Saturday, October 31, 2015

Princess of Acadia: Going, Going.........(not gone yet).......

Sunday November 1, 1300 hrs AST Princess of Acadia is due to sail. This may be it. (To be continued......)

Departure was postponed until mid Monday morning.


Pit stop and other unusual movements

Halifax seemed to be the spot for unusual ship movements today.

Although it started with the normal uneventful Saturday arrival of Maersk Pembroke at pier 41. It did its work and sailed at 16:30hrs. 

Maersk Pembroke had Halterm all to itself this morning when it tied up at pier 41.

It was the last day of Daylight Saving Time, so departures such as this will be in the dark for months to come.

The next arrival was followed in an hour by its departure. BBC Pearl tied up at pier 37 in Halterm, but did not use its own gear nor the terminal's cranes to do some very quick work, then sailed again. It was tied up shortly after 09:00 and called for clearance a few minutes after 10:00.

  08:32 hrs
08:41 hrs 
10:28 hrs 

Some dunnage that was visible on deck on arrival was not there on departure. This was likely offloaded directly by some of Halterm's big forklifts.

The multi-purpose heavy lift ship was built in 2012 by Jiangzhou Union, Ruichang, China and measures 12,838 grt, 14,418 dwt and carries three cranes. Two cranes are rated at 400 tonnes each and the third at 80 tonnes. Launched as North Sea Carrier for Bocksteigel it was immediately renamed and joined the Briese Schiffahrts large fleet of specialized carriers. Its next port of call is Charleston, SC. 

The next arrival, the tanker Skylark used the western channel inbound and passed very close to shore before swinging back into the main channel. Since it was carrying cargo, it took the escort tug Atlantic Oak all the way in from the pilot station. It was joined by the second tug Atlantic Willow inside the harbour. But as it was transiting, it also took a transfer of stores from the tug Gulf Spray, while on the move. This is a tricky operation, but the placid conditions today allowed it to happen without incident.

The second old deck section has just been landed on its barge.

Work on replacing the roadway of the Angus L. Macdonald bridge continued unhampered as the ship passed by and tied up at Nova Scotia Power's Tuft's Cove generating station.

The tug Gulf Spray (far right) has returned to its base after carrying out the transfer. Atlantic Willow (bow) and Atlantic Oak (stern) begin to nudge the tanker towards its berth.

Skylark was built in 2004 by Dalian Shipyard in China and measures 22,184 grt, 34,620 dwt. It is operated by Mariwave of Amsterdam under the Liberian flag.

The next arrival was the autocarrier Dover Highway. Built in 2011 by Imabari Zosen in Japan, it flies the Japanese flag for K-Line.
With the tug Atlantic Larch alongside, Dover Highway waits in number one anchorage for the second tug.
It arrived in the lower harbour but had to wait for the tug Atlantic Willow to finish with the tanker docking, so did a "donut" around number one anchorage.It then proceeded to Autoport with the two tugs.

It was a sunset (Daylight Saving Time) departure later in the afternoon.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Saint Laurent - storm-stayed* in Halifax

 Conditions in the harbour were fairly ferocious yesterday, bu were considerably wilder out at sea.

The small cruise ship Saint Laurent was due in Halifax October 26 on the completion of its summer cruise season on the Great Lakes and St.Lawrence. Due to inclement weather, the ship arrived October 28 and remained in port for two nights. It is scheduled to sail late this afternoon.

The green roof over the Farmers' Market at Pier 20 has taken on its fall colours as Saint Laurent waits for sailing time.

It is a small ship, and I would not want to be out on it in the weather we had yesterday, however this has meant that the operators, Haimark, have had to cancel the next scheduled cruise, which was a 15 day jaunt out of Portland, ME to the Bahamas. Many unhappy passengers are holed up in hotels in Portland and booking trips home - and making claims on their travel insurance.

Passengers in Halifax however have been enjoying extra shore excursions, although some are obviously content to remain on board for meals.

There must be radiant heating panels over the dining area on the fantail, because it was no more than 10 degrees C when I took this picture.

It is very late in the cruise season for Halifax, with just two more ships scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday, but at this time of the year weather is bound to be a factor in any travel plans.

The ship made its first calls here June 4 and 12 then went on to the Lakes. An accident in the St.Lawrence Seaway, when the ship rammed the concrete wall at the end of the Eisenhower Lock, took it out of service for several weeks.

 Saint Laurent arriving June 4 on its first visit.

For more detail see: Shipfax 2015-06-04

* Footnote: the term "storm-stayed" may be unique to Scotland and parts of eastern Canada. It means stranded due to bad weather.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ship Shopping

A new ferry will be wearing the Bay Ferries Ltd funnel mark sometime soon.

According to today's news the Province of Nova Scotia has ended its relationship with Nova Star Ferries, bringing to an end a costly two year experiment in running a ferry between Yarmouth, NS and Portland, ME.

Negotiations are now under way with Bay Ferries Ltd, the winning proponent from four respondents to an invitation from the Province for next year's season. The timing is cutting it quite close. As far as I can tell it is already too late to do complete promotion for next year as it is. Then there is the issue of finding a ship that could enter service on time in the spring of 2016.

