Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cleaning up

Shipfax will be taking a break during August. However I will be back in September. Expect changes however, as I will begin to transition to an as yet unknown format. As the recent retirement of Princess of Acadia reminds me, time marches on and change is inevitable.

The first Princess of Acadia at the old wharf in Digby, NS, in its final year of operation. Its successor has now been replaced after 44 years.

In case you missed it back in April I covered the "founding" of Shipfax here  and here. It has changed format before and will be doing so again. Stay tuned.



In port R and R

It was an idyllic evening in Halifax and that was embodied by by HMCS Summerside resting at anchor in Bedford Basin, with its anchor cable straight up and down.

It looked like a pinic on the after deck, but apparently this was a well earned rest. Summerside and CCGC Cape Edensaw (note correct spelling - the JTFA doesn't know how to spell it) figured in a medical evacuation from a fishing vessel off Halifax at some point today. The CCG lifeboat is based in Sambro and landed the patient there where he was taken to hospital by ambulance.

JTFA identifies the fishing boat as "IVO" but I don't know of any boat with that name.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015


The Canadian Coast Guard is keeping CCGS Samuel Risley as it fills in for both Sir William Alexander and Edward Cornwallis. It has been buoy tending on short trips out of Halifax and participating in SAR ops. This afternoon it sailed for the south shore, with the eventual destinaiton of Shelburne. On its after deck was buoy TC 52 for Pollock Reef Shoal in the Lunenburg area (44 14 38.3 X 64 14 28.7)

On loan from the Great Lakes, the ship may well be working here until the late fall.

Atlantic RoRo made one of its infrequent calls with Baltic Mercur II. A "second generation" ship, replacing the Astrakhan class ship[s, now mostly  scrapped, the ship is a versatile one even if it does not have RoRo capability. See previous post on the subject:

Built in 2004 by Dalian Shipyard in China as Cape Delfaro it became San Pablo in 2012 and took its present name in 2014. It measures 23,132 grt, 30,343 dwt.


Barges for the Big Llift Project - Part 2

The two barges finally arrived this afternoon and after slowly making their way in from the pilot station, they were shepherded alongside the Cherubini dock by RMI Marine's Belle-D and Captain Jim.

Océan Arctique makes its way in with the two barges in close hauled tow. That is the cargo ship Onego Trader anchored off after unloading a cargo of rail at pier 27.

Belle-D and Captain Jim await the tow.

The new look Timberland bears little resemblance to its previous appearance (see previous post and below).

Océan Abyss has also changed a lot - it now has two spuds, with winches and is carrying a couple of small loaders and other gear on deck.

The tug Océan Arctique then headed for Pier 9C where it tied up for refueling. When it leaves Halifax it will be returning to its regular station in Sept-Iles, QC.

Heading up the Narrows, Océan Arctique was a handsome sight.(see also Tugfax.)

A mere 40 years ago, Timberland lifts some drill rig legs from the barge Haltren No.1 at pier 6. The barge transported the components from Dosco's steel plant in Trenton, NS to Halifax. In the days of fixed lens rangefinder cameras, I didn't get the end of the jib.


Barges for the Big Lift Project

This summer will see the start of the Big Lift project to replace the decking of the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge across Halifax Harbour. Fabrication of the new deck sections will take place at Cherubini Metal Works Eastern Passage plant in Eisner's Cove.
Where the bridge spans over water the old sections will be lowered down to barges and the new components will be hoisted up from barges during overnight operations. The bridge will be closed periodically while this work takes place.
See all the details here:

Contractors, American Bridge Canada Company have hired two barges from Groupe Océan of Quebec, which are due in Halifax this afternoon. They will be towed into port by the tug Océan Arctique which has an interesting connection with Halifax - see Tugfax
Both barges have been in Halifax before and it might be a surprise to learn the circumstances of one of them.

Timberland is in fact two barges connected together. No one knows for sure when the barges were built or exactly where, but they came from the New York area in the 1970s when Halifax Shipyards was building oil rigs. The two scows had their sterns squared off, then they were joined together to support a tall crane built by the Timberland Co of Woodstock, ON. Once the crane was on the joined barges, they became known unofficially as Timberland. Since the crane barge was trapped between the two bridges, it was deemed to be "not for transportation use" and was thus never entered into Canadian registry.
The crane was something of a landmark in the harbor for many years, usually tied up at Pier 6.

