Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Themis ramps it down

The large autocarrier Themis made its first call in Halifax today, on a very gloomy morning. It stopped first at pier 31 to unload some wheeled machinery and in the afternoon moved to Autoport to unload cars.

As soon as the ship was made fast it began to lower its giant stern ramp.

Built in 2016 by Hyundai Samho, the ship has a capacity of 8,000 cars, but can carry a variety of RoRo cargo too. Its 320 tonne capacity stern ramp allows for some very heavy loads. The ship is owned by Toda Shipping and managed by MMS Co Ltd. It sails for Wilhelmsen Lines under the Wallenius Wilhelmsen banner. Its gross tonnage is 75,283 with a deadweight tonnage of 23,786.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Atlantic Conveyor - finale

This may be my final posting on the Atlantic Conveyor except perhaps for a report that she has headed for the scrap yard. Her arrival today is likely her last westbound trip, and since I will be away when she makes the return eastbound call next week, today was also my last chance to see the ship.
As the last Atlantic Container Liners (ACL) G3 in operation it is worth repeating some of the history that I have recounted before.

 Atlantic Conveyor passes Meagher's Beach this moring, to be joined by its escort tug Spitfire III.

The ship was launched July 12, 1984 at Swan Hunter on the Waalsend-Neptune yard on the Tyne and made her maiden call  in Halifax February 1, 1985. Named Atlantic Conveyor by her owners, Cunard Steam Ship Co Ltd, she was was the second ship to carry that name.  The first Atlantic Conveyor was also a product of Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd from their Walker yard in Newcastle in 1970. It was one of the second generation (G2) series built for service with ACL and was a regular Halifax caller. 

The first Atlantic Conveyor taking water at the pier 36 RoRo ramp. This was its regular berth until the Halterm container terminal was completed.

A steam turbine ship, it needed to replenish its fresh water supply from time to time..

It served ACL until 1982 when it was requistioned by the UK Minister of Defence for service in the Falklands War. Fitted out to carry military supplies, it was not armed. On May 26, 1982 it was struck by two exocet missiles from Argentinian aircraft. Unspent propellant ignited a fire that gutted the ship, killing twelve including the ship's long time master, Capt. Ian North, well known in Halifax. The seven helicopters that were on board were also destroyed and many other supplies. Prince Andrew witnessed the strike and was first on scene in his helicopter to lift off survivors. It sank a few days later in tow.
 A few months before lenghtening, Atlantic Conveyor arrives in Halifax.

 The second Atlantic Conveyor arrived at Scott Lithgow Ltd in Greenock, Scotland July 14, 1987 and was lengthened 42m (to 291.92m) , increasing its capacity substantially. RoRo capacity was increased by 3570m2, containers by 336 TEU (to 2908) , cars by 500 units, and its engine increased by 3,670 bhp (to 27,398 bhp) . That engine, a massive 6 cylinder B+W was built under license by John G. Kincaid, also in Greenock. The ship was already distinguished by the turtleback cowl over its forepeak - unique amongst all the ACL G3s. All the other G3s were lengthened by Hyundai Mipo.

The lengthened Atlantic Conveyor passes the Novadock floating drydock at Halifax Shipyard, monopolizing the Narrows.

Through the various re-arrangements of ownership of ACL, Atlantic Conveyor has at various times flown the British and Bahamas flags, but since 2003 it has flown the Swedish flag, as ownership is vested in Atlantic Container Lines AB, which in turn is owned by the Grimaldi Group.

Outbound this evening after 32 years.


Sunday, July 23, 2017


With the annual Shipfax vacation about to start soon, it seems like a good time to do a small round up of pending events.

The Atlantic Pilotage Authority has acquired a pair of high speed pilot boats to supplement their  fleet. The boats were built in the Netherlands and had seen service for Sima Charters in the UK before they were acquired this spring. Their trip to Halifax was an interesting one. From the port of Waalhaven, they were lifted aboard the Icelandic cargo ship Bakkafoss on June 17. On arrival in Reykjavik they were unloaded and then transferred to the Reykjafoss for the trip to Halifax. On arrival here July 1 they were unloaded and moved to Dominion Diving's facility at Dartmouth Cove for final fit out.

The two boats have now been renamed Nova Pilot (the former SC Lynx) and Scotia Pilot (ex SC Cheetah) both were built in Huesden, Netherlands by ShipInstall BV. Although they are  built to the same basic design they are slightly different.

Nestled in at Dartmouth Cove, the pair have recovery platforms on the stern and lifting cradles to recover persons from the water.

