Sunday, June 28, 2015

East Coast new look (plus added info)

Irving Oil's tanker East Coast made a brief pit stop today for bunkers en route from Saint John, NB for Quebec City. This is the first time I've seen the ship since it returned last week from a refit in Gibraltar (via Amsterdam) , during which it was refitted with an exhaust gas scrubber [see added info below]. The unit will allow the ship to burn heavy fuel while still complying with newly introduced emissions regulations.

Fitted aft of the ship's funnel, the apparatus is enclosed in a large superstructure that is painted white, but with the blue of the funnel cap extended across the top. Installation necessitated relocating the ship's lifeboat, which had been on the centre line aft, and other work that is perhaps not obvious.

 One of four sister ships operating for Irving Oil on long term charters*, it was brought to the Canadian flag last November and its name was changed from Nor'Easter. For a time it still carried the identifying letter "N" on its superstructure, but I see that has now been replaced by "E".

Sister Acadian has always traded under the Canadian flag. It arrived Friday and was also in port today, sailing from anchorage as East Coast arrived. Presumably it and its sisters will also be similarly converted, since all are trading in areas where new emission requirements have been instituted. Many marine engines do not convert well from heavy fuel to diesel, and the exhaust scrubber is the solution to save the ship's engine from damage.

Acadian at Imperial Oil yesterday, is yet to be fitted with a scrubber.

All four ships were built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea in 2005. East Coast measured 23,356 grt, 37,55 dwt when built, but the new structure will increase its grt if it is re-measured.
New England and Great Eastern continue to trade under the Marshall Islands flag, operating from Saint John, NB to east coast US ports.

*Irving Oil appears to have other ships under charter too, but they are not identified as Irving charters. Owners of these four sisters, FB Shipping, part of the Vroon Tankship group, have half a dozen other tankers, and at least one, Iver Progress, seems to have taken up the spot that Nor'Easter once filled.  

Added Info:
Marine exhaust gas scrubbers spray sea water on exhaust gas, forming sulphuric acid, but the natural salinity of the water neutralizes the acid and the wash water can be discharged back into the sea without environmental issues.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday - a bit thin (plus addendum)

The usual Saturday round up fell flat today with so little action in the harbour as to be laughable.
There was no Maersk ship today (nor is one scheduled until early next week) so Halterm was idle. There were no ships at Fairview Cove either. In fact there were no working ships in the harbour except two tankers at Imperial Oil and one taking bunkers.

What activity there was was limited to:
A very early morning departure of the ostentatious yacht Sea Owl from an anchorage in the Northwest Arm.
After a week or so at Salters pier it moved around to the Arm yesterday.

 At the stern a gigantic Bahamas flag flies over a retractable articulated and slewing gangway, which is being stowed (hydraulically).

 Regular washdowns are needed to keep the ship pristine.

(Contributed by friend Tom)

Once anchored in the Arm it deployed its tender. It had an 0445 hrs pilot call for this morning and headed for Chester.

Meanwhile down at pier 9B workers began to apply stick-on letters to the starboard side of the ferry Fundy Rose. They completed the port side yesterday, after which the ship turned so that the work can be done from the land side.

It can't be too much longer before the ship is ready for service.

Surprisingly Bay Ferries has done away with the red ball logo and adopted the wave pattern used by its sister company Northumberland ferries.

Late this afternoon the CCGS Alfred Needler arrived at BIO. It has been working out of Halifax for the last few days, doing short trips. Built in 1982 by Ferguson Industries in Pictou, the research trawler originally served for the old Fisheries Research Board, and was painted in a white over grey colour scheme,

When the Department of Fisheries took it over, it was painted white, in line with the hydrographic and oceanographic vessels based at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.

Finally in 1997 when DFO took over the Coast Guard it became red. A serious fire in 2003 resulted in a major rebuilding, which has extended its life considerably, but it is unlikely that it will see its 40th birthday in government service.

Three new Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSVs) will be delivered by Seaspan under the NSPS program during 2017, replacing four current vessels, Teleost, Alfred Needler and Wilfred Templeman on this coast and W.E.Ricker on the west coast. It is apparent that there will only be two of the new vessels on this coast. (Wilfred Templeman was retired in 2011.)

