Thursday, April 26, 2018

IT International Telcom lands Toronto project

IT International Telecom, with a marine base at Pier 9A in Halifax, has secured a contract to lay 80 km of fibre optic sub-sea cable between Toronto, ON and Wilson, NY. The company has applied for a coasting license to use their Barbados flagged ship IT Intrepid for the work.

The ship is fitted with all the tools required for the project including an ROV and Dynamic Positioning equipment. The project will be conducted in two stages. The first will be a pre-pay grapnel run over the projected route to clear the sea bottom of any obstructions. These could include old cables, fish gear or other debris.Once the route is cleared the cable will be laid in one simultaneous operation to plow, lay and bury the cable one meter into the lake bottom.
The ship is expected to be in  Canadian waters for only four days in total, but the application for a coasting license covers the period July 15 to August 15, 2018.
A full description of the ship's capabilities and the cable laying operation is contained in application number 18-0230 by P.F.Collins Customs Brokers, to the Canadian Transportation Agency found at:

IT Intrepid is a frequent caller in Halifax and was in port from late last year to January 8 of this year for self-maintenance. It was built by Swan Hunter in Wallsend, UK in 1989 as Sir Eric Sharp for Cable +_Wireless (Marine) Ltd. It passed through Boyd Line to International Telecom Inc and was renamed in 2005. Its original tonnage was 6141 grt, and has not been revised.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

And away we go

There were two departures of note today.

Early this afternoon the bulker Interlink Levity got under way after bunkering and hull cleaning (see previous post for ship's details). The hull cleaning was carried out by divers using the charter boat Captain's Pride. Built in 1987 as Ashley and Jennifer in Lower Wedgeport, NS it is owned by A+M Fisheries of Eastern Passage and is often used by commercial divers, but also does harbour tours and sport fishing excursions.

Interlink Levity's destination is given as Sorel, QC. The correct place name is Sorel-Tracy, as it is an amalgamation of two separate towns. The destination is likely on the west (former Tracy) side of the Richelieu River, where the steel docks and smelters are located. It is interesting to note that the chosen form of delivery from Fairless Hills, PA. is by ship. The nature of the cargo must be such that road and rail transportation were not feasible.

Also sailing late this afternoon (after interminable fussing with fenders and gangways) was Fundy Rose, finally through with her refit at pier 9B. There has been grumbling that the ship was out of service between Digby and Saint John during the peak lobstering season in southwestern Nova Scotia forcing trucks bound for the USA to make the long detour via Moncton. The refit, which started January 24, was to be completed by March 20, but the date was extended several times. Service will now resume April 26 (although there is still an asterisk beside the date on Bay Ferries published schedule.)

 Fundy Rose outbound for Digby, after turning smartly off pier 9B.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday comings and goings

 It was only April 12 that I missed taking a picture of Morning Clara so it was a bit of surprise to see the ship back at Autoport again so soon. Built in 2009 by Mitsubishi at either Nagasaki or Kobe (sources disagree) as Queen Sapphire, it was renamed by the current owners in 2014 and works for EUKOR (EURope KORea) Car Carriers.

Morning Clara rounds Ives Knoll outbound for Bremerhaven as the tug Gulf Spray hauls a garbage scow from pier 23. (International garbage must be disposed of by incineration, so is transported by barge then trucked to the incinerator at the Stanfield International Airport.)

The 60,213 grt, 18,638 dwt ship has a capacity of 6340 CEUs, and flies the flag of Singapore..

 The first cruise ship of the season arrived today and because it is a small ship, it tied up at pier 23. Owned by the famed Hurtigruten Line of Norway, it was nonetheless built by Fincantieri in Monfalcone, Italy in 2007.

Hurtigruten operates the coastal ferry service that sails up and down (an in and out of the fjords) of the  Norwegian coast, but also operates expedition ships to far away places.

Although the ship can operate as a ferry, it normally operates a yearly loop between the Arctic and Antarctic, with stops and side trips on the way. It will be back in Halifax again May 10 to board passengers for a 13 day Arctic / Iceland cruise. The internet tells me that it can accommodate 400 passengers in 280 berths (I assume sharing is optional). Its berthed passenger capacity is reported as 318 according to other sources.

