Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Geysir - problem solved

A dispute over the cost of a refit to the US flag cargo ship Geysir has been resolved according to an article in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald today.
The ship went into refit at Shelburne shipyard in 2012, but when the owners disputed additional costs, and refused to pay, Irving Shipbuilding Inc, the parent company of the shipyard, suspended work on the ship and had the vessel arrested until matters could be resolved. The press report goes on to say that the matter was settled in August, work has been re-started and the ship may be sailing soon. ( In recent weeks the ships AIS signal has again been activated - also a good sign.)
It should be noted that AIS records show the ship in Norfolk on December 25, 2012, but that is clearly an error. The work started in April 2012 and the ship has been in Shelburne ever since.

1. Geysir on the slip at Shelburne July 14, 2012.

The little ship has had an eventful career, which included a few unscheduled calls in Halifax. It started life at the Equitable Shipyard in Madisonville, LA, in 1980 as one of those rare US built cargo ships.At 2266 gross tons, 2000 tonnes deadweight, and with a capacity of 99 TEU it was originally named Amazonia for trade with Brazil. That service failed and the ship was seized the the US Maritime Administration over unpaid loans.

In 1984 its name became Rainbow Hope  and it began service to Iceland, carrying US military cargoes. This began a long saga, well summarized by Wikipedia:
In the late 1990s it went to Norwegian owners and traded as Juno for a short time. It returned to the US flag and took its current name in 2000 with owners TransAtlantic Lines Shipholding of West Palm Beach, FL (they have since relocated to Greenwich, CT). It then resumed trade between the US and Iceland until the US base in Keflavik was closed in 2006. Since then it was been running between Norfolk, VA and the Azores, suggesting some amount of military cargo. That contract was due to expire during 2012.
There is much more detail on the ownership and its history on the Wikipedia site.

On October 31, 2001 it made its first appearance in Halifax, when it came in for repairs. After 12 hours at anchor it was able to sail again.
Then on January 26, 2004 it arrived again, this time to restow a shifted cargo of pipe.
2. A shore crane was brought in to assist in re-stowing cargo below deck.The ship was originally fitted with two 20 tonne cranes, but they had been removed. A lot of ice had to be chipped away to access the hold.

There is also an 8 minute video on You Tube of the ship in Hurricane Danielle in 2010.

It will be interesting to see what is next for the ship after it leaves Shelburne.


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