Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday comings and goings

 It was only April 12 that I missed taking a picture of Morning Clara so it was a bit of surprise to see the ship back at Autoport again so soon. Built in 2009 by Mitsubishi at either Nagasaki or Kobe (sources disagree) as Queen Sapphire, it was renamed by the current owners in 2014 and works for EUKOR (EURope KORea) Car Carriers.

Morning Clara rounds Ives Knoll outbound for Bremerhaven as the tug Gulf Spray hauls a garbage scow from pier 23. (International garbage must be disposed of by incineration, so is transported by barge then trucked to the incinerator at the Stanfield International Airport.)

The 60,213 grt, 18,638 dwt ship has a capacity of 6340 CEUs, and flies the flag of Singapore..

 The first cruise ship of the season arrived today and because it is a small ship, it tied up at pier 23. Owned by the famed Hurtigruten Line of Norway, it was nonetheless built by Fincantieri in Monfalcone, Italy in 2007.
 

Hurtigruten operates the coastal ferry service that sails up and down (an in and out of the fjords) of the  Norwegian coast, but also operates expedition ships to far away places.


Although the ship can operate as a ferry, it normally operates a yearly loop between the Arctic and Antarctic, with stops and side trips on the way. It will be back in Halifax again May 10 to board passengers for a 13 day Arctic / Iceland cruise. The internet tells me that it can accommodate 400 passengers in 280 berths (I assume sharing is optional). Its berthed passenger capacity is reported as 318 according to other sources.

The ship is named for the wooden polar expedition ship Fram of 1893, preserved in Norway for its many achievements with explorers Nansem, Sverdrup, Wisting and Amundsen in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

As Fram  was sailing CSL Frontier was arriving for another load of gypsum. The former Gypsum Centennial was last here March 30-31, on what I believe was here first ever call in Halifax.


And at anchor the amusingly named Interlink Levity was taking bunkers from Algoma Dartmouth. Built in 2014 by Huatai Heavy Industry Nantong in Rugao, China, it is a 24,168 grt, 37,135 dwt bulk carrier. It is multi-purpose ship, with hold ventilation allowing it to carry a variety of cargoes and even containers on deck.
It is equipped with four 30 tonne cargo cranes (fitted for grabs) and is in loaded condition. Since it is sailing from Fairless Hills, PA, I assume the cargo is steel - likley coils or finished material. Export steel from the USA may be rare these days, but the USA is a net importer of the product, so presumably also exports some.



While at anchor the ship will also undergo hull cleaning. That will undoubtedly improve the ship's efficiency going through the water, but may also remove some harmful species that may not be welcome in its destination port.

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Back Again and Shine A Light on Halterm

The Algoma Central Corp self-unloader Radcliffe R. Latimer arrived back in Halifax on Friday. This time it was with a load of grain from Thunder Bay.The ship spent the winter at the same pier undergoing routine maintenance.
It had arrived January 7 and on March 17 it sailed light ship for Port-Cartier and loaded iron ore for Contrecoeur, QC. It subsequently made two more shuttle trips between Port-Cartier and Contrecoeur, sailing April 3 for Thunder Bay. It loaded there April 9 and was on its way back to Halifax. It anchored for a time off Grande-Entrée, Magdalen Is April 16 due to weather, but was underway again the next day. Sailing via the Cabot Strait for Halifax.

This afternoon after completing its grain work the ship moved to National Gypsum.

Arriving at Autoport the autocarrier Sunshine Ace brought out some welcome sunshine. (Another autocarrier named Sunlight Ace also called here March 27).

As Atlantic Fir and Atlantic Oak move in to position a survey boat (see below) works off Halterm.


Sunshine Ace dates from 2009 when it was built by Minami-Nippon in Marugame. The 58,917 grt, 18,858 dwt ship has a capacity of 5,200 cars. It flies the Bahamas flag for MOL Ship Management (Singapore).
Connors Diving Services Ltd operates this nameless Stanley workboat. Powered by a pair of 150 horse Yamahas it has a bow ramp  qualifying it as a landing craft.
No registration number could be seen on the hull.

