Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ultra Angel gets a trim

The bulk carrier Ultra Angel arrived last evening and anchored in the lower harbour. Today is appeared that the ship was not in port for the usual reason of bunkers or Asian Gypsy Moth inspection, but instead for some underwater work, possibly hull cleaning. 

 The hatches are cracked open to allow for some hold cleaning and ventilation and there is a diving tender alongside.

The ship is relatively new, delivered less than a year ago by Shin Kurushima, Toyohashi to Eternity Maritime SA (Fukunaga KKK managers). Classed as a Supramax bulk carrier, it has a grt of 35,025 and a dwt of 61,298. It carries four cranes and clamshell buckets for cargo handling.

The ship works in the Danish Ultrabulk fleet, part of the Ultra Group which controls the operation of more than 150 ships, mostly bulk carriers, but also small tankers.

With the duty pilot boat already out at the pilot station Dominion Diving's Halmar delivers the pilot to the ship. The pilot is just making the move from the pilot ladder to the accommodation ladder as a crew member on deck awaits developments.

The ship was well out of the water and it was a long climb for the pilot as he boarded for a 5 pm sailing. Next port is given as Saint John, NB, which would mean a cargo of potash. Potash must be one of Ultrabulk's favoured cargoes as two of their ships carry the improbable names of Ultra Saskatchewan and Ultra Saskatoon.

The ship's last port is not confirmed, because various sources give differing information, but it might have been Conakry, Guinea.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Busy Friday

A number of ship movement are taking place Friday afternoon, and several at the same time, so only some will receive notice here. Some moves may have been due to the upcoming holiday Monday.

A late posted arrival this morning was MOL Partner. The 71,902 grt, 72,968 dwt ship arrived from Colombo, via the Suez Canal on THE Alliance EC5 service, again apparently replacing a regular ship in the rotation as part of the Japanese container line merger. Built in 2005 by Koyo Dockyard Co in Mihara, it has a capacity of 6350 TEU, including 500 reefers.

The ship anchored in Bedford Basin at first then is to move to Fairview Cove on departure of  Brevik Bridge. YM Modesty is also in at Fairview Cove - all for THE Alliance.

Later in the afternoon Algoma Integrity made its first arrival in Halifax. Built as Gypsum Integrity in 2008 by Estaleiro Ilha SA in Rio de Janiero, the self-unloader was built to the same spec as Gypsum Centennial. Both ship were operated by Gypsum Transportation, the cargo carrying division of Canadian Gypsum / United Sates Gypsum. When that company closed up its Canadian mines, first in Hantsport than in Grand Narrows, the ships were out of work. However Joint Venture partners in Beltship Management, Globe Master, found other work for the ships shuttling iron ore in Afrcia. At the end of that operation Algoma Transportation acquired the ship in 2015 originally as a two year stop gap until new ships were delivered. Registered as Algoma Integrity in Hamilton, ON on April 23, 2015 the ship was dedicated to running from Port Cartier to Contrecouer, QC. Last December the ship was laid up for the winter in  Montreal. On April 26, 2018 its Canadian registry was closed and it was transferred to Algoma's international fleet to work in the CSL pool of ocean self-unloaders under the Bahamas flag.
A 33,047 grt, 47,761 dwt ship it had many innovations when built including a telescoping self-unloading boom.

After a busy stretch at Autoport this week, the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Tugela sailed. Classed as a Large Car and Truck Carrier, the ship first berthed at pier 31 Wednesday and offloaded wheeled machinery. It moved to Autoport yesterday.

Hyundai Heavy built the ship in Ulsan in 2011 and it has a capacity of 7,934 RT43 type cars.


Onego Capri with rails and more oil from the Netherlands [updated]

Another load of rail arrived for CN this morning on the Antigua and Barbuda flag ship Onego Capri.
The ship berthed at pier 27 and unloading is due to begin almost immediately.

CN imports its rail from Poland and Onego Shipping seems to be the favoured carrier. This ship was built in 2002 by Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries  Ltd, the Korean owned shipyard in Managalia, Romania. It is an open hatch type vessel with box shaped ventilated holds and pontoon hatch covers. Two 40 tonne capacity cranes work the holds of the 6806 grt, 10,273 dwt ship. It carried the name Sider Capri from 2009 to 2012.
Update: The ship was launched as Sider Alie but completed as Sider Capri by Bodewes Volharding, Foxhol, Netherlands

Meanwhile another load of petroleum from the Netherlands arrived at Irving Oil on Tuesday on the Handymax tanker STI Acton. Amsterdam seems to be the preferred source for certain types of products for both Irving Oil and Imperial Oil these days, although Irving certainly brings in product from its Saint John refinery on a regular basis too.

