Tuesday, June 29, 2010
1. Ships dressed for review in Bedford Basin,USS Boone USS Robert D. Bradley, and CCGS Edward Cornwallis.
Monday, June 28, 2010
1. USS Robert G. Bradley looms behind the pilot boat APA No.1
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Navies from several nations are gathering in Halifax for the International Fleet Review taking place next week. The Royal Navy and the US Navy are sending the largest contingents, but the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, France and Brazil will also be represented.
1. The Dutch Amsterdam is inbound for the Dockyard.
2. USS Bradley and USS Gettysburg are tied up at pier 20. Orange buoys mark an exclusion zone around the ships. USS Boone is inbound in the distance.
3. Yard craft 127 is used to deploy oil booms during fueling operations.
HM Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will review the fleet on June 29.
more information at: http://halifaxifr.ca/en/Home/tabid/61/Default.aspx
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
It took 100 firefighters several hours to extinguish the fire, in part because of the 100 degree Fahrenheit temperates in Tampa. Firefighters had to work in shifts, and even then several suffered from heat exhaustion.
Damage was confined to the boom and conveyor belting and did not spread to the ship. All the ship's hatches were closed and water used to fight the fire flowed overboard. Cost of repairs may reach $1 million.
The ship is part of the CSL International /Oldendorff/ Klaveness pool and loaded her cargo in Canada. (Cape Porcupine on the Strait of Canso at Auld's Cove.)
Industry icon Ole Skaarup died June 15 at 94.
Mr. Skaarup established Skaarup Shipping Corporation in 1951, following several years of commercial shipping employment in New York. In 1954, he conceived, designed and contracted for the construction of the first ocean-going bulk carrier, which became the prototype for today's bulkers. Later, he designed the gravity-type self-unloading bulk carrier. [see this blog for Melvin H. Baker, Georgia S and June 4, 2010]
Born and educated in Denmark, he served in the United States Army from 1941 to 1946 as an officer in the Transportation Corps where he gained extensive experience in ocean transportation. His move to Greenwich, Connecticut, in the 1970's was the seed that was to grow into the Connecticut maritime cluster. He was a pillar of the Connecticut Maritime Association, which published this tribute:
Ole Skaarup, Chairman of Skaarup Shipping in Greenwich Connecticut, was an industry icon. In business, politics and entertaining, Mr. Skaarup was frequently larger than life, always original, and deeply patriotic.
It was Mr. Skaarup's move from New York City in the early 1970s that gave birth to the now enormous Connecticut Maritime cluster. Mr. Skaarup chose Connecticut for its proximity to New York but, more importantly, for its schools and charm as he and his wife Gerda Emilie raised their three girls.
But that is only a small part of his legacy, which included service in the U.S. Army, where he was instrumental in loading the ships bound for France during the invasion, a task he often referred to as his most fulfilling achievement. He concluded his military service as a Major. After the war, he designed and built what many call the first modern dry bulk carrier with the Wallenberg family as partner.
He built Skaarup Shipping on a model he held true in his heart and mind, on the principles of delivering transportation service to the customer, to the shipper. His best deals were long term charters where ships were built to serve specific trades and commodities and then reliably delivered for decades. He took enormous care of his ships and their crews. Once he invited former Congresswoman Helen Bentley, an outspoken critic of open registry shipping aboard his Liberian Flag Melvin Baker, then a 30-year-old vessel, which was finally scrapped at age 53, after moving over 38 million tons of cargo in her lifetime. He gave Congresswoman Bentley white gloves as he toured her through the spotless engine room. They became mutual admirers even if neither changed the other's thinking.
But he could also be an astute market timer, and was a trusted business colleague to numerous banks, expending and contracting his fleet of ships as markets moved.
His passion for solving charterer challenges helped fuel his equally strong passion for designing ships and cargo systems. His self-unloaders were only one example. Following the fall of the former Soviet Empire, when the peace dividend turned towards revitalizing U.S. shipyards, he combined his design concepts with another passion, begging and preaching and lobbying Washington to take U.S. shipping and shipbuilding seriously. He believed strongly that a nation should have a vital shipping industry and that U.S. yards could compete on an international stage.
He would visit Congressmen whenever he was in Washington and testified before presidential commissions. His was frequently a lone voice of reason telling Washington that shipping is important. But Mr. Skaarup never tired of the fight and, at one point, had both the former Director of the US Shipbuilding Council, John Stocker. and former Federal Maritime Commissioner and articulate Washington insider, Rob Quartel, on his staff and team.
For many in the shipping community, Mr Skaarup will be remembered for his enormous talent at public speaking, music and joke telling -- a powerful skill he would use to cheer large or small crowds. He would commandeer a piano at a small taverna on Hydra and sing ribald songs with a crowd standing around the piano. Or he would play a recital at his home in Greenwich for a fortunate few, his fingers moving with his love of music across the keys.
