53,324 grt, 63,515 dwt, it is a step up in size compared to the usual ships on Zim's roster. It has a capacity of 4688 TEU.

Canadian Border Security Agency has set up their mobile scanner and are ready to check containers coming off Northern Grandour.

Hidden from view by the shore crane in the upper photo, the ship had a most unusual stowing of boxes, with large areas of deck almost empty.

Zim is one of the few lines that has not been involved in the headlong rush to build new giant ships. Critics say that their small 3500 TEU ships will put them at a competitive disadvantage with other lines on a cost per box basis. However there seem to be larger numbers of post-Panamax vessels available for charter, such as this one.
Owners Norddeutsche Reederei H. Schuldt of Hamburg have had this ship on charter as CSAV Cantabria (2008-2013), ANL Hong Kong (2006-2008), Yokohama Senator (2001-2006) and Cho Yang Ace (1998-2001).


Monday, May 26, 2014

Box Trader and Maasdam - a contrast

It was a dead calm, sunny morning as the container ship Box Trader and the cruise ship Maasdam arrived. Box Trader was in the lead, headed for Fairview Cove for Hapag-Lloyd, and Maasdam for pier 21.

It is another different ship for Hapag-Lloyd,  and unlike most container ships these days, it was built in Germany. Builder Howaldswerke-Deutsche Werft's Gaarden yard turned the ship out in 2010. It has a container capacity of 3,476 TEU (including 500 reefer plugs) and at 36,087 grt, 42,483 dwt, is much smaller than the usual ships on the Hapag-Loyd service. The ship normally operates on the North Europe/Southern US and Gulf of Mexico "GMX" service, so perhaps it is diverting this time to carry a backlog due to a cancellation or delay of another ship..

 The ship is owned by Allseas Marine SA of Athens and is registered in Monrovia, Liberia.

Tugs Atlantic Larch and Atlantic Oak met the ship just off pier 20 as it passed up west of George's Island.

Coming inbound west of George's Island allowed the overtaking Maasdam to sail east and north of the island and slide in to pier 21 port side too, heading seaward.

 The beautiful weather did  not last, with showers, rain and fog returning by noon time.  Maasdam's passengers proably didn't spend much time on deck when the ship sailed later in the afternoon.

Things cleared off a bit when Box Trader sailed early in the evening. Again it passed west of George's Island, this time giving the inbound tanker Acadian lots of room to turn in toward Imperial Oil.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bread - rising

The yacht Bread is in Halifax on a delivery trip, back to the Great Lakes where it was built. The so-called classic re-creation  was named by its owner, reputedly a "major North American bakery owner". That a great deal of bread was required to build it is not in doubt, but casting ones bread upon the waters is a risky business, and I am not certain that the result has risen to the occasion. Perhaps bread and circuses would be too strong a description of this craft.

As usual Shipfax has found the back story behind the story.

Bread started life in an unusual place - St.Thomas, ON, well inland from Lake Erie, where it was eventually launched. Builders Kanter Yachts (now Kantermarine)  had moved inland due to lack of space in Port Stanley, ON, and so in August 2007 when they were ready to launch the boat, then named Aurora, they had to truck it to Port Stanley, which was a bit of a logistical nightmare. Numerous utility lines had to be raised or disconnected to make the ten mile trip. Once it made its acquaintance with the water, Aurora was fitted out with masts, bowsprit and steamship-like funnel.

Originally ordered by interests associated with The Cliff Restaurant in Barbados, the boat was to be a floating reception venue to host up to 40 people for weddings and honeymoons. After a hair raising late season trip down through the Seaway it arrived in Halifax in December 7, 2007, and it eventually reached its destination.

There are a number of photos on line of Aurora as it was delivered:

The original plan did not turn out as expected, and the $3mn boat was put up for sale. It was then acquired by the wealthy baker, who under took to have it totally rebuilt by Rolly Marine in Fort Lauderdale and Rybovich Shipyard in Palm Beach, Florida. In 2012, it was completely overhauled and even re-engined with new 575 bhp Caterpillars. They built all new hi-lux accommodations for eight guests in four suites and eight crew. A new cabin was built on the upper after deck and to keep exhaust fumes away, the funnel was extended. The foremast was re-stepped to the wheelhouse, the rails were extended, round hull deadlights were replaced by oblongs, and the list goes on endlessly. And just to add to the luxury touch, all the exposed cabin work above main deck level was clad in beautifully fitted wood, with a high gloss finish.