Scorpio Tankers Inc operates the Scorpio Handymax Tanker Pool with most of its ships carrying the names of London or New York neighborhoods (and subway stops). STI Acton dates from 2014 when it was delivered by Hyundai Mipo. It is an Ice Class 1A ship (note the full width enclosed bridge) of 24,2162 grt, 38,743 dwt - typical Handysize tonnages. The ship is due to sail today. sailed last night for Saint John, NB where it will likely take on a new load from Irving Oil.

Amsterdam has become a major distribution hub for petroleum - not just product that is refined there, but also imported and blended there. A variety of other chemicals are also shipped from the port.
The Port's website gives a hint at the scale of the operation:


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Grande Halifax

Grimaldi Group's newest auto carrier Grande Halifax made its inaugural call in its namesake port today, amid considerable fanfare.

Arriving in the harbour it had to wait for the departure of Delhi Highway. Once that ship was clear of Eastern Passage, Grande Halifax began to make its way toward Autoport.The tug Atlantic Bear then began an impressive water display. This was one of the more spectacular such shows seen in Halifax for some time.

Once near Autoport tugs swung the ship around to display its side ramp, painted yellow on the underside. Compared with the rather business like look of K-Line auto carriers, Grande Halifax, certainly stands out in port, but probably also at sea.

The Grimaldi Group took delivery of Grande Halifax January 10, 2018 from the Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China. There was a plan to sail the ship into Halifax January 14, but this was scrubbed due to bad weather. The ship had no cargo for Halifax on that trip, so it continued on to its next port. Measuring 62,134 grt, 18,353 dwt, the ship has a capacity of 6,700 cars.It also has four hoistable car decks and a 150 tonne capacity stern ramp to accept larger loads.

By contrast Delhi Highway, built in 2011 by Shin Kurushima in Toyohashi comes in at 58,997 grt, 18,891 dwt. Its capacity is similar at 6,120 CEU.

At a celebration to be held aboard the ship this afternoon, the Grande Halifax will be welcomed to Halifax, with Halifax Port Authority CEO Karen Oldfield as godmother. There will be a blessing of the ship and various dignitaries will give speeches. Grimaldi Group also owns Atlantic Container Line, an important customer of long standing in the port. ACL inaugurated container and RoRo service in Halifax in 1969 and are sure to be feted large next year when the Port celebrates the 50th anniversary of container shipping in Halifax.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Catharina Schulte Voyage 004 and a lone tanker

Melfi Marine serves Cuba from Italy, Spain and Portugal via Halifax. It has used a variety of ships over the years on short and long term charters. In March of this year the Macao Strait completed its charter after a particularly long run, making its first visit in November 2014.
New charters started late last year for two ships, Jona and Catharina Schulte. The latter made its first calls on February 12 and April 5. I wasn't able to get photos on those days, but did manage to catch it getting away this afternoon. Melfi numbers its ship's voyages and this is Voyage 004 for for this ship (it did not call in Halifax on Voyage 001).

Catharina Schulte was built in 2006 by STX Shipbuilding Co in Jinhae, but was soon renamed Cape Bon, likely for charter to Hamburg-Sud. In 2012 it was returned to its original name, flying the flag of Malta. The ship has a capacity of 2602 TEU and has four 45 tonne capacity cranes and tonnages are 27,093 grt, 34,600 dwt. A fairly large ship for Melfi, it reflects the recent increase in trade with Cuba.

The Schulte Group now numbers about 100 owned ships of all sizes and types and manages about 620 ships for other owners. It was established as long ago as 1883 and its funnel mark is well know in nearly every port in the world.

Perhaps less well known is the Greece based TMS Tankers Ltd, with a fleet of about 50 ships. It falls under the ownership of the TMS Group of George Economou, that includes several shipping companies in tankers and drybulk. Despite that, its ship the Malta-flaged Lacerta, which arrived yesterday, is reported to be on a charter to Stena WECO, a Danish based operator of about 65 tankers, at a rate of $14,750 per day.

Lacerta at Imperial Oil dock #4.

