Saturday, September 23, 2017

Arcadia sails after extended stay

The P+O Cruises Arcadia sailed late this afternoon after an extended stay in Halifax. The ship arrived Friday morning September 22 and was due to sail that afternoon. However the departure was put off until this morning then extended to early this afternoon and finally to late this afternoon.

There was lots of activity on deck yesterday afternoon when the ship was originally scheduled to sail.
Finally sailing this afternoon in summer-like conditions.

Ordered in 2003 by Holland America line as a Vista class, it was allocated to Cunard and was to be "Queen Victoria". Shortly before launch, June 26, 2004, it was transferred to P+O Cruises and completed by Fincantieri Marghera as Arcadia.  (All these lines are part of Carnival) The 84,342 grt ship has a capacity of 2358 max passengers and 976 crew and is propelled by electric azipod drives.

Fleet mate Aurora, which was here September 3 had a fire in the engine room September 20 while en route from Bermuda to the Azores and was drifting without power for about an hour.

The 76,152 grt ships, built in 2000 by Jos. L. Meyer, Papenburg, has a capacity for 1878 passengers and 850 crew. The ship apparently reached the Azores safely.

Both ships cater to British cruisers and have subdued graphics compared to some of the exuberant floating bill boards we see, such as another ship that was in port today, AIDAdiva (see September 14) or its fleet mate AIDAluna on September 4.

I prefer the plain vanilla ships such as another of today's visitors- Silver Whisper.

Built in 2000 by Mariotti, Genoa it has the understated elegance that is appropriate to an exclusive yacht-like ships. At 28,258 grt it carries only 382 passengers. When I checked two years ago it had the most space per passenger of any cruise ship with 74 gross tons per passenger and with 295 crew it also had the highest passenger to crew ratio of 1.3 to 1. 


Friday, September 22, 2017

Halterm cranes (+ update)

As mentioned the other day, three of Halterm's old container cranes have been out of service for some time and apparently were not worth reconditioning.

Now we see that demolition has started on the first of the three. Two giant construction cranes have been set up at the end of pier 37-39 and crews have started to rig lifting gear to remove the boom on the first crane.

Two of the old cranes were moved farther east to accommodate the work. The remaining crane at pier36 (right) has also out of service for a time.

Workers at the top of the boom were lifted into place by basket.

There is still a question about the fourth crane, at pier 36, which has been out of service for a time. It was originally a typical crane but some years ago was fitted with special bogies allowing it to move from pier 36 to pier 41-42 on curved track. However that function is no longer possible with the four new wider track super-post-panamax cranes at pier 41-42.

Leaving Halterm with only four working cranes must be a major service issue for the operator, and some new cranes are obviously needed. There was talk of a new rudder tired crane, but nothing has been seen of that yet.

Fairview Cove already dismantled its oldest crane a couple of years ago, but also has smaller cranes that can't serve large ships fully due to limited height and reach.

By late this afternoon the first section of the boom was on the ground.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday traffic and updates

Not a particularly busy day in the port, with no cruise ships in but there was activity.

Work on cleaning the hull of the tanker Endeavour (see yesterday's post) has progressed down the port side and onto the starboard side. The difference is noticeable.

No ETD has been posted for the ship yet.

KSL Seville did take bunkers today, but remains in number 1 anchorage. It must be in for some sort of repair.

The Yang Ming container ship YM Express arrived this afternoon. Its first visit for THE Alliance's AL1 service was April 30 but I missed it on that day.

Built by China Shipbuilding Corp, Kaohsiung in 2015, the 47,952 grt, 57,320 dwt ship has a capacity of 4662 TEU (including 700 reefers).

The ship displays a variety of boxes, but CSAV is now a major owner of HAPAG-Lloyd and H-L has purchased UASC (United Arab Shipping Co). Activities of the latter have now been totally merged into H-L.

At Autoport MSC Immacolata made a brief visit, tying up just before noon and sailing at 1530 hrs.

Due the crowd at Halterm yesterday (the 9365 TEU CMA CGM Rhone and the 3108 TEU EM Kea  and all four big cranes hard at work ) there was no room  at pier 41-42. Tropical Shipping's Bomar Rebecca tied up at pier 36.  Oddly the ship used its own cranes to unload some containers and this evening moved to pier 41 to begin loading tomorrow. Tropical's destinations and schedules may well have been disrupted by recent hurricanes, which might account for the early arrival. Tropical ships usually arrive and sail on Mondays.