The boat has been surveying off Halterm for the past several weeks. No doubt its activity is related to a recent tender notice from the Port of Halifax for rock anchor installation for a 200 tonne bollard. My expectation is that a dolphin / crib will be constructed off Pier 42 to take the headlines for large ships. Since the cranes on the pier can run right out to the end,  there is a lot of unused length to the pier taken up by ships' headlines. A bollard off the end of the pier would increase the effective length of the pier by 100 feet or more.

I only hope that the new installation will not deprive ship watchers of a favourite vantage point. 

The same boat has also been assisting Connor's work barge with a core drilling rig off pier 31-37 which is where the port is expected to infill the camber to expand Halterm's land area.

This is my interpretation - not announced by the port - of what I think will be happening:

Note the two cranes shown on pier 37 have been demolished. There are five cranes shown on Pier C. This includes the one crane now at pier 36, which was built with specail bogies that allowed it to move to Pier C..
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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sagittarius Leader on hold and other items of interest

The auto carrier Sagittarius Leader provided a closer than usual view as it held position in the inner anchorages at noon time today. The ship was headed for Autoport but could not proceed directly because Oceanex Sanderling was just getting clear of the berth. The Sanderling was also going to anchorage, and the ships had to arrange a spot for clear passing.


The 61,804 grt, 20,098 dwt ship was built by Imabari Shipbuilding Company Ltd in Marugame, Japan in 2005. It has a capacity of 5,415 cars. Registered in Panama, it works for NYK Line.

A recent announcement that the Port of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island is building an auto import facility for European cars may pose little threat to Autoport's dominance in the trade. The new plan would see the cars from Europe arriving via the Panama Canal, unloaded and processed  then barged to the BC mainland. They expect to receive 12,000 cars a year starting in January 2019 and work up to 50,000 per year.

Halifax's Autoport facility is owned and operated by CN Rail, and provides a ship to train distribution system to inland distribution hubs, including the west coast.

The Nanaimo plan fails to take into account that many customers want their cars quickly and adding two weeks or more to the delivery time might not be acceptable. Of course if Alberta decides to blockade British Columbia from Canada, the point becomes moot.

Oceanex Sanderling took up its anchorage positiin shortly after and and will await its turn at Halterm.


At Irving Oil, Maersk Edward was finally able to make it into port last evening after several days delay by weather. It tied up at Irving Oil with cargo from Ijmuiden / Amsterdam.


We think of Maersk in term of container ships, but they have a large tanker fleet too. In fact with 161 ships it is one of the largest tanker owners, with vessels of all sizes. Maersk Edward, built as Bro Edward, works in their Handytankers pool. Slightly smaller than than the Mid Range tankers of 50,000 dwt we usually see, it measures 26,659 grt, 37,300 dwt. Its epoxy lined tanks allow it to carry a variety of fuels and chemicals. It was built in 2005 by Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China for Brostrom Tankers France SAS. Acquired by Maersk in 2010 it now flies the Danish flag under their international register.

And despite the odd flurry in the forecast over the next few days, there continue to be hopeful signs of better weather ahead.

The harbour front floating walkway is now in place and should be opening to the public by the weekend.



It stretches from the Cable Wharf to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, spanning across the Queen's Marque construction site. It was much acclaimed last year with up to 8,000 people per day making use of it but was removed for the winter.

Although there is no sign  of harbour tour boats yet, Harbour Hopper 1 was out and about today, at least on dry land.




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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Fishing

Fishing vessels, aside from small inshore boats, are rare sights in Halifax these days. Last evening the Northern Pride put in, arriving in the teeth of a gale and tied up at Bishop's landing (on advice from someone, but not likely the best dock). It sailed again early this afternoon.



Built in 1985 by Burry's in Glovertown, NL it originally measured 52 grt, but was rebuilt in 1996. Now measuring 88 grt, it appears to be fitted for scalloping, with a large gantry aft and rake on deck. Online records indicate that after a series of Newfoundland owners, it now belongs to Yarmouth Sea Products Ltd.
 

