Saturday, January 23, 2021

Singelgracht arrived in tow

 The Dutch paper and multi-purpose carrier Singelgracht arrived in tow late this afternoon January 23 and tied up at Pier 9C. One of the Spliethoff "S class", the 16,641 gt, 21,402 dwt ship has side loading doors and elevators for paper products and three cranes of 120, 90 and 55 tonne capacity to handle a wide range of cargoes. It has a container capacity of 1134. Built in 2000 by Mitsubishi, Shimonoseki, it is one of eleven similar ships in the fleet.

Harbour tugs flock to assist the tow once inside Maugher's Beach.

The tow was carried out by Secunda's tug/supplier SIEM Commander which had been laid up at the C.O.V.E. dock in Dartmouth. Built in 2009 by Havyard, Liervik, Norway, as STRIL Commander it was acquired by SIEM from Simon Mokster in 2017. The 16,000 bhp tug/supplier arrived in Halifax in July 2019 and saw some work supplying and towing for Sable gas, but has been idle for some time.

The ship was en route from Zeebrugge to Philadelphia when it apparently had some sort of problem. SIEM Commander sailed from Halifax at midnight last night, so the ship was not far off. The tow was joined at the pilot station by the harbour tug Atlantic Cedar to provide braking and steering power. 

 This incident again raises the topic of Emergency Towing Vessels (ETVs) for the Atlantic Coast. With the absence of any offshore oil or gas activity, there are very few "vessels of opportunity" available to respond to the occasional emergency. The fact that there was any vessel of SIEM Commander's capability available, and that it could be mobilized at short notice (with a skilled crew) is quite fortuitous.

With towing line trailing off astern, SIEM Commander approaches Ives Knoll inbound to Pier 9C.


AOPS #3 Roll Out

 Another milestone was reached January 22 and 23 as Halifax Shipyard rolled out two of the three mega blocks for the third Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship. 

The internal fittings of the ship are in an advanced state before the roll out.

The be named HMCS Max Bernays AOPV 432 the ship will be fully assembled on dry land before it is floated out by semi-submersible barge.

Despite a significant snowfall on Friday January 22, the roll out seems to have gone off  well.

It will join AOPS#1, HMCS Harry DeWolf AOPV 430 currently in post acceptance trials with the RCN.  AOPS#2 to become HMCS Margaret Brooke AOPV 431, is still alongside the fit out berth at Halifax Shipyard (directly behind in the photo above -gangway visible to the left) but has had engine run ups in preparation for sea trials.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Three Arrivals, but all is not well

 Despite grim statistics for seaborne trade on the North Atlantic routes there were three container ship arrivals today, one for Fairview Cove and two for PSA Halifax. 

Fairview's was the well known Atlantic Sun, one of the five ConRo sisters operated by the Grimaldi Group's Atlantic Container Line on their weekly service to and from North Europe.

The current weakness of transatlantic trade is evident from the relatively few containers visible on the ship's deck. ACL however benefits from RoRo trade, and I have noted large numbers of cars arriving on these ships recently

Atlantic Sun arrived from Baltimore and will sail tonight for Liverpool on the eastbound leg of its run.

The two ships for PSA Halifax arrived at the same time, with Taipei Trader going first.

Tugs Atlantic Cedar (forward) and Atlantic Willow prepare to turn the Taipei Trader off PSA Halifax.

The ship and its sister Tampa Trader operate the weekly "Canada Florida Express" service for ZIM, which works as a feeder from Halifax to the US and ZIM's Kingston, Jamaica hub.  They are 1102 TEU (including 220 reefer) ships of 9932 gt, 13,063 dwt, built in 2014 by Jiangsu Newyangzi Shipbuilding in Jiangjiang, China, equipped with two 45 tonne cranes. Taipei Trader carried the name Cap Avatele from 2014 to 2016.

The third ship in was MSC Eleni on its second visit to Halifax. The first was on January 11 when it was westbound to Montreal.
Atlantic Fir has taken the forward position while Atlantic Oak (not visible) has moved to the starboard quarter to assist in turning the ship.

The ship is on MSC's longstanding transatlantic service, which has just started to call in Halifax to top off or decant cargo to reduce draft for the St.Lawrence River. It is now eastbound again and will top up with available cargo from Halifax.

