Sunday, September 20, 2009

Containers on the way

The K-Line container ship VERRAZANO BRIDGE sailed this afternoon for Singapore via the Suez Canal.

Big Tanker

The tanker MINDANAO, 147, 447 tonnes deadweight sailed for West Africa this afternoon after discharging crude oil at Imperial Oil. The ship arrived on Friday.

Although registered in Singapore, the ship is managed by Gemini Tankers of Stamford, CT, USA.

Busy Afternoon

It was a busy late afternoon in the harbour as two cruise ships, two container ships and a tanker all sailed within a few minutes of each other.

The very impressive EURODAM, new last year, was the second cruise ship to sail after the earlier departure of NORWEGIAN MAJESTY. EURODAM is headed for Sydney and NORWEGIAN MAJESTY is going to Portland.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cruise Ship Season

We are now in the peak of the cruise ship season. There were three ships in on Tuesday and there are four in today. Since most of the ships are only in for the day, there is an interesting parade of arrivals for 8 am. Departures are usually from 4:30 onward.

I caught Crystal Symphony leaving on Tuesday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


One of the best looking cruise ships to call in Halifax made a visit today. Aurora, at 76,152 gross tons, and built in 2000 is not one of the newest or biggest or flashiest ships. She was designed and built for P&O, a company than once epitomized British good taste and good sense, and respected naval architectural tradition.

P&O is now part of Carnival PLC, and is one of many brands within the group, such as Holland America, etc., Carnival had the good sense to keep the P&O tradition and not tamper with the ship.

Interestingly she left with a close tug escort (Atlantic Spruce). This is so rare as to be remarkable. I conclude that she has a mechanical problem that effected her steering, and so required an escort in case something went wrong.
The ship has an unfortunate history of breakdowns, often related to her electric propulsion motors. She is able to sail on one motor, but this does concern pilots when the ship is in restricted waters, such as a navigation channel. A recent motor problem was corrected by the ship's engineers over night.
Wikipedia has a potted history of the ship and some of her troubles.
Update: the problem seems to have been with one of her anchors. The ship also required tug escort in her subsequent visit to Quebec City, and another blog reported that she had an anchor problem. Ships are supposed to have two functioning anchors. When they don't, they may be detained until repairs take place, or as in this case, take the precaution of having a tug in attendance in case of emergency. With this ship's history of mechanical breakdowns, the precaution was well advised.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Zélada Desgagnés in for repairs

This afternoon the general cargo ship Zélada Desgagnés arrived at pier 27. She is one of three sister ships operated by Transport Desgagnés of Quebec as part of their now large fleet of cargo ships, tankers and tugs.

The three ships were built in China, in a venture with the German shipowners Beluga. The ships are standard Beluga class vessels with heavy lift capability, but are owned by Desgagnés, primarily for northern supply work in the summer. When not so employed they will be pooled into the Beluga fleet for world-wide trading.

Rosaire A. Desgagnés was built in 2007 as Beluga Fortification.

Zélada Desgagnés in 2009 as Beluga Freedom and Sedna Desgagnés in 2009 as Beluga Festivity.

Both Rosaire A. and Zélada are in use this summer in northern supply. Sedna is apparently not needed this year, due to the reduction in mining activity in the north, and has therefore been placed in the Beluga pool and will trade internationally.

The ships are fitted with cranes which, when working together, can lift 360 tons. The ships are classed for work in ice. Zélada and Sedna were christened together in a ceremony at Quebec City June 29. The paint on her lower hull does not look new, and this is because the ship was in actual service for several months, working her way from China, and has made at least one trip to the north.
It was not a good start to Zélada's first northern supply season. She ran aground in Puvirnituq on August 31 and received significant bottom damage. She proceeded to Inukjuaq for shelter and survey, and repair crews were flown in to make temporary repairs.
After unloading some remaining cargo at pier 27 tonight, she will go to drydock at Halifax Shipyard tomorrow.

