Wednesday, June 20, 2018


It was a day of contrasts, both in colour but also in style.

The Portuguese naval training barque Sagres got underway after a three day visit at Pier 24. [see also Tugfax]. There was enough wind that the ship's sails were actually drawing after it made a turn in the harbour before setting out to sea.

 Sagres puts to sea passing George's Island.
Note the CCG helicopter next to the lighthouse.

When Sagres was here for Tall Ships 2009, it put on a real show under full sail.
Sagres passing the reviewing stand for the Parade of Sail.

A more utilitarian vessel arrived late this afternoon in bright red paint (hence the contrast in the title).  Polar Prince, the former CCGS Sir Humphrey Gilbert made the headlines last year when it circumnavigated North America as part of the Canada C3 expedition.It returned to Lunenburg from that voyage where it spent the winter.

The ship still looks very trim despite being built in 1959.

The ship's extreme icebreaker bow was built by Halifax Shipyard and installed during a refit in 1984-85.

Thrusters powered by engines in the forepeak, and exhausted through the legs of the goal post mast, push the ship sideways toward Pier 9A in a stiff breeze.

Enter "Polar Prince" in the Search box to the left for several previous posts on this ship.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Paul E., not Paul R. Martin

CSL has two ships with the name Paul Martin. The one that visits Halifax from time to time is the  Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin named for the former Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006, Paul Edgar Philippe Martin (b.1938). Prior to that he was the owner of CSL, but divested his interest to his three sons under public pressure.

The ship named for him was built in 2012 at Chengxi Shipyard, Jiangyin City and is a Trillium class vessel, but of the deep sea version. (There is also a Great Lakes version). It is a self unloading bulk carrier of 43,691 grt, 71,406 dwt and was built to then Panamax dimensions.

Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin arrived in Halifax this morning to load gypsum, its second visit this month. The ship is owned by CSL Americas , one of several offshore divisions of CSL Group.

The other CSL ship is named for Paul Joseph James Martin (b.1903, d. 1992) the father of Paul E. Martin, and a long time Canadian politician. The ship named for him is called Rt.Hon. Paul J. Martin and was built in 1973 at Collingwood, ON as H.M.Griffith a 22,775 grt self-unloader to maximum Seaway dimensions of 730' x 75'. It was named for an executive of the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco) a long time client of CSL.

H.M.Griffith downbound in the Interpool between the Eisenhower and Snell Locks in the US section of the St.Lawrence Seaway. The stretch of water is known officially as the Wiley-Dondero Ship Canal.

 At 75' wide the ship was already a tight squeeze in the 80' wide Seaway Locks

In 2000 the ship was rebuilt at Port Weller Dry Docks with a new bow and cargo section to take advantage of revised Seaway maximum dimensions, emerging with a measurement of  739-07" x 77'-11" and 23,989 grt. Its Seaway-draft cargo capacity is 37,694 tonnes. At that time it was renamed  Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin.

 With the new width, the ship has a lot more scrapes on the hull. The ship is upbound in ballast.

In 2013 its original Manchester-built Pielstick engine was removed and replaced with a new generation MaK/ Caterpillar. The ship is confined to the Great Lakes and St.Lawrence and portions of the Gulf St.Lawrence, and cannot venture out to sea. It is owned CSL Group Inc and operates in the domestic fleet, still known in most circles as Canada Steamship Lines..

The ship's extra width was faired into the existing stern section's plating and is barely noticeable.

Have the two ships ever met? That is a question I cannot answer. The logical place for that to happen would be in Sydney, NS, where both could deliver cargoes of coal.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Big Bulker - Golden Amreen

The big bulker Golden Amreen emerged from the fog and anchored in number one anchorage area at noon time. The ship will undergo Canadian Food Inspection Agent inspection for Asian Gypsy Moth before sailing later this afternoon.

The ship wold have been considered to be Capesize, with measurements of 93,464 grt, 179,337 deadweight. Ships of this size were too large to transit either the Suez or Panama Canals. However improvements at both facilities mean that this ship could use the canals depending on its load status. At 292m x 45m it fits the neo Panamax dimensions of 366m x 49m. It would also be able to transit the Suez Canal, even at loaded draft. However I can find no record of it having passed either waterway on this trip, so may well have sailed via the Cape of Good Hope.

It was built in 2015 by Sungdong in Tongyeong as Q Amreen for Quintana Shipping, but was sold and renamed Golden Amreen 2017.  [Amreen = Sky].
It is now part of the 70 ship plus fleet of the Golden Ocean Group. Golden Ocean is the Norway based, Bermuda registered publicly traded corporation that was demerged from John Frederiksen's Frontline Group in 2004. Frederiksen is reported to hold about 40% of the company indirectly.

The ship's last port is given as Krishnapatnam, India. That tells me it is likely headed to Port Cartier, QC to load iron ore product from ArcelorMittal Mining Canada. ArcellorMittal produces both pellets and concentrate to ship from Port Cartier.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Rare caller - regular caller

It has been a while since a Maersk Line Ltd USA ship has called in Halifax. These ships, flying the US flag, normally sail past Halifax en route from the mid and far east via the Med to the US east coast on the MECL1 service- essentially the old Sea-Land route.
Maersk Atlanta, today's arrival, is one of 11 ships on the run, all of  6188 TEU.

