Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fog, mist, drizzle, showers

The notoriously wet month of June lived up to its reputation today, delivering a variety of precipitations, especially when ships were moving.

This morning I had hope for a good photo of the 8456 TEU CMA CGM Titus on its fourth visit to Halifax. I had missed its first visit 2015-10-04 and all subsequent visits for various reasons. As the tugs vanished into the fog inside Meagher's Beach I could hear the ship's booming fog signal, but it was not until the ship was well up to the Middle Ground that it was anything like visible.

With tugs alongside (one to port and one to starboard) the ship was about to make its turn and was still sounding its fog signal.

CMA CGM is bringing larger ships along all the time, so it was important to get a photo of this ship, which is one of the smaller types that may be replaced. The 90,931 grt, 109,021 dwt ship dates from 2011 when it was built by Samsung Shipbuilding and Heavy Industries Co Ltd.

Later in the day the fog had moved off somewhat in the upper reaches of the harbour, but the on again / off again showers were on again for the sailing of K-Line's George Washington Bridge. The Panama flag ship was built In 2006 by Hyundai Heavy Industry in Ulsan and carries 5624 TEU, including 600 reefers on 68,750 grt, 74,023 dwt.

Bridge and bridge - the ship has just passed the A. Murray MacKay bridge outbound.

K-Line's plans to merge its container operations into a joint venture called the Ocean Network Express (ONE) with the other Japanese lines MOL and NYK has run into trouble with the Competition Commission of South Africa. That body is of the opinion that it could lead to collusion on rates. The same lines had previously been found to collude on auto carrier rates, and South Africa therefore will not approve the merger. Where this leaves the plan is in is question. Oddly United States, the Federal Maritime Commission stated that they did not have jurisdiction in the matter since it was not a merger but an acquisition.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Harry DeWolf - roll out coming

Halifax Shipyard indicated some time ago that the roll out of Harry DeWolf will be happening in July. Now with warm weather upon us, the overhead doors at the Shipyard allow for the occasional peak at what we may be seeing soon.



Several bow bulwark components have arrived on the dock from Woodside and  the centre mega block module that carries the ship's bridge is visible from time to time. The bow and stern blocks are under construction on the adjacent bay on the right.

The ship is the first in the six ship Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOP) contract. The last ship is due to be delivered by 2022.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Argentia Desgagnès - another new Canadian

Transport Desgagnés Inc of Quebec has been on a major buying spree this year, acquiring cargo ships and taking delivery of a new tanker *- the first of several new builds.

Today the latest cargo acquisition arrived in Halifax for reflagging. Argentia Desgagnés, built in 2007 by Ustaoglu Yat KO of Eregli, Turkey is the former Turkish flag Ofmar. A general cargo / bulker of 6369 grt, 8950 dwt, it is fitted with two cranes and clamshell grabs and will replace the veteran Amélia Desgagnés.


The new ship was reflagged as of today and its port of registry is now St.John's, NL.  It was registered in Barbados for the delivery trip from Tuzla, Turkey, where it received a new paint job, including the distinctive Desgagnés yellow stripe.



The new port of registry is unusual for Desgagnés, but since the ship will be running mostly in eastern Canada (as its new name suggests) it does make sense.

Its predecessor, Amélia Desgagnées was familiar sight in the Atlantic Canada for many years. Built by Collingwood Shipyards in 1976 as Soodoc for N.M.Paterson, its modest size of 4490 grt, 7250 dwt allowed it access to many smaller ports. However it also called in Halifax with grain.  Soon after it was built it was fitted with four 10 ton cranes in pairs, allowing it to handle a variety of bulk cargoes such as salt. Transport Desgagnés acquired and renamed the ship in 1990.


Amélia Desgagnés, in ballast, drops anchor approaching Pugwash, NS to load a cargo of salt.

Amélia Desgagnés arriving in Halifax with a small cargo of grain.
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* The company's newest tanker, Damia Desgagnés, ran into a spot of trouble Friday last week when it had a mechanical problem and ran aground at Mariatown, ON, near Iroquois, on the St.Lawrence Seaway. Traffic in the busy waterway was held up for a day until the ship was freed Saturday by two tugs. It was escorted to Johnstown, ON for survey. The new dual fuel ship was on its first trip up the Seaway bound for Nanticoke, ON,  with a cargo of heavy fuel.
There has been no report yet on the extent of damage.  
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

A sub and more cars

The absence of a submarine in Halifax harbour for many months was broken for a short spell yesterday and today as HNLMS Zeeleeuw [Sea Lion] put in for a brief visit. One of four Walrus class subs of the Dutch navy it has been in commission since 1990.

