Thursday, May 6, 2021

Margaret Brooke starts sea trials

 The second Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel built by Halifax Shipyard began sea trials this afternoon. With the tugs Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Oak alongside the ship headed to Bedford Basin first for 3.5 hours of adjustments before putting out to sea.


AOPV2, as it is currently called, will be named HMCS Margaret Brooke when it is commissioned by the RCN later this year. It is already wearing its pennant number 431.

The first vessel of the class, HMCS Harry DeWolf AOPV 430 has recently been in southern waters, in the vicinity of Bermuda, after previously carrying out cold weather operations during the winter.


The third AOPV, to be named Max Bernays is still on the hardstand at Halifax Shipyard, minus its bow. The first two megablocks were rolled out January 22 and 23. The bow was expected to be joined in "the spring" of 2021 and a float out planned for November 2021. 


There was a general shutdown and reduced activity for several months in 2020 due to COVID, but the shipyard seems to be working full out these days, with night and weekend work. 

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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A very full day

 There was lots of harbour activity today, May 4, most of which I was able to observe first hand.

At Autoport the car carrier Goodwood arrived at an early hour from Emden, Germany.

Zodiac Maritime displays their "Z" trademark on the bow.

Operated by Zodiac Maritime, it is one of 14 car carriers in the fleet along with numerous ships of all types. Several of the car carriers are named for famous racetracks. Goodwood Circuit, near the south coast of England  started in 1948 on the perimeter of a wartime airfield.

The ship Goodwood has called here numerous times since built in 2014 by Imabari Zosen, Marugame, Japan It is 59,526 gt, 18,770 dwt Pure Car and Truck Carrier with a capacity of 6203 autos.

Also displaying a letter "Z" but his time on the funnel is the tanker Kibaz arriving from Saint John, NB and docking at Irving Oil, Woodside. Sources indicate that the ship is owned by Zenith Shipping through a single ship entity called Kibaz Shipping LP.


The ship apparently discharged most of its cargo of refined petroleum products in Saint John. Built in 2004 by Onomichi Zosen, in Japan, it is a 28,517 gt, 47,094 dwt vessel. It carried the name Baizo from 2004 to 2016.

Imperial Oil also received a ship today, but unlike recent fuel deliveries, this time it was domestic product. Algoscotia arrived from Imperial's refinery in Nanticoke, ON.


Algoscotia was also built in 2004, but by the Jiangnan Shipyard Group, Qiuxin Shipbuilding in Shanghai, China. It is a 13,352 gt, 18,601 dwt ship owned at operated by Algoma Tankers, mostly for Imperial Oil. The ship was laid up in Montreal from January 2 to April 25 when it sailed to Nanticoke, loading there April 27.

Heading for the St.Lawrence Seaway en route to Toronto, the tug Lois M sailed from the Cherubini dock in Eisner's Cove towing the barge Glovertown Spirit. On board the barge is one of five bridge sections for a new waterfront development in Toronto's docklands. The first bridge section was shipped on the same tug and barge last October.


The remaining bridge sections in the $100 million contract will also be shipped from Cherubini's own dock over the coming months.


Yesterday's arrival August Sun completed unloading its cargo of nickel sulfide from Cuba at Pier 31 and is expected to sail late in the day. The Pier 30-31 berth is virtually "unphotographable" from the shore side in Halifax, but given the right conditions it can be seen from the Dartmouth side of the harbour, and can be captured with a long lens.


 Augusta Sun 12,993 gt, 17,531 dwt, with a capacity of 1118 TEU and two 60 tonne cranes, has been a regular for Nirint Lines since 2017 under two different names. (It has had six). See several previous references, including: June 8, 2020



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Monday, May 3, 2021

Fairviewmax and bridge ready


 Fairviewmax?