MSC Eleni dates from 2004 when it was built by Hanjin Heavy Industry and Construction Co Ltd in Busan. The 54,881 gt, 68,254 dwt ship has a capacity of 5060 TEU including 400 reefers.

Unlike the transpacific trade which has clogged ports such as Los Angeles/Long Beach, container volume on the Atlantic has dropped off the cliff. The dearth of cargo has caused THE Alliance partner HAPAG-Lloyd to  "blank", "void" or cancel sailings altogether. Now they have announced the cancellation of one service altogether. The AL1 route is the victim of the downturn. That left only the ATA service calling in Halifax, but HAPAG-Lloyd announced today that Halifax has been added to the AL5 service which is a North Europe to North America West Coast via Panama. As first port in and last port out this keeps Halifax in a good position. However reliability will still be a question if ships are delayed for days or weeks by west coast port congestion.


IT Intrepid sails

 The cable ship IT Intrepid sailed this afternoon after a period of maintenance at the owner's headquarters at Pier 9B. IT International Telecom is based in Halifax, but services cables in many areas around the North Atlantic basin.

The ship has been based here for many years, and mentioned in this blog many times:

As with all of the old time and traditional cable ships it has huge sheaves mounted over the bow, which are used to pay out or retrieve submarine cable.

 This morning before the ship departed some sailors were working in the bow, giving some idea of the scale of the sheaves.

(Water vapour exhaust from the Nova Scotia Power Corp's gas fired generating station at Tuft's Cove, in the background, is condensing in minus 0 degrees C air.)


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

NS Stream and CSL Tarantau

 It took a telephoto lens and a wide angle lens to get pictures of two ships in Halifax today. 

NS Stream at Imperial Oil #3 dock was unloading some petroleum product from Port Arthur, TX. 

The ship is slightly unusual for a MidRange type tanker, in that it was not built by one of the well known Korean shipyards. Instead it came from Brodotrogir (the Trogir Shipyard in Trogir, Croatia) in 2006. The 27,357 gt, 47,197 dwt ship is owned and operated by SCF Novoship JSC of Russia. That company is one of the many tentacles of the joint-stock company [JSC] Sovcomflot [SCF], namely Novorossiysk Shipping Co [NSC]. The parent company owns 117 tankers, with more under construction and chartered. It also manages its fleet through various subsidiaries around the world - this ship from Dubai, UAE according to some sources.

I photographed the ship at the same berth but from a different angle July 23, 2015.

At that time there was still most of Imperial's refinery in the background. Glad the ship got some paint.

CSL Tarantau was the subject of the super wide angle (18 mm equivalent) at Pier 9C.

The ship arrived January 13 for maintenance [see previous post]  which is winding up today, with the ship scheduled to sail this evening. I don't have a destination yet, but will add it in later when AIS picks it up. (The ship took tug assistance out into Bedford Basin to turn around before setting course outbound.)

Monday, January 18, 2021

Morning in the Afternoon

 The auto carrier Morning Cornelia arrived this afternoon for Autoport.

The ship is operated by EUKOR a company owned 80% by Wallenius Wilhelmsen and 10% each by Hyundai and Kia. Specializing in transporting Korean automobiles (EUKOR = EURope + KORea) their ships also operate on the world wide Wallenius Wilhelmsen routes carrying all brands of cars. 

Korea is known as "The Land of Morning Calm" and most of EUKOR's ships have "Morning" as a prefix.

Morning Cornelia was built by Imabari Zosen in Japan and is a 60,002 gt, 22,530 dwt ship with a capacity of 6,458 cars.


In From the Storm

A couple of days of very high winds forced the suspension of pilotage activities on the weekend, which delayed the arrival of some ships. One of these was Tropic Lissette which rode out the stormy weather anchored deep within St. Margaret's Bay off  Mill Cove. 

The Tropic Lissette has been a regular for Tropical Shipping ever since September 16, 2019 fresh from  Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard in China. The 15,215 gt, 20,313 dwt ship has a capacity of 1100 TEU, including 200 reefers, and alternates its weekly calls with sister ship Tropic Hope