An RCN sailor stands by to pipe a salute as the pup tug Granville turns the sub off the pier. 
The civilian tug Atlantic Willow did the work of "lifting" the sub away from the jetty.
 
HNLMS Zeeleeuw underway for sea.

The Dutch diesel electric subs have been instrumental in numerous intelligence gathering operations and have been deployed in anti-piracy operations.


Our own local submarine HMCS Windsor (all the others are on the west coast) has been invisible for many months. However it was announced last week that the RCN will keep the subs for another decade or more, which will mean many billions in refits to extend their life expectancy from 2020 to the 2030s. New subs will then not be needed until the frigate program is complete.

A much more common sight in Halifax is car boats - love' em or hate' em they are a fact of life, and their daily (or more frequent) arrivals and departures create lots of work for pilots, tug crews and longshoremen. 

 Talia has rounded Indian Point headed for Ives Knoll- at the north end of Macnab's Island. 
Note the ship's sloping forepeak, which improves visibility forward, but also improves areodynamics.

Talia arrived this morning and sailed late afternoon. A  57,692 grt, 21.021 dwt ship, built in 2006 by Gdynia Shipyard in Poland, the ship is owned by Ray Car Carriers and is on long term charter to Wilhelmsen Lines. Although auto carriers look alike, there are subtle differences in appearance and size.

From nearly broadside, the ship's immense size becomes apparent - it has a capacity in excess of 6,500 cars. The tug Spitfire III follows the ship outbound for its next assignment (see below)

As Talia left, the next Autoport customer was arriving. Viking Queen is a new name for ship that has been in service for nearly ten years. Built as Hoegh Delhi by Uljanik Shipyard in Pula, Croatia, the 55, 775 grt, 16,890- dwt ship was renamed earlier this year, reflecting an ownership change that took place in 2014. Current owners are listed as Gram Car Carriers Holdings, but the original owners were Viking Car Carriers, so this might have been an internal transfer rather than an actual sale. Nevertheless it is unusual for car carriers to change names.

Viking Queen has a slightly more conventional appearance, and somewhat smaller tonnage, but can still carry 7,000 cars.Tug Spitfire III has made up aft and Atlantic Oak moves in forward, to assist the ship to Autoport.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Saudi Chemicals

Saudi Arabia is not just an oil producer. One of the world's largest chemical companies, Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is also based there, but has facilities around the world. It is a  leading producer of ethylene glycol, but produces scores of other petroleum based commodities.

SABIC, in partnership with Bahri (the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia) operate National Chemical Carriers (to be renamed Bahri Chemicals) , owners of the ship that arrived in Halifax yesterday. The ship had been at anchor offshore for a time before tying up at Imperial Oil dock number 4.

Although not particularly clear in this photo, the ship has about 27 manifold connection symbols on the hull, indicating that it is set up to carry many different cargoes at the same time.

NCC Sama flies the Saudi flag, and is a 2012 product of the now defunct ShinaA Shipbuilding Co of Tongyeong, South Korea. (The yard specialized in product and chemical carriers, which are now in abundant supply). The ship is of  MR (mid-range) size, 29,168 grt, 45,471 dwt.
Another chemical/product tanker of the same fleet, NCC Rabigh called on Halifax in May 2014. Otherwise Saudi flag tankers are rare callers in Halifax.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Big Ship Day - amended

Two big ships are in port today.
The first arrival was the always impressive Queen Mary 2. I may get a photo when it sails later in the day.


The other big arrival is a relatively rare loaded crude oil tanker. Evridiki built in 2007 by Hyundai Samho is 84,796 grt, 167,294 dwt ship operating under the Liberian flag by the Greek company Liquimar Tankers Management Services Inc of Athens. The ship is assigned to the Blue Fin pool of Suezmax tankers, which provides commercial management of more than 100 tankers of all sizes  under parent company Heidmar.




Evridiki monopolizes number one anchorage while the Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducts its inspection.


Its port call will be brief, since it is here for an Asian gypsy moth inspection, and will be sailing as soon as it receives clearance. As with all large loaded crude tankers it was assigned two pilots on arrival and will also take to pilots on departure.


Inland ports, such as Quebec are particularly sensitive to gypsy moth exposure, since the pest can invade the valuable coniferous forests if not caught in the egg stage. The species originates in China, Japan, North and South Korea and the Russian Far East.