With the proliferation of "max" ships, such as Panamax, post Panamax, Suezmax, Kamsarmax and others, I imagine today's visit of Dalian Express at Cerescorp's Fairview Cove container terminal  may represent the largest type of ship that can reach the facility in Bedford Basin. Air draft would seem to be the controlling factor as opposed to length, breadth or even draft, since ships must pass beneath two bridges, the A. Murray MacKay being the lower of the two. So would this be a Fairviewmax?


Yes, Dalian Express managed to squeeze beneath the MacKay bridge as it sailed from Fairview Cove on THE Alliance's EC5 service today.

Built in 2001 as Hamburg Express the 88,493 gt, 100,006 dwt ship has a container capacity of 7506 TEU, including 700 reefers. It has carried its current name since 2011 and has been a regular caller in Halifax for several years.

Bridge ready

The latest bridge for a large Toronto Island project is now loaded onto a barge and ready to leave Halifax. The second of four bridges in a $100 million project, it was built by Cherubini Metal Workers of Dartmouth at their waterfront plant. Yesterday it was rolled out onto the barge Glovertown Spirit.


Late today workers were doing final securements and the tug Lois M had refueled and repositioned the barge at Cherubini's dock, ready to sail. There is a tentative pilot order for 2200 hrs tonight, unlike the last bridge that sailed last October in daylight.

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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Maersk Penang - retracing its course

 As recounted yesterday the Maersk Penang was re-routed from Montreal to Saint John, NB last week due to the longshore strike. After  unloading in Saint John, it came to Halifax, which would have been its normal stop en route back to Europe.


When it sailed this evening I was startled to see how light it was in draft, meaning that it hardly took any cargo in Halifax. I was  equally surprised to see the ship giving its destination as Saint John. It must be going there to pick up export cargo that was redirected during the strike.

Along with most other lines sailing to the St.Lawrence, its schedule and vessel rotation are now in disarray. With longshore workers legislated back to work, it will be a major task to clear backlogs and service incoming ships.

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Toronto Bridges - Part 2

The Halifax company, Cherubini Metal Workers, has been contracted to build four bridges for a new waterfront development in Toronto. The company is uniquely placed to build bridge structures with one of its plants on the Halifax waterfront, incorporating its own dock. The company has built bridges for locations all over North America, including deck replacement sections for the Angus L. Macdonald bridge in Halifax, several of which have been delivered by barge.

The first Toronto bridge, for Cherry Street North was shipped by barge last fall. See posts of October 24 and October 29. That structure, weighing 375 tonnes was built to carry LRT and pedestrians 57 meters to a new island to be named Villiers Island.

Today the second bridge was loaded aboard the same barge, Glovertown Spirit at Cherubini's dock in Eisner's Cove, between South Woodside and Shearwater.

With the tug Lois M holding the barge in line with the dock, the bridge is wheeled aboard using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs).

The bridge contract, estimated to be worth $100 million, consists of two 57 meter spans for Cherry Street North (the second of which will be for road traffic), one for Cherry Street South, 109 meters long, and one for Commissioners Street, 152 meters long (to be built in two sections). It is likely that two more of the bridges may be delivered this year. One unpainted unit is visible in the fabrication yard.

The arrows point at a portion of another bridge, still unpainted, just visible between some of Cherubini's buildings. (If you are sharp eyed you may see another ship spotter in the photo.)

All the bridges will be delivered in the same way, by tug and barge, using the St.Lawrence Seaway system to deliver the units to their precise destination.

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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Predominantly Blue

 Blue was the colour of choice in Halifax today, Saturday, May 1, and thereby hangs a tail or two.

The Maersk Penang arrived at PSA Halifax this morning after sitting at anchor outside the harbour since Thursday, April 29.


Due to labour disruptions in Montreal, the ship's normal westbound transatlantic route was changed when it went instead to Saint John, NB. However with export cargo waiting for it in Halifax, the ship then came here and anchored until picking up the normal scheduled sailing day - today.

In March, Maersk announced that the ship would make a trial call in Saint John, March 23, then Halifax March 26 (it did not) and Montreal March 29. If Maersk has been tempted away from Montreal by the Port of Saint John and CP Rail, then one wonders how long they will continue to call in Halifax.