There are four cranes lining pier 36-37, but only one (the one on the far right) is a working crane. The others are no longer functional. The fact that Bomar Rebecca did not use it may or may not be significant. 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Anchorages in use

Halifax's anchorages were in good use today for tow ships, neither of which will load or unload cargo here.
First in was the tanker Endeavour, arriving from Montreal in ballast. Flying the Singapore flag, the ship was built in 2004 by STX Shipbuilding in Jinhae, South Korea, a mid-range tanker of 30,032 grt, 46,1201 dwt. It is operated by Transpetrol. Tanker Management of Norway.

The purpose of this visit is for hull cleaning, and the workboat was soon alongside with its scrubber machine. This kind of work used to require drydocking, but with current technology the work can be completed with the ship afloat. Aside from removing harmful marine growth, and possible invasive species, hull cleaning also result in major fuel savings by decreasing hull resistance.

Late this afternoon the fully laden bulk carrier  KSL Seville arrived from Sept-Iles, QC carrying iron ore. Because of its size, it was met at the outer pilot station by two pilots and was soon joined by two tugs. As it crept into port it soon obvious why two tugs were required. Due to its great draft (reported to be 17.2m) the pilots used the deep water (western channel) which requires a sharp dogleg to return to the ranges of the main channel. The stern tethered escort, Atlantic Fir was used for braking, but also swung far out abreast to turn the ship.  Meanwhile Atlantic Oak, stationed forward also assisted in turning by pushing the bow. These large bulkers generally do not have bow thrusters, so the second tug was necessary.

KSL Seville returning toward the main channel from the western channel, the stern escort tug is pulling the stern around from the starboard quarter..

KSL Seville flies the Hong Kong flag for Front Seville Inc, part of the John Frederiksen conglomerate and is managed by his bulk carier copmany Golden Ocean Group Ltd. It was built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao shipyard in 2015 and measures a hearty 93,366 grt, 181,903 dwt.

Back in the main channel, the tugs are keeping the ship in line due limited steerage way art slow speed.

No reason was given for the ship's arrival, and there is no sign that it will be taking bunkers.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Angeles subs for Maersk Pembroke

Maersk /CMA CGM had to scramble when Maersk Pembroke caught fie August 21 in the Celtic Sea on its way from Belgium to Montreal. While the ship had to be towed back to Europe for repairs, the containers it was due to pick up in Montreal and Halifax sat on the pier waiting for the next ship.

Maersk or CMA CGM found the container ship Angeles on short notice and brought in on line, picking up the transshipped cargo from Maersk Pembroke. After sailing from Europe to Montreal, it reached Halifax today. Maersk Pembroke's scheduled arrival in Halifax was September 2. In the meantime Maersk Penang "lapped" the ship and was here last weekend and EM Kea is due tomorrow, both on their regular schedules. I am not sure what cargo they would have loaded here, but perhaps there was some backlog.

Managers NSC display their houseflag and funnel mark in ingenious places.

The ship was built in 2008 by Zhejiang YangFan in Zhoushan as Angeles under the management of NSC Schiffahrt. It has since the names, 2014: ANL Kurango, 16: Angeles, 16: CMA CGM Pointe Caribe. It reverted to its original and current name January 1, 2017. It is similar in capacity to the ship it replaces at 32,901 grt, 34,700 dwt, 2797 TEU (including 746 reefers).


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Big Day in the Port of Halifax

It was a big day in the port of Halifax in many ways.

For one, it was the presence of no less than five cruise ships, Veendam at pier 20, Carnival Sunshine at pier 22, Insignia at pier 23, Zuiderdam at pier 30-31 and  AIDAdiva and pier 33-34.

The container ship Itea outbound early this morning with the Zuiderdam inbound.

It was also another big day for ZIM as one of its 10,000+ TEU ships arrived. Zim Antwerp was also here in June and was the second ZIM ship of that size to call here.

The 114,044 grt, 116,294 dwt ships came from the Hyundai Samho shipyard in 2009. Its 10,062 TEU capacity just squeezes past the magic 10k threshold to qualify as a large ship. US ports are seeing 14,000 TEU ships already and we may be in line for some too.