The ship is named for the wooden polar expedition ship Fram of 1893, preserved in Norway for its many achievements with explorers Nansem, Sverdrup, Wisting and Amundsen in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

As Fram  was sailing CSL Frontier was arriving for another load of gypsum. The former Gypsum Centennial was last here March 30-31, on what I believe was here first ever call in Halifax.

And at anchor the amusingly named Interlink Levity was taking bunkers from Algoma Dartmouth. Built in 2014 by Huatai Heavy Industry Nantong in Rugao, China, it is a 24,168 grt, 37,135 dwt bulk carrier. It is multi-purpose ship, with hold ventilation allowing it to carry a variety of cargoes and even containers on deck.
It is equipped with four 30 tonne cargo cranes (fitted for grabs) and is in loaded condition. Since it is sailing from Fairless Hills, PA, I assume the cargo is steel - likley coils or finished material. Export steel from the USA may be rare these days, but the USA is a net importer of the product, so presumably also exports some.

While at anchor the ship will also undergo hull cleaning. That will undoubtedly improve the ship's efficiency going through the water, but may also remove some harmful species that may not be welcome in its destination port.


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Back Again and Shine A Light on Halterm

The Algoma Central Corp self-unloader Radcliffe R. Latimer arrived back in Halifax on Friday. This time it was with a load of grain from Thunder Bay.The ship spent the winter at the same pier undergoing routine maintenance.
It had arrived January 7 and on March 17 it sailed light ship for Port-Cartier and loaded iron ore for Contrecoeur, QC. It subsequently made two more shuttle trips between Port-Cartier and Contrecoeur, sailing April 3 for Thunder Bay. It loaded there April 9 and was on its way back to Halifax. It anchored for a time off Grande-Entrée, Magdalen Is April 16 due to weather, but was underway again the next day. Sailing via the Cabot Strait for Halifax.

This afternoon after completing its grain work the ship moved to National Gypsum.

Arriving at Autoport the autocarrier Sunshine Ace brought out some welcome sunshine. (Another autocarrier named Sunlight Ace also called here March 27).

As Atlantic Fir and Atlantic Oak move in to position a survey boat (see below) works off Halterm.

Sunshine Ace dates from 2009 when it was built by Minami-Nippon in Marugame. The 58,917 grt, 18,858 dwt ship has a capacity of 5,200 cars. It flies the Bahamas flag for MOL Ship Management (Singapore).
Connors Diving Services Ltd operates this nameless Stanley workboat. Powered by a pair of 150 horse Yamahas it has a bow ramp  qualifying it as a landing craft.
No registration number could be seen on the hull.

The boat has been surveying off Halterm for the past several weeks. No doubt its activity is related to a recent tender notice from the Port of Halifax for rock anchor installation for a 200 tonne bollard. My expectation is that a dolphin / crib will be constructed off Pier 42 to take the headlines for large ships. Since the cranes on the pier can run right out to the end,  there is a lot of unused length to the pier taken up by ships' headlines. A bollard off the end of the pier would increase the effective length of the pier by 100 feet or more.

I only hope that the new installation will not deprive ship watchers of a favourite vantage point. 

The same boat has also been assisting Connor's work barge with a core drilling rig off pier 31-37 which is where the port is expected to infill the camber to expand Halterm's land area.

This is my interpretation - not announced by the port - of what I think will be happening:

Note the two cranes shown on pier 37 have been demolished. There are five cranes shown on Pier C. This includes the one crane now at pier 36, which was built with specail bogies that allowed it to move to Pier C..

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sagittarius Leader on hold and other items of interest

The auto carrier Sagittarius Leader provided a closer than usual view as it held position in the inner anchorages at noon time today. The ship was headed for Autoport but could not proceed directly because Oceanex Sanderling was just getting clear of the berth. The Sanderling was also going to anchorage, and the ships had to arrange a spot for clear passing.

The 61,804 grt, 20,098 dwt ship was built by Imabari Shipbuilding Company Ltd in Marugame, Japan in 2005. It has a capacity of 5,415 cars. Registered in Panama, it works for NYK Line.