The ship loaded in Novorssysk, Russia with crude oil from the Tengiz field in the Caspian Sea and is bound for Quebec City.

Addenda:
1.
I did get a chance for a photo of Queen Mary 2 on her departure, from virtually the same angle as previous photos of the ship - but this time there was a difference:

 Under a broken sky, Queen Mary 2 gets underway from pier 22 and passes the Italian naval training ship Americgo Vespucci at pier 20.

It was also a cruise with a difference for passengers. While well off Newfoundland, QM2 was tasked with rescuing a single handed sailor, Mervyn Wheatley, after his boat capsized in hurricane conditions. The single-hander was participating in the Ostar race and his was one of five boats damaged by the wind and 15 meter seas. All the sailors were rescued by a variety of ships and a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter. QM2's rescue boat is credited with superb seamanship in carrying out the rescue in difficult conditions.    

2.
Just before Queen Mary 2 sailed the autocarrier Bess left Autoport for sea. It is a 58,750 grt, 18,013 dwt ship with a capacity of 6,284 cars.


The ship is named for the operatic Bess (from Porgy and Bess) - not after good Queen Bess of England.
Built by Shin Kurushima in Toyohashi, Japan iit is owned by EA Car Carriers Panama SA and operates under long term charter to Wallenius Lines for the Wallenius Wilhelmsen pool.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

What's in a name

I am always interested in a ship's name - particularly if it is out of the ordinary. Certainly this afternoon's arrival for Autoport would fit into that category.

 Morning Ninni inbound has passed Meagher's Beach and approaches waiting tugs Atlantic Willow and Spitfire III. Heat haze forms a backdrop in near 30 degree C temperatures.

Morning Ninni is an otherwise typical autocarrier of 51,917 grt, 17,372 dwt., with a capacity of 5,340 cars. Built in 2008 by Tsuneishi in Tadotsu, Japan, it is operated by Eukor (EUrope KOrea). Eukor, based in Hamburg, was set up to carry Hyundai and Kia cars but as with most autocarriers, it works world wide carrying autos for all manufacturers.

 With tugs in place, the ship prepares to make its run into Autoport in Eastern Passage.

There is no great secret to the name "Ninni" - it is a woman's given name [pronounced Nee-Nee]. It is not to be confused with Ninny (a female donkey, but used unflatteringly to describe someone whose mental faculties may be scrambled.)

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Big and small - we serve them all

Two ships at opposite ends of the size spectrum called in Halifax today (Sunday).

CMA CGM Elbe
Another of CMA CGMs 9,000+ TEU container ships arrived on the Columbus JAX weekly service from the far east. CMA CGM Elbe dates from 2014 when it was delivered by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co, all with a capacity of 9,365 TEU (including 1458 reefers).

CMA CGM Elbe arrives off Halterm in the early morning sun. Imagine a ship with 30% more capacity - they may not be coming to Halifax any time soon. 


This is the fifth of the six sisters to cal in Halifax (APL Danube, CMA CGM Loire, CMA CGM Rhone and CMA CGM Tage have already called. CMA CGM Thames has yet to put in an appearance - but it is due next week).

As much larger ships are delivered and take over the Asia, Far East /Europe routes, ships of this size and bigger are being displaced to North American routes. Some 13,500 TEU ships are accessing US east coast ports via the Panama canal. Halifax may be left out in the cold for these larger ships unless its infrastructure is improved - and soon.


Sichem Challenge
There will always be smaller ships on the high seas, designed for specific cargoes. Such ships as chemical tankers, which carry relatively small (and highly concentrated) batches of cargo are usually smaller than the product tankers that deliver refined fuel.

Another shipwatcher gets a closer shot of Sichem Challenge refueling from Algoma Dartmouth
The ship arrived from Port Alfred (La Baie), QC.


Sichem Challenge measures a modest 7,179 grt, 12,1818 dwt. It was built by Watanbe Zosen in Hakata Japan in 129978 and has carried a variety of names, thanks largely to the mergers of various tanker companies. It was built as Queen of Montreux, and became 97: North Challenge, 06: Songa Challenge and 07: Sichem Challenge. Current owners are Team Tankers Regional Ltd, operators of more than 40 ships part of the Eitzen Chemical empire.

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Two ways to train

Two seagoing training ships arrived to today -

Amerigo Vespucci

The Italian naval training vessel Amerigo Vespucci is a full rigged ship, purpose built in 1930, but borrowing from a design of a previous century.