Now that longshore workers have been legislated back to work in Montreal it may be a while before we see the resolution of this story. So far the next scheduled ship on the Maersk CAE service, Maersk Palermo, is south of Newfoundland en route to Montreal, more or less as per normal except about one day later than usual.

Cerescorp, Fairview Cove had its own blue ship today too. MOL Glide is here once again on THE Alliance's AL1 service. The AL1 service is due to end in 2Q 2021, but Halifax has been added to the AL5 service which has already started to call here, serviced by NYK ships.


Still wearing the MOL colours MOL Glide it has not yet been repainted in Ocean Network Express (ONE) magenta as MOL's "M" class ships have. 

No blue ships at Autoport today, but instead it was the green over grey Wallenius Wilhelmsen hull colour scheme of their merged fleets. Manon is one of the veterans of the fleet, built in 1999. It ranks as a regular caller, and was last here March 27, 2021.


There was very bright blue at HMC Dockyard as HMCS Toronto shows off its new 'boot topping". The term is an ancient nautical one denoting the paint on the portion of a ship's hull that is usually under water. The paint is also specially formulated to discourage marine growth and is described as "anti-fouling." The bright blue paint has recently been applied while the ship has been out of the water on the Syncrolift.


The Syncrolift [a registered trade mark] is an elevator platform that lifts ships out of the water by means of a couple of dozen synchronized electric winches (under the light blue hoods in the photo). The RCN's own ship repair unit, called Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott (FMFCS), can perform a multitude of repair and maintenance chores once the ships are "in the dry". 

The FMFCS facility recently celebrated its 25th anniversary as commemorated in the forces newspaper Trident

Of note is a current tender to remove .5 meter of toxic sludge that has built up on the harbour bottom under the platform. The project, which is expected to cost in excess of $3 million, will allow the platform to be lowered to its design depth.

The last caller was another exception, because I couldn't see a spec of blue anywhere on Alpine Madeleine arriving from Antwerp for Imperial Oil.


A typical MR tanker of 29,266 gt, 49,999 dwt, like scores of others, it was built by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan in 2008. The ship is operated by Diamond S Management LLC (hence the funnel mark), a large publicly listed tanker operator with a fleet of 64 ships, 50 of which are MR tankers like this one. Diamond S recently announced a merger with International Seaways, another NYSE listed company, with mostly crude tankers, which will make a combined fleet of 100 ships. Both companies are US based.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

CMA Corte Real for PSA Halifax

 The "Ultra" class container ship CMA CGM Corte Real arrived at PSA Halifax at noon time today April 28 on the Columbus JAX service. Columbus JAX ships usually call on the weekends, so a Wednesday arrival is somewhat unusual. It sailed from Colombo, Sri Lanka April 10 and passed through the Suez Canal April 17-18, so does not appear to have been delayed by the aftermath of the Ever Given blockage.


The ship's measurements of 151,446 gt and 165,182 dwt give it a capacity of 13,830 TEU (including 800 reefers). It was built in 2010 by Daewoo Shipbuilding + Marine Engineering , Okpo, South Korea. Those tonnages are greater than CMA CGM's Argentina class ships that claim a container capacity of more than 15,000 TEU. The ships have nearly identical measurements of 365 meters long x 51 meters width.

CMA CGM Corte Real appears to have taken its pilot at the outer pilot station, and was joined by a tethered escort tug (Atlantic Oak) at the regular pilot station. Two more tugs, Atlantic Fir at the bow and Atlantic Beaver toward the stern met the ship in the Middle Ground area to assist in turning and berthing at Pier 42.

Size records are expected to be set again next month when the 16,000 TEU class ship CMA CGM Marco Polo is due to arrive at PSA Halifax. Its dimensions of 396 meters long x 53.6 meters wide are commensurate with tonnages of 175,343 gt, 197,626 dwt.

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