Read more on the progress (the first block is already under construction) from the June 12 briefing in Ottawa:

The first OFSV will be named CCGS Sir John Franklin. What this British explorer had to do with fisheries science is hard to determine. It is another example of the present government's politicization of the arctic and the promotion of its policies and favourite topics while blithely ignoring science.
There is no doubt that Franklin was a great man and some of his early explorations were notable, even if his last one went so wrong. He was not however noted for taking the advice of the indigenous population, something that the current government has unfortunately chosen to emulate.
Renaming the ship for some of the muzzled fisheries scientist who have quite in frustration over current policy would be a good first order of business for a new government to be elected in October.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

New to Clearwater

After a lengthy conversion process, the Halifax based fishing company Clearwater Seafoods has registered their latest acquisition in Canada. Now named Belle Carnell and measuring 4,325 grt, the ship likely bears only a fleeting resemblance to its original look, since it will be used as a clam harvester, beginning in the second half of this year.

It started life in 2002 when its keel was laid by Malta Shipbuilding, in Marsa, Malta. At a certain stage the hull was towed to Ulsteinvik, Norway where it was completed by Kleven Verft. It was delivered in 2004 as a platform supply vessel of the VS470 Mark II type of 2,603 grt..
Named Siddis Skipper it worked for O.H.Meling+Co AS of Norway until late 2013 when Clearwater began the process of acquiring and rebuilding it.

This is what it looked like as built:

Its large clear after deck has apparently been converted to a catching and processing area, but I have not seen the ship yet, as it is still in Santander, Spain where the conversion took place. However Clearwater has
converted other offshore suppliers to the same use, and they feature a large dredge apparatus mounted over the stern.

Atlantic Surf was built in 1974 as the platform supply vessel Maersk Tracker. It was renamed Tracker I in 1988 and converted to the surf clam dredger Scotian Surf. It was renamed Atlantic Surf in 1992 and in 1996 it became Atlantic Surf I. Its Canadian registry was closed in April 1966.

Although the new Belle Carnell will be much more modern, it will likely have a similar profile.

Read more about Clearwater's activities here:


St-Pierre et Miquelon changeover

 Fusion (October 2013)

The weekly RoRo container service between Halifax and St-Pierre et Miquelon entered a new phase on Friday June 12 when Nolhanava ex Shamrock replaced Fusion.
Fusion has now been laid up at pier 33 after seven years of service (off and on) on the run.Shamrock, which was built for the service and operated from 2001 to 2004 is now back under the new name.

Nolhanava this morning.

It returned to Halifax today after its first second trip.


Fusion was built in 1977 by Blohm+Voss in the Steinwerder district of Hamburg, Germany. Measuring 2279 grt it has a capacity of 219 TEU with two 30 tonne cranes.Originally named Osteexpress it was renamed 78: Ghazi II, 78: Osteexpress, 79: Zim Caribe, 81: Elma Ocho, 82: Osteexpress, 86: ScanDutch Iberia, 86: Express, 87: North Empress, 2000: DutchLiner, 06: Fort Ross. It was under the latter name that it first took over the St-Pierre et Miquelon service for the first time July 18, 2007.
In 2008 the Canadian flagged Dutch Runner took over until 2010. 

Dutch Runner has been laid up since 2012, first in Souris, PE, and since October 2014 in Port Hawksbury, NS.

In 2009-10 Fort Ross had a major refit in Europe, was renamed Fusion, and returned to the service in August of that year on what was understood to be a three year contract.

In April 2012 Fusion sailed for the Ukraine where it went into another lengthy refit and returned in September. Its replacement at that time was Nils B.
Fusion has run consistently on the weekly service, however it has been subject to some mechanical problems and in March 2014 was towed in to Halifax after three days adrift.and was off the service for three trips until April.


I covered the return of Shamrock as Nolhanava back in April

I did not comment on the ship's names however. The name Shamrock commemorated a legendary French trawler that worked out of St-Pierre for a number of years. It was the subject of a special postage stamp and a documentary.

As to Nolhavana I am stumped.Its possible that it commemorates a rum running vessel. They liked to have odd names, frequently with alternating vowels and consonants, but that it only a wild guess.
If anyone has any insights, I would appreciate hearing them.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Inbound traffic

There was a variety of inbound traffic this morning, including the usual paddle board commuter, who travels from his Northwest Arm home to his downtown office on a daily basis (weather permitting).

The cruise ship Saint Laurent made its second arrival of the season,

Before that the Maersk/CMA CGM service brought in the AS Palatia. It is the first vist for this well travelled ship since it was built in 2006 by STX Shipbuidling in Jinhae, South Korea.

