Monday, June 4, 2018

Northern Nova Scotia oldies report

A day trip to some northern Nova Scotia ports turned up a few vessels of interest - all of then quite old!

In Pictou the venerable ferry Holiday Island was certainly not looking its age as it reposed on the slip at the Pictou Shipyard. The ferry was built by Port Weller Dry Dock in 1971 for service between Cape Tormentine, NB and Borden, PE.  It was to be named after father of Confederation William Pope, but was an early victim of branding and instead took the name Holiday Island. (Sister vessel, the intended Thomas Haviland, became Vacationland, then the Fundy Paradise but has been laid up in Quebec City for years).

Holiday Island, 3037 grt, with a capacity of 150 cars and 487 passengers was powered with two V-16 English Electric (Ruston Engine Division) engines totalling 7,250 bhp and driven by Voith Schneider cycloidal drives. These were among the very earliest North American uses of these drives, more commonly found on tugs. It was announced in 2013 that the ship would be re-engined, retaining the Voith drives. Current work is to replace operator and engine room controls and local pitch controls (which were manual rods and levers) with new electronic systems.

With the opening of the Confederation Bridge in 1997, the ship was transferred to the Caribou-Wood Islands run, operated by Northumberland Ferries Ltd. Last year considerable steel replacement work was required and ferry service was adversely affected because the ship was not ready in time the start of the sailing season in May. Again this year the larger fleet mate Confederation opened the season. It is expected that Holiday Island will be back in the water by the end of June to meet demand during peak summer.

At Mulgrave on the Strait of Canso the bulk carrier Savannah Pearl completed loading armour stone for Ocean Cay, Bahamas. The 30,000 tonne load was handled using the ship's own gear which consists of a pair of 35 tonne capacity mobile gantries with 10m outreach. The ship carries two 15 cubic meter and one 17 cubic meter grabs.

Savannah Pearl stowing hatch covers, preparing to sail.
The ship was built way back in 1985 by Hyundai, Ulsan as Charles L.D. for Louis Dreyfus of France. It was renamed Wren Arrow in 1990 by Gearbulk and carried that name until 2013 when it went to work for current owners SMT Shipping. The company specializes in bulk handling and operates a fleet of similar open hatch type ships, with box shaped holds and travelling gantries. Savannah Pearl has seven holds and seven hatches with a grt of 27,824 and a deadweight tonnage of 43,003.

Underway from Mulgrave.

Ocean Cay is an artificial island near Bimini that is undergoing a huge expansion for MSC Cruises that will include a new resort with hotels, shopping, beaches, marinas and other features. Most of the land created will be Nova Scotia (in a manner of speaking) since all the armour stone will be coming from here.

At Port Hawksbury another veteran ship was also preparing to head south. The RoRo Dutch Runner after several years in layup had dockside engine trials this morning and was preparing for over night sea trials.
Built by the late lamented J.J. Seitas shipyard in Neuenfelde in 1988 as North King, the 2279 grt, 3056 dwt ship was renamed Dutch Runner in 2000 and P+O Nedlloyd Douala from 2001 to 2002. It was acquired by the Canadian company Great Lakes Feeder Lines LLC and registered in Montreal in 2008. It worked between Halifax and St-Pierre, then on charter to Desgagnés for northern supply, made trips to the Great Lakes, ran to Labrador for CN out of Lewisporte and various other short lived ventures until laid up in Souris, PE in 2012. It was towed to Port Hawksbury in 2014 and current owners are hoping to get the ship to the Caribbean.

 Dutch Runner engine running - prop feathered. (The orange lifeboat does not belong to the ship - it is a shore based training facility)

The small ConRo has a pair of 35 tonne cranes and capacity of 219 TEU or 16 trailers. After so many years of layup it is a wonder that it can still operate - even under provisional Panama flag.



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