A typical Mid-Range1 product tanker of 29,795 grt, 49,666 dwt, the ship was built by SPP Shipbuilding Co in Sacheon, South Korea.  Unusual for tankers arriving at Imperial Oil, its last port was Ijmuiden, Netherlands, the sea lock for Amsterdam. 

It was the only ship to arrive or depart from Halifax yesterday - an unusually quiet Sunday in the port.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

No Maersk Today

The weekly transatlantic container service operated by jointly by Maersk and CMA CGM usually calls in Halifax on Saturday - sometimes on Sunday- eastbound back to Europe after calling first in Montreal.
This weekend however no ship showed up.

Of the four ships on the route it was the turn of  Maersk Patras to call, but it is still westbound and not due in Montreal until tomorrow. The next ship in the rotation Maersk Penang is also due in  Montreal which creates a sort of double header for them - and possibly for us for next weekend.

Maersk Patras was looking particularly rugged on its April 14 call. 

This a particularly challenging route for ships, but they somehow manage to meet schedule reasonably well, despite the rigours of North Atlantic weather and St. Lawrence River ice.  There have been some really late calls this past winter (and only one missed - April 7) - likely due to severe weather- and that may be the case this time as well. However all three Maersk ships (the third is Maersk Palermo) are twenty years old and mechanical issues may also be a factor.

The trio are due for their Twenty Year drydocking and surveys this year, and it would not have been a surprise to hear that they were headed for scrap. However at the present there is aworld wide shortage of ships of their size (recent scrappings tipped the balance) so the ships will get an extended lease on life.  Replacement (s) during the drydockings have not been published yet, but some juggling will be required as Maersk Penang goes in June, Maersk Palermo in August and Maersk Patras in September.
The fourth ship is provided by CMA CGM, the charter EM Kea. A much newer ship, was built in  2007.

The Maersk/ CMA CGM service got a break in the finalizing of the Canada Europe Free Trade Agreement  (CETA). The agreement nowallows ships to load empty containers in Montreal and - on a non-revenue basis - offload them in Halifax. This was previously not allowed under Canadian cabotage rules, forcing the company to send them by truck or rail, when more empties were needed in Halifax. No other ports were named in the CETA agreement, so for example MSC, which calls in Montreal and Saint John, apparently cannot benefit from the same clause.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

MOL Paramount new on EC5

 THE Alliance's EC5 service, running from the Far East to East Coast North America via the Suez Canal  operates with a squadron of 11 ships to ensure a weekly schedule. THE Alliance is (now) a partnership between HAPAG-Lloyd, Yang Ming and ONE. The latter is the merged entity of the primary Japanese carriers Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line), Mitsui Osaka Shosen Kaisha (Mitsui OSK Line or simply MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line).

MOL Paramount strides through the Narrows with Atlantic Fir forward and Atlantic Oak aft.
Since April 1 ONE has replaced two of the ships in the rota. NYK Atlas has been replaced by Crete 1, which made its first call April 6 (westbound) returning April 18 (eastbound).
NYK Artemis has been replaced by MOL Paramount with its first call today (westbound). This is not the first time the ship has called in Halifax. That was July 21, 2010 when it was slotted into a previous alliance. It also called here for a time starting in 2014 for the G6 Alliance, which THE Alliance replaces.

Once into Bedford Basin the tugs begin to swing the ship around to berth at Cerescorp's Fairview Cove container terminal.

Koyo Dockyard in Mihara built the 71,892 grt, 72,968 dwt ship in 2005, with a capacity of 6350 TEU, including 500 reefers.

The port rotation for the service is Laem Chabang, Cae Mep, Singapore, Colombo, (Suez Canal) Halifax, New York, Savannah, Norfolk, Halifax, (Suez Canal), Jebel Ali, and Singapore.

MOL Paramount's predecessor on the route, NYK Artemis made its last calls January 21 and February 2.
It had been on the SE3 service with the G6 Alliance until April 2017, before making its first appearance on  THE Alliance's EC5 service June 3, 2017.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Eastern Confidence waiting

The handy-size bulk carrier Eastern Confidence is anchored high in the Bedford Basin waiting for orders. The Philippine flag ship arrived May 9 for Asian Gypsy Moth inspection. Surprisingly, it then took two tugs (and pilot) and moved to pier 27 to bunker from RST trucks (therefore likely Irving Oil). It then took tugs and pilot to leave the dock and anchored in the Basin. (the extra cost of pilots and tugs, versus taking bunkers while at anchor, must have been justified somehow.)

