Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
The ship is registered in Oakland, CA flies the US flag, and carries the APL Eagle on her stack.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
1. Pioneer glides into Halifax this morning, as the fog begins to burn off.
Despite my dark prediction the other day*, it appears that National Gypsum is experiencing an upswing in business. In fact the company has assured me that there are no plans to close the Milford Station Quarry. Other observers have noted that there are now daily trains from the quarry to the Burnside storage area and loading pier.
Today's arrival of Pioneer is its third arrival this month, and with Atlantic Huron's one trip that makes better than one load a week in July alone. That means that the US construction industry is improving, and there is more demand for the mineral, which is most prolific in Nova Scotia.
2. Atlantic Willow comes up alongside Pioneer to assist in turning the ship to go stern in at National Gypsum.
Although built on the Great Lakes by Port Weller Dry Dock in 1981, as Canadian Pioneer, the ship has sailed under the Vanuatu flag since 1988 as Pioneer, and has now become the most frequent caller at National Gypsum.
* My July 12 posting has since been revised.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
1. Berlin Express, broadside to, readying to turn around and back in alongside Farview Cove.
2. Inbound, just past the MacKay bridge, stern tug Atlantic Oak moves to starboard side, while forward tug Atlantic Larch exerts some additional braking.
Friday, July 12, 2013
1. Atlantic Huron inbound for National Gypsum this morning The lower portion of the hull was widened in 2002 to the new Seaway maximum size.
Its ups and downs and its influence on other events (including its principals' later involvement in the founding of Halifax Shipyards) make for fascinating history - much too complex to recount here.
2. Atlantic Huron flies the traditional black barred house flag with red maple leaf and the 2013 centennial/ Trillium flag.
3. The ship is looking pretty rugged up forward. The transition to the widened hull is taking a lot of abuse from locking though the Seaway, and will likely need some serious repair work.
Adding to the uncertainly of the future of this ship are questions about the future of Nova Scotia's gyspum industry. The ship was on charter to National Gypsum and carried the named Melvin H. Baker II (the founder of the company) from 1994-1997. Now we hear that National Gypsum may follow US Gypsum in closing down its mainland Nova Scotia operations*. USG permanently closed its mine near Windsor and loading facilities in Hantsport, NS. It seems that NSG may do the same unless conditions improve in the US building market. It operates the world's largest open pit gypsum mine near Milford Station and ships the product out through Halifax. Shipments have been drastically reduced due to the US economic woes, and the increase in synthetic and by-product gypsum.
It is producing well below capacity and may well be closed or mothballed within a year or two.
* Revision: a nasty rumour - denied by National Gypsum - see posting of July 20.
* Revision: a nasty rumour - denied by National Gypsum - see posting of July 20.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
See Capt' Ken's photo on Ship's Nostalgia for a "bow on" view.http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/382833/title/apl-agate/cat/513
Built in 1997 by Samsung in Koje, South Korea, it comes in at 65,475 gross tons, and is an example of the type of ship now being displaced from former routes by even larger ships. This trickle down effect. will be exacerbated by the opening of the new Panama Canal locks next year (they are talking about even large locks already!) and by the glut of ships in the struggling container trades. Further mergers, rationalizations and scrappings will alleviate this situation somewhat. Mass scrappings are really the only solution, but then there would be a dearth of ships if the world's economy suddenly turned around. Shipping lines are therefore absorbing huge losses in hopes of recovery. Inevitably there will be some that will not be able to hold out, some lines may go under.
The ship is expected to sail after dark tonight.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
1. Atlantic Cartier lines up for the MacKay bridge as it heads for sea this evening.
The veteran ConRo ship Atlantic Cartier returned to Halifax today after a fire in Hamburg on May 1 put the ship out of commission for a time. The fire, on the ship's car deck, destroyed many cars, and because it was fought with water and foam, damaged electrical and other ship's services, which had to be replaced. It is thought that had the ship's CO2 system been used, the fire could have been smothered with less damage.
External cooling by fire tugs apparently limited structural damage. Also, heroic efforts by longshoremen to unload containers from the deck during the fire, meant that several hazardous cargoes, such as explosives and ammunition, were removed before the fire (or heat) could reach them.
The ship sailed this evening for New York.
2. A crew member rigs the pilot ladder amidst huge rusty streaks on the ship's side. These are the reminders of the vast amounts of water thrown at the ship during the fire, which then washed over the decks.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Kashima was built as a training vessel and was commissioned in 1995.
The ships will be open to the public during their stay in Halifax.
Friday, July 5, 2013
With the scheduled close of the Esso refinery in Dartmouth by year's end, Wilson and other independent fuel distributors will likely be buying more gasoline, diesel and furnace oil from offshore and will be bringing it in by tanker, so this will perhaps become a common sight.
Sichem Beijing was built in 2007, and measures 8,537 gross tons, 13,086 deadweight. It is part of the large Eitzen Chemical Singapore fleet. Its tanks are epoxy coated allowing for the carriage of a variety of chemicals and oil products.It is a frequent visitor to the Great Lakes and Halifax.
