Sunday, November 11, 2018

CMA CGM Chennai -10,000 TEU

CMA CGM Chennai berthed this afternoon at pier 41-42 Halterm, a day and a half later than scheduled due to high winds. Serving the Columbus JAX service, it is the only ship larger than 10,000 TEU regularly scheduled to visit Halifax. The other ships on the route range from 9130 to 9953 TEU.

Delivered in May of this year by Jiangsu Yangzi Xinfu Shipbuilding of Jianjiang, China, it made its first call here July 14. The ship measures 112,967 grt, 119,000 dwt, and carries containers 19 wide at the widest part of the ship.

Even though conditions had improved today, with unlimited visibility, the winds were still gusty, and the ship used three tugs to berth.

The ship is owned by Seaspan and operated by them for CMA CGM on a long term charter.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Survey boat retirement

Two Canadian Coast Guard survey vessels will be retired this year now that replacements have been delivered. One of the retirees, which was considered state of the art when built, worked from Halifax for a time.

It was named CSS (Canadian Survey Ship)  F.C.G. Smith for the late Dominion Hydrographer Frederick Clifford Goulding Smith. Born in 1890, and educated at Acadia University, he was responsible for much of the charting in Hudson's Bay. He died in Annapolis Royal, NS in 1983.

In traditional hydrographic vessel livery of white hull and buff funnel, CSS F.C.G. Smith works in Pictou Harbour.

The boat, measuriung 430 grt,  was completed  in 1985 by Georgetown Shipyard Inc in Georgetown, PE and was initially based at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) in Dartmouth. With twin catamaran hulls, and retractable booms, it was able to chart much wider swaths of seabed than a monohull, with the added benefit of greater stability. The vessel measures 33.22m long x 13.99m wide (plus sweeps)

In Coast Guard colours, CCGS F.C.G Smith works downstream from Trois-Rivières, QC.

In 1995 the boat was transferred from the responsibility of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to the Minister of Transport and assigned to the Coast Guard, and was moved from BIO to the St.Lawrence River. It was then assigned to the main shipping channel between Trois-Rivières and Ile-aux-Coudres.

When not in use for sweeping, the booms are swung inboard and secured. There are aslo sensors mounted between the hulls to ensure a continuous track.

Another survey boat based in Quebec will also be retired. Named G.C.03 It was built in 1970 by Fercraft Marine Inc, Ste-Catherine d'Alexandrie, QC. It is 17.8m long x 6.19m wide and 57 grt. Originally named S.L.03 by the Minister of Transport, it was later renamed G.C.03 and transferred, along with all Coast Guard functions to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy [NSBS] the government established a small vessel construction program, and - cynical though I may be - this program was not only to replace older vessels, but to replace bigger boats with smaller or fewer boats. Such has proven to be the case, as the replacement survey boats are11.9m long x 6m wide, i.e. smaller than the boats they replace.

The contract for the construction of the new boats was announced in December 2016 and Kanter Marine of St.Thomas, ON recently delivered Jean Bourdon and Helen Irene Battle. To be nominally based in Mont Joli, QC, they will work between Montreal and Ile-aux-Coudres.

Certainly they are too small to work in the Gulf of St.Lawrence, but there has been no indication so far how the Frederick G. Creed (built in 1988) which does that survey work now, will be replaced.

The small vessel replacement program is also delivering:
- 12 new CCG lifeboats, some already delivered, $89.2 mn, with an option for up to 4 more.
Builders: Hike and Forillon.
- channel survey and sounding (as above) - two boats $5.4 mn, by Kanter Marine.
- hydrographic survey vessels - 7 trailerable boats, all delivered, with option for 3 more, $5.5mn - Kanter Marine.
- coastal research vessel - (Great Lakes) 1 vessel 11.5m , $1.2 mn, Kanter Marine.
- RCMP coastal patrol boats - three monohull 25m long - not yet awarded

- naval large tug project (4 new tugs to replace 5 harbour tugs and 2 fireboats) - not yet awarded.

Large vessel replacements are all assigned under NSBS to Seaspan as part of the non-combatant portion of the program. These include the offshore fisheries and science and offshore oceanographic science vessels.

Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax has the combatant portion. 


Friday, November 9, 2018

Bunkering in Halifax -another chapter

With the sailing on November 8, 2018 of Algoma Dartmouth for Saint John, NB to start a new bunkering operation in that port for Irving Oil, Halifax is without the services of a such a vessel for the first time.

It is probably impossible to say exactly when bunkering services were first introduced in Halifax, but it was likely early in the age of steam when ships arrived to take on coal as fuel. Coaling took place alongside, but also at anchor and barges or self-propelled vessels took coal out to the ships. That service lasted until the 1960s when oil became the fuel of choice.

During World War I Imperial Oil established a refinery on the eastern side of the harbour in the South Woodside area which came to be known as Imperoyal. The refinery produced fuel for many uses, including ship's fuel and was critical to the war effort, particularly in World War II.

Imperial Oil operated its own fleet of tankers and tank barges and used some of them to refuel ships in the harbour. In the early days of this century Imperial sold off its tanker fleet, including eventually the bunkering tanker Imperial Dartmouth. It was sold to Northern Transportation Co Ltd and operated in Halifax as NT Dartmouth from 2006 to 2009.

When NTCL took over Imperial Dartmouth and renamed it, they repainted the ship green. However in its last few months in Halifax, from May 2009 it was painted red.

