Sunday, September 23, 2018

Some weekend activity

Far from  a complete rundown of weekend activity - this will have to be a few glimpses.

On Friday the centre section of AOPS 2 (Halifax Shipyard Hull No. 104, future HMCS Margaret Brooke) was rolled out onto the hardstand. This is Megablock #2 of the three sections that will make up the ship, and is by far the largest.

 Workers are lowering the (red) transporters so that the (blue) cradles will rest on the ground.

Despite high winds and showers Megablock#3, the stern section, was rolled out Saturday morning and perfectly aligned with Megablock #2.

In the case of AOPS1, it was five months before the bow was moved into position.

The ship will likely remain in this condition for some time until the bow section, Megablock#1 is ready for assembly. In the meantime it is much easier for workers to access the innards of the ship.

It was still dark and blustery at 0800 hrs as CCGS Hudson arrived from sea, and it did not attempt to tie up at the Bedford Institute, instead continuing on out to anchor in Bedford Basin.

Hudson bypasses its berth at BIO.

 Those high winds caused some interesting moments docking the cruise ships Disney Magic and Adventure of the Seas on Saturday morning. The Disney Magic had tug assistance. However by sailing time conditions had changed considerably and it was a glorious sunny afternoon, although still windy.

Sailing in the late afternoon,  Adventure of the Seas made a large swing to starboard to create a lee for the pilot boat (which is barely visible alongside the ship).

The product tanker Star N was also due on Saturday, and it was planned that it would anchor in Bedford Basin until its berth at Imperial Oil was free. The Harbour Feature was due at the berth first. Instead Star N remained at sea until Sunday morning, then anchored in the lower harbour.

Unlike Saturday, Sunday was more or less dead calm - the anchor is straight up and down.

Star N dates from 2009 when it was built as Mekong Star  by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan. A handysize tanker of 23,312 grt, 37,836 dwt, it was renamed in 2013 and is managed by Navios Tankers for anonymous owners. Its last port was Milford Haven, UK.

For a compressed view of last Thursday's bustling harbour activity see:

Be sure to read the play by play commentary on the YouTube page.


Friday, September 21, 2018

Cruise ship day

The waterfront was abuzz this afternoon with four cruise ships in port and a fifth on the way. The earliest arrival this morning was Serenade of the Seas followed an hour later by Silver Spirit.
This is not the first call for Silver Spirit, but is the first visit since its $70mn (US) upgrade earlier this year.
 Silver Spirit is inbound, while Celebrity Summit makes its way toward the pilot station from sea.

 Now with a sort of swayback look, the longer ship looks unfinished.

Built in 2009 by Fincantieri, Ancona, the ship had a capacity of 540 passengers and 376 crew and measured 36,009 grt.  This past spring it went into drydock at Fincantirei Paleremo where it was cut in two and an already built 15m section was inserted just about midships. The new section, and other extensive renovations, increased the ship's tonnage to 39,444 and capacities to 608 passengers and about 396 crew.

 At noon  time the large Norwegian Escape made its inaugural call in Halifax. With a capacity of 4,266 passengers and 1733 crew, it easily dwarfs the other ships in port. The "Breakaway Plus" class ship  was built in a remarkably short 17 months by Meyer Werft, Papenburg. Its $1.5 bn price tag bought 165,157 gross tons.

The ship turned effortlessly in number one anchorage and backed in to pier 22.

The fifth ship to arrive today, will tie up in mid-afternoon. The Halifax built Pearl Mist, a regular caller, will remain in port over night.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Busy Port Day

Several hundred attendees at the Port of Halifax annual Port Days event were hardly noticed on the waterfront today amid about 7,000 cruise ship passengers and activities surrounding the G7 Environment ministers meeting at the Nova Scotian hotel nearby.

Aside from an increased police presence, it was pretty much business as usual in the southend of the port. Port Day attendees however were told that the future may look very different - more on that later.

Three cruise ships called in Halifax. As posted yesterday, there was the early arrival of Regal Princess. Since its first arrivals here in 2015 it has had "decorative" painting added to the bow.

After their usual day in port the regulars Rotterdam and AIDAviva had already sailed when Regal Princess backed out of its berth at pier 22. (This followed a nearly ten minute horn malfunction, that blasted the south end of the city and no doubt polluted the aural environment for the G7 representatives!).

The heavy police presence on the land side of the water front, including dozens of officers on bicycles, was also seen on the water with the Halifax Regional Police boat Garrett Cotter zipping back and forth.

Built in 20014 by ABCO, Lunenburg, NS the 710 bhp aluminum hulled vessels is registered as C07536NS./ Interestingly that registration shows ownership vested in the Halifax Port Authority. 
[Although not as famous as the Australian criminal of the same name, this Garrett Cotter was the first chief of Hailfax police, then called City Marshal, appointed in 1864.]

The RCMP was represented with a fibreglas Rigid Hull Inflatable dating from 2015 when it was built by Kantar Marine Inc of St.Thomas, ON. It is registered under C17083NL, a Newfoundland designation, but ownership is shown as RCMP "H" Division, Halifax.

Not to be left out the Canadian Coast Guard  landed a helicopter at George's Island late in the afternoon. However this may have been a normal technician run.

The autocarrier Goodwood was sailing form Autoport, in deep shadow.