The ship was built in 2008 by Imabari Zosen, Imabari Japan  as Sat Nunki. It only carried that name for a short time until it was renamed the same year.  It is operated by Hellas Marine Services of Glyfada, Greece for an opaque Panamanian corporation. Despite all this it works in the Orient Shipping Rotterdam fleet, part of the Van Weelde Shipping Group.

Fitted with four 30.5 tonnes cranes and grabs, it measures 17,018 grt, 28,449 dwt. Its last port of call is listed as Havana, Cuba.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Coastal Shipping Ltd - update

 Kitikmeot W getting under way from anchorage for Argentia with a chemical cargo.

 Since making yesterday's post on Coastal Shipping Ltd's latest acquisition, the tanker Kitikmeot W, I have learned that the company has acquired three tankers, not two. I mentioned that a sister of Kitikmeot W, the Icdas-11 has been purchased, but not delivered yet, nor renamed as far as I know.

The third tanker is to be named Tuvaq W. It is currently sailing under the Swiss flag as San Pietro. Built in 2012 by Taixing Ganghua as Bering it was acquired and renamed by the current owners in 2013. It is a small ship of 5422 grt, 7598 dwt, and will be used to supply some of the ports that larger ships cannot service.

Once again the ship's new name has significance for Coastal Shipping and the Woodward Group, recalling a previous ship named Tuvaq and using the letter "W" for Woodward.

The first Tuvaq was an impressive ice breaking tanker, built in 1977 by Werft Nobiskrug in Rendsburg, Denmark, for Neste O/Y of Finland. Neste was a pioneer in winter navigation in the Baltic and the ship was built to operate without icebreaker assistance when the Baltic was iced in. It was named Tiira by Neste and measured 10,929 grt, 15,954 dwt and was powered by two V-12 Atlas engines delivering 15,600 bhp through controllable pitch propellers. Neste thought enough of the ship to re-engine it in 1997 with new MaK engines giving 15,999 bhp. Such a major expenditure is unusual in a twenty year old ship.   

Coastal Shipping purchased the ship in the autumn of 2002 for delivering their own petroleum products, but also for chartering out to others. It was registered in St.John's, NL February 14, 2003 and named Tuvaq. The word means edge of the ice, an important interface in the arctic where sea life is abundant. Under Canadian registry the ship measured 11,290 grt.

The ship made many northern trips for Coastal, but also did charter work with Ultramar and likely others, and made some trips to the Great Lakes.

Some of its calls in Halifax were documented here in 2009 and 2012.

In early 2013 Coastal sold the ship to Panama flag owners called Tuvaq International Inc, and the Canadian register was closed June 11, 2013. Identified as a crude oil carrier by this time, the ship's movements have been difficult to trace, but by October 2015 it was laid up in Magdalene River, Barranquilla, Columbia, apparently abandoned.

The new Tuvaq W has sailed from the Netherlands as San Pietro and is due in St.John's, NL next week where it will be brought under Canadian flag and renamed.
Icdas-11 is reported anchored in Singapore.

To make room for all these ships in the fleet, Coastal has recently sold Nanny (register closed March 9, 2018) and Travestern (registry closed March 19, 2018). These follow the sale of Alsterstern in April 2017 and Havelstern in October 2017.

Of these one recent caller here was Nanny, which brought in several loads for Wilson's Fuel from Come by Chance in 2015 and 2016.

Built in 1993 by Hyundai Ulsan, as Natalie Sif, the 6544 grt, 9176 dwt ship also called in Halifax in 1998 under its original name and Danish flag.  After leaving the Coastal fleet it sailed to Taipei, Taiwan.

The Coastal fleet also includes the Sten Fjord, 8882 grt, 13,670 dwt, built in 2004 as Falcon by Jiangyang, Shanghai, which joined the fleet in June 2017. It has been chartered out over the winter, and is en route from Montreal to Estonia but is expected back in Canada in time for summer arctic work.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Kitikmeot W - new for Coastal Shipping

The Newfoundland based tanker operator Coastal Shipping Ltd, has acquired two tankers for its fleet this spring, to replace older units that have been sold. The first of the two additions arrived in Halifax today (May 8) for Asian Gypsy Moth inspection, with a cargo of refined petroleum product from Emden, Germany.