In 2009 Algoma Tankers acquired the Turkish built bunkering tanker Samistal Due and renamed it  Algoma Dartmouth. Built in 2007 by Yardimci Gemi Insa SA of Tuzla, it was to be called Crescent Bardolino, but was delivered as Clipper Bardolino and carried that name until 2008 when it was sold by Clipper Wonsild Tankers (UK) Ltd to Samistal Shipping Ltd of Turkey.

It was reported at the time that Algoma and Imperial Oil had a three year agreement. As of August 1, 2009 Algoma operated the tanker with a coasting license as a charter, but under the Canadian flag as a "non-duty paid" vessel until July 31, 2010. However by January 2010 Algoma had purchased the ship.

On the same day as the previous photo, Samistal Due was tied up at pier 25 being prepared to take up its duties. It was registered in Canada, the next day, July 21, 2009, under its new name.

Specially built as a bunkering and chemical tanker with heated tanks to carry heavy fuel, and twin screws for close quarters work, it measured 2999 grt, 3569 dwt. 

In September 2013 Imperial Oil shut down the refinery, eliminating a local source of bunker C, the heavy fuel oil used by many ships. In January 2014 Sterling Fuels of Windsor, ON, part of the McAsphalt / Miller group of companies took over the charter. Sterling provides bunkering facilities in Hamilton, Windsor and Sarnia, ON and McAsphalt has an asphalt depot in Eastern Passage, and supplemented these facilities to store heated heavy oil for marine fuel.

They apparently maintained a source of diesel fuel with Imperial Oil, which continued to store and distribute refined product from its Imperoyal location. However they have also found fuel in Point Tupper, the United States and even from Irving Oil in Dartmouth.

My post of November 29, 2013 was made before the contract with Sterling Fuel had been announced, and gives an overview of bunkering in Halifax up until then:

Interestingly the last refueling conducted by Algoma Dartmouth appears to have been on Oceanex Sanderling on October 31, 2018, just as it was in 2013 before the Sterling charter.

Now just weeks short of five years later we are in the dark as to the future of bunkering by barge or ship. Several companies do provide marine fuels in Halifax by truck, but that requires ships to tie up at a pier.

In this 2014 photo the Algoma Dartmouth had moved its fenders to the port side but they would usually be on the starboard side.

Since 2009 Algoma Dartmouth has been a fixture in Halifax harbour and perhaps it was taken for granted that it would be here indefinitely.

A typical scene, with Algoma Dartmouth alongside and refueling a tanker.

Times change, ships change.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Baltic Leopard - non- endangered species - updated

Despite the somewhat exotic name, the bulk carrier Baltic Leopard is one of a large class of ships generally referred to as Handysize. These are bulk carriers between 40,000 and 60,000 dwt. The class is subdivided in Handymax, less than 50,000 dwt and Supramax, between 50,000 and 60,000 dwt. Generally around 200m in length and fitted with four 30 tonne cranes, they can be used for a variety of bulk cargoes, and are thus considered to be "handy" or versatile.

Baltic Leopard arrived this morning and anchored in the upper reaches of the harbour and appeared to be undergoing hold cleaning / inspection. This would normally take place before loading a sensitive or food grade cargo such as grain.

It was built in 2009 by Yangzhou Dayang in Yangzhou, China as Borak for Turkish owners, flying the Malta flag. In 2010 it was placed under the management of Genco Shipping and Trading Ltd flying the Marshal Islands flag. Among about 60 or so other bulkers in the fleet, some are prefixed with "Genco" and others with "Baltic". Some of the latter are named for animals of all sorts including mammals and insects, resulting in some as yet undiscovered species, such as the Baltic leopard.

The former Baltic Trading Company merged into Genco in 2015, and the ship carries the letter "B" on its funnel. Genco is a publicly traded company based in New York.

At 31,117 grt, 53,447 dwt it qualifies as a Supramax and has four cranes with grabs and five holds. It arrived from Wilmington, DE , but its next port has not been published. I suspect it carried salt on that last voyage, hence the need for hold cleaning before loading and inspection before loading again.
The ship is scheduled to move to pier 27 tomorrow to load.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Finale 2

Finale 2
It has been revealed by Halifax Shipping News that Algoma Tankers and Sterling Fuels, part of the McAsphalt / Miller Group, have not renewed their contract for the tanker Algoma Dartmouth. The deal, signed in January 2014, saw Sterling take over harbour fueling from Imperial Oil using the Algoma tanker.

Algoma Dartmouth coming alongside Hamburg for refueling at pier 23.

Sterling has a bunkering tanker operation in Hamilton, ON and fuel depots in Windsor and Sarnia, ON. It also provides fuel by truck in those regions and in Halifax and that seems likely to continue. However not all ships that refuel here would be willing to pay for berthage and tugs in order to take fuel from trucks. Many of the ships are too large or too deeply laden to berth at Halifax piers. By my estimation about 30 ships took bunkers at anchor since January 1, 2018.

It is particularly awkward for cruise ships, where not all berths are set up for truck access. Fueling by tanker from the water side, also eliminates any cross traffic with passengers.

It is understood that Algoma Dartmouth will be moving to Saint John, NB, where it will work for Irving Oil. It will then be able to refuel many of the passenger ships that would have taken fuel in Halifax. It would also provide fuel for ships that had to come from Saint John to Halifax just to take fuel.

Other companies, including Irving Oil, provide bunker fuel in Halifax, and thus compete with Sterling. Irving Oil uses trucks and its Woodside marine terminal to deliver bunkering fuel, but likely only diesel fuel, not heavy fuel.

Wilson's Fuels has a pipeline to pier 9 from its storage tanks on Barrington Street and has been refueling the support ships that BP has been chartering