Saturday, November 22, 2014

CMA CGM Montreal sold

The container ship CMA CGM Montreal is reported sold to undisclosed buyers for $US 7.2 mn. One of five ships in the Maersk / CMA CGM TA4 transatlantic service, it was in Halifax last Saturday.

Built in 2002, the 32228 grt ship has a container capacity of 2732 (including 450 refrigerated). It only started on the TA4 service earlier this year, and carried the name Antje Wulff for its first cal in Halifax. Since built is has carried the names Antje-Helen Wulff, P+O Nedlloyd Dammam, CMA CGM Seagull and Ibn Abdoun. Owners since 2010 have been Herman Wulff of Glueckstadt, Germany.
It is too early to tell if the ship will continue with the joint Maersk/ CMA CGM service or will be replaced by another ship.It is currently the only CMA CGM ship on the run, the others are all Maersk.
The TA4 port rotation is Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Montreal, Halifax, Rotterdam. CMA CGM Montreal is due in Rotterdam November 24. It would be due in Halifax again on December 13.

Today's caller was Maersk Palermo which caught the last rays of the setting sun on departure. Several CMA CGM boxes are identifiable in its deck cargo.


HMCS Iroquois gives and gets an invitation

Although a paying off sail past is not in the cards for HMCS Iroquois - the government does not want to call undue notice the occasion of her decommissioning - there will be a dockside ceremony sometime this winter. Among the invited guests are members of La Corporation du site historique maritime de Sorel-Tracy. That group hopes to provide a new home for Iroquois once it is retired.

With the support of the city, and the promise of berth#2 on the Richelieu River, the group is looking to have the ship in place and open to the public in 2017 for the 375th anniversary of the founding of the town.
The ambitious plan would have as much as possible of the ship's naval equipment intact (but disarmed) so that visitors could see it in its ready state.

It would be a reminder of Sorel-Tracy's distinguished shipbuilding history- of which there is little evidence remaining. Marine Industries Ltd and is predecessors Chantier Manseau (1926-1938), the Canadian Government Shipyard (1900-1935) and others such as Le Claire Shipbuilding Co (later called Transportation + Shipping Co Ltd), Sorel Shipbuilding, and H.H.Shepherd+Sons built hundreds of ships over the years. Many of the ships were built as part of wartime emergency building programs, and so a naval vessel seems an appropraite artefact.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

1984 and Portugal calling

Back into the 1984 shoebox. 1984 was the year of the biggest Tall Ship event in Halifax for years. My vantage point off Point Pleasant Park for the Parade of Sail was not the best, and most of the ships were well known anyway. 
One vessel in particular caught my eye, and I was pleased to catch up with it later in Quebec.
Gazela was built in 1901 as a traditional wooden sailing vessel of the Portuguese Grand Banks White Fleet. Carrying 35 dories, and without an engine until 1938, it fished steadily until 1969. It was purchased by the Philadelphia Maritime Museum and arrived in its new home port in 1971 where it was refurbished and renamed Gazela Primiero. It sails an ambassador the city, the port, and the State of Pennsylvania   In 1985 ownership was transferred to the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, and it was renamed Gazela.

Her long overhanging stern was the result of a new stern post and extension fitted when she was motorized.
The 3 masted barquentine, along with scores of other white painted Portuguese schooners, made St.John's, Newfoundland and North Sydney, their North American base of operation since time immemorial. In fact the Basques and Portuguese were exploiting the Grand Banks fisheries long before John Cabot showed up in 1497. 

With ancestral rights of access to the Banks, they continued to fish there after Canada declared its 200 mile economic zone. However continued quota abuse eventually lead to a ban on port calls,. They did shift to St-Pierre for a time, but they have largely vanished from our area due to the depletion of the cod stock, their primary interest in fishing.

They were still calling in St.John's in the late 1970s and early 1980s when I saw them. but there were no schooners left. However many were still fishing with long lines from open boats, and salting their catch aboard in the traditional way.

CCGS Barlett sails through the Narrows of St.John's harbour as Portuguese boats Conceiçao Vilarinho and Avè Maria are tied up alongside.

Conceiçao Vilarinho was built in 1947 by Hammarbyverken of Stockholm. Sweden as the cargo ship Elsa Thorden, and in 1948 was renamed Bure. In 1951 it was acquired by Joao Maria Vilarinho Successors Ltda of Aveiro, Portugal and converted for dory fishing and renamed. In this 1978 photo she had been equipped with six motor boats for the line fishermen to set out and retrieve their trawls and land their fish. The ship was deleted by Lloyd's in 2003.

Ave Maria (shown in the two photos above) carried open boats that looked more like lifeboats than dories, and had much greater capacity than the traditional boats. Also based in Aveiro, it is a wooden hulled ship, and thus not listed by Lloyd's. Its history is unknown to me. On September 7, 1982, on a voyage from Finland to Portugal, and 28 miles off the North Foreland, she caught fire. Helicopters evacuated the 45 crew and the hulk was towed in to Chatham on September 10, where it appears to have acquired by the Royal Navy. On February 23, 1983 it was towed to Plymouth. Then on April 12, 1983 she was towed out of Plymouth for Gibraltar where she was to be sunk as a target.
Note the laundry drying on the forestay. These small ships had huge crews, crammed like sardines and even hot bunked in cramped forecastles.