As with many boats of its size it is fitted with paravanes, that are lowered to the water with the two booms rigged on the mainmast. I am sure they were in use last night as they were this afternoon even though sea conditions had improved somewhat from yesterday's storm.

Offshore fishing activity is still in full swing in Sambro, NS beyond the entrance to Halifax harbour. This afternoon the attractive Kiviuq I was unloading its catch. One of four similar vessels built by Pictou Industries Ltd in 1987-88, it was originally named Atlantic Prospect and fished longline for Clearwater Atlantic Seafoods Inc from the Pierce Fisheries plant in Lockeport, NS. In 2014 it was sold and renamed Tulugarnaq then extensively rebuilt as a fixed gear wet fish boat for halibut, cod and hake.


Again renamed, as Kiviuq I it works for Arctic Fisheries Alliance, a 100% Inuit owned company based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The same company owns Suvak, the former Genny and Doug  which has been similarly refitted.

Both boats also conduct exploratory and science fisheries from time to time.Genny and Doug used to be seen in Halifax as per the link in the name above and:


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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Storm Surge

A combination of new moon high tides and ESE winds up to 45 kph made for some rough conditions in the harbour today.

At high tide this morning waves surged in among the finger piers in the ocean terminals area, breaking over the ends of the piers and along their length. I observed waves of up to 6 feet high as the "bath tub effect" washed back along the pier faces.

Algoma Dartmouth, usually tied up at pier 34, moved to a more sheltered spot at pier 9. Lundstrom Tide at pier 25-26 decided to stay put and was relatively sheltered, but was certainly pitching.

 

Despite this the ferries kept running, though there were no passengers out on deck!

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

After you, I insist

Usually ships arriving and departing make passing arrangements so that neither ship is delayed. Today however there was the unusual situation where a ship stopped in the stream to allow another to maneuver.

Palena (despite its name, a HAPAG-Lloyd ship) was outbound from Fairview Cove. When it reached the lower harbour, there was no convenient spot to meet the inbound Maersk Patras. Palena kept its escort tug and stopped in the number one anchorage area until Maersk Patras was alongside at Halterm.




Palena 73,934 grt, 81,248 dwt, built Hyundai, Ulsan in 2006 is a 6541 TEU ship.It joined H-L through the merger with CSAV.



Maersk Patras built 1998 by Kvaerner Warnow Werft, Warnemunde, 31,333 grt, 37,842 dwt, 2890 TEU on its regular run from Montreal en route Rotterdam. It was built as P+O Nedlloyd Marseille and joined Maersk as part of a 2006 takeover.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mid-week activity

With no bunkering facility available in Saint John, NB, tankers sometimes come to Halifax to top up their fuel tanks. After discharging a cargo of North Sea crude in Saint John, the Helga Spirit bunkered in Halifax today. The tanker is owned by Teekay Shipping, a Danish company in origin (T.K. were the initials of its founder Torben Karlshoej), but has operational functions spread around the world, including a core services centre in Vancouver. It is currently the world's largest operator of mid-size tankers with a fleet more than 100 ships.





Helga Spirit was built by Samsung,in Koje, SK in 2005. At 62,929 grt, 115,515 dwt, is is classed as a Large Range 2 or Suezmax ship. (However the latter designation my change as maximum Suez Canal dimensions have been increased with Canal widening.).

Teekay has also recently taken delivery of the third and last of its new shuttle tankers to serve the nine oil companies operating off Newfoundland. Dorset Spirit joins Beothuk Spirit and Norse Spirit delivered last year. Helga Spirit is headed for Whiffen Head, NL, where it will load some of that offshore Newfoundland crude for delivery to an eastern seaboard refinery. It is a frequent caller in Philadelphia, so that may be its ultimate destination.

A pier 9C more work was underway on Fundy Rose. After a week or more of seeming inactivity, workers appear to be concentrating on the emergency evacuation deployment system.