To see details of that work go to:

The woodwork is gorgeous, the hull coating is perfection, the stainless steel fittings are spotless, but the overall effect is ............well I don't have a word for it.   

Current value I have seen estimated at $13 million.


Marina one time caller - updated

Most cruise ships make repeated calls in Halifax each year, but there are usually a few that only show up once. Oceania Cruises' Marina is one of the latter.
It arrived this morning on its one and only call in Halifax this year.

Built in 2011 by Fincantieri Sestri Ponente in Genoa, Italy, the ship measures 66,084 gross tons and has a maximum passenger capacity of about 1250. It is arriving from New York and will go on (via Sydney)  across the Atlantic to start Scandinavia and north Europe cruising in June.

Coming off the dock at pier 22 this afternoon, the ship sailed north and west of George's Island, giving a close up view.
Pilot boat Chebucto Pilot (left) is headed outbound in advance to meet the ship and disembark the pilot. The ship is just off the dock and must sail north around George's Island before it heads southward  for sea.

As with many modern day cruise ships, Marina is fitted with a 'ducktail' stern sponson to improve stability. The ship shows its port of registry as Majuro, Marshall Islands.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Defense Research and Development barge now airborne

With HMCS Windsor safely tucked away in the submarine shed at HMC Dockyard, the newly improved synchrolift has another customer. Perhaps not as exciting as a submarine, but the Defence Research and Development Canada barge, (believed to be)  YLP -541 has been lifted out for refit.

Although clearly visible (through budding trees) from Barrington Street, it is in a most difficult place to photograph.The light blue housings for the synchrolift motors block the view of the bottom of the hull in the lower photo, but in the upper photo some of the underwater hull is visible.
The barge is usually parked in Bedford Basin, but has been off station since March awaiting this drydocking.

See also: http://shipfax.blogspot.ca/2014/03/dockyard-craft.html


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Latest from Yachtsmiths International

It isn't often that a vessel registered in Edmonton, AB visits Halifax. However this one isn't really a visitor, since it comes from here. Built by Yachtsmiths International at their Dartmouth, NS facility, RowDay-O was registered May 15, the same day I spotted it at the Maritime Museum wharf, where it is undergoing final fit out.

The sleek looking 65 foot aluminum hulled craft appears to a very capable cruiser with a good turn of speed.

For more on the builder and several progress photos of the boat itself, see:
http://www.yachtsmiths.com/  - look in the porthole for 65 foot aluminum power boat.

Also on the builder's website is the impressive Tesha....

More on it another day.


Harbour Roundup

Lots of activity in Halifax today - here's a quick summary:

Mainport Pine made its way in to pier 26 this afternoon on its first return trip from BP's seismic exploration project offshore. The boat took fuel from Irving Oil trucks and likely stocked up on other stores before sailing this evening. It takes turns with Scotia Sea in supplying necessities to the seismic fleet. Note the inflated rubber fenders fitted to the hull, which allow it to come alongside the ships while at sea. It also has accommodation for crew changes.

Meanwhile the tanker Challenge Paradise was preparing to put to sea. In port for a only a few hours for Asian Gypsy Moth inspection, the ship is bound for Saint John. NB. Owned by affiliates of the NYK Line, the ship was built in 2007 by Shin Kurushima, Onishi Shipyard in Imabari, Japan, and despite its size of 28,063 grt, 45,980 dwt, it looks like a large crude tanker.

A more typical looking product tanker, NCC Rabigh moved from anchorage in Bedford Basin to number 4 oil dock on departure of Cenito. Both were pictured in a previous post.  NCC Rabigh is probably the first Saudi Arabian flagged tanker to call in Halifax, although Saudi container ships have been calling here for decades.