While not a large ship by Autoport standards, Siem Cicero is quite new, having been completed as recently as June of this year by the Uljanik shipyard in Pula, Crotia.

The ships comes in at 56,677 grt, 17,416 dwt.

And at Irving Oil in Woodside, a relative rarity, a Maersk tanker.

 Maersk Matsuyama dates from 2008 when Onomichi Zosen in Japan delivered the 26,911 grt, 47,165 dwt handysize tanker. As usual with foreign flag ship (in this case Panama) at Irving Oil, it arrived from the Netherlands with refined product. We should expect European import cargoes at Imperial Oil too after recent events in the southern US.

On top of all this September 13 and 14 are the annual Port Days where the Halifax Port Authority organizes a number of events to highlight the Port. [ A boat trip around the lower harbour on Harbour Queen 1 was one of the vents, and made most of the above photos possible.]

This year the concentration was on Supply Chain Innovation, and various speakers emphasized the importance of cooperation and teamwork to make the shipping process more efficient.  This is also an occasion for the Port to celebrate its achievements and certainly the projected 17% increase in traffic this year is a major one. Last year the Port of Halifax's volume increased by 15% making it the fastest growing container port in Canada, although its total volume is still well behind Vancouver and Montreal.

Although the Port hinted at critical infrastructure changes using all of the harbour, that the  port is on the edge of something big and that it is time to take a big leap, there were no details. Perhaps this is a run up to the revelation of the Port's long term plan - let us hope so - it is indeed time. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Liberal name change

The federal government has taken the liberty of changing the names of the new RCN Joint Support Ships (JSS) . Originally to be named the Queenston class the new ships will now be named the Protecteur class. Queenston will become Protecteur and Chateauguay will become Preserver continuing the names of the ships they will replace.

The original names were chosen by the previous Conservative government and reflected then Prime Minister Stephen Harper's preoccupation with the War of 1812-14. They commemorated two significant battles of the war, fought between "Canadians" (not yet a nation) and Americans. They hardly seemed to be diplomatically correct in terms of fostering good relations with our southern neighbours, so perhaps the change reflects the current government's fraught re-negotiations of NAFTA and that other issues between the two countries need to be worked out amicably.

In order to speed up delivery of the two ships, Seaspan Marine in Vancouver has told by the current government to delay construction of the new Polar class icebreaker which has been named John G. Diefenbaker. Do we see a pattern emerging here? Can we expect another renaming in the offing? Perhaps a Lester B. Pearson or even another well known former Liberal Prime Minister's name would be applied - would it be similar to the current Liberal Prime Minister's name? Would it be wise to make the change before the 2018 federal election, when the ship will not likely be delivered until 2021-well into a possible second mandate?
Oh horrors.

The new HMCS Protecteur will be the second ship of the name in the RCN, but HMCS Preserver will be the third. A pair of  World War II tankers were named Preserver and Provider and served as Fairmile depot ships until paid off at the end of the war and sold to South America. When Canada built its first post war supply ship, it was named Provider but a second ship of the class was never built.

The navy explains the new name change respects the previous ships and those who served on them. This is the same explanation that has been given in the past to cover a lack of imagination in ships naming, a change in naming policy or to overcome controversy  (CCGS Edward Cornwallis (ii) was not named for the man but for the previous ship of the same name according to a CCG official.)

Quite frankly if the RCN can't develop esprit de corps without reverting to nostalgia they need a wakeup call. When the name change is so overtly political do they think that matelots are too stupid to recognize it for what it is? And what message does it send to the forces - that they serve at the whim of political parties or that they serve all the people of Canada no matter their political affiliation?

I have a couple of suggestions for another name change for the JSS ships. They should be named Kitchener and Waterloo after two adjoining cities in southern Ontario.

Since the new ships will be built to the German Berlin class, we will be reminded that the City of Kitchener was named Berlin until 1916 when it was changed in view of the anti-German sentiment of the First World War. Many Canadians of German ancestry experienced discrimination solely because their names sound German.

We will also be reminded of the battle of Waterloo (in Belgium), wherein Prussian and British troops defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815, resulting in his abdication as emperor of France. It was this war in Europe that distracted the British from the War of 1812-14 in North America, and largely left Canada on its own to defend itself. Napoleon met his Waterloo and we should all remember the necessity of overcoming the aspirations of all those who want to conquer the word.

So something to learn from the significance of the names of two ships other than how to score political points.