Named Kitikmeot W the ship's new name reflects two aspects of Coastal's operations. The first is that it supplies fuel to far northern communities during the short summer navigation season. Kitikmeot is the name of a large administrative region covering the north and western portion of the Nunavut territory. Although geographically large (171,150 square miles) it is sparsely populated by 6,543 people. It has several settlements that are well known by their former names including Cambridge Bay (Iqaluktuutiaq) and Gjoa Haven (Uqsuqtuuq). Kugaaruk (Pelley Bay), Kugluktuk (Coppermine) and Taloyoak (Spence Bay) are the other hamlets in the region. The entire region is accessible only by air or by sea (in season).

The letter "W" denotes the Woodward family, founders of the Woodward Group and owners of Coastal Shipping. It has been many years since the company used the letter "W" in its ship's names , so it is a nice touch to recall some of the early Woodward tankers such as Jenny W and Sibyl W.

Kitikmeot W was built in 2010 by Icdas in Biga, Turkey and measures 13,097 grt, 19,983 dwt. It sailed as Icdas-09 until acquired by Woodward. A sister tanker Icdas-11 has also been purchased by Coastal Shipping, but has not joined the fleet yet.

Although founded in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Coastal Shipping operate its tankers from Lewisporte, NL and it is expected that the ship will head there for transfer from Marshall Islands to Canadian registration.

Woodward Gallery "W" Gallery

Tana Woodward was built in 1956 by Rowhedge Iron Works in Essex, England as Ben Bates. Before Woodward's Oil Ltd acquired the ship in 1973, it had been lengthened increasing its grt from 489 to 522.It was laid up in 1986 and scrapped by Unimetco in Point Edward, NS.

Sibyl W (i) was the former Imperial Quebec, built by Collingwood Shipyard in 1957. It was rebuilt with a bulbous bow when the St.Lawrence Seaway was opened and served Imperial on the east coast and as faras Venezuela until 1987. Woodward's made many northern trips with it to such ports as Frobisher Bay (Iqaluit). In 1992 it was sold to become Panama Trader and was finally broken up in Guyamas, on the Baja Gulf coast of Mexico in  1996.

A second Sibyl W, acquired in 1992 was also a former Imperial Oil tanker. Imperial Tofino dated from 1973 when it was built in North Vancouver. It was lengthened 28 feet in 1979 raising tonnage from 650 to 764 grt.
 After Woodward service it went to the Honduran flag in 2009 as a bunkering tanker on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal. It was reported sold in late 2016, but nothing further has been heard of it.

Jenny W was a former Shell tanker, built in 1965 by Grangemouth Dockyard as Falmouth It became Shell Mariner in 1980 and joined Coastal Shipping Ltd in 1992. The 982 grt ship was sold in December 1995 to a Peruvian company. The delivery crew eventually arrested the ship in St.John's for unpaid wages and it was sold at auction in May 1999 becoming Orfeo.under the Mexican flag. On January 14, 2005 it was wrecked while entering the port of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico.


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Cable ship Ile d'Aix

The French cable ship Ile d'Aix anchored in Halifax this morning. The ship, which works out of Calais, France, has a Canadian Coasting License, allowing it to work in Canadian waters for emergency cable repairs to three important subsea cable systems, namely Hibernia Atlantic (running from Herring Cove, NS to Ireland and England), Greenland Connect (running from Newfoundland to several locations in Greenland, and on to Iceland) and Grand Banks Offshore Optical Cable (connecting several oil production sites to the island of Newfoundland). The one year license runs from November 23, 2017 to November 2, 2018.

The ship is a fully equipped cable lay / cable repair ship with a capacity of 2,000 tonnes of cable and carrying all the associated technical materials to do the work including an ROV and seabed plow for trenching and burying cable. It has a heli-deck (forward) and alarge crane aft.

It was built by the FarEast-Levingston Shipyard in Singapore in 1992 as Global Mariner. In 2004 it became Badaro and in 2007 Gulmar Badaro. ASN Marine (Alcatel Submarine Networks) formed ALDA Marine with French shpping company Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) to manage and operate of a fleet of  cable ships that work world wide. They acquired and renamed the ship in 2011.

In 2016 Nokia took over Alcatel-Lucent SA and absorbed it, however the ASN name is still used by Nokia Networks. The company also has the largest fibre optic cable manufacturing facility in the world, located in Calais.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Rosaire A. Desgagnés returns to Canadian flag

The multi-purpose cargo ship Rosaire A. Desgagnés returned to the Canadian flag today after a winter trading under the Barbados flag. This has been a yearly routine for the ship ever since it was acquired by Transport Desgagnés Inc in 2007. The Quebec based company runs a large northern supply operation working out of Cote-Ste-Catherine and other Canadian ports.