A recent announcement that the Port of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island is building an auto import facility for European cars may pose little threat to Autoport's dominance in the trade. The new plan would see the cars from Europe arriving via the Panama Canal, unloaded and processed  then barged to the BC mainland. They expect to receive 12,000 cars a year starting in January 2019 and work up to 50,000 per year.

Halifax's Autoport facility is owned and operated by CN Rail, and provides a ship to train distribution system to inland distribution hubs, including the west coast.

The Nanaimo plan fails to take into account that many customers want their cars quickly and adding two weeks or more to the delivery time might not be acceptable. Of course if Alberta decides to blockade British Columbia from Canada, the point becomes moot.

Oceanex Sanderling took up its anchorage positiin shortly after and and will await its turn at Halterm.

At Irving Oil, Maersk Edward was finally able to make it into port last evening after several days delay by weather. It tied up at Irving Oil with cargo from Ijmuiden / Amsterdam.

We think of Maersk in term of container ships, but they have a large tanker fleet too. In fact with 161 ships it is one of the largest tanker owners, with vessels of all sizes. Maersk Edward, built as Bro Edward, works in their Handytankers pool. Slightly smaller than than the Mid Range tankers of 50,000 dwt we usually see, it measures 26,659 grt, 37,300 dwt. Its epoxy lined tanks allow it to carry a variety of fuels and chemicals. It was built in 2005 by Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China for Brostrom Tankers France SAS. Acquired by Maersk in 2010 it now flies the Danish flag under their international register.

And despite the odd flurry in the forecast over the next few days, there continue to be hopeful signs of better weather ahead.

The harbour front floating walkway is now in place and should be opening to the public by the weekend.

It stretches from the Cable Wharf to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, spanning across the Queen's Marque construction site. It was much acclaimed last year with up to 8,000 people per day making use of it but was removed for the winter.

Although there is no sign  of harbour tour boats yet, Harbour Hopper 1 was out and about today, at least on dry land.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Fishing vessels, aside from small inshore boats, are rare sights in Halifax these days. Last evening the Northern Pride put in, arriving in the teeth of a gale and tied up at Bishop's landing (on advice from someone, but not likely the best dock). It sailed again early this afternoon.

Built in 1985 by Burry's in Glovertown, NL it originally measured 52 grt, but was rebuilt in 1996. Now measuring 88 grt, it appears to be fitted for scalloping, with a large gantry aft and rake on deck. Online records indicate that after a series of Newfoundland owners, it now belongs to Yarmouth Sea Products Ltd.

As with many boats of its size it is fitted with paravanes, that are lowered to the water with the two booms rigged on the mainmast. I am sure they were in use last night as they were this afternoon even though sea conditions had improved somewhat from yesterday's storm.

Offshore fishing activity is still in full swing in Sambro, NS beyond the entrance to Halifax harbour. This afternoon the attractive Kiviuq I was unloading its catch. One of four similar vessels built by Pictou Industries Ltd in 1987-88, it was originally named Atlantic Prospect and fished longline for Clearwater Atlantic Seafoods Inc from the Pierce Fisheries plant in Lockeport, NS. In 2014 it was sold and renamed Tulugarnaq then extensively rebuilt as a fixed gear wet fish boat for halibut, cod and hake.

Again renamed, as Kiviuq I it works for Arctic Fisheries Alliance, a 100% Inuit owned company based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The same company owns Suvak, the former Genny and Doug  which has been similarly refitted.

Both boats also conduct exploratory and science fisheries from time to time.Genny and Doug used to be seen in Halifax as per the link in the name above and:


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Storm Surge

A combination of new moon high tides and ESE winds up to 45 kph made for some rough conditions in the harbour today.

At high tide this morning waves surged in among the finger piers in the ocean terminals area, breaking over the ends of the piers and along their length. I observed waves of up to 6 feet high as the "bath tub effect" washed back along the pier faces.

Algoma Dartmouth, usually tied up at pier 34, moved to a more sheltered spot at pier 9. Lundstrom Tide at pier 25-26 decided to stay put and was relatively sheltered, but was certainly pitching.


Despite this the ferries kept running, though there were no passengers out on deck!