In the background

Most attention in Halifax harbour today was drawn by the four cruise ships which were in at the same time. AidaAura, Norwegian Majesty, Caribbean Princess and Carnival Triumph made quite a sight as they lined the waterfront. They disgorged significant numbers of tourists into the area, and rejoicing was heard from various merchants.

However, as I like to watch the background there were other interesting arrivals.

At noon the US flag tug/ barge Lucy Reinauer/ RTC 83 tied up at Imperial Oil. The tug was built as far back as 1973, but the barge is more modern - again with a ship like bow, permitting it to sail in all weather.
The Owners are Reinauer Transportation of New York, which operates several tug/ barge combinations and harbour tugs in Boston.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Tug (and barge)

The new Canadian flag tug VICTORIOUS arrived this morning with its barge JOHN J. CARRICK. Built in China especially for the Canadian asphalt trade, they tied up at the former Dook's dock in Eastern Passage, next to Autoport.

McAsphalt Marine Transportation Ltd of Scarborough, ON, owners of the pair, is a joint venture between McAsphalt and ULS Group. McAsphalt (and its subsidiary Miller) are major players in the asphalt and paving business and now own the Dook's dock and a small tank farm especilly for asphalt storage.

ULS (Upper Lakes Shipping) provides the marine operation side of the company. They own a large fleet of Great Lakes ships.

The barge is similar to a previous barge, NORMAN McLEOD, built in China in 2001, except that it is fitted with a ship-like bow and thus can better handle heavy weather. JOHN J. CARRICK is named for a co-founder of McAsphalt and can carry 11,600 tonnes. It has heating coils to kept the material semi-liquid.

The tug VICTORIOUS can tow the barge if needed, but under almost all conditions will push by means of special connectors which fit to a notch in the barge's stern.

The pair will trade on the east coast, including Newfoundland as well as the Great Lakes in season.

(The autocarrier ELEKTRA is unloading at Autoport in the background.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Canadian

Jasmine Knutsen is the newest Canadian tanker. Built in Korea in 2005, the 80,918gt ship operated under the Norwegian flag, but was managed by Canship Ugland in St.John's. She was registered in Canada (and interestingly in Halifax) August 27 so that she can work between Canadian ports.

In recent years numerous foreign tankers, including this one, have been allowed to make domestic trips in Canada because all Canadian tankers were busy. This move to reflag Jasmine Knutsen is seen as a way to keep business in Canada, and to remove the necessity of applying for waivers.

The ship will be shuttling crude from the Newfoundland offshore, and Whiffen Head to Point Tupper or Halifax or Saint John or Portland, Maine.

Portland, Maine is the terminus for a pipeline to Montreal, and so is considered a Canadian port when Canadian oil is shipped via the pipeline.

Here workers are painting the new port of registry on her stern Septmber 2. Too bad their stencil didn't match the letters in her name!
Update: It turns out that the ship is not owned in Canada, but is registered here, and is chartered to Canadian interests. This means she carries a Canadian crew, but she is still foreign owned, so has not paid Canadian duties. Therefore she must still apply for a waiver when plying between Canadian Ports. Waiver applications are made to the Canadian Transportation Agency and are published on their web site:


The tug Molly M 1 with the barge OC181 made the long trip from Hamilton, Ontario to Halifax to load construction equipment. The 900 tons of gear including a crane, trucks and other stuff is bound for Labrador and, belongs to Waterworks Construction.

The tug, owned by McKeil Marine of Hamilton, was a long time fixture in Halifax. Orginally as Foundation Vigour from 1962 to 1973 and then as Point Vigour. Eastern Canada Towing sold the tug in 2007, when she was renamed Molly M 1.

There is lots of construction activity in Labrador, and Davis Shipping, which bought sister tug Point Vim at the same time, may be involved in this particular operation, as they seem to co-operate with McKeil on various projects.

The tug and barge left Halifax September 2.


I've been away for a month and I'm sure I missed a lot. However, I'm back and expect to keep updating regularly.