Built originally for the Beluga Shipping fleet of Germany as Beluga Fortification it was a member of large fleet of similar ships, built by Jiangzhou Union Shipyard in Ruichang, China and equipped with movable tween decks and heavy lift capability. It is a 9611 grt, 12,744 dwt vessel with two 120 tonne capacity cranes that can work in tandem. Desgagnés announced the acquisition of the ship in June 2007 and it loaded its first arctic cargo in August of that year. At the close of the short arctic navigation season in the late fall it was chartered back to Beluga and re-flagged to Barbados.

 Rosaire A. Desgagnés at pier 25, with large hatch covers open. The covers are reinforced for heavy deck loads and the three holds are box shaped for ease of cloading.

The Beluga company eventually failed amid fraud allegations, but Desgagnés was able to find other operators to work with and the ship has consistently found overseas work each winter, trading world wide.
Desgagnés has gone on to buy several other ships of the same or similar class, some with larger capacity cranes, but all well suited the northern supply work. The ships carry general cargo, containers and vehicles  and their own lighters and tugs to land cargo in remote communities.

Halifax is a convenient port for the reflagging and maintenance period before the ships load for the north. Fleet mate Zélada Desgagnés did a similar reflag in Halifax in June 2016.


Thursday, May 3, 2018

CL Aquarius sails

The tanker CL Aquarius (ex Nore, etcc., [see previous posts] sailed this evening for Vancouver via the Panama Canal. It seems likely that Vancouver will be its final destination, although they will face stiff competition from Seaspan's Marine Petrobulk barge based refueling service if that is its new home port.

Demand for sophisticated bunkering contracts, especially from cruise ships is on the rise and perhaps that is what is behind the move of whoever the ship's new owners might be. They may be able to use the ship to import bunkers from nearby US sources and transfer it to ships in Vancouver. They could also bunker ships in open roadstead anchorages.

Tug Cates 6, barge PB32 bunkering Diamond Princess in Vancouver. 
(A second tug is also used to move the barge.)

The Port of Prince Rupert (odd as it may seem, an important competitor with Halifax for Asian traffic) has no ship bunkering service, one of the few ports of its size without it. A proposal has been made to service ships by barge, carrying rail cars, piped together. This seems an odd way of delivering fuel, but seems to have the financial backing to carry it out.

While the ship's crew has renamed the ship and its lifeboat and even its paint skiff, no one has lowered the Maltese flag yet. Perhaps just an oversight?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Spring Cleaning

The bulk carrier Nordic Yarra anchored this morning for Asian Gypsy Moth inspection. This annual spring cleaning event occurs frequently in Halifax harbour when inspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency board ships that have been in parts of eastern Asia recently and wish enter Canadian waters.

The examination takes only a few hours as the inspectors know where to look for the larva, usually found around light fixtures. If the search is negative, the ship is soon on its way to inland ports where trees could be adversely effected by moth infestations.

Nordic Yarra was built in 2012 by Yangzhou Guoyu to a Handysize Seahorse  standard design, measuring 24,212 grt, 37,205 dwt. It carries four 30 tonne cranes and can handle a variety of bulk products in its box shaped holds. The ship is in ballast and is headed for Sorel-Tracy, QC.

At Pier 9B the former Nore is now the CL Aquarius under Canadian flag and was registered yesterday in Vancouver. The Newfoundland ship managers Canship Ugland Ltd are listed owners representatives, but it is still not clear who the west coast operators will be. Ships normally take bunkers from barges on the west coast.

There was much activity on board bringing the ship up to Canadian standards, including jettisoning some life rings that apparently do not comply.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday arrivals - through thick and thin

The long awaited arrival of the semi-submersible barge for Halifax Shipyard finally took place this morning. Boabarge 37 arrived in tow of the tug Boa Bison (see Tugfax). It was originally expected on April 17 but the tow met with some extremely heavy weather and was battling head winds for many days. However once clear of the bad weather it made good time (for a tow).

In drizzly gray weather, the pilots disembark from the tug Boa Bison to board the Boabarge 37 for its inbound passage to Halifax Shipyard.