Over the years the crane fell into disuse, and as Irving Shipbuilding began to modernize the yard, they dismantled the crane tower and sold the barge to Groupe Océan in 2008. It was then registered as Timberland for the first time in 2008.
It measures 799 gross tons with dimensions of 44.31m x 25.04m x 2.95m.

Océan Abys was built by Marine Industries Ltd in Sorel, QC for the Beauharnois Light + Power Co. It may have been called Beauharnois temporarily, but it was soon renamed Growler. (The name recollected an American sloop of war that was captured by the British on Lake Champlain in the War of 1812.) The barge carried a large deckhouse that contained a work shop and supported construction at the site of the dam and powerhouse adjacent to the St.Lawrence Seaway locks at Beauharnois.
In the mid 1960s it was sold the Marine Industries Ltd renamed MIL 497. When MIL wound up its operations it became Omni No.1 for Omnimar ,a Sorel based tug and barge operator. At that time it was rebuilt, with grt changing from 633 to 583 tons, likely reflectng the removal of a small deck house. It then carried a large construction crane.
Groupe Océan acquired the Omnimar company and gave it the name Océan Abys in 1994.
Now classed as a pontoon, over the years it has served as a flat deck scow, a crane barge, and a landing stage, with the installation of a large ramp. It was last in Halifax from September 2000 to June 2001.

The tug Ecosse brought it in to Halifax on September 23, 2000 after working on the St.Marys River. It remained idle until it was towed out again June 5, 2001 by the tug Salvage Monarch.

Arrival of the tow is now scheduled for this afternoon, but weather and visibility have already delayed its arrival since yesterday afternoon. Today's plan is for the barges to go to Pier 9C and the tug to go to an unknown berth for fueling. A small tug, likely the Belle D will handle the barges once they near the Macdonald bridge.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Princess of Acadia Bows Out

Princess of Acadia made her final crossings Saint John to Digby and Digby to Saint John today. There was to be much fanfare on both sides of the run before the ship lays up in Saint John.
The ship made its first run in 1971 amid much fanfare, and this multi-fold glossy brochure. I have divided it up into 4, but it was published as one double sided page 9" x 16", folded in four:

The ship looked spectacular in its all white livery, but looked good in other schemes as well:

The most dignified was the Marine Atlantic blue with gold stripe.

The white scheme that Bay Ferries adopted for a time was impressive too, but the funnel needed something more.

Its final colour scheme was a successful combination of the two previous ones.

The final fate of the ship remains up in the air. As it is the property of the Minister of Transport, it will likely have to be disposed of by tender.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

One Two for Fairview Cove

Two ships arrived for Fairview Cove this morning, one after the other.

Inbound approaching Ives Knoll, NYK Rumina was an imposing sight with its lofty superstructure, but with most containers only stacked three high. The ship appeared to be rolling somewhat.

First along was NYK Rumina a 55,534 grt, 65,981 dwt ship built by Hyundai Samho in 2010. With a capacity of 4922 TEU (including 330 reefers) the ship flies the Singapore flag. Although owned by an offshoot of the NYK Line of Japan, it is managed by Columbia Ship Management of Limassol, Cyprus.

With the escort tug Atlantic Oak secured astern the ship makes its way up through the Narrows to Fairview Cove.

Only one half hour behind, Seoul Express made a slower approach to give the tug Atlantic Oak time to return through the Narrows for escort. Even so it was not until the ship had passed under the Macdonald Bridge that the tug was secured. Ships of this size are supposed to have tethered tug escort from bridge to bridge.
Seoul Express is carrying its containers four to five high as it transits the Narrows with Atlantic Oak finally secured astern.

Seoul Express was built in 2000 by Hyundai, Ulsan as Bremen Express, and has been a frequent caller here since new. Taking the name Seoul Express in 2007, it made its first call here with that name October 9, 2007. It is owned directly by Hapag-Lloyd and flies the German flag. 

It measures 55,465 grt, 66,971 dwt and has a capacity of 4890 TEU (including 370 reefer) making the ships not sisters, but surely cousins in size, builder and appearance.