Santa Maria Manuela, also from Aveiro, was built in 1937 by Cia Uniao Fabril of Lisbon, on traditional schooner lines. By 1978 she was carrying large steel open boats for line fishing. Her fate is unknown.

Built in 1948 by Est.Nav. de Viano do Castelo, Sao Gonçalinho later fished out of Aveiro. It was broken up in Sacavem March 4, 1992. Cabot Tower on Signal Hill stands guard over the Narrows in St.John's.
Dating from 1950 as Soto Maior, built by NV Scheepswerft Gebr. Pot in Bolnes, Netherlands, it became Jose Caçào in 1974. It was based in Figueira da Foz and was classed as a cargo ship.  It may therefore have delivered bait and picked up salted fish from other ships.

Senhora das Candeias was built in 1948 by Est.Nav. de Viano do Castelo, and fished out of that port. An ice strengthened side trawler, she is seen here in Halifax at pier 23. She was probably in port to load frozen bait - likely mackerel. It was broken up in its home port in March 1992.

Antonio Pascoal was another Aveiro based boat, also an ice strengthened side trawler. Built by Haarlemsche Scheepwert Maats. of Haarlem, Netherlands in 1948, she is shown arriving in Halifax, with a large forepeak party ready to handle lines. On June 24, 1990 she suffered an engine room fire and sank northwest of the Azores.

Aguas Santas of Aveiro was built in 1949 by T. van Duijvendijks Scheepswerft in Lekkerkerk, Netherlands. Also an ice strengthened side trawler. She was deleted from Lloyds in 2003.

Senhora do Mar dates from 1952 and the shipyard Cia Uniao Fabril of Lisbon. In 1963 she was converted from dory fishing to side trawling. She is seen here in North Sydney loading bait. Renamed Leone V in 1989, she was broken up in 1999.

Santa Maria Madalena was built in 1962 by Est.Nav. de Viano do Castelo and fished form that port. In the photo she was at pier 23 [ pier 34 - thanks Bruce] in Halifax in 1984 having been arrested for some fisheries infraction. She was renamed Leone in 1991 and on May 31, 1996 she caught fire in the Barents Sea. Brought back to her home port, she was broken up there June 22, 1996.

Lunenburg was not a traditional port for Portuguese boats, but they did come in for repairs or to load bait, which was mostly mackerel.

S.Gabriel was built in 1956 by Est Nav de Viano do Castelo. Owned in Lisbon, it fished out of Leixoes.
Reflagged to Panama in in 1987 and named Alpes III it sank July 17,1995 following an engine room explosion off the Cape Verde Islands. A side trawler it had a 965 bhp Mirrlees, Bickerton+ Day main engine.


Seabed Prince to work off Nova Scotia

The Norwegian Seabed Prince tied up at pier 27 today to load gear for work offshore. The ship will be working for Secunda Canada to accommodate a dive team and and ROV to work on the export gas pipeline at the Thebaud field off Sable Island.
Work will include placement of grout bags, reinforcing bars, and weighted mattresses on the seabed. to hold down and prpotect the pipleine.
As a Norwegian ship, it has been granted a coasting license since no suitable Canadian vessel was available to do the work. The license is to expire December 31.

 A shore based crane loads gear aboard Seabed Prince at pier 27.

The ship's hull was built by the Yildirim shipyard in Tuzla, Turkey, but construction was completed by Baatbygg, Raudeberg, Norway. Laid down as Acergy Merlin it was completed in 2009 as GSP Prince for owners Volstad Shipping AS of Aalesund and managers Troms Offshore Management. In 2012 management was taken over by Swire Seabed Shipping of Ovre Irvik, Norway. and the ship was renamed Seabed Prince. (Swire is a Hong Kong based shipping conglomerate).

Aalseund is an ancient Norwegian fishing and sealing port with longtime ties to Halifax, but is now also heavily involved in the Norwegian North Sea oil and gas business.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Canadian Coast Guard small craft - Part 2

Back in 1984 the Dartmouth base was home to numerous small craft. Some worked navigation aids in small ports and others were tasked with pollution cleanup and other duties. (I have chosen photos taken over a period of years, but all the craft were in service in 1984).

Rustico Light, Nomad V, a landing craft, and "Seatruck" (the yellow craft on the pier) at the Dartmouth base.

Rustico Light was built in 1965 in Pictou by Stright-McKay Ltd, and was similar to a Northumberland Strait fishing boat, except its cabin was much longer.It was registered in Charlottetown.

Rustico Light with a rudimentary oil recovery vessel built on an old landing craft hull.

Nomad V was built in Shag Harbour in 1966 (the year before the UFO landed)

Nomad V and Rustico Light in the background and a vessel known as the "Seatruck" in the foreground. It was painted bright yellow and outboard powered. It was used for deploying containment booms and for oil spill cleanup.