The barge has been hired to float out the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) from their building berth at Halifax Shipyard. Last week the shipyard made application for coasting licenses to use the Norwegian flagged barge in Canadian waters. They explained in the application that each AOPS will be moved onto the barge using Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs) with 232 axle lines and six power packs. The ship plus its temporary cradles and the SPMTs will weigh 7,129.5 tonnes. Once aboard the barge, the SPMTs will move off leaving the ship on its cradles. The barge will then be moved by tugs to Bedford Basin where the it will be submerged and the ship floated off. The first float off for AOPS #1 Harry DeWolf will take place in September.

Harbour tugs Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Oak take charge of the barge in the Narrows, and dock it a Pier 6
In the meantime the barge will also be used to transport modules from the Woodside fabrication shop to the shipyard. These modules are components for the next ships in the production line, and will weigh from 13 tonnes to 60 tonnes.

After several days without tanker activity Imperial Oil has now received two tankers in two days.
Yesterday (in even thicker fog and heavier rain) Conti Agulhas arrived from Port Neches, TX and tied up at dock #4.

 Conti Agulhas sports a spotless red hull.

A Handyszie tanker of 23,403 grt, 37,606 dwt it was built by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan in 2008. Owners CONTI Group of Munich (but with operations in Hamburg), registered the ship in Liberia.

This afternoon, in bright sunshine, a slightly larger ship, of the the Mid-Range class, High Voyager, arrived at number 3 dock from Paldiski, Estonia.

Tugs push High Voyager alongside at number 3 dock.

Also built by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, but in 2014, it comes in at 29,935 grt, 45,999 dwt and flies the Maltese flag for d'Amico Tankers DAC of Italy.

There were some developments at Pier 9B where yesterday's arrival, Nore, while still flying the flag of Malta, is now nameless, in anticipation of a good painting day - perhaps as early as tomorrow - to apply its new name and port of registry.

Making a 180 turn and facing south, the Algoma Dartmouth was bunkering the tug Boa Bison. The Halifax based tanker is virtually indistinguishable, except for hull colour, from the ex Nore.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Bunkering tanker Nore at Pier 9B

The Malta flag bunkering tanker Nore arrived (in dense fog) at pier 9B today. A sister ship to the Halifax bunkering tanker Algoma Dartmouth and the Come-by-Chance tanker North Atlantic Kairos  it has apparently been acquired by Canadian owners.

By late afternoon the fog had cleared and rain stopped enough to get a "through the fence" look at Nore at Pier 9B. (That is Atlantic Condor at Pier 9C in the background.)

[ The only potential buyer for such a vessel that I can image is indeed North Atlantic Refining Ltd (NARL), owners of the Come-by-Chance refinery and a growing retail operation in Newfoundland and Labrador, now with 53 gas stations and 14 Orangestore locations. From its origins in 1973 the refinery has had five owners, with the latest taking over in September of last year. The new owners, Silver Range Partners LLC of New York acquired the business from Harvest Energy a subsidiary of the Korean National Oil Corp. NARL under Silver Range ownership is marketing its low sulphur products more widely, and its tanker North Atlantic Kairos was here twice in March with product for Wilson's Fuels. Although nominally a bunkering tanker, the ship can carry a a variety off fuels and is more than capable of short sea voyages.] 

The above was a wild guess, and apparently quite wrong.  Certainly no other east coast operator would be in the market for such a vessel, but I had forgotten that Canada also has a west coast! Word has reached me that it will be going to British Columbia -the first Canadian flag coastal tanker there in many years- and will be named AC AQUARIUS for as yet unidentified owners.

(Another Newfoundland operator, Coastal Shipping, part of the Woodward Group, has acquired tow tankers recently Icdas-09 and Icdas-11 are 13,097 grt, 19,984 dwt are ice class Turkish built by Icdas, Biga in 2010 and 2011 respectively. No new names have been announced yet. Coastal has rarely renamed their tankers after acquiring them from European owners, but perhaps they will make an exception in this case and chose some northern Canadian names that reflect the areas they will serve.)

Nore was built in 2007 in Tuzla, Turkey, with construction started by Dearsan Gemi and completed by Yardimci Gemi Insa SA. It measures 2999 grt and 3569 dwt. Built as Samistal, it was renamed CT Wexford in 2008 and from 2011 flew the Russian flag as RN Taurus. Early this year it was renamed Nore for Arsland Nore Ltd under Turkish management. [That the first three NOR appear in this name and in NARL can't be a coincidence.]  

