Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Esmerelda Returns

The lovely Esmerelda returned to Halifax after a long absence and anchored in the harbour for all to see. (She will move in to pier 20 on Friday after some cruise ships get out of the way).

Perhaps she does not have the cachet of a full rigged ship or a barque, but this is made up for to some extent by her fine lines. Built originally as a four masted topsail schooner - that is how I first saw her in Quebec City in 1963.

My first "tall ship' - although the term was not in use in 1963 except in poetry.

Aside from a change in rig, she is much the same, except for the addition of some SatNav domes.
She is now considered to be a four masted barquentine, after her fore gaffsail was removed and replaced by staysails. Wikipedia says the change was made in the 1970s, but she was not rigged with a fore gaffsail in 1963, so the change may have been made well before that.

Near sister ship, the Spanish Juan Sebastian Elcano still carries that gaff foresail sail (including gaff and boom) despite the same type of navigating bridge. 


Monday, June 26, 2017

Atlantic Pegasus for Irving Oil

The Hong Kong flag tanker Atlantic Pegasus arrived this afternoon and tied up at the Irving Oil depot in Woodside. The ship arrived from Saint John, having previously delivered some refined petroleum product to that port from Amsterdam. As previously noted Irving Oil is importing large quantities of European product.

Atlantic Pegasus is another in the long line of similar ships built by Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan. Its tonnages are 29,107 grt, 46,838 dwt. It appears to be owned by the single ship company Heroic Lupus Inc. The ship is managed by PTMC (Product Tankers Management Co) an operating pool formed in 2014 by Asahi Tanker from Japan, Ultratank, a Chilean company , Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) of the United Sates  and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) of Japan, with a fleet of about 60 ships.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Golden Oak - harbour tour [amended]

The chemical tanker Golden Oak arrived this afternoon with no designated berth. Usually that means the ship will anchor at the pilot's discretion. That certainly proved to be true, as the first attempt to anchor in number 1 anchorage was scrubbed and the ship made its way to number 7 anchorage where it finally got its hook to grab. In fact the ship was conducting a compass swing in number one anchorage - the launch Captain Jim was there to deliver and pick up the compass adjuster.

Golden Oak tuns out of number 1 anchorage, partly occupied by CCGS Earl Grey.

 The launch Captain Jim and the pilot boat Chebucto Pilot stood by during this exercise which took close to two hours.

 Golden Oak, built in 2008 by Jinse, Busan, with a gross tonnage of 8,505 and deadweight of 13,168 dwt it is of mid-size for this type of ship. Owned by the anonymous OCM Tuna Golden Oak LLC, c/o Norbulk Shipping of Glasgow, Scotland, and registered in the Marshal Islands, it is perhaps surprisingly managed  by Algoma Tankers. Algoma's six ship domestic Canadian tanker fleet is well known, but its presence in the international tanker market has not been publicized. Algoma only took over management on June 15.

Algoma Tankers have been granted coasting licenses for four (unnamed) foreign flag tankers to operate on the Great Lakes and in eastern Canada over the summer months due to an Imperial oil refinery hut down.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fog, mist, drizzle, showers

The notoriously wet month of June lived up to its reputation today, delivering a variety of precipitations, especially when ships were moving.

This morning I had hope for a good photo of the 8456 TEU CMA CGM Titus on its fourth visit to Halifax. I had missed its first visit 2015-10-04 and all subsequent visits for various reasons. As the tugs vanished into the fog inside Meagher's Beach I could hear the ship's booming fog signal, but it was not until the ship was well up to the Middle Ground that it was anything like visible.

With tugs alongside (one to port and one to starboard) the ship was about to make its turn and was still sounding its fog signal.

CMA CGM is bringing larger ships along all the time, so it was important to get a photo of this ship, which is one of the smaller types that may be replaced. The 90,931 grt, 109,021 dwt ship dates from 2011 when it was built by Samsung Shipbuilding and Heavy Industries Co Ltd.

Later in the day the fog had moved off somewhat in the upper reaches of the harbour, but the on again / off again showers were on again for the sailing of K-Line's George Washington Bridge. The Panama flag ship was built In 2006 by Hyundai Heavy Industry in Ulsan and carries 5624 TEU, including 600 reefers on 68,750 grt, 74,023 dwt.

Bridge and bridge - the ship has just passed the A. Murray MacKay bridge outbound.

K-Line's plans to merge its container operations into a joint venture called the Ocean Network Express (ONE) with the other Japanese lines MOL and NYK has run into trouble with the Competition Commission of South Africa. That body is of the opinion that it could lead to collusion on rates. The same lines had previously been found to collude on auto carrier rates, and South Africa therefore will not approve the merger. Where this leaves the plan is in is question. Oddly United States, the Federal Maritime Commission stated that they did not have jurisdiction in the matter since it was not a merger but an acquisition.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Harry DeWolf - roll out coming

Halifax Shipyard indicated some time ago that the roll out of Harry DeWolf will be happening in July. Now with warm weather upon us, the overhead doors at the Shipyard allow for the occasional peak at what we may be seeing soon.