Maersk Atlanta was built as Maersk Kowloon in 2006 by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co Ltd in Busan. It measures 74,642 grt, 84,500 dwt. It was brought into the US fleet in 2013 when it was renamed.

Regular caller YM Evolution successfully wove its way through pleasure craft in the Narrows to reach Fairview Cove this afternoon.Sunny warm summer weather and a good breeze - a perfect recipe for sailing.

YM Evolution is one of four 4662 TEU ships on what is also ACL's AL1 transatlantic service with THE Alliance.

Sail Ho

Although there is no scheduled Tall Ships event in Halifax this year, there have been events in Philadelphia and Boston, and one of the participants is making a return visit to Halifax. The Portuguese naval training vessel Sagres arrived this morning and tied up at Pier 24.

Sagres is the third ship of the name in the Portuguese navy, but was built for the German navy in 1937 and was awarded to Brazil following World War II. It moved to Portugal in 1961 and has called in Halifax several times since the 1984 Tall Ships event.

 Docking assistance was provided by the RCN pup tugs. Listerville and Merrickville wearing white covers over their bow fenders.

While Sagrès was arriving Bluenose II was getting away for a harbour tour. The schooner will be in Halifax until June 20. After that it will be visiting numerous other Nova Scotia ports until late August when it is off to Boston and Gloucester. Its next stay in Halifax will be September 16 to 21.


AIDAvita inaugural call

AIDAvita made its first ever call in Halifax this morning. The ship is en route Hamburg to New York on a 16 night 17 day cruise. (Hamburg, Invergordon, Kirkwall, Reykjavik, St.John's, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, New York).

Aker MTW, Wismar built the ship in 2002 as a twin to AIDAaura. With a capacity of 1266 passengers in 633 cabins and a crew of 426 it is among the smallest AIDA ships.It has been upgraded several times in its career, which originally started with P+0 Princess Cruises. When that company joined Carnival, ownership  was handed over to Costa Crociere, which manages all of Carnival's European operations. Despite the fact that the it therefore flies the Italian flag, it is in all other respects a German ship.

After arriving in New York June 21 the ship will carry out New England / Maritimes / Quebec cruises until mid- August when it returns to Germany.

CAUTION - if you book a cruise on AIDA or Costa be prepared to be greeted aboard and assisted by an autonomous humanoid tri-lingual emotional robot named Pepper. It can read your emotions - and who knows what else.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday action

Several arrivals today meant that there was something happening almost continuously.

The earliest arrival was Maersk Patras at Halterm. This is a ship that was a week late last month, but now that Arica has been inserted in the lineup, Maersk Patras is here on a Saturday.

The ship tied up out near the end of pier 42 allowing room for the next arrival, APL Santiago.

 Built in 2014 by Daewoo, Okpo, the 109,712 grt, 115,077 dwt ship has a capacity of 9200 TEU.

The ship's distinctive full width bridge, is more than 45 meters from side to side.

After a short wait, the next arrival was Atlantic Huron for a load of gypsum. Its last port was Charlottetown, PE where is had delivered a cargo of construction aggregates.

Built in 1984, converted to self-unloader in 1989 and rebuilt mid-body in 2002, the ship just keeps on keeping on. Once a frequent caller here with grain, it seems to specialize in coal, aggregates and gypsum now.

Next up was the MOL Paradise for Fairview Cove.

 MOL Paradise glides in abreast of George's Island, with Bluenose II and Chebucto Head in the background.

This is the ship's first arrival in Halifax and is on THE Alliance's EC5 service. The 71,902 grt, 72,968 dwt ship was built in 2005 by Koyo Dockyard Co in Mihara, with a capacity of 6350 TEU (including 500 reefers).

As the ship was only minutes away from the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, someone or something plunged off into the water near the Halifax side. It was surprising that no shipping in the harbour was aware that police had closed the bridge and were on the scene.

When HMCS Charlottetown reported the incident a minute or so after I saw the splash at 11:11, it dispatched a RHIB to the scene, however nothing appeared to have re-surfaced. A general Mayday was issued for ships in the area to assist if possible.

CCGC Pennant Bay, which had passed the area few minutes earlier came about in Bedford Basin and sped to the scene.

CCGC Pennant Bay with crew on the flying bridge make haste off Pier 9. The lifeboat, delivered late in 2017 will be stationed in Sambro, NS.

 It was far too late to halt the movement of MOL Paradise which passed though the area only about 5 minutes later.

Later this afternoon two autocarriers arrived. However only one entered port. Viking Conquest went to anchor offshore while Shanghai Highway continued on in.

Built in 2005 by Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corp at the Nantong COSCO shipyard in China it is of an older type design, with no aerodynamic faring that is common on modern car boats. It also has numerous hull penetrations that appear to be small sections of open deck.

The ship is also smaller than many we see here. It comes in at 48,927 grt, 15,413 dwt and has a reported capacity of 5,036 cars.