Since the ship would be trading internationally, it would not have to be registered in Canada or the United States, which might simplify things.  But there would certainly be some refitting and re-branding to do.
It took nearly six months to transform Blue Star Ithaki into Fundy Rose. Some of the work was related to Canadian regulatory compliance, but also involved engine rebuilds and new catering facilities, furnishings and other upgrades.

Let's hope that a suitable ship can be found, that it enters service on time, that it meets financial expectations and that it moves out of the political realm. (Oh and that it gets an appropriate name---Please!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My turn, then your turn

The inbound Nagoya Express got priority this afternoon and transited the Narrows first. The outbound Northern Debonair left the west berth at Fairview Cove and went well out in the Basin until the Narrows was clear, then headed to sea. The east berth at Fairview Cove was occupied by Halifax Express.

Nagoya Express heads through the Narrows with Atlantic Larch on the port bow and Atlantic Oak (not visible) as tethered escort astern.

Nagoya Express is here for the first time on the G-6 service. It was built in 20010 by Hyundai, Ulsan as Basle Express. It was renamed in 2012. At 93,811 grt, 101,000 dwt it has a capacity of 8749 TEU (730 reefer).

As a Hapag-Lloyd container crosses the A.Murray MacKay bridge just astern, Northern Debonair works its way through the Narrows. It is under the size required to have an escort tug.

Northern Debonair is also a first time caller, and is here on ACL service. It was built in 2007 by Shanghai Chengxi as CSAV Rahue but became Northern Debonair on delivery to owners Norddeutsche Vermogen From 2011 to 2012 it carried the name of NYK Lyttleton. It measures 35,975 grt, 42,183 dwt, and carrues 3534 TEU, including 500 reefers.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Shipfax unveils other changes

When Shipfax began life as a printed newsletter, part of its mandate was to give all the details on ships, namely: flag, gross and deadweight tonnage, year built and builder, and owner where possible. This was not always easy. Even frequent trips to the library to consult the latest Lloyd's Register did not always come up with the answers when ships changed names or were reflagged. It was often necessary to wait for the World Ship Society's Marine News to make its way across the Atlantic by surface mail (allow one month) and even then the "news" was several months old. The Lloyd's Register quarterly supplements took forever to arrive at the library and also arrived by surface mail. I sometimes wrote to a contact at Lloyd's for additional info, and that was at best a week each way by air mail.

Since the advent of the blog version of Shipfax I have more or less kept up this steady stream of information. However it is now much easier to find this level of data and it is available from a multitude of sources by the click of a key on your computer. It is no longer necessary for me to collect and compile this information, since it is stored by others - notably Miramar Ship Index,   Equasis and Marine,, and Boatnerd, among many others.

As part of the transition of Shipfax I will be doing less and less of this detailed data transmission and will be just as likely to leave it up to the readers to find the info if they are interested. Some convenient links are now included in the 'Faves' list on the left of the page. You must sign up or subscribe to some of them, but they are well worth the time, and minimal expense to do so.

 Shipfax from October 1990 was published in the first week of November, meaning much of the "news" was a month old. Now Shipfax can be mere minutes old since I have a smart phone.  Times change.(Including dot matrix printers!)


Triton Ace out, Cape Roger in

Yesterday's arrival at Autoport (seen only on the horizon in yesterday's post) sailed this afternoon after completing its cargo work.

Triton Ace dates from 2009 when it was delivered by Imabari Zosen, Marugame to NYK Line and placed under Mitsui OSK Line commercial management, flying the Panama flag. Listed at 60,8766 grt, 22,723 dwt  it is of the largest class in the MOL fleet with a capacity of 6400 cars.

 To give it room to pass around Ives Knoll, the inbound CCGS Cape Roger worked well over the west, for a starboard to starboard passing.

 Built in  1977 by Ferguson Industries in Pictou NS, the 699 grt vessel is based in Newfoundland and was scarcely seen in Nova Scotia until the 2000s. It works out of Halifax sometimes, covering for refits of other ships or ice conditions. The CCG fleet in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia is particularly short handed now with CCGS Earl Grey and Edward Cornwallis in refit and Ann Harvey in repair.

Cape Roger received a major refit in 1996 in Shelburne, NS, and again in 2010-2011 at the now defunct Seaway Marine Industries yard in Port Weller, ON. However its helicopter deck remains decommissioned.

New Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) (up to five in number) are among the vessels to be built by Seaspan in Vancouver under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Lower Harbour Action

All the action - such as it was, took place in the lower reaches of the harbour today. The CMA CGM Don Giovanni was in all day on its first call in Halifax. Dating from 2006 when it was built by Hyundai Samho, the 91,649 grt, 108,000 dwt ship was launched as E.R. Toronto for ER Schiffahrt GmbH + Cie KG. It immediately went into service for CMA CGM taking its present name, and flying the Liberian flag. With a capacity of 8204 TEU (including 700 reefers) it is the new normal size for Halifax.

CMA CGM Don Giovanni gets away from Halterm at dusk.