Several bow bulwark components have arrived on the dock from Woodside and  the centre mega block module that carries the ship's bridge is visible from time to time. The bow and stern blocks are under construction on the adjacent bay on the right.

The ship is the first in the six ship Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOP) contract. The last ship is due to be delivered by 2022.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Argentia Desgagnès - another new Canadian

Transport Desgagnés Inc of Quebec has been on a major buying spree this year, acquiring cargo ships and taking delivery of a new tanker *- the first of several new builds.

Today the latest cargo acquisition arrived in Halifax for reflagging. Argentia Desgagnés, built in 2007 by Ustaoglu Yat KO of Eregli, Turkey is the former Turkish flag Ofmar. A general cargo / bulker of 6369 grt, 8950 dwt, it is fitted with two cranes and clamshell grabs and will replace the veteran Amélia Desgagnés.

The new ship was reflagged as of today and its port of registry is now St.John's, NL.  It was registered in Barbados for the delivery trip from Tuzla, Turkey, where it received a new paint job, including the distinctive Desgagnés yellow stripe.

The new port of registry is unusual for Desgagnés, but since the ship will be running mostly in eastern Canada (as its new name suggests) it does make sense.

Its predecessor, Amélia Desgagnées was familiar sight in the Atlantic Canada for many years. Built by Collingwood Shipyards in 1976 as Soodoc for N.M.Paterson, its modest size of 4490 grt, 7250 dwt allowed it access to many smaller ports. However it also called in Halifax with grain.  Soon after it was built it was fitted with four 10 ton cranes in pairs, allowing it to handle a variety of bulk cargoes such as salt. Transport Desgagnés acquired and renamed the ship in 1990.

Amélia Desgagnés, in ballast, drops anchor approaching Pugwash, NS to load a cargo of salt.

Amélia Desgagnés arriving in Halifax with a small cargo of grain.
 _ _ _

* The company's newest tanker, Damia Desgagnés, ran into a spot of trouble Friday last week when it had a mechanical problem and ran aground at Mariatown, ON, near Iroquois, on the St.Lawrence Seaway. Traffic in the busy waterway was held up for a day until the ship was freed Saturday by two tugs. It was escorted to Johnstown, ON for survey. The new dual fuel ship was on its first trip up the Seaway bound for Nanticoke, ON,  with a cargo of heavy fuel.
There has been no report yet on the extent of damage.  


Sunday, June 18, 2017

A sub and more cars

The absence of a submarine in Halifax harbour for many months was broken for a short spell yesterday and today as HNLMS Zeeleeuw [Sea Lion] put in for a brief visit. One of four Walrus class subs of the Dutch navy it has been in commission since 1990.

An RCN sailor stands by to pipe a salute as the pup tug Granville turns the sub off the pier. 
The civilian tug Atlantic Willow did the work of "lifting" the sub away from the jetty.
HNLMS Zeeleeuw underway for sea.

The Dutch diesel electric subs have been instrumental in numerous intelligence gathering operations and have been deployed in anti-piracy operations.

Our own local submarine HMCS Windsor (all the others are on the west coast) has been invisible for many months. However it was announced last week that the RCN will keep the subs for another decade or more, which will mean many billions in refits to extend their life expectancy from 2020 to the 2030s. New subs will then not be needed until the frigate program is complete.

A much more common sight in Halifax is car boats - love' em or hate' em they are a fact of life, and their daily (or more frequent) arrivals and departures create lots of work for pilots, tug crews and longshoremen. 

 Talia has rounded Indian Point headed for Ives Knoll- at the north end of Macnab's Island. 
Note the ship's sloping forepeak, which improves visibility forward, but also improves areodynamics.

Talia arrived this morning and sailed late afternoon. A  57,692 grt, 21.021 dwt ship, built in 2006 by Gdynia Shipyard in Poland, the ship is owned by Ray Car Carriers and is on long term charter to Wilhelmsen Lines. Although auto carriers look alike, there are subtle differences in appearance and size.

From nearly broadside, the ship's immense size becomes apparent - it has a capacity in excess of 6,500 cars. The tug Spitfire III follows the ship outbound for its next assignment (see below)

As Talia left, the next Autoport customer was arriving. Viking Queen is a new name for ship that has been in service for nearly ten years. Built as Hoegh Delhi by Uljanik Shipyard in Pula, Croatia, the 55, 775 grt, 16,890- dwt ship was renamed earlier this year, reflecting an ownership change that took place in 2014. Current owners are listed as Gram Car Carriers Holdings, but the original owners were Viking Car Carriers, so this might have been an internal transfer rather than an actual sale. Nevertheless it is unusual for car carriers to change names.

Viking Queen has a slightly more conventional appearance, and somewhat smaller tonnage, but can still carry 7,000 cars.Tug Spitfire III has made up aft and Atlantic Oak moves in forward, to assist the ship to Autoport.