The long tradition of training naval officers in sail is well upheld by Italy.

For berthing at pier 20, the tug Atlantic Willow draped white canvas over its bow to protect the ship's paint scheme from unsightly black smudges. The ship will be open to the public Monday and Tuesday and will sail Wednesday morning.


State of Maine
The Maine Maritime Academy based in Castine*, Maine has a very different purpose in mind when it trains merchant marine officers on its ship State of Maine.



The ship is used to replicate conditions that officers will experience on US flag merchant ships. Sail is not in the cards.
  
 A number of the ship's complement are stationed on monkey island to observe proceedings as the ship is nudged into pier 23.

Built in 1990 by Bethlehem Steel, Sparrows Point, as USNS Tanner (T-AGS-40) it was a fast oceanographic vessel for the US Navy. However in 1993 a catastrophic fire destroyed its main engines. The ship was removed from service and eventually handed over the the US Maritime Administration (MARAD). It was rebuilt with a less powerful MaK main engine of 8,046 bhp giving a speed of 16 knots. (The orginal engines delivered 17,000 hp for 20 knots). Accommodation was also increased from 108 to 302 and reconfigured.

 
On a previous visit to Halifax in 1997 the ship still had a navy grey superstructure.

This is the fourth ship of the name for the Maine Maritime Academy.
The previous one, State of Maine (iii) also made a call in Halifax back in 1988. It was the former USNS Upshur (T-AP-18) . Completed in 1951 as the cargo/passenger President Hayes by New York Shipbuilding Co in Camden, NJ, for American President Lines, it was requisitioned by the USN during the Korean War for use as a troop ship. It served until 1973 when it was assigned to the Maine Maritime Academy.

 State of Maine (iii) shows off its fine lines at pier 30.

In 1995 it was transferred to the US Coast Guard and positioned in Mobile, AB to test firefighting technology. It was damaged by hurricanes Katrina in 2005 and Ike in 2008 but remains in Mobile.

 * Castine, Maine and Halifax share an interesting history. Castine, at the mouth of the Penobscot River was much fought over by English, French, Dutch and Americans from its founding in 1613 as a French outpost. However during the war of 1812-14, it was seized by the British and held for the next three years. When it was surrendered to the Americans in 1815 under the Treaty of Ghent, the British kept the 10,750  pounds sterling they had collected as customs duties and used the money to found Dalhousie University in Halifax.


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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Nord Taipei for bunkers and Veendam

The general cargo ship Nord Taipei dropped in for few hours to take bunkers. It was due to sail at 0730 hrs but may have been held up for a short time.
Built in 2011 by Kando Zoshensho in Kawajiri, Japan, measuring 21,483 grt, 33,143 dwt, and judging by its ports of call is likely in the bulk trades. It carries four cranes and grab buckets on deck.



The ship's last port is given as Fairless Hills, PA and it is bound for Baie Comeau, QC in ballast. US Steel's famous Fairless Works, 30 miles upstream from Philadelphia on the Delaware River, is now the home of  the Keystone Industrial Port Complex, where the highly polluted former steel and chemical plant site has been redeveloped for other industries. The huge mill was built to process iron ore from the Orinoco River region of Venezuela and named for Benjamin Franklin Fairless president of US Steel, and once employed 7,000 people.

The ship's departure might have been delayed for a few minutes to allow the arrival of Veendam which came in east and north of George's Island to berth at pier 22, bows south.


Veendam and sister Maasdam have been regular cruise ship callers for many years.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

More product tankers and a return

Product tankers of the mid-range size continue to call in Halifax on a random basis - and there seems to be no end to the variety of operating companies. That variety however does not extend much to the ships themselves. Most come from a few shipyards in Korea, with occasional ships from other yards, but still built to much the same pattern.

Sunday's arrival at Imperial Oil berth 3 is among the most typical. Atlantic Crown came from the Hyundai Mipo yard in Ulsan in 2007. Its tonnages are quite typical of MR tankers - 29,266 grt, 47,128 dwt.



The ship is owned by Heroic Artemis Inc (sounds Greek) and managed by ST Shipping + Transport Pte of Singapore, with the ship registered in Hong Kong.

Today's arrival breaks the mold only slightly. The Malta flag Sea Halcyone is owned by Halcyone Maritime Co Ltd and managed by Sea World Management + Trading Ltd of Greece - part of the Laliotis Group. It's tonnage is typical: 28,553 grt, 47,087 dwt, but it was built, not in Korea, but by Onomichi Zosen, Onomichi Japan in 2001.