Nore followed a similar trajectory to North Atlantic Kairos sailing from Tuzla, bunkering in Ceuta and arriving at Pier 9B. North Atlantic Kairos arrived as CT Wicklow (launched 2008 as Clipper Boca, 2985 grt, 3669 dwt) June 16, 2016 and was soon renamed and reflagged to Canada. I expect the same to happen with Nore.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Feast or Famine at Fairview Cove

Days go by with no ships at Cerescorp's Fairview Cove container terminal, then, as today, three ships show up.
At one point it was the rare sight of two ACL ships in ast the same time. Atlantic Sea was due to arrive last night, but the arrival was put off until this morning. Shortyl after Atlantic Sun arrived. The this afternoon Crete I arrived as  Atlantic Sea sailed. With Crete I being such a large ship, needing the large cranes, Atlantic Sun was relegated to the east berth, where it was able to use its RoRo ramp, but the small crane was still upright this evening, so it was not working containers.

Although the ACL ships have very large gross tonnage of 100,430, it was dwarfed by the Crete I. This is explained by the fact that the ACL has much greater internal enclosed space, which is counted as gross tons (one ton = 100 cubic feet). Its carrying capacity, indicated by deadweight tonnage, is 55,738 tonnes. Its hull dimesnions are 296m x 37.7m. The ship's width was dictated by the width of the lock it must pass through to berth in Liverpool

Crete I at 75,604 grt, has much less internal space, but a deadweight tonnage of 85,622 tonnes. Its dimensions are 304.12m x 40.05m. It was built in 2009 by Hyundai, Ulsan as Ilse Wulff, and carried the name Al Khor from 2009 to 2012 on charter with United Arab Shipping Company (UASC). It was renamed Ilse Wulff in 2012 and Crete I in 2016. With Hapag-Lloyd's takeover of UASC, the ship now works for H-L in THE Alliance. It has a capacity of 6300 TEU, including 460 reefers.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

IT International Telcom lands Toronto project

IT International Telecom, with a marine base at Pier 9A in Halifax, has secured a contract to lay 80 km of fibre optic sub-sea cable between Toronto, ON and Wilson, NY. The company has applied for a coasting license to use their Barbados flagged ship IT Intrepid for the work.

The ship is fitted with all the tools required for the project including an ROV and Dynamic Positioning equipment. The project will be conducted in two stages. The first will be a pre-pay grapnel run over the projected route to clear the sea bottom of any obstructions. These could include old cables, fish gear or other debris.Once the route is cleared the cable will be laid in one simultaneous operation to plow, lay and bury the cable one meter into the lake bottom.
The ship is expected to be in  Canadian waters for only four days in total, but the application for a coasting license covers the period July 15 to August 15, 2018.
A full description of the ship's capabilities and the cable laying operation is contained in application number 18-0230 by P.F.Collins Customs Brokers, to the Canadian Transportation Agency found at:

IT Intrepid is a frequent caller in Halifax and was in port from late last year to January 8 of this year for self-maintenance. It was built by Swan Hunter in Wallsend, UK in 1989 as Sir Eric Sharp for Cable +_Wireless (Marine) Ltd. It passed through Boyd Line to International Telecom Inc and was renamed in 2005. Its original tonnage was 6141 grt, and has not been revised.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

And away we go

There were two departures of note today.

Early this afternoon the bulker Interlink Levity got under way after bunkering and hull cleaning (see previous post for ship's details). The hull cleaning was carried out by divers using the charter boat Captain's Pride. Built in 1987 as Ashley and Jennifer in Lower Wedgeport, NS it is owned by A+M Fisheries of Eastern Passage and is often used by commercial divers, but also does harbour tours and sport fishing excursions.

Interlink Levity's destination is given as Sorel, QC. The correct place name is Sorel-Tracy, as it is an amalgamation of two separate towns. The destination is likely on the west (former Tracy) side of the Richelieu River, where the steel docks and smelters are located. It is interesting to note that the chosen form of delivery from Fairless Hills, PA. is by ship. The nature of the cargo must be such that road and rail transportation were not feasible.

Also sailing late this afternoon (after interminable fussing with fenders and gangways) was Fundy Rose, finally through with her refit at pier 9B. There has been grumbling that the ship was out of service between Digby and Saint John during the peak lobstering season in southwestern Nova Scotia forcing trucks bound for the USA to make the long detour via Moncton. The refit, which started January 24, was to be completed by March 20, but the date was extended several times. Service will now resume April 26 (although there is still an asterisk beside the date on Bay Ferries published schedule.)

 Fundy Rose outbound for Digby, after turning smartly off pier 9B.