The ship is now scheduled to resume service between Digby, NS and Saint John, NB on April 27.

In the outer part of the harbour CCGS Earl Grey was assisting in training small boat handlers for summer inshore rescue craft. Crewed by students of the Canadian Coast Guard College, the boats respond to Search and Rescue calls in harbours throughout the region when recreational activity is at its peak.


As the supplier Lundtrom Tide arrives (see Tugfax) small craft work from CCGS Earl Grey. It is ideal for this kind of work due to its exceptionally low freeboard aft. It was built along supply vessel lines, but as this photo contrasts, those vessels have continued to evolve in  unforeseen ways.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Viking Queen

The Gram Car Carriers, Singapore flag Viking Queen arrived at Autoport mid-morning yesterday. That gave shore side crews time to clear about 10cm of snow that had piled up Sunday. Fortunately temperatures were relatively mild and the ground was not frozen, so the sun melted most of it away quite rapidly.


The Viking Queen  was built in 2007 by the Uljanik yard in Pula, Croatia as Hoegh Delhi. The ship called in Halifax under that name, but somehow managed to escape my camera. In early 2017 it was acquired by Gram, based in Oslo, and is time chartered back to Hoegh Autoliners and managed by Hoegh Wallem. A substantial vessel it has a capacity of 7,000 cars with a grt of 55,775 and dwt of 16,890.  (Interestingly Hoegh only rated its capacity at 6500 CEU).

Arriving from Emden, Germany, its next stops are to be Davisville, RI, then on to Houston, TX and Veracruz, MX.

A close look at the tree on the left will reveal some buds - a good sign!

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Seeing Stars

The stars were out in daylight today - at least as far as ship's names go.

ACL's Atlantic Star called on the eastbound leg of its voyage AST0918, next stop Liverpool, UK. Arriving and departing through the Narrows it passed Asian Sun and Horizon Star.


Asian Sun is at pier 9B for a two week maintenance period.


At pier 9C Horizon Star was loading more drill riser for the offshore rig West Aquarius which has now taken up its drilling position  about 250 nkm off the southeast coast. It will drill one well for BP. BP has hired two more suppliers through Halifax based Horizon Maritime and registered them in Canada. Lundstrom Tide (3943 grt, built 2013) and Troms Sirius (4201 grt, built 2012) are owned by industry giant Tidewater, but appear to have been bareboat chartered to Horizon. So far they have been working out of Mulgrave to mobilize West Aquarius. However Horizon Star must come to Halifax to pick up the risers as the two month (minimum) project progresses. It is also apparently picking up cement and fluids from the new MI-Swaco tank facility at the far north end of pier 9C.


As soon as Atlantic Star had passed Pier 9c the supplier Horizon Star moved from 9C to 9 to take fuel from Wilson's Fuel's pipeline. It was being chased by a rain shower, precluding a closer shot.

Further down the harbour at pier 31 the Augusta Mars (see yesterday) was unloading, but  will sail this evening ahead of the next big storm and head back to Europe. It apparently will establish its own orbit.

The only exception to the stellar cast above were also at the deep water piers. The Large Car and Truck Carrier (LCTC) Undine discharged some machinery at pier 27 after visiting Autoport with cars.


Built in 2003 by Daewoo Shipbuilding + Marine Engineering Co, Okpo, it was lengthened by about 28 meters in 2006 by Hyundai-Vinashin, Ninh Hoa yard in Viet Nam.  The added space projected it into the LCTC ranks with a capacity of 7,194 CEU. It has a relatively light 125 tonne stern ramp, but that still allows it to carry a variety of heavy equipment.



At Halterm the APL Mexico City had the whole place to itself, allowing all four cranes to work one ship. Flagged in Singapore, it measures 109,712 grt, 108,564 dwt. The 9200 TEU vessel dates from 2014 when it was also built by Daewoo, Okpo. [as was the drill rig West Aquarius mentioned above - in 2009.]