The 27,100 grt, 34,600dwt ship has a capacity of 2602 TEU and carries four 45 tonne cranes. It was built as Palatia and immediately renamed MOL Supremacy. In 2008 it was renamed three times becoming CMA CGM Oceano, Palatia, and AS Plalatia, It became Niledutch Durban in 2011 and earlier this year became AS Palatia again. It is owned by Ahrenkiel Steamship of Hamburg. The ship seems to be substituting for CMA/CGM, since the regular Maersk ship, Maersk Pembroke is en route from Montreal.

Reefers form a large part of the cargo loaded in Halifax, and stacks of white "seacans" await the ship, which is actually arriving a day earlier than the normal schedule would indicate.


Thursday, June 11, 2015


Due to traveling for the next ten days or so, I will not be posting to this blog. The trip will start June 13 crossing the Bay of Fundy on Princess of Acadia.

Thereafter I will be traversing New Brunswick and Quebec in a clockwise direction hitting as many ports as possible in ten days. I won't be posting to this blog during that time, so will catch up on my return.


SCF Pechora - bunkered and ready to move

The Russian flagged tanker SCF Pechora arrived June 10 and anchored in Bedfrod Basin. It bunkered today and will move to Imperial Oil tomorrow.

The ship's faded blue paint is a little brighter around its name on the bow, newly painted in Cyrillic letters. So far the "SCF" for Safety Comes First has not been translated, and only transliterated on the bow.
Operated by Unicom S.M. of St.Petersburg, Russia, the 29,844 grt, 47,218 dwt ship was built by STX Shipbuilding Co in Jinhae, China in 2007. It is classed as DMV/Russian Register Ice-1A.

Pechora is a Russian River (and town) near the north Ural Mountains.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bear Cove Point sinks, Compass Rose II injured crew - dangerous work

If we needed a reminder that fishing is dangerous work, two recent incidents will refresh our memeories:

News that the Bear Cove Point sank on Tuesday June 9 was reported by the Chronicle Herald late this afternoon. The crew of four were picked up by other fishing boats and landed safe in Riverport.

After drydocking at Dartmouth Marine Slips, Bear Cove Point sails from Halifax in 1991.

There has been no explanation of why the boat sank 175kn SW of Yarmouth in 20m of water., but the Transportation Board is investigating.
Built in 1987 by Glovertown Shipyards Ltd in Newfoundland Bear Cove Point was a 206 grt stern trawler. Its processing deck was enclosed and it was reported to be a good sea boat.

Its original owner was Thomas Fennely of St.John's but recently it has been  owned by Laurence Corkum Fisheries Ltd of South Ohio, NS.

Last Sunday night June 7, the ferry Princess of Acadia safely evacuated a crew member of the Digby fishing vessel Compass Rose II . Ferry passengers  included a doctor and nurses who assisted by giving medical assistance. Princess of Acadia used one of its lifeboats to remove the injured man.

There have been several Compass Rose fishing boats from Digby. The current Compass Rose II is the former Dept. of Fisheries vessel Opilio. built in 1989 by Les Bateaux de Mer Ltée of Cocagne, NB. The hull is fibreglass reinforced plastic on an airex foam core.(Opilio is a species of snow crab). Based in Miminegash, PEI it visited Halifax from time to time until it was laid up in Petit de Grat in 2012. It was renamed 2013-04 until sold to Yarmouth Sea Products Ltd in May 2014.

Yarmouth Sea Products have recently acquired another former Fisheries Research vessel, Calanus which had been laid up in Sorel-Tracy, QC.

A previous Compass Rose II was built in 1983 by A.F.Thériault + Son in Meteghan River in 1983. It is now sailing as Atlantic Maverick out of Normans Cove, NL.

The first Compass Rose that I recall seeing was this delightful little scalloper, built in 1955 in Parkers Cove, NS.

Zim out, Zim in with fog

Dense fog descended on the south end of the harbour when it was time for Zim Constanza to sail this afternoon. The incoming Octavia, also for Zim, was inbound at the same time and the two ships passed without seeing each other - except on radar.
Their automated fog signals were well synchronized, and from my vantage point the sounds bellowed most impressively and continued to echo back and forth from the fog and the land for several seconds after the initial blasts.

Longshoremen are standing by to let go the lines as Zim Constanza readies to sail.

Once clear, the ship was almost totally enveloped in fog.

