Tuesday, April 3, 2018


It was a day for arrivals, with several ships of interest putting in an appearance.

Earliest arrival was the first ship on the new ZIM shuttle service to / from Florida and Jamaica, called the Canada-Florida Express. ZIM is scrubbing Halifax calls for its long time big ship ZCP service. The big ships will now stop at New York. However Halifax cargo will be handled through  ZIM's Kingston, Jamaica hub and feed containers out to Halifax on the small ships. Those ships will then carry return cargoes via Florida (competing with Tropical Shipping) and on to the Kingston hub.
ZIM's ZCA service will continue through Halterm, as will its ZCI serivce in conjunction with THE Alliance, calling at Cerescorp's Fairview Cove facility.

AS Felicia at Halterm with a lot of white (reefer) boxes.  A good sign for increased business.

First ship on the service is AS Felicia, a 1296TEU (including 390 reefers) ship fitted with a pair of 45 tonne cranes. Despite its small size, it is expected to work the same number of boxes, or maybe more, than the big ships used to work in Halifax. Built in 2006 by Zhejiang Ouhua in Zhonshan, the ship has carried several names: launched as Medocean, delivered as EWL Caribbean, renamed APL Managua in 2007 and Medocean again in 2014, it took its present name in 2015. (Europe West Indies Line (EWL) had a short lived service to Halifax before it failed in 2008, but this ship was not one of its callers here.).
A secondary benefit to having a ship of this size is that it can be accommodated at Halterm no matter what other ships may be alongside. (Today that was the EM Kea on Maersk / CMA CGM's St.Lawrence service. - which usually calls on Saturdays.)

The long awaited USS Little Rock finally tied up at HMC Dockyard this morning. It was originally due between Christmas and New Year's day, but therein lies a tale of woe. Built by Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, the ship sailed down to Buffalo, NY where it was commissioned December 16 alongside its predecessor of the same name. The new Little Rock LCS 9 is a Freedom class Littoral Combat vessel, whereas the older preserved ship was a guided missile cruiser CLG 4.

Little Rock was having teething problems and it did not sail from from Buffalo until December 20. It had to tie up in Port Colborne overnight until a tug arrived to assist it through the Welland Canal. It had arranged for tug assistance to transit the St.Lawrence Seaway, but called in a second tug because ice had started to build and the ship was never intended to work in ice. The  South Shore Canal was plugged with ice, but the ship managed to reach Montreal Christmas Eve. However the mechanical problems had not been resolved and concerns about ice in the St.Lawrence River lead to the decision to stay in Montreal for the winter. (I guess the memorable tow of HMCS Athabaskan in winter was a warning about what could go wrong.)

The ship was not winterized, and numerous measures were put in place to allow the crew to inhabit the ship and to prevent hull damage. It was moved to a berth that was protected from flowing ice, but nearby residents complained about the noise from the shore based emergency generators and the ship had to be shifted again.

Finally on March 28, three months after the last tentative sailing date, the ship got underway from Montreal, with CCGS Des Groseilliers as escort.  It was able to shed the escort once clear of Quebec City and it arrived here safely today. (Later in the day, the ship took bunkers from Algoma Dartmouth).

Next along was the supplier Scotian Sea returning from an emergency cable repair off Sydney, NS. The ship, which had been laid up in Dartmouth for the winter, was fitted out last week and sailed Friday.

Once alongside pier 9A, work began to remove the cable repair kit consisting of a stern slide and containerized splicing and repair shops.

His Majesty's Danish Ship Ejnar Mikkelson also arrived for HMC Dockyard. In contrast to Little Rock it is completely winterized, and is generally used to patrol far northern waters off Greenland - including the disputed territory with Canada.

The ship's hull was built by Stocznia Polnocna in Gdansk, Poland and fitted out by Karstensens Skibsv in Denmark, with commissioning in 2009. The second in the Knut Rasmussen class of patrol vessels, it is on its second visit to Halifax. The first time was for the Naval Review in June 2010. 

Canada does not have any comparable ships (yet) the first of our Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels, HMCS Harry DeWolf , under construction at Halifax Shipyard, will be taking to the water this summer. It remains to be seen what capabilities the ship has, since it is a combination patrol / icebreaker, a new type of ship for the RCN.

The last arrival of interest was the tanker Falon Maryam, a typical MR (Mid-Range) tanker of 29,130 grt, 46,121 dwt, built in 2009 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan.

Most of these MR tankers don't change hands too often, so this one is unusual in having had three previous names. It was built as Stealth SV, becoming Alpine Endurance in 2009 then Stealth Bahla in 2012. It assumed its current alias in 2017 when its owners, King of Hearts Inc, placed its management with Falcon Navigation Ship Management.

Atlantic Fir met up with the tanker east of George's Island and provided tethered escort through the Narrows.

Arriving from Antwerp, Belgium, the ship anchored in Bedford Basin.

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