And then, of course, there were his tour de forces at the CMA annual Gala dinners, where he would hold a crowd of nearly 1,000 in rapt, frequently hysterical, attention as he poked fun at his dear friends from the maritime community. He was the CMA's first Commodore, a role he took on in his generous way to assist the fledgling community's growth. He always demanded the Association do more, and would threaten not to attend the annual conference and Gala Commodore dinner. But then he would make a grand entrance, French horn in tow, or dressed as an Admiral, or ready to be jump started by Richard duMoulin following what Ole always called D1, referring to the time at an ABS meeting during which he did, in fact die, a first time, only to be resuscitated.
There appears to be no second resuscitation and so we are all left with a terrible hole where a man for whom life was truly rich and special once spurred us on to be better than we might otherwise have been..
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
The four ships are: Absalon (Denmark), Karlsruhe (Germany), Boone (USA) and Spessart (Germany). Toronto accompanied them into port for a weekend stayover and break from NATO exercises.
Absalon L16 is a flexible support ship and is flagship of the Danish navy.
Karlsruhe F212 is a Bremen class frigate.
Boone FFG 28 is an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate
Spessart A1442 is replenishment tanker.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The dock sank May 8, and since then the shipyard has been working with divers to make the structure tight and rigging pumping gear.
Once all the gear was in place they forced air into the compartments to displace the water.
Late this afternoon the main deck broke the surface, and water was blasting out of several manholes in the main deck as well as a large outlet on one side wall.
1 The main deck is clear of the water and at normal draft. Water under pressure spews from manholes in the deck.
This was a major salvage operation, brought to a happy conclusion. Much work remains to be done to ensure that the rig remains afloat, and of course there will be repairs to damage caused by the immersion and sinking. It may be some time before the drydock is back in operation, but it is good to see that it is back on the surface.
Tenders have aleady been received for the work, and the bidders are holding their prices until funding is found.
One wonders where the rose tinted glasses are coming from. First the dredging may have some benefit to coal imports for the power plants-larger ships will be able to deliver coal. [No one seems to be concerned that we are still burning coal and contributing to one of the largest carbon foot prints per capita in the western world!]
Second, and most relevant, is that the dredging is called for to make Sydney into a container port. This smacks of the worst form of grabbing at straws to find something for an economically depressed area to look forward to as another saviour. I can't imagine that there is a business case for a container terminal in Sydney even if the cost of dredging is not factored in. However proponents seem to think, despite winter ice conditions, and a long, slow and torturous railway route to the mainland, that a container port would bring riches untold to Sydney and Cape Breton island. Even if the province and the feds combine to make a deep water port where there isn't one now, will there be business to support a container port? Will there be private capital available to build the port or will the government(s) be on the hook for that too?
Another proposal to build a container terminal in Melford, on the Strait of Canso, has the advantage of abundant deep water (deeper than Halifax), no bridges and very little ice in most winters. Huge infrastructure costs are still present for roads, rail link to the main line and the port itself on a "green field" site. Lining up private investors for this project has proven challenging.
There is also the issue of the rail line from Sydney to Truro. The line has deteriorated since CN sold it off to short line operator Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia. Upgrades will be costly and money will have to be "up front." The CB&CNS is not likely to finance improvements on the hope of more business.
Both ports have said that they also plan to use feeder ships to distibute containers to other ports. They are hoping that the huge post Panamax super ships, which can't enter US east coast ports due to their size, will be attracted to the new ports.
Halifax currently has a viable container port. Despite the downturn in the world economy, all the container lines that were here before the recession are still here. Volumes may be down, but the port is still doing business with all the same players, and has capacity for volume growth.
The rail connection from Halifax provided by CN has been open to criticism for years. CN does little to allay this by trying to run a scheduled railroad with trains of equal length every day. This might work if the volumes of containers to and from Halifax were equal every day - they aren't.
The effect is that the Port of Saint John has priority over the Port of Halifax with CN. The way this works is that the train leaving Halifax must be short enough so that it can pick up the Saint John traffic in Moncton. To keep the train short enough, containers are left in Halifax to go the next day or the next day. The reverse also happens, that containers destined for Halifax from Toronto or Montreal and the US mid-west can be delayed by days due to train length limitations.
CN will always be an irritant for Halifax, because its objective is to be the most profitable railroad it can be. More container traffic coming to Halifax will in fact improve the situation, because CN will have to move larger volumes and will add trains to handle it.
If Melford and Sydney become container ports, there will be an unholy jam up of cars in the Truro area, and Halifax will again be at the end of the list, since the trains leaving Halifax must be short enough to accommodate at least some of the loads from Melford/ Sydney. Eastbound trains will have the same problem.
Sydney and Melford may also chip away traffic from Montreal, since there are size restrictions on ships to that port, and ice issues in winter. Again, the time delays caused by transshipment-either by feeder ships or by rail-makes one wonder if there will be any significant traffic generated.
In conclusion-for now-these proposed container ports may take away volume from Halifax and Montreal. Why would the various governments want to promote that? The ports will have to find private capital- if there is any to be found, and they will also have to find "new" business if there is any to be found. They will also have to deal with rail issues. In short, a questionable area for government to dabble in, and one that should be left to private business to find the capital and take the risks.