This what I saw, but the camera could be coaxed into revealing a bit more:

Zim Constanza dates from 2010 when it emerged from the Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipyard. It measures 40,252 grt, 50,107 dwt with a capacity of 4256 TEU, including 698 refrigerated. On June 28, 2010 it initiated a new Zim service from the Mediterranean to Halifax, New York, Savannah and Kingston, Jamaica before returning to Tarragona and Haifa.It flies the Liberian flag for Rickmers Ship Management (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

The somewhat larger Octavia barely emerged from the fog.
What I saw,

 what the camera revealed.

The tug Atlantic Larch, which was alongside, but barely visible in the photos above, is swinging the ship around,

and it almost disappears as it comes alongside.

Octavia was built in 2005 by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan for the Herman Dauelsburg company under the Atlantic Lloyd banner. Its capacity of 5117 TEU, including 500 reefers, is carried in 53,807 grt, 66,501 dwt. The ship is registered in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

Earlier in the day it was quite clear as Toscana worked cargo at pier 30-31.
The supplier Scotian Sea at pier 27 unloads some special gear as Toscana unloads.

Toscana later moved to Autoport (also in dense fog) to work its automobile cargo.

Toscana was the last of a series of ten sister ships built for Wilhelmsen Lines by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki. Completed in 2009 by Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard and Engineering Works, it measures 61,328 grt, 22,144 dwt and has a capacity of 6350 CEU. It is specially fitted to carry other types of RoRo and project cargo, and has a 307 tonne capacity stern ramp.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fundy Rose sea trials

The much awaited Fundy Rose was one step closer to entering service this morning when it embarked on day long sea trials. Refitting work is not completed yet, but must be getting close as a lot of gear on the dockside has been demobilized.

With the name Fundy Rose now appearing on the port bow (but not on the starboard yet), the former Blue Star Ithaki is looking very neat and clean. There is still no sign of Bay Ferries logo on the ship's side, but there is one blank spot where a new fender has not been painted yet.

 Returning from trails late this afternoon, the ship was a fine sight.


Norwegian Gem is the latest cruise ship to put in an appearance in Halifax. A regular since it was built at Meyer Werft, Papenburg in 2007, it can carry 2,384 passengers with a crew of 1154. It measures 93,530 grt.

The ship features "decoration" on its hull - a feature which seems to have taken hold for certain types of "free style" cruise ships.

t is also one of many cruise ships with a live bridge cam:


Monday, June 8, 2015

Qamutik update

The cargo ship Qamutik unloaded a quantity of steel plates yesterday and sailed in the evening for Valleyfield, QC.

Qamutik unloading on Sunday afternoon.

By this afternoon many of plates had been loaded on trailers and several trucked away. Some of the steel is no doubt headed for Irving Shipbuilding inc, but other parcels are destined for other users.


The Campbells are coming

Well only one Campbell, and it is USCGC Campbell WMEC 990, a Famous class medium endurance cutter based in Kittery, ME. It has called in Halifax on several other occasions as a courtesy visit, often towards the end of military exercises.

USCGC Campbell glides past Macnab's Cove on its inbound passage this morning.

Built in 1986, commissioned in 1988, the cutter has figured in several important drug busts in addition to the usual search and rescue operations. It is a member of the Famous class, named for previous USCG cutters that achieved fame. In fact it is the sixth cutter named Campbell, but it was the fifth one that achieved the most fame, a veteran of World War II., Korea and Viet Nam, that lasted 46 years in service.
Also see the current Campbell's official web site:


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Finesse new to Nirint

Nirint Shipping's regular service from Cuba brought in a ship that has not been here before. Finesse anchored first for Asian gypsy moth inspection, then moved to pier 31 to unload the usual cargo of bagged nickel concentrate.
Finesse was built in 2008 by Qingshan Shipbuilding in Wuhan, China for the now defunct Beluga Shipping as Beluga Finesse.

Finesse has the blank sided accommodation of the Beluga ships, originally used to display a large graphic of a whale's tail.

Beluga, of Bremen, Germany, was taking the shipping world by storm with is new fleet of multi-purpose ships with heavy lift capacity when it collapsed amid fraud charges. Its fleet was dispersed among many different owners, several of them from Germany. Finesse and some sisters went to Peter Doehle of Hamburg in 2011 and has operated for them ever since.
The ship can carry 665 TEU, including 25 reefers, and has two 150 tonne cranes that can be combined for a 300 tonne lift. Its tonnages are 12,684 grt and 12,782 dwt.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Quiet on the eastern front

It was a quiet day on the waterfront - if you don't count herring seiners - which I do. There were six. All arrived this morning and it was a major traffic jam at pier 24 as they unloaded and some took on ice.
Aside from the four boats that have been here regularly, the Tasha Marie finally made an appearance.
Built in 1979 by John Manly Shipyard in Vancouver as Cindy H, it is owned by the intriguingly named Turpentine Seiners Ltd of Wedgeport, NS.