 The RCN had HMCS Summerside and Glace Bay in the harbour, but this seemed quite incidental too.

See a subsequent post for Port Days coverage.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Regal Princess - early arrival

Of the three cruise ships due in Halifax September 20, one is expected very early in the morning.

Regal Princess will be arriving at the pilot station at 0230 hrs due to a medical evacuation. The transfer will take place at an anchorage in the harbour to avoid docking delays. The ship will move in to pier 22 at 0700 hrs.

Fincantieri Monfalcone built the 142,714 grt ship in 2014 for 3,560 passengers and 1,346 crew. It made its first call in Halifax September 24, 2015 (see photo), having missed its first scheduled call April 19 due to weather en route.

Rotterdam and  AIDAviva are also due in port. The landside of the port area will be especially busy since it will also by the Port's annual Port Days, with several events planned in the same area where the cruise ships berth.

Grandeur of the Seas - late arrival

Most cruise ships arrive in Halifax early in the morning (and often in the dark) to give passengers a full day in port. The arrival of Grandeur of the Seas at noon today was an opportunity to see a ship arriving in daylight.Granted there was not much daylight - it was overcast with periods of drizzle.

On the ship's last trip out of Baltimore, it was in Port Canaveral, FL when Hurricane Florence crossed its proposed route to Bermuda. Instead the ship sailed to the Bahamas and then put around and east of Florence, arriving back in Baltimore arriving on September 15 instead of September 15. That likely accounts for its later arrival today. The ship will spend the night in port and sail early tomorrow morning.

The ship was built by Kvaerner Masa Helsinki in 1997, and has a capacity of 2446 passengers and 760 crew, with a gross tonnage of 73,817. It had a major refit in 2012, and again in 2013 after a fire.

This was the ship's second two day extension to a cruise this year. In January a port side steering issue en route Nassau to Baltimore caused the ship to divert to Port Canaveral for two days of repairs.


Monday, September 17, 2018

The Ins and the Outs

Three cruise ships called in Halifax today, and all sailed in the late afternoon.

Disney Magic one of the more pleasing looking ships, mostly because  ships it is largely devoid of superfluous décor, but also because of its traditional profile with two funnels.

It was built in 1998 by Fincantieri Breda, Marghera (with bow built in Ancona). In 2013 it was "re-imagined" by Navantia, in Cadiz, Spain, and now measure a modest 83,969 grt. The build included a 20 foot (looks bigger) "duck tail" to improve stability.

Next sail was Holland America's Zuiderdam. Also built by Fincantieri Breda, Marghera, but in 2002 (and much refitted in 2015) it is also a twin stacker. However its pair of vertical cylinders are much less pleasing, especially since they are really a Costa trademark, another line in the Carnival stable.

The ship had been tied up, bows north, at pier 20, but likely due to the stiff breeze, opted to back out southward to number one anchorage, then turn for sea. It saluted fleet mate Veendam (not pictured) which sailed later, which was toed up at pier 31..

Moving within the harbour Glorious Leader shifted berths from Autoport to pier 27 to offload some non-auto cargo. The ship was built in 2007 by Stocznia Gdynia, measuring 57,692 grt, 20,999 dwt.

It is on long term charter by Ray Car Carriers to NYK Line.

The first of two arrivals was a ship for bunkers. Pantazis L is a 39,746 grt, 76,629 dwt gearless bulk carrier built in 2003 by Imabari Zosen, Marugame. It was briefly named Red Tulip, but was mercifully renamed soon after delivery.

The ship arrived in ballast from Gijon, Spain. Once it has fueled it will sail for Sept-Iles, QC where it is due September 20 to load at the Iron Company of Canada dock.

The last arrival may be a one time stand in for Nirint Shipping. Vega Virgo is arriving in the usual slot for the ship Hollandia.  Built in 2011 by Zhejiang Yangfan Shipbuilding Co Ltd, the 9999 grt, 11,768 dwt ship has a container capacity of 957 TEU and carries a pair of 45 tonne capacity cranes.

Arriving as it is today from Moa, Cuba with nickel sulfides, it must have had a wild trip through some portion of Hurricane Florence.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Harry DeWolf - float off

In a day long exercise that for the most part resembled watching paint dry, the future Harry DeWolf AOPS1 was floated free of the Boa Barge 37 and finally secured at pier 8 Halifax Shipyard.

It was a complex exercise, done with considerable precision and care and was apparently 100% successful. The operation began shortly after sunrise, when the harbour was socked in by fog. Tugs towed Boa Barge 37 from pier 6 Halifax Shipyard to an deep water anchorage in Bedford Basin off Rockingham.

Once it was safely anchored the slow process of ballasting began, and it was after noon before the barge's deck was fully submerged.

 For a time the stern of the barge was considerably lower in the water than the bow.

A flotilla of small craft including several from RMI Marine, and some other official looking vessels attended the operation.

The trim was eventually corrected with some impressive pumping.

When the second and this tug arrived, it was not clear if Spitfire III was putting on a water display or cooling off a small Coast Guard boat.

By late afternoon, the ship's hull achieved buoyancy - granted with a slight starboard list- and the second and third tugs arrived for the actual float off, and the cold move back to the shipyard began.

The ship was safely alongside pier 8 and the tugs stood down by 1830 hrs.