Late this afternoon its place at Halterm was to be taken by OOCL Luxembourg on its eastbound call (it was here westbound October 13). It was built in 2010 by Samsung, Koje, and measures 89,010 grt, 99,654 dwt, with a rating of 8063 TEU (1400 reefers) and flies the flag of Hong Kong.

Serenade of the Seas takes the western channel for OOCL Luxembourg.

Meanwhile Serenade of the Seas sailed on time and made its way out the western channel to give the OOCL Luxembourg the main channel.

The pilot boat is outbound to disembark from Serenade of the Seas and embark a pilot on the distant inbound Triton Ace, just visible on the horizon.

Because CMA CGM Don Giovanni was late leaving, OOCL Luxembourg had to hang off outside Neverfail Shoal. With pilot aboard, it came to a stop and went a bit cross wise in the channel, and even reversed to straighten out - first time I've seen that happen.

 Following all this, the autocarrier Triton Ace was inbound and it had to slow down too.

It was busy times for the tugs too, as all three Atlantic Towing tugs were working.

Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Larch (left and right) have just cleared CMA CGM Don Giovanni and are going out to meet Triton Ace, while Atlantic Oak (centre) stands by for OOCL Luxembourg.

In a few days these photos will not be possible due to much shorter days and the end of Daylight Saving Time. Shipfax will thus be entering the Dark Ages once again and will be resorting more to the Archives for posts.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

TEUs, seacans and other boxes

Shipping containers seem to be omnipresent these days, particularly on the Halifax Waterfront. Tonnage figures are sluggish again this year for container traffic - they have picked up to 2014 levels, but those were dismal. Even so there are thousands of containers in an around the port.

These seagoing boxes have picked up various names over the years - "seacan" seems to be the prevailing term these days. But no matter what they are called they are becoming common sights in non-seagoing locations due their convenience, adaptability and low cost for used ones. Portability is the prime motivation for their use in several installations in Halifax. They seem particularly appropriate for seasonal waterfront installations such as the following:

This bicycle rental uses a 40 footer (2TEU) as sales and rental office, workshop and over night storage.

Right across the path, this more modest TEU offers Segways for rent (in season). This is a non-standard seacan, with doors on both ends.

This highly customized container houses a bar and has a cooler unit to store is product, and a food prep area, all squeezed into a single box.It also has doors at both ends.

It gives an entirely new definition of the term "beer can".

 The container (this is the back side of it) arrived on an Atlantic Tilt Load boom truck and was dropped into position by boom crane. The small openings with green outlines are where two package air conditioners were installed for the coolers.

So far the cans are just scattered around - no one has stacked then (yet).

 This custom container was sent to the far north by Svitzer Canada on the deck of one of their tugs, to be used as an equipment shack during the summer season.

They are also somoetines put to alternate use on ships.

The cruise ship Carnival Splendour has this Cat Renals portable genset mounted WAY up high.

Then there are mystery containers:

These strange cans arrived by ship and were whisked away by truck in short order. The reporting marks WPSU have so far not been traceable.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Hong clears the pier

Back in December 2014 the Hansa Heavy Lift ship HHL Mississippi arrived in Halifax from Chicago and deposited a set of heavy cargo spreaders on pier 27. At the time it was understood that another ship would pick them up.

HHL Mississippi arrived December 27, 2014 with spreaders on deck. It was the former Beluga Fantasy, a early generation Beluga heavy lift ship.

Those 770 tonne SWL spreaders sat on the end of pier 27 until today when they were lifted aboard the heavy lift ship Hong- and therein lies a tale.

The ship that was due to pick then up was then called HHL Hong Kong. Launched as Beluga Preparation, it was delivered as Beluga Shanghai in 2010 by Hudong-Zhonghua in Shanghai. Measuring 17,634 grt, 20,668 dwt, it was part of a new generation of extra heavy lifters for Beluga. Fitted with one 180 tonne crane forward it also had a pair of 700 tonne cranes that could combine for an impressive 1400 tonne lift. When Beluga failed, successor Hansa Heavy Lift renamed the ship HHL Hong Kong in 2011.

HHL sold the ship to Hong Shipping UG (Auerbach Bereederung, mangers) in December 2014, but a dispute arose between Hansa Heavy Lift and Hong and various lenders, resulting in the ship's detention off Baie-Comeau in December 2014. At that time the ship was renamed Hong. As various wranglings worked their way through courts the ship languished until early this month when it was permitted to sail. It came directly to Halifax, loaded some containers that were related to the speaders, and finally the spreaders themselves.

Hong at pier 27 today. The tug Gulf Spray with refuse scow and motorboat come alongside to take off some well aged international garbage. 

Since ownership records usually lag behind the actual transactions, I have not yet discovered if the ship has been sold recently.Certainly the "HHL" has been painted out on the ship's sides, probably when the name was changed. This meant the end of the relationship with HHL  was severed. It was also reported that Hong Shipping was insolvent, so it is possible that another name change is in the offing. The spreaders had "Hansa Heavy Lift" painted on them when they arrived in Halifax, but it is likely that the spreaders belong to the ship, so that is why they were not picked up by any other HHL ship in the interim. 

Just missed it!  Oh well.....