1. Using its thrusters, René Descartes gets away from pier 9, where it was tied up alongside IT Interceptor. The ship works off the stern only and has no bow sheaves.
The cable ship René Descartes sailed this morning to repair a subsea cable. The ship was in port to load replacement cable from IT Telecom's base at pier 9.
Built in 2002 by Hanjin Heavy Industries in South Korea, the ship measures 13, 864 gross tons. It is based in France, and covers most of the North Atlantic in its work for France Telecom orange. The ship's actual operation is entrusted to France Telecom Marine (FT Marine) the owners of the world's largest cable ship fleet.
2. Turned southbound for the sea, René Descartes heads for a position off the Flemish Cap.
Another seismic ship arrived today. Western Pride flies the Panama flag, and is part of the large Western Geco fleet of seismic ships. Built in 1991 by Ulsteinwerft, it betrays its Norwegian roots with the blacked paint around the bridge windows. Applied to cut down glare, it seems most prevalent in Norwegian ships.
Western Geco is owned by Schlumberger, one of the largest oil field companies, and was formed in 200 when Western Geophysical merged with Geco-Prakla. Schlumberger, owners of Geco-Prakla, bought out Baker Hughes' 30% share in 2006.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
After three years as Italy Express the post-Panamax container ship OOCL Vancouver has reverted to its original name. It was renamed as part of a branding exercise to identify ships in the OOCL/Hapag-Lloyd service to Halifax, but has been updated again with the advent of the G-6 Alliance.
The ship always carried its OOCL funnel marking and hull colour, and therefore only has its name repainted. As Italy Express, the letter "Y" in Italy was painted with a slanting tail, indicating a rather quick redo.
Yesterday's occupant of anchorage #10 in Bedford Basin sailed in the evening and early this morning another similar ship arrived to take up a nearby station. Both ships are products of the Hyundai Mipo shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, and are chemical/product tankers.
Today's visitor is Mount Everest, registered in Liberia, and owned by Frisia Dortmund KG of Germany, but managed by Donnelly Tankers of Limassol, Cyprus. Built in 2010, it is a ship of 23,313 gross tons and 37,817 deadweight tonnes.It operates in the United Product Tankers pool of Hamburg, Germany. That fleet consists of nearly 50 tankers, of which 31 are of the "handy" size of Mount Everest.
The purpose of its visit is for hull cleaning, which is estimated to take two days. The work is being done by divers.
1. HMCS Athabaskan creeps back into port this afternoon, in hot hazy weather. She seems to be missing a lot of gear on her main mast.
Over the past week or so HMCS Athabaskan has been seen in Bedford Basin and putting out to sea. This may signify that she is nearing the end of the refit that started in the spring of 2012 when she sailed to St.Catharines, ON. When that work expanded in scope so that it could not be completed before freeze up, the decision was made to have the ship towed to Halifax - in December. The wisdom of that tow was immediately brought into question when delays with the tug put the ship in way of some very bad weather. The tow line parted more than once, during which the tug and ship made contact, resulting in the ship's hull being holed in several places. All this only added to the time needed to get the ship back to sea and for its sister HMCS Iroquois to go into its refit.
Was there any time saved by bringing the ship back to Halifax in December instead of leaving it on the Lakes over the winter? In view of the original April completion date of the refit, one would have to say no.
If the RCN wants to have refits in St.Cathareines that is OK with me, but they should be prepared to leave the ship there long enough to complete the work. The problem was that the shipyard in St.Catharines had scheduled work on other ships over the winter and couldn't accommodate Athabaskan at the same time. Unlike a shipyard on the coast, it has no water alongside in winter when the Welland Canal locks are drained. The ship could have been moved to Hamilton or Toronto or other convenient port for the three months of freeze up, and returned to Halifax in early April, but would have limited the work that could be done on her. So as far as the RCN was concerned the only alternative was to get the ship back to Halifax, no matter what.
In looking at the ship's main mast it appears that a lot of communication/navigation/detection gear has yet to be installed, so perhaps the refit is not complete even now.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Juniper 2 is registered in the Marshal Islands and was built in 2006. It carried the name Adonis until 2007, and Omega Princess until March of this year. It is owned in Hong Kong. It measures 23,270 gross tons and 36,660 deadweight tonnes. It was to sail this evening.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Emmagracht upound on the St.Lawrence River on Friday following a stormy passage through the Gulf of St.Lawrence.
Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping (managed by Logistec) was quick off the mark to register their newest ship, shortly after its arrival in Valleyfield QC on the weekend. The former Emmagracht from Spliethoff's became Mitiq officially today when it was registered in Montreal. [Mitiq means common eider]
It will begin loading for the far north immediately and will sail on July 7 according to the latest NEAS schedule. http://www.neas.ca/pdf/sailing_schedule.pdf
The ship was built in 1995 in the Netherlands and can carry 730 TEU. It has three 60 tonne cranes and has 17 removable pontoon type tween decks.Measuring 8,448 gross tons, its deadweight is 12,760 tonnes.
The Spliethoff E-type data sheet can be found here: http://www.spliethoff.com/uploads/documents/31.pdf