Daewoo set up a wind turbine factory in Nova Scotia, with $56mn in government assistance. However the plant (and the company) fell on hard times, the plant was closed, with the province, as 49% owners,  left holding the bag so to speak. They now have to decide whether to demolish the plant or sell it off in pieces, as no new owner has come along. It is the former Trenton Car Works, in Pictou County. Daewoo has been in the news recently over additional convictions in corruption cases that extended to the President of South Korea.

A major storm developing off Cape Hatteras will work its way up across Nova Scotia tomorrow, with 10-15 cm of snow (which converts to "a lot" in Imperial units). That may be why there are no arrivals departures or moves scheduled so far for tomorrow.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Visitor from Mars

Well from Cuba actually, Augusta Mars arrived today on Nirint Shipping's regular route with nickel sulfides.



The fourth of six ships of the "Atlantic P" class from Jingjiang Shipyard, it was built as Atlantic Power in 2000. (The 5th and 6th ships were built in 2003 by which time the shipyard had become New Century Shipbuilding Co). With this ship's arrival, we have now seen all six ships in Halifax under various names and guises. All were built for charter work and have served such groups as Seaboard, BBC, HAL, Onego and Fednav.

This ship entered service as Atlantic Power. became Seaboard Power in 2001, Federal Power in 2007, Atlantic Power again in 2013, then Onego Power in 2015, Atlantic Power again in 2016 and finally Augusta Mars in February of this year. Sister ship Atlantic Pioneer is now the Augusta Unityand is also running for Nirint Lines. That they have not been given Nirint prefixes may not be indicative of much since no Nirint ships currently have Nirint prefixes, whereas at one time all ships did.
The sixth ship in the series built as Atlantic Progress, also with Nirint as Augusta Sun, was in Halifax in December but may have gone on to other operators since it was last rported in China and no longer shows on Nirint schedules..


The "Atlantic P" ships all measure 12,993 grt and 17,451 dwt and carry two 45 tonne cranes. They have a maximum container capacity of 1118 TEU, but are multi-purpose ships and carry a combination of general  / break bulk cargo and containers and have 13 portable pontoon type tweendecks.

The nickel material they unload in Halifax is bagged material and handled by shoreside crane.

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Little Rock away

Whether it was the thrumming of diesel engines, the whine of a gas turbines or the sighs of the crew, there was a dull rumble as USS Little Rock finally got underway this morning for its new home of Mayport FL. As per the previous post, it has been a long time since the ship sailed from commissioning in Buffalo, NY, to finally be able to give Mayport as its next port of call.


Decks lined with "popsicle" suited matelots, the ship clears the piers of HMC Dockyard. 
(The winter suits will go into the souvenir lockers when the ship sails into warmer weather.)

The ship is just one of a series of Littoral Combat vessels under construction for the USN at Marinette Marine in Wisconsin. The next ship in the series, Sioux City, may be ready to sail this year, but my bet is that they will wait for next spring to get out of the Great Lakes. I am sure they will not try for a December sailing again any time soon.

Tug Atlantic Willow begins to swing the ship's bow seaward, as Atlantic Oak hauls the stern around.

First order of business on arrival in Florida may be a general cleanup, including some paint. The staining from the gas turbine side port exhausts is a fact of life for ships of this class, but the general state of the paint is certainly under par for the normally "pusser" USN.

Tugs clear, the ship sets out for sea.

As a guest ship at HMC Dockyard, the ship used civilian tugs and pilots for its arrival on April 3 and its departure today.
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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Halterm tied up and other activity

Two ships that were due to sail from Halterm's South End container facility have been delayed until tomorrow.
Melfi's Catharina Schulte and Eimskip's Selfoss will remain in port tonight. That meant that Nolhanava tied up at pier 37 and did not appear to be working cargo, since pier 36 was occupied by Selfoss - it did not appear to be working either. Oceanex Sanderling which is also in port, will remain at Autoport until midnight then move back to Halterm on departure of ZIM Qingdao.