Its original name was Unique Sunshine for Leo Navigation Corp Ltd and had a variety of far east managers until 2013 when it was acquired and renamed by its current owners. As with most foreign flag tankers calling at Irving's Woodside terminal in recent months it arrived from Amsterdam (via the Ijmuiden sea locks).

Returning to port in the last week or so CCGS Earl Grey has resumed normal spring and early summer duties out of Halifax. It had been working in the northern Gulf of St.Lawrence and Strait of Belle Isle assisting ships in late season ice.


Its most recent trip was a Saturday departure and Sunday return for navaids maintenance and patrol.

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Quiet Saturday

Things were quiet in Halifax today-see Tugfax to see what I did instead.

The small general cargo ship Vera made a morning visit for Asian Gypsy Moth inspection en route Charleston, US to Sorel, QC.

In glass calm conditions, Vera's anchor cable is straight up and down.  Anchored northeast of George's Island, that is Chebucto Head in the background - the entrance to Halifax Harbour.


The ship was built by the Dongang Shipbuilding Group Co in Yueqing, China in 2011. It measures 7138 grt, 7930 dwt and carried the name Vera under Antiguan flag for owners Vera GmbH+Co KG. In 2013 it was renamed Industrial Karoline for a charter, but reverted to its original and present name in 2016. This time however it was registered under the Portuguese offshore registry in Madeira.
Vera carries a pair of 80 tonne cranes and is a multi-purpose ships that can carry bulk, breakbulk or containers (444 TEU capacity) and operates for the four ship Concord Shipping GmbH+Co KG of Jork, Germany.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday inaction

There was lots of action in Halifax harbour today - unfortunately I was somewhere else when most of it was happening, so almost all the photos were of static ships.

The autocarrier Manon finally got out of port after a lengthy stay. It arrived  Tuesday at pier 31, but when it completed unloading machinery, it remained there until late Thursday while Columbia Highway and Oceanex Sanderling did their work at Autoport.




Offshore fog swirls outside Eastern Passage while Manon completes unloading at Autport..

Manon sailed late this afternoon.

Back in service:

 Chebucto Pilot getting underway looking very smart after its refit. It is heading out with pilots for the inbound Budapest Bridge and will disembark the pilot from the outbound UACC Manama.

The Atlantic Pilotage Authority will soon be welcoming two more pilot boats. Under the current names of SC Lynx and SC Cheetah they are water jet propelled boats with 20 knot plus cruising speed, they were built in 2011 and 2012 respectively, and have been working in Europe.


In for CFIA inspection:

 Just getting underway after inspection UACC Manama exhibits no less than 27 manifold connections, signified by the dots between the "A" and the "C". This means that the ship can carry a wide array of chemicals at the same time. Note also the array of piping on deck compared to typical product carriers.

The chemical tanker UACC Manama bound for Quebec, stopped off for Asian Gypsy Moth inspection. A 2010 product of the SLS Shipbuilding Co in Tongyeong, South Korea, the 29,124 grt, 45,612 dwt ship was built as Bunga Balsam for MISC Bhd but was acquired by United Arab Chemical Carriers and renamed in 2014.

Short end of the pier:
K-Line's Budapest Bridge got the short end of the Fairview Cove container pier on its arrival on THE Alliance AL6 service.

The 4526 TEU ship is one of 5 on the Med/Transatlantic service, and is relatively small and lightly loaded, so can be served by the smaller cranes at the east end of the pier.

Long end of the pier:

Yang Ming's 6258 TEU  YM Movement occupied the west end  of the pier and used the bigger cranes.


The ship, an "old" post-Panamax is the leading edge of the wave as the new Panama Canal permits much larger ships to reach the North American east coast from the Pacific.
Although Cerescorp, operators of the pier, have not announced any future plans, they need to step up to the plate with bigger cranes and a longer pier if they are to stay ahead of this development. Most of the 6,000 TEU ships can make it under Halifax's bridges, so should be able to use the piers for some time to come.
I expect some announcement soon as the primary Japanese container lines consolidate, and Cerescorp's owners K-Line may have access to more capital.


Meanwhile back at the downtown waterfront the three herring seiners that have been in and out of Halifax for the past week, sailed again this afternoon.

Lady Janice II foreground and Lady Melissa back, sailed soon after, following Morning Star which had already sailed.

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