Nova Pilot was built in 2010 and is powered by two Volvo engines totalling 1144 kW (1400 hp) and driving a pair of Rolls Royce water jets for a top speed of 24 knots.

Scotia Pilot was built in 2011 (according the previous owners, but 2012 according to Transport Canada) and is powered by a pair of Caterpillar engines totaling 1304 kW (1748 hp) and driving a pair of Rolls Royce waterjets for a maximum speed of 26 knots.

The boats are both 18.5m long by 5.6m breadth with a draft of 21.1m and can carry 12 persons with a range of about 300 miles.
They are also fitted with second steering station outside and extensive man overboard recovery gear. Other fittings include heated deck and hand rails.

Scotia Pilot returning from a practice run with the outbound Ningdo Express in the Middle Ground area, but the regular pilot boat Chebucto Pilot did the actual disembarking at the pilot station.

The ferry Dartmouth III has completed drydocking in Sambro, but is still undergoing some work alongside the government wharf. The new owners plan to sail the vessel to Toronto via the Gulf of St.Lawrence with many stops along the way.

Amongst the fishing vessels at the Sambro government wharf, Dartmouth III looks very much out of place.  Sharp eyes will detect that its name is applied to a plate which presumably covers a new name that will not be revealed until it reaches its now home in Toronto.

Speaking of long trips through the St.Lawrence system, the little bunkering tanker Arca I that got into trouble last winter and ran ashore in Cape Breton, has finally departed from Sydney on its way to its new home in Mexico. This time it is on board the heavy lift ship HHL Tokyo departing Sydney July 19 and now travelling in comfort and safety.

An interesting yacht visited Halifax last week, and sailed this morning, so if you didn't see it, here are some photos.

Silver Cloud is the world's first SWATH type yacht. The Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull design uses small diameter twin hulls to reduce water plane area and increase efficiency through the water. The two cylindrical hulls (11 feet in diameter in the case of the Silver Cloud) are bridged by the ship's deck making a roomy and stable catamaran.

This one was built in 2008 by Abeking and Rasmussen in Lemwerder, Germany and measures 134 feet long x 58 feet wide, and has generous accommodation for five guests and five crew. It features all the usual amenities and bells and whistles and can accommodate a small helicopter (of course).

With a Latin dance party going on at full blast on the adjacent dock, I hope the yachters had good sound proofing.
For this yacht, there are numerous on line links with many interior photos, and even identification of the owner:

This is not the first SWATH type craft to call in Halifax,. In fact one of the earliest SWATHs is CCGS Federick G. Creed, built by Swath Ocean Systems Inc of San Diego, CA in 1988 and lease / purchased by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in 1989. Although it sailed out of Halifax for a time it has been based at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute in Mont Joli, QC and rarely leaves the confines of Gulf of St.Lawrence conducting marine research.

As  originally painted in white oceanographic colours, Frederick G. Creed approaches a dock in Halifax.

In Fisheries and Oceans colours, and as a Coast Guard ship, the vessels passes George's Island inbound to Halifax.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Siem Cicero on maiden voyage

The auto carrier Siem Cicero made its first arrival in Halifax today on its first revenue trip (aka its maiden voyage).

The ship was launched as recently as November 12, 2016 by Uljanik shipyard in Pula, Croatia, one of three new auto carriers under construction for Auto Marine Transport Inc of the Cayman Islands. It is on charter to and managed by Siem Car Carriers Inc of Norway. (The Siem group of companies includes Secunda Marine of Halifax and St.John's and is active in offshore work among other shipping interests).

The ship was delivered about June 30 and voyaged to Emden, Germany where it took on its first load. While sailing on July 13 it lost its ability to steer, through some sort of software glitch and ran aground in the River Ems. It was pulled off without damage and was able to resume its trip the next day.

The ship measure 56,677 grt and 17,416 dwt and has a capacity of approximately 7,000 cars.

There are several videos of its impressive stern first launch, including on Siem Carrier's web site: http://www.siemcarcarriers.com/siem-cicero-launch-12th-november-2016/


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ships named for people

Two ships named for people arrived in Halifax today. Most ocean going ships are not named for people (with the exception of some well known passenger ships) so it is is always interesting to find out who the people were.

First arriving was Akadenik Ioffe one of two Russian oceanographic/passenger ships operated by One Ocean Expeditions for arctic expedition cruises in Canada this summer. Akademik Ioffe was built in 1985 by Hollming in Rauma, Finland and is owned an operated by the Shirshov Institute. It carries 96 passengers, 65 crew and 10 Zodiacs, and is fitted with stabilizers. Its four northern cruises this summer out of Iqaluit and Resolute will cover much of the eastern arctic and end in Greenland. For this the ship received a coasting license as did sister Akademik Sergey Vavilov which will conduct similar cruises.