The familiar herring fleet is back again on its seasonal hunt for the migratory fish. This time round all the boats are blue, including Sealife II which used to be red. Lady Melissa, Dual Venture, Leroy and Barry II and Morning Star tied up amid yachts and tourists at the Maritime Museum and Queen's Wharf.

Despite each being distinctly different, they are all fitted  out with similar gear, including a skiff perched on the stern to take the purse seine net out and surround the fish, and pumping gear to pump the catch ashore..

Atlantic Companion sailed late this afternoon - the third ACL ship in as many days. (There were two on Monday.)

It was followed a few minutes later by HMCS Montreal from its anchorage position. It is always a pleasure to see these ships accelerate away from a standing start.

Also in port, but at pier 9 is the researcher Coriolis II . Earlier in the day it was stationary off Musquodoboit Harbour.

It was not all work in Halifax however. The weekly sail race from the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron took place against a background of black fog, that was beginning to creep inside Meagher's Beach. The boats managed to stay their course and remain in bright sunshine before they were blanketed in.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kappeln for Nirint

With winter over and done with, lines are sending their ships off for refit and bringing in substitutes. I assume that is the case to today for Nirint Lines, which has the Kappeln at pier 31. It appeared to be unloading the usual bagged nickel from Cuba.
It arrived off Halifax Sunday, but due to yesterday's Victoria Day holiday,  remained outside until 2300 hrs last night when it took its pilot. It was then able to tie up at just after midnight, escaping any holiday charges by a few minutes.

Kappeln, named for a small seaport in Germany, was built in 2004 by Zhoushan Shipbuilding in China. The ship has a capacity of 657 TEU (including 116 reefers). The high full width bridge would give an excellent view over and around a deck load of containers. It could also be very uncomfortable if the ship was rolling!
Measuring only 6,704 grt and 8,329 dwt, the ship is nevertheless fitted with two 50 tonne cranes, that were in use today. The ship was also taking bunkers from trucks.
Owners, Brise Schiffahrts has a large fleet of ships that are chartered out to different lines. This one carried the name CMA CGM Manzanillo from 20004 to 2007 and APL Bogota from 2007 to 2011.
A photo taken a year ago and posted on Shipspotting shows the "Seaboard" banner painted on the hull.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Foggy-part 2

Later in the morning the wind came up and blew most of the fog away, but there was misty rain from time to and some unusual moisture.

Atlantic Cartier arrived and held off the Fairview Cove terminal until Atlantic Concert was ready to leave. It gave time to study the many small differences between the two fleetmates.

Although both ships were of the same general design,  they were built to the order of the various partner companies in the Atlantic Container Line. Atlantic Concert was built by Kockums of Malmo, Sweden for Wallenius Lines.
Atlantic Cartier was built by Chantier du Nord, Dunkerque for Cie Générale Maritime. The enclosed forepeak was added some years later, but its accommodation was built on quite a different arrangement-note the different pattern of windows.

At the time these G3 ships were built, the other partners in ACL were Cunard (Atlantic Conveyor built by Swan Hunter) and A/B Transatlantic, of the Brostrom Group (Atlantic Companion and Atlantic Compass built by Kockums). Since then the ownership of the line has been consolidated, with Grimaldi Group owning 100%. All ships are now registered in Sweden.

Things were almost brightening up when Barkald sailed from National Gypsum for Baltimore. (See yesterday's post for more on this odd ship.)

The pilot aboard was intending to head the ship west of George's Island for sea, but came to find out that he had to go east. No Notice to Shipping was posted, and Halifax Traffic seemed totally unaware of an exclusion zone around pier 20 (right next to the Port Authority's office!) where two tugs were carrying out a water display.

Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Oak do pinwheels, while hurling gobs of water and creating their own drizzle and fog off pier 20. [See also Tugfax]

Halifax Regional Municipality Police boat Garrett Cotter patrols an exclusion zone.