 The inbound truck lanes numbered about 40 trucks late this afternoon, with more arriving. Border Services has completed scanning inbound containers from ZIM Qingdao and their scanner truck is headed home.
Selfoss is stern in at pier 36, with Nolhanava (barely visible) at pier 37.
The tanker Falcon Maryam moved earlier from anchorage to Imperial Oil dock 3.  

Bad weather on the eastern seaboard this winter seriously messed up Tropical Shipping's two ship schedule, especially in March. Bomar Rebecca's scheduled March 6 sailing was postponed by a week and the whole schedule slid ahead at week. A maintenance period for Asian Sun was also moved along by a week. That maintenance will happen in Halifax, as the ship arrived on Wednesday April 4 and discharged all its containers, then moved to pier 9B. There was therefore no Tropical Shipping sailing this week.

 
Asian Sun flushing its anchor cable at pier 9B with the refitting Fundy Rose in the background.

 Asian Sun was built in 2005 by Jiangdong, Wuhu. The 9956 grt, 13,698 dwt ship has a capacity of 1118 TEU and carries two 45 tonne cranes. Its first name was CSAV Colon, then became Aliança Cordillera in 2007, and Asian Moon in 2008. Tropical announced new ships for the route to be delivered in 2019.

The next Tropical sailing is scheduled for next week on Bomar Rebecca and Asian Sun will be back in service for the April 16 sailing.


Just south of Halterm, the lobster season is winding down and the Eastern Passage based Oralee was not finding much in its traps off Black Rock Beach.

The boat has been lobstering in this area for many years, but has only recently begun sporting the colourful Canadian flag on its bow. It was built in 1973 in Clarke's Harbour, NS.


Out in the Basin HMCS Charlottetown was doing some helicopter evolutions. It was very windy, so likely a good test.


Charlottetown does not seem to be straining on its anchor despite heading up in to a stiff breeze. Note the crash boat, manned and ready alongside.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

News Flash

Ever wonder how Halifax Shipyard will be launching the Harry DeWolf and its subsequent sister ships?
The answer is on its way to Halifax.

The shipyard (or the navy) has hired Boabarge 37, a heavy lift semi-submersible barge for four years, and it left Rotterdam Waalhaven for Halifax today in tow of the tug Boa Bison.
 

Muller tugs En Avant 1, 5 and 27 move the barge from the berth this morning.
 
Built in Nanjing in 2015 the barge measures 152m x 38m x 9.15m and can submerge up to 12.5 forward, 16.6m aft. It has a grt of 15,185 and dwt of 29,500 with a carrying capacity of 30,000 tonnes.



It last assignment was the mating of the Hebron topside in Newfoundland, so it is no stranger to Canadian waters.


The current ETA for Halifax is April 17.




Pilot off, tow underway.

The tug Boa Bison , which has been laid up for two years has been re-mobilized for this tow. Built in 2014 it measures 7,328 grt, and  and with 26,969 bhp produces 275 tonnes bollard pull. Classed as an Anchor Handling Tug / Supplier, it is nevertheless a superb towing vessel for project like this.

Thanks to Rotterdam pilot Hans Hoffman, who piloted the tow outbound today, for providing these photos.

More information about the tug and barge, including specifications and drawings is available on the Boa web site:  http://www.boa.no/

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Arrivals


It was a day for arrivals, with several ships of interest putting in an appearance.


Earliest arrival was the first ship on the new ZIM shuttle service to / from Florida and Jamaica, called the Canada-Florida Express. ZIM is scrubbing Halifax calls for its long time big ship ZCP service. The big ships will now stop at New York. However Halifax cargo will be handled through  ZIM's Kingston, Jamaica hub and feed containers out to Halifax on the small ships. Those ships will then carry return cargoes via Florida (competing with Tropical Shipping) and on to the Kingston hub.
ZIM's ZCA service will continue through Halterm, as will its ZCI serivce in conjunction with THE Alliance, calling at Cerescorp's Fairview Cove facility.

AS Felicia at Halterm with a lot of white (reefer) boxes.  A good sign for increased business.