 Akademik Ioffe at pier 27 - not a usual pier for cruise ships- taking on stores. The shadow from the grain gallery at pier 28 falls across its bridge.

Akademik Ioffe is named for a leading Physicist of the Soviet era, Abram Fedorovich Ioffe (1880-1960) , a student of Roentgen (credited with development of  the X-ray)  and an early developer of the basis of radar. His many other achievement lead to Lenin and Stalin medals, but his Jewish ancestry (he converted to Lutheranism as an adult ) lead to a demotion. Nevertheless he is well remembered as a pioneer in many areas of physics.

The is not listed in the Port of Halifax cruise ships statistics because it is one a positioning voyage, and is here for stores. Its first of four cruises in the Canadian arctic depart from Iqaluit July 25.

The second caller named for a person is a more familiar visitor to Halifax. Radcliffe R. Latimer  is here to load gypsum, but must wait at anchor until the CSL Tacoma finishes loading tonight.
The ship was built in 1978 by Collingwood Shipayrd as Algobay a "Nova Scotia class" self-unloading bulk carrier. Built to maximum allowable St. Lawrence Seaway size, it was also designed to make Atlantic coastal voyages.  In 1990 it was reflagged Liberian and chartered to Atlantic Beltships, then  after a 1994-1997 charter to CSL as Atlantic Trader under Liberian flag, it returned to Canada and resumed services as Algobay until 2002 when it was laid up in Toronto.

In early 2008 it underwent extensive strengthening and was towed to China where an entire new forebody (to revised and larger Seaway dimensions), engines and generators were installed. It returned to Canada in time for the 2010 season.

In 2012 the ship was renamed Radcliffe R. Latimer in honour of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Algoma Central Corp. Mr. Latimer retired in 2010 after a distinguished business career with, among others CN Rail, Trans Canada Pipeline, and Prudential Assurance. He lead the growth of Algoma Central Marine to the largest Canadian Great Lakes shipping company, it diversification into tankers and its fleet renewal program has seen many new ships added to the fleet. Born in 1933 in Florance, ON he now resides in Toronto.     

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New for Nirint

Another "new to Nirint" ship arrived last night with a load of nickel and sailed late this afternoon. The ship is Atlantic Patriot, an sister ship to Atlantic Pioneer and Atlantic Progress that have called here before under several different names.

This is the first time for Atlantic Patriot under its present name or any of its four previous names.
It was built in 2003 by New Century Shipbuilding Co in Jinjiang, China and is a multi-purpose type with removable tween decks and a pair of 45 tonne cranes. It has a container capacity of 1118 TEU and measures 12,993 grt, 17,471 dwt.

It was originally named Atlantic Progress and has been renamed to suit various charterers ever since. In 2003 it became  BBC Russia, in 2008 Federal Patriot, in 2010  HAL Patriot and took its present name in 2013. It has remained under the ownership of Intership Navigation and is registered in Limassol, Cyprus.
There was dense fog when the ship sailed, so no underway photo was possible, but there are photos of its sister ship in previous posts:




Monday, July 17, 2017

Four down - one to go

As I was taking a photo of ACL's G4 ship Atlantic Sail leaving Halifax yesterday, another event was unfolding on the other side of the Atlantic. The G3 ACL ship Atlantic Cartier was sailing from Hamburg bound for Alang, India. It has a date with the scrappers on August 18.

That leaves only one G3 ACL ship still in service, Atlantic Conveyor, which left Liverpool on the same day July 16,  and is due in Halifax July 24 on the westbound leg of what is likely to be its last trip.

The five third generation ships, regular callers in Halifax for thirty years, have almost become part of the landscape. (That is why one of them has been featured on the masthead of this blog).

Atlantic Cartier - named from the French explorer out of Saint Malo, who first visited what is now Canada, in 1535- was aptly named by its original owners Cie Generale Transatlantique when it was built in 1985 by Chantier du Nord et de la Mediterranée in Dunkerque. It has soldiered on through lengthening and various incidents including a serious fire, and the evolution of the original ACL owners to today's Grimaldi Group. It was due to be replaced a year ago, so has certainly been on borrowed time.

Among the ship's more memorable calls in Halifax was in April 1987 when it steamed out through drift ice, without the assistance of CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, which has standing by just in case.

 Its last call in Halifax was June 30 - July 1, 2017.