Saturday, October 16, 2021

Contship Leo - new ZIM feeder

Ever since ZIM started its East Coast North America feeder service, called Canada Feeder Express (CFX), in April 2018 it has been using short term charter ships. All have been about the same size and configuration, and today's first time arrival is no exception.

Contship Leo was built in 2008 by China Commerce Group Kouan Shipbuilding as Vega Saturn. It became CFS Paceno in 2016 and took on its current name in 2020. The 9957 gt, 13,803 dwt ship has a container capacity of 1118 TEU had carries two 45 tonne cranes.

The CFX runs between Halifax, New York and Kingston, Jamaica, using two ships, but the schedule has been disrupted in recent weeks and was reduced to one ship. Published schedules now indicate that Contship Leo will become a regular and the second ship will be the Taipei Trader, which was a regular, resuming in November. It was recently reported en route to Brazil.


Friday, October 15, 2021


 The Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean ship Tulane arrived in Halifax October 14, unloaded some RoRo cargo at Pier 31 then moved to Autoport and sailed today. On sailing it exhibited one of the scruffiest paint jobs seen recently.

It may be among the last ships in the traditional Wilhelmsen orange. Most others have been repainted in the new joint colours. The ship was built in 2012 by Hyundai Ulsan, it will be due for a ten year survey sometime next year, so will likely get the new paint during that drydocking. They have apparently used up some of the old orange along the waterline.

It is a 72,295 gt, 28,818 deadweight vessel with a 7934 CEU capacity. The ship is not on the usual route for autocarriers: Zeebrugge Oct 3, Southampton Oct 4, Santander Oct 6 and is not due to call at any US ports en route to Manzanilla terminal, Panama.

The ship follows the Wilhelmsen tradition of ship's names starting with the letter "T". Presumably it is named for the New Orleans university, home of the Green Wave. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

MSC Susanna on Indus 2

 The second ship to arrive on Halifax on MSC's Indus 2 service put into port today, October 14. MSC Susanna is a sizeable ship of 108,930 gt, 117,095 dwt with a capacity of 9178 TEU, including 700 reefers. It was built in 2005 by Samsung Shipbuilding + Heavy Industry Co, Koje, South Korea.

It is considerably larger than the first ship to call on the Indus 2 service, MSC Stella, a 6724 TEU ship that was in port October 5-6.


quite bit larger than the first ship that called last week, MSC Stella

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

All in a day's work

 Halifax is a great harbour for shipwatching because of the great variety of shipping that can be seen on a given day. Of course container ships get most of the glory due to their size and colourful appearance.

The 5087 TEU MOL Emissary dates from 2009 when it was built by Hyundai, Ulsan for Seaspan Corp. It is chartered to MOL (a partner in ONE) and working for THE Alliance on the AL5 service. I have photo'd the ship many times as it passes through the Narrows en route to the Fairview Cover container terminal.

Another often photo'd ship is CSL's Thunder Bay, en route to Gold Bond Gypsum's dock in Bedford Basin.
The self-unloader, built in 2013 by Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China is a 24,430 gt, 34,433 dwt ship that sails under the Canadain flag and works in and out of the Great Lakes. The noticeable abrasions on the hull near the bow signify frequent passages through the locks of the St.Lawrence Seaway.

Naval vessels are also frequent callers in Halifax, since the port is home Canada's east coast navy base, at HMC Dockyard. The Canadian Coast Guard also has a large presence here as does the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of which it is a part.  When a member of the United States Coast Guard visits Halifax it is usually as a guest of the Royal Canadian Navy, which has better facilities but is also a military organization, which the Canadian Coast Guard is not. One such guest for the past few days has been USCGC Healy WAGB-20, which sailed this afternoon.

The ship recently completed a west to east Northwest Passage. These northern waters are claimed by Canada as territorial waters, while other nations claim they are international waters. Canada is increasing its activities in the north in order to underscore its claim, and sent HMCS Harry DeWolf on an east to west Northwest Passage. Although the USA is one of the nations claiming the waters are international, it nevertheless went though the process of advising Canada in advance of Healy's trip. The trip was also completed in compliance with Canadian environmental and health regulations for the Arctic.

The Canadian Coast Guard was at work today as CCGS George R. Pearkes did some buoy tending off Halifax. The ship has been drafted in from Newfoundland while other ships are in refit.

The Pearkes is visible on the horizon as Dominion Bearcat works on some reef balls off Black Rock Beach, Point Pleasant Park. Despite the best efforts of generations of seabirds the black rocks are still black.  (mostly).

Not to neglect the tug industry, see also today's post on Tugfax

And as a follow up on yesterday's post, the tanker New England moved alongside Irving Oil's Woodside terminal late this afternoon. If you didn't catch my amendment yesterday there was more information added after the initial post.

Unusually warm weather brought out a multitude of pleasure craft today. 