First ship on the service is AS Felicia, a 1296TEU (including 390 reefers) ship fitted with a pair of 45 tonne cranes. Despite its small size, it is expected to work the same number of boxes, or maybe more, than the big ships used to work in Halifax. Built in 2006 by Zhejiang Ouhua in Zhonshan, the ship has carried several names: launched as Medocean, delivered as EWL Caribbean, renamed APL Managua in 2007 and Medocean again in 2014, it took its present name in 2015. (Europe West Indies Line (EWL) had a short lived service to Halifax before it failed in 2008, but this ship was not one of its callers here.).
A secondary benefit to having a ship of this size is that it can be accommodated at Halterm no matter what other ships may be alongside. (Today that was the EM Kea on Maersk / CMA CGM's St.Lawrence service. - which usually calls on Saturdays.)


The long awaited USS Little Rock finally tied up at HMC Dockyard this morning. It was originally due between Christmas and New Year's day, but therein lies a tale of woe. Built by Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, the ship sailed down to Buffalo, NY where it was commissioned December 16 alongside its predecessor of the same name. The new Little Rock LCS 9 is a Freedom class Littoral Combat vessel, whereas the older preserved ship was a guided missile cruiser CLG 4.




Little Rock was having teething problems and it did not sail from from Buffalo until December 20. It had to tie up in Port Colborne overnight until a tug arrived to assist it through the Welland Canal. It had arranged for tug assistance to transit the St.Lawrence Seaway, but called in a second tug because ice had started to build and the ship was never intended to work in ice. The  South Shore Canal was plugged with ice, but the ship managed to reach Montreal Christmas Eve. However the mechanical problems had not been resolved and concerns about ice in the St.Lawrence River lead to the decision to stay in Montreal for the winter. (I guess the memorable tow of HMCS Athabaskan in winter was a warning about what could go wrong.)

The ship was not winterized, and numerous measures were put in place to allow the crew to inhabit the ship and to prevent hull damage. It was moved to a berth that was protected from flowing ice, but nearby residents complained about the noise from the shore based emergency generators and the ship had to be shifted again.

Finally on March 28, three months after the last tentative sailing date, the ship got underway from Montreal, with CCGS Des Groseilliers as escort.  It was able to shed the escort once clear of Quebec City and it arrived here safely today. (Later in the day, the ship took bunkers from Algoma Dartmouth).



Next along was the supplier Scotian Sea returning from an emergency cable repair off Sydney, NS. The ship, which had been laid up in Dartmouth for the winter, was fitted out last week and sailed Friday.


Once alongside pier 9A, work began to remove the cable repair kit consisting of a stern slide and containerized splicing and repair shops.

His Majesty's Danish Ship Ejnar Mikkelson also arrived for HMC Dockyard. In contrast to Little Rock it is completely winterized, and is generally used to patrol far northern waters off Greenland - including the disputed territory with Canada.


The ship's hull was built by Stocznia Polnocna in Gdansk, Poland and fitted out by Karstensens Skibsv in Denmark, with commissioning in 2009. The second in the Knut Rasmussen class of patrol vessels, it is on its second visit to Halifax. The first time was for the Naval Review in June 2010. 



Canada does not have any comparable ships (yet) the first of our Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels, HMCS Harry DeWolf , under construction at Halifax Shipyard, will be taking to the water this summer. It remains to be seen what capabilities the ship has, since it is a combination patrol / icebreaker, a new type of ship for the RCN.

Addendum:
The last arrival of interest was the tanker Falon Maryam, a typical MR (Mid-Range) tanker of 29,130 grt, 46,121 dwt, built in 2009 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan.



Most of these MR tankers don't change hands too often, so this one is unusual in having had three previous names. It was built as Stealth SV, becoming Alpine Endurance in 2009 then Stealth Bahla in 2012. It assumed its current alias in 2017 when its owners, King of Hearts Inc, placed its management with Falcon Navigation Ship Management.

Atlantic Fir met up with the tanker east of George's Island and provided tethered escort through the Narrows.

Arriving from Antwerp, Belgium, the ship anchored in Bedford Basin.
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