Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cabot to sail tonight

The ConRo Cabot is being pressed back into service after being laid up and sold for scrap. A persistent problem with the new Oceanex Connaigra's controllable pitch prop means that the new ship must be taken out of service again for repairs.
Cabot at pier 9A yesterday, with a provisions box on the dock ready to load supplies with her stores crane.

There has been a flurry of activity aboard Cabot in recent days, including fueling yesterday. This must have been done by truck, although I did not see the operation.
Cabot flying the fueling flag yesterday. A new Canadian flag also appeared, replacing the tattered one that had been on the ship since it last arrival February 3.

It is an amazingly complex process to bring a ship back into service after layup. All its inspections and certifications must be renewed,  the crew must do fire an life boat drills, and scores of other tasks, not to mention storing up supplies and grub. I did hear them test their whistles yesterday. There were also divers down on the ship today and a number of inspectors of various sorts scurrying around. Despite the sale for scrap and a reputed Indian crew on board at one time, the ship's Canadian registration was never closed. It now appears that the sale has been postponed indefinitely.

This evening Cabot is flying the "Blue Peter" signifying an intention to sail. She is due to sail at 2330 HRS.

Oceanex has posted a notice on its web site that after Oceanex Connaigra's April 18 sailing it will be removed from service again, and Cabot will sail from Montreal on April 22. She will certainly have to make good time to get to Montreal that quickly!


NYKCOS auto carrier

NYKCOS is a joint venture between the Chinese state owned COSCO Shipping (COSCOL) (51%) and NYK Line (49%), as the exclusive shipper of Chinese vehicles and machinery. Although rarely seen in North America, China manufactured cars and trucks are exported to many parts of the world.
NYK of Japan has a fleet of 120 vehicle carriers, and the NYKCOS has four ships Read more at:

Today's visitor at Autoport, Yu Heng Xian Feng was built in 1998 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard and Engine Works as Alioth Leader. It was assigned to NYKCOS and renamed in 2013. It measures 53,240 gross tons and has a capacity of 5,140 cars.. It appeared to be unloading Audis this afternoon.

Autoport is still full to overflowing with new cars, but somehow they find room for more, and are continually sending out trainloads.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Busy pier 30-31 Thor Bronco - loading, Zeelandia - unloading

For months now, large white cylinders have been arriving in Halifax by rail and have been collecting on pier 30. Stevedores have loaded them on transfer trailers and parking them in line waiting for shipment.
  Today Thor Bronco arrived to haul them off to Libya.
 The ship had to squeeze its way in to pier 30 around Zeelandia tied up at pier 31 to unload her usual cargo of bagged nickel sulfides from Cuba for Nirint Shipping.
In a very stiff breeze, and with the aid of two tugs, the ship was soon alongside.

Once it had offloaded its pontoon type hatch covers, loading got underway, using the ship's own 45 tonne crane.

Thor Bronco was built in 2008 by Donfeng Ship Industry of Chongqing, China as FCC Pioneer. It was renamed BBC Pioneer the same year, and in 2010 adopted its current name. It is operated by Internaut Shipping of Limassol, Cyprus, but with headquarters in Bremen. It flies the Antigua and Barbuda flag. Tonnages for the ship are 6,569 gross, 8,090 deadweight.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Algoma Dartmouth - long weekend in New York

With many people off for a long Easter weekend, most ships continue to ply their usual routes. Not Algoma Dartmouth. This afternoon the harbour bunkering tanker sailed for New York.

Algoma Dartmouth on her normal route, transiting the Narrows, passing the laid up Cabot, on her way to National Gypsum to bunker Pioneer  April 11, 2014.

The ship has only left Halifax once before during its nearly five years here. Built in 2007 by Yardimci Gemi Insa SA, Tuzla, Turkey, the 2,999 grt / 3569 dwt tanker has carried three previous names. It waa launched with yard name Yardimci 41. On delivery it was renamed Crescent Bardolino and in 2006 Clipper Bardolino. It became Samistal Due in 2008, under the Maltese flag. Arriving in Halifax July 14, 2009, it operated originally as a non-duty paid, Canadian flag ship under a coasting license, and was confined to Halifax harbour.
With the change in import tariffs, Algoma Marine brought the tanker into full ownership and flag. In January 2013 the ship sailed to Shelburne, NS for a brief drydocking and refit, but otherwise has been in Halifax continuosly.
This trip to New York is therefore a rare occurrence, but may become more common as  the availability of bunkering fuel in Canada becomes more difficult.Since Sterling Fuels took over a supplier of bunker fuel in Halifax,(and charterer of Algoma Dartmouth) earlier this year, it must source the stuff in the Great Lakes/St.Lawrence area or the US east coast, if it does not acquire the product from Irving Oil or Valero.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Dickens you say............

Yes it was a busy day in Halifax harbour - here is a roundup:

First off the arrival of Charles Dickens for the G6 Alliance PAX service - the latest in a series of one-off ships, on short term charters to fill in for ships on refit or those that have been replaced on the route.
Charles Dickens is the former Maersk Danbury, just off a long term charter late last year, the ship still carries Maersk's colours, but has had the banner name and funnel mark painted over. Registered in Liberia, and owned by Norddeutsche Reederei Schuldt of Germany, the ship was built in 2005 by Hanjin Heavy Industry and Construction of Busan, South Korea. With tonnages of 54,271 gross, 67,601 dwt, it has a capacity of 4944 TEU.

Frio Kyknos was back in Halifax again, this time for bunkers. The ship was here April 1 to 3 for Asian Gypsy Moth inspection. Since then I assume it unloaded a cargo of fish in Newfoundland.
This time the ship is in light condition, and despite sloppy seas outside, the pilot likely had an easier time disembarking. When it arrived April 1, the pilot boat had to lead the ship in. Due to its low freeboard, its decks were awash and the pilot could not board at the pilot station.
The ship gave its destination as Iceland. Since there is still a great deal of ice off the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, the ship will be taking a southerly route to meet up with the Gulf stream, but even so coming to Halifax for bunkers took the ship at least a day or two's sailing off its course.

The ferry Halifax III was back in service after a short disruption yesterday due to a minor breakdown.
Fleetmate Woodside I is already out of service for regular maintenance, and Sunday service was replaced by buses the last two weekends due to repairs in the Dartmouth ferry terminal.

Siem Pilot is gearing up for work offshore. As previously reported, the ship is serve as an accommodation vessels for diving off Sable Island. It has now been fitted with equipment from Dominion Diving, and  yesterday took fuel at Imperial Oil. Last night it did calibration work off the Mobil dock (where the water is too shallow for it to tie up).
This evening the ship moved out into Bedford Basin for further trials. Its original coasting license was from March 24 to April 25, on a charter to Secunda LLP..

The Maritime Coastal Defense vessels HMCS Glace Bay and Kingston returned to Halifax after exercises in southern waters. Kingston had a minor fire on Saturday off the Carolinas, but it was extinguished by the crew without injury. It does not seem to have effected the ship's ability  sail home unaided.

First in was Glace Bay looking quite smart with a stiff gale of wind chasing it along in bright sunshine.

An hour later when Kingston came up, the wind had brought in the fog and the start of light drizzle. The air temperature was about 14 degrees C, but the water temperature was still at 2 degrees C - a perfect recipe for fog. The ship showed no outward signs of any fire.

So with all this activity - what did I miss?

The US flag autocarrier Courage arrived from Baltimore and sailed for Antwerp - going in the opposite direction for most car boats.Built as Aida in 2005 by Hitachi Shipbuilding in Maizuru, Japan, the ship has flown the US flag since 2005. It operates for American Roll-On Roll-Off and is managed by Crowley Technical Management Inc.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Algonova - trials trip to the Basin

Algonova left the IEL dock for trials in Bedford Basin late this evening. The ship suffered a serious engine room fire in the Gulf of St.Lawrence January 19, and has been tied up at the IEL dock since February 10.
A complex of temporary buildings was set up on the pier for the repair work.

As pictured last evening, there were still some yellow "elephant trunk" ventilation ducts running to the engine room. 

 Some engine room components were trucked away by Canadian Maritime Engineering in February.

The ship was built in Turkey in 2008 and has had a history of problems. It was towed from Nanticoke to Port Colborne in April 2009 after a previous repair session. Then in the winter of 2010-2011 it had an engine breakdown that required repairs at Matane, QC and other locations.

   Fresh from drydocking at Halifax Shipyard in September.

It was drydocked at Halifax Shipyard last year for normal maintenance and came out with a fresh coat of paint. The prominent  cylindrical tanks on deck are for tank washing slops.

Heading north and heading south

Two departures today headed off in opposite directions.

First to leave this morning (under cover of fog - hence the file photo) was CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. Now that Canada's largest icebreaker is working on its 2014-2015 fuel budget, it will be able to head where the ice is, instead of sitting idle at the Bedford Institute.

 Louis sails in January for a brief foray in the Gulf.

Ice persists in the Cabot Strait where Marine Atlantic ferries have experienced delays. There is also loads of ice in the various parts of the Gulf, including Gaspé where CCGS Sir William Alexcander is helping to open up the harbour. The Quebec based icebreaker Pierre Radisson is still working in Lake Superior and Des Groseillilers is in Lake Erie, where ice is still plaguing the start of navigation.

Heading in a far different direction this evening was the cable ship IT Intrepid. The ship had been working on cable repair off Newfoundland and returned to Halifax March 30.

The ship is now headed for the tropics - Curacao to be specific. I can imagine the crew will soon be overside touching up the paint.