Nomad V was a general workboat, even acting as relief pilot boat in Halifax for a time in 1973. It was sent to remote locations such as Main-à-Dieu, Cape Breton, which was inaccessible to larger vessels.

In 1986 it was sold to Good People Sea + Services Ltd, operators of the marine railway in North Sydney. They renamed it Shelly Loran but is register was closed in 1988.

CGE 301 was equipped with a "slick licker" for oil spill cleanups. An unenviable task.

Larger Coast Guard craft carried their own small craft for tending to buoys or for beach landings.

The laid up Walter E. Foster forms the backdrop for a very beat up landing craft from the Louis S. St-Laurent, and CGE 301 hauled out on the dock. The Foster's landing craft has been removed, and its gantry davit stands empty.

When the Louis was in refit the landing craft was usually removed, so it was possible to see the huge davit gantry that could carry the weight of a fully loaded landing craft.

When ready for sea, the landing craft was nestled in place.

With Sir William Alexander and Provo Wallis alongside, the south yard of the base was full of buoys. It also had a few small craft under repair and if you look closely on the far right, a helicopter.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Acadian and other movements

The Irving Oil tanker Acadian  sailed from anchorage.

An early report indicated that it would shift to anchor in the Basin, but it left for sea.

The bulker Nordic Visby sailed in very windy and rough conditions this morning, following repairs, its destination was Porto Cabello.

Garganey resumed loading after rain forced a halt yesterday.

Danish HDMS Niels Juel delayed its departure from noon until after dark, although wind conditions did not seem to improve over that time.

Oceanex Sanderling arrived and went to Autoport first, instead of going to Halterm. There two autoships due at Autoport this week, so it may be that they wanted to get in before the berth was taken up.

  November 13 photo


Canadian Coast Guard small craft - Part 1

The review of the Canadian Coast Guard in 1984 continues.

Not just a big boat operator, the Canadian Coast Guard had numerous small craft too. So many in fact that it would be a monumental task to winkle out the names and fates of all of them. The new book Canadian Coast Guard 1962-2012 does a pretty fair job:  

Here is a sampling:



The 44 ft self-righting lifeboats were built to the U.S.Coast Guard design. In fact the first one, CG 101 was built by the USCG at its Curtis Bay, MD facility in 1969, and stationed at Clark's Harbour, NS. Another SAR station was established at Sambro, at the mouth of Halifax harbour and the boat stationed there also covered SAR calls in Halifax harbour as well as offshore.

An unknown boat in the foreground, and CG 117 and CG 118 in the background at the Dartmouth base for maintenance.


CG 118 in Pictou, NS. It was built by Eastern Equipment in 1975.
CG 117 at Dartmouth Marine Slips. It was also built by Eastern Equipment in 1975.

CG 141 hauled out at the Dartmouth base. It was built in 1981 at Georgetown, PE.

The boats were all numbered, but took on the names of their stations. Boats based in Sambro, Port Bickerton, Louisbourg, and Port Mouton were seen in Halifax from time to time. They swapped the boats around during maintenance periods, and even between regions.
Known as Type 300 they were retired over time up until about 2004. Some served as training vessels at the Coast Guard College in Point Edward, NS in their later years.

Type 400 boats were built for the Western and Central and Laurentian Regions by Breton Industrial +Marine of Point Tupper (Port Hawksbury), NS in two batches. The first was built in 1980.
CG123 was sent to the west coast and renamed Point Henry It was put up for sale as 2011-05, and new owners renamed it Point Henry.

 CG 124 became Ile Rouge, sold as 2013-01 and renamed Never on Time

The first of the second batch was built in 1982.

CG 125 at the Dartmouth base before heading to to the west coast. It was renamed Point Race and registered at Prince Rupert. Sold as 2011-04 it was renamed Point Race by new owners. Note some other small craft in the foreground. Nomad V is bow to the camera, it will be picked up in a subsequent post.

CG 126 was renamed Cape Hurd and was put up for sale this year as 2014-01. It was recently acquired by the City of Toronto and was reported in the Welland Canal just last week, headed for its new home.


Well suited for work in shallow water and mud flats, ACVs were also found to be useful for breaking sheet ice. They were ideally suited for areas of the St.Lawrence and CH-CGA  could be seen far downstream. There was a permanent landing ramp at Gros Cacouna, and there may have been others. They were particularly useful in areas where tides (up to 20 feet) left vast stretches of mud flats, making shore navigation markers impossible to reach at times.

Built in 1972 at Grand Bend. ON, the Bell Voyageur was also known simply as Voyageur since it was the only one of its type to serve with the CCG.

CH-CGA thunders across the flats at Baie St.Paul where the tidal range exceeds 15 feet.

 Once on the beach, the apron "deflates" because the air cushion weeps out when the fans are stopped. A Boler travel trailer provides rudimentary accommodation for the crew. a slightly larger trailer appeared in later years.

The CCG expanded its ACV fleet after Voyageur was retired in 1987. Later units got rid of the costly gas turbine engines and went with diesels, and permanent bases were established at Sea Island, BC and Trois-Rivières, QC.

More small craft to follow