Monday, October 11, 2021

Tanker New England, a rare caller (amended)

Irving Oil has a large marine terminal in the Woodside area of the Dartmouth side of Halifax harbour.  Domestic and foreign tankers bring in refined product where it is stored in tanks onshore. It is then distributed by truck throughout mainland Nova Scotia. The product comes from Irving Oil's huge refinery in Saint John, NB or from Amsterdam, Netherlands where Irving Oil maintains a facility.

Material coming form Saint John arrives on one of the tankers Irving Oil operates under Canadian flag. Product from Amsterdam has until now arrived on foreign ships sometimes operating in a pool or as spot charters. A surprise arrival today from Amsterdam is Irving's own long term charter. New England is one of the four ships built by Hyundai, Mipo in 2005 for the Netherlands based Vroon company, also known as Iver Ships BV, and chartered to Irving Oil. Two currently operate under Canadian flag: Acadian and East Coast ex Nor'easter (i), and two under Marshal Islands flag. Those latter vessels Great Eastern and New England along with Nor'easter (ii), the former Iver Progress, operate out of Saint John, NB, servicing Irving Oil's large New England market through such ports as Searsport, Bucksport and South Portland, ME, Boston, MA, Providence, RI among others. It is therefore unusual that one of these ships can be spared for a transatlantic voyage. It might make sense if it was combined with a visit to a European shipyard for maintenance and drydocking, but in this case there doesn't seem to have been time for that as the ship sailed from Providence  September 17 (presumably in ballast) and was in Amsterdam September 28, sailing from there September 30.

New England at anchor after a transatlantic trip.

In any event we have the rare sight of two Irving Oil tankers in Halifax at one time, as fleet mate, but Canadian flag, East Coast is already alongside at Woodside. New England will remain at anchor until the berth is free.

East Coast at the Woodside jetty, will sail this morning for St.John's, NL.


 Since posting this earlier today, a kind reader has pointed out that the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John is closed for a seven week "turnaround" and therefore both the New England and the Iver Prosperity (another long term charter from Vroon) have been sent to Amsterdam to pick up cargoes of refined product to satisfy demand.

An Irving Oil press releases says the project, called Operation Sandpiper, costing $121 million, will employ 2,500 tradespersons in addition to the regular workforce. These "turnarounds" occur every year and vary in size and duration depending on the scope of work to be accomplished.


Sunday, October 10, 2021

USCGC Tahoma

 The USC GC Tahoma sailed this morning October 10 after a three day stay in Halifax. The Kittery, ME based cutter makes occasional courtesy calls here - the last in August 2020.

In April 2021 the ship made a Panama Canal transit to work on drug interdiction in the eastern Pacific.  The operation was carried out in cooperation with "Allies and Partners" including the Royal Canadian Navy and netted two smuggling vessels and a significant quantity of drugs. The Halifax-built HMCS Saskatoon, based in Esquimalt, was one of the participants. In early June Tahoma returned to its base after the 79 day mission.

 The ship was commissioned in 1988 and carries a complement of 100. This can include specialist aircraft crew for helicopter surveillance and sniper operations.


Saturday, October 9, 2021

In from the cold

 Recent warm weather may be cause to forget that there is cold weather ahead. However two of today's arrivals have put the cold weather behind them - at least for a while.

CCGS Jean Goodwill returned to its base at the Bedford Institute after its first season in the arctic for the  Canadian Coast Guard. 

 The former icebreaking / anchor handling tug/supplier, Balder Viking has been upgraded for Canadian Coast Guard use, although that work may not be entirely complete. Built in 2000, the 18,020 hp ship is considered an "interim" solution to icebreaking needs until new vessels can be built.

Today's other arrival from the north is of a similar age, but is larger and vastly more powerful. The USCGC Healy WAGB-20 was commissioned in 1999 and develops 46,350 hp.

It is arriving in Halifax having made a Northwest Passage from its home base in Seattle. This is the ship's second visit to Halifax. The first was in the year 2000. It will now return to Seattle via the Panama Canal. While en route it will pass the HMCS Harry DeWolf AOPV 430 which has recently completed its own Northwest Passage from east to west, arriving in Esquimalt October 4. It will be returning to Halifax via the Panama Canal too.

While Harry DeWolf is in full service as the first of the RCN's Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels, the second, Margaret Brooke AOPV 431 is alongside HMC Dockyard. AOPV 3 to be named Max Bernays AOPV 432 is under construction at Halifax Shipyard. 

Launch date for the ship has not been announced yet, but that is expected soon after October 15 when the coasting license for Boa Barge 37 kicks in. (It is used as the launching platform.)

On this visit to Halifax USGC Healy is tied up at HMC Dockyard. But back in the pre 9/11 days of April 2000 the ship berthed at Pier 20, with minimal security.