Visiting cruise passengers from the Veendam may have thought the demo was for them, and customers at the Seaport Market may have had similar thoughts. My own opinion is that it was arranged for the visiting royal personage by marriage, the Duchess of Cornwall. She and her spouse, Prince Charles were in Halifax for the day on a short tour of the Maritimes. The Duchess was at the Seaport market at the time of the display, while Prince Charles was visiting veterans.
Royal security apparently precludes broadcast notification for mariners.

Breaking off the display, the two tugs headed for Fairview Cove for the scheduled 1630 departure of Virginia (see previous post). That event was delayed until 1800 as tugs and pilot cooled their heels until the last boxes were put aboard.

Unlike her arrival, conditions were clear for Virginia's departure this evening.


Foggy - part 1

Dense fog at the pilot station, with visibility reported at under 300 meters, did not discourage arrivals and departures today. Although the pea soup thinned out a bit in the inner harbour, it was still thick enough for ships to be sounding their fog signals.

  First time caller Virginia enters Bedford Basin in company of tugs Atlantic Oak and Atlantic Larch. Built in 2005 as APL Virginia by Hyundai Samho, the ship is a sister ship to Zim Savannah, Zim Haifa and Zim Beijing. The 54,592 grt, 66,644 dwt ship has a capacity of 5,047 TEU, including 450 reefers. It is owned by NSC Schiffahrts GmbH of Germany and flies the Liberian flag. It is here on the G6 Alliance which includes Hapag-Lloyd and APL.

Atlantic Concert emerges from the soup off pier 9. It berthed at Fairview Cove as soon as Virginia was secured.

 Meanwhile in the lower harbour, the fog cleared off enough to catch a glimpse of the crude tanker United Honor as it completed bunkering from Algoma Dartmouth. The launch Halmar [see Tugfaxhttp://tugfaxblogspotcom.blogspot.ca/2014/05/halmar-on-go.html ] scurries out
to the ship with the agent.

Built in 2010 by New Times Shipbuilding Co of Jingjiang, China, United Honor measures 62,775 grt, 112,795 deadweight. Owned by Marine Management Services of Piraeus, Greece it flies the Greek flag. It arrived in Halifax last night after unloading at Canaport (Saint John, NB)and sailed for Whiffen Head, NL to load.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Westerkade out

Although it is a German owned ship, and registered in Antigua and Barbuda, Westerkade is also the name of a popular seawall in the Port of Rotterdam. Featuring wonderful views of shipping and a frequent tie up spot for tugs and ships between assignments. [Kade = quay in English]
To add to the international theme, this particular Westerkade works for Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company, and trades between Iceland and the east coast of North America.

Westerkade sails from Halterm. Despite cool, drizzly conditions, sailors were out ti Halifax harbour today.

Construction of the ship was started in Trogir, Crotia and completed by Cassens in Emden, Germany in 2000. At 7541 grt, 8450 dwt, the ship has a capacity of 721 TEU of which 100 can be reefers, Its two 40 tonne cranes are high mounted to handle containers. Owners are Herman Buss GmbH +Cie of Leer.

Addendum: about the time I was writing, the ship was sold to as yet undisclosed buyer for a "high $2mn USD".

Barkald in

The bulker Barkald arrived again to load at National Gypsum. The ungainly looking ship has become a familiar sight all along the east coast, but is still a bit of a novelty when it does show up due to its unusual unloading system.

Cranes, fitted with buckets  feed a deck mounted conveyor system, that in turn feeds a boom that will swing out over shore to unload.

The conveyor system wraps around the accommodation block.

Built in 2002 by Oshima in Japan, the 28,924 grt, 49,463 dwt ship is owmed by Klaveness Shipping of Oslo and works in the CSL pool of self-unloaders. 

Torvald Klaveness, a pioneer in self-unloaders and shipping pools, founded his company in 1946, but he came form a long line of ship owners. His uncle Anton Frederik Klaveness was a major Norwegian ship owner too, with contracts in Canada to carry coal on the St.Lawrence River. It was one of his ships, Storstad, that collided with Empress of Ireland on May 29, 1914, resulting in the loss of 1,012 lives. 
Storstad itself was torpedoed and sunk by U-62 March 8, 1917.