Tasha Marie tucked in at Queen's Wharf after unloading then returned to pier 24 to take on ice. 
The skull and cross bones on the right was part of a waterfront event, not associated with this boat.

Also arriving for the first time this year was Sealife II. It is now owned by Comeau's Seafoods Ltd of Saulnierviulle and sports the company's blue hull colour, but it was always a red hull before that.

Sealife II rounds up to come alongside the Tall Ships Quay.

Built in 1970 by Ferguson Industries in Pictou, NS, it is a sister to Lady Janice II, which started life as Sealife No.1 in the same yard in the same year. Sea Life Fisheries (1988) Ltd is a division of Comeau's Seafoods, however it was a previous company that owned these boats during the original herring boom. 
Comeau's is a large business and also has a ship repair facility in Saulnierville Meteghan, which includes a marine railway [edited]. When I was there last November, Sealife II was on the cradle.

Most of the other comings and goings of the day took place in pouring rain, which is my excuse for not taking photos.

However the air cleared off somewhat for the late afternoon arrival of the "off again/on again" Canadian ship Qamutik. The ship dates from 1994 when it was built by Friesian Welgelegen at Harlingen, Netherlands for Spliethoff's. Named Edisongracht, it traded for them until 2008 when an arrangement was made with Umialarak Transportation for seasonal service to do northern supply work in Canada.  To be managed by Transport Qamutik In (Logistec) it would return to Spliethoff's for the remaining eight months of the year. 
It was renamed Qamutik (translation: ice sled, also known as komatik) for the summers of 2008 and 2009. reverting to Edisongracht each fall. In 2010 it became Qamutik permanently, and is now bareboat chartered back to Spliethoff's in the off season without change of name.

 Amongst its deck load of containers, the ship is also carrying a shrink wrapped pleasure craft. Spleithoff's has a large business in transporting yachts.

Its arrival today was under the Dutch flag, but it is due in Valleyfield, QC, its loading terminal, later this month where it will hoist the Canadian flag again and sail June 21 for the north.

Still wearing Spliethoff's funnel marking and flying the Netherlands flag. Note the stern anchor, fitted for compliance with St.Lawrence Seaway rules, but also for anchoring in the north where there are no permanent harbours, and cargo must be lightered ashore.

The ship measures 8448 grt, 12,754 dwt and carries three 60 tonne cranes and can carry 730 TEU. It berthed at pier 9c where it will offload some containers.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Contrasts + update

The St-Pierre et Miquelon feeder service was expecting to inaugurate its "new" ship today, marking the end of the line for the veteran Fusion. When Fusion loomed out of the fog this morning, it headed to pier 31 41 to unload. At the same time Nolhanava ex Shamrock moved from pier 34 to pier 36 to begin loading.

A deck hand heads aft to prepare for tying up at pier 41.

At some point during the day the loading of Nolhanava was cancelled and instead it now seems that Fusion will be making at least one more trip.Nolhanava arrived April 23 and there has been activity on deck and elsewhere indicating repairs and maintenance to ready the ship for its return to the St-Pierre run after an 11 year absence. See addendum

Speaking of fog the intense blanket was only beginning to burn off this morning as Selfoss arrived at Halterm pier 42 a few minutes before the Fusion.

As George's Island becomes visible, the fog still conceals most of the Dartmouth side of the harbour. No audio on this shot, but the ferries were sounding their fog horns.

 Selfoss emerges from the fog. A bit of photo editing shows more of the ship than I saw.

The fog soon burned off completely, and at Pier 9c there was good news for the Harefield as some new component arrive in a large crate. Work under the ship's stern has been going off and on, but it was apparent that they were waiting for something to be manufactured.

A crane gets ready to offload a crate, positioning it so that the Harefield's engine room gantry will be able to access its contents. Note the exhaust scrubber adjacent to the ship's funnel, partly blocking the Gearbulk logo. It allows the ship to burn heavy fuel and still meet emissions regulations.

Saturday update: Nolhanava idle at pier 36, Fusion loading at pier 37 Saturday morning, with a sailing time scheduled for later in the day.
No fun: Fusion loading in the driving rain, and Nolhanava idle.