Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jet Express IV

The high speed catamaran Jet Express IV tied up at the helipad pier at Bishop's landing briefly, before resuming her trip from New Jersey to the Great Lakes.

The boat is headed for Lorain,Ohio where she will run a service to Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island.

More trouble for Pearl Mist

After many delays, Pearl Mist conducted sea trials last week, but Pearl Seas cruises refused delivery of the ship citing failure to meet specifications. Irving Shipbuilding, who built the ship in Halifax, state that the ship meets specifications.

Shipowners who may not want to take delivery of a ship, because they have no work for it or no money to pay for it, have been known to claim that it does not meet expectations. However, ships are complicated. Deficiences are certainly not unheard of, and there can be legal issues regarding responsibilities, correction costs, and so on.
We understand that Pearl Seas cruises fully expects to have the ship in operation next year, and is taking bookings.

The ship is still in the hands of Irving Shipbuilding, and has returned from Shelburne to tie up at the Woodside dock until matters are resolved.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fraser returns

The former HMCS Fraser, last existing vessel of the St-Laurent class of destroyer escorts, returned to Halifax after a dozen years in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. An attempt to restore the ship there could not come up with the money. A public outcry about the ship's appearance finally convinced the navy to buy the ship back for $1.

The naval auxiliary tugs Glenbrook and Glenevis towed the ship out of Bridgewater yesterday and arrived in Halifax at 2200 hrs last night. They tied the ship up at jetty November Lima (identifiable by the large letter "L" on the hammerhead crane.) Also known as the Naval Armaments Depot, the pier has become an elephant's graveyard for old navy ships.

Behind Fraser are Terra Nova and Gatineau (similar vessels from the later Restigouche class.) and three Oberon class submarines, Ojibwa, Okanagan and Olympus.

Fraser DDE 233 was built by Burrard Dry Dock Co of Vancouver and commssioned in 1957, third ship of the class. She was converted to a DDH (helicopter capability) in 1966 and had another major refit called Delex in 1981, before finally paying off in 1994. She went to Bridgewater in 1997. Although little restoration work was done there, she was stored in the fresh water of the La Have River, which probably prolonged her hull life by a few years.

The navy has not said what is next for Fraser - all things are possible, including restoration or sinking as a reef.

Interestingly Terra Nova and Gatineau, which are closer in appearance to their original build, have languished at NAD since 1997 and 1996, with no decision on their futures either. It seems the navy is not in any hurry to decide the fate of these last ships of the steam navy era.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another big flag July 20

Uruguay's Captain Miranda was also a contender for biggest flag, and was a sure winner for homeliest tall ship.

Big flag July 20

Brazil's Cisne Branco vied for biggest flag.

Sagres July 20

Portuguese Sagres rounds the inner harbour mark to line up for the sail past.

Not so tall ship July 20

Kruzenshtern put on a good show despite having lost her fore topmast in a storm between Bermuda and Charleston. She was forced to withdraw from the race portion of the Tall Ships 2009 event. Even though her back stay parted, she was able to partially re-rig.

Her stump foremast certainly looks odd, but she is an impressive ship nonetheless.

Caledonia July 20

As Caledonia bears away her stern is the giveaway that she was once a trawler.

More tall ships fom July 20

Canada's own Caledonia didn't look bad either. The ex trawler and research vessel, built in 1947 along corvette lines, may look a bit peculair to purists, but she certainly can sail.

Cost overruns may have bankrupted her owers, but she is still operating and does cruises on the east coast and Caribbean.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tall Ships 2009

The weather co-operated, the sun shone, the wind blew and the tall ships turned out for a Parade of Sail.

The USCG Eagle didn't win the prize for biggest national flag - that is a toss up between Uruguay and Brazil, but she was the best looking ship in the fleet.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New bunkering tanker for Halifax

Algoma Tankers will apparently place a new tanker in service in Halifax about August 1. The ship is the Samistal Due, ex Clipper Bardolino-08, a 2999 gross tons ship, built in Turkey in 2007. She arrived at pier 25 on Tuesday July 14.
The ship will deliver bunkers to ships and other customers within the confines of Halifax harbour. She is to be renamed Algoma Dartmouth. Although she will fly the Canadian flag and carry a Canadian crew, she will not be "duty paid", and thus will have to receive permission from the Canadian Transport Agency to work in Canadian waters. She will also have to satisfy the government that no other suitable Canadian tanker is available for the work. We can assume from this that Algoma have chartered the ship for a year and not purchased it outright. The bunkering tanker NT Dartmouth, the former Imperial Dartmouth, built in Collingwood in 1970 and now operated by Northern Transportation will presumably be put out of work as a result of this development.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Westward sails

It's always been hard to get a picture of Westward - she never stays in one place for long. Built in 1961 by Abeking and Rasmussen in Lemwerder, Germany, as a yacht, but later converted to a research vessel and since 2003 as a Oceanclassroom training ship, she is one of the true beauties of the Tall Ships. The 125 footer (overall, 94 feet on deck) carries 6550 square feet of canvas.

The first of the Tall Ships to leave port, she did leave under sail, in windy and cloudy conditions.

What have we learned?

The wreck of MSC Napoli on the Devon coast of England will soon be history, and probably forgotten by most. The January 2007 event, in which a huge container ship was intentionally beached in Lyme Bay to prevent a major environmental catastrophe, should have taught governments around the world a valuable lesson.
Was any one paying attention?
The United Kingdom has a SOSREP - one person, reresenting the secretary of state, who is wholly responsible for dealing with shipwrecks and potential shipwrecks. This person has total authority over all governement agencies and resources. It is laregly because the SOSREP at the time exercised good judgement and allowed the ship to be beached, that there was minimal environmental damage from MSC Napoli. The ship had started to break up in bad weather, and was sure to be lost, but she weas beached, and her cargo salved or retrieved. Now her wreck has been removed.
Other countries have been slow to listen to the lesson of this incident, including Canada, which still has too many people who think they are in charge.
Read more on this in Piet Sink's newsletter.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Goodbye Mister Joe and Beaver Kay

After working all winter on the extension of the boardwalk at the foot of Salter Street, the crane barge Beaver Kay is leaving port in tow of Mister Joe (Capt. Cecil Watkins) with the small tug Beaver Delta II in company.

The new boardwalk will be the host to several Tall Ships this week, and has been fitted with temporary water and electrical lines (as has the entire waterfront) especially for the Tall Ships event.


They're heading back. Tall Ships 2009 is gearing up for the first official arrivals over the next few days. The Tall Ships website has a list of vessels, which may or may not be up to date, but it looks like about 40 total, but with only about half a dozen class A (i.e. big) boats.

One that won't be here is the Sherman Zwicker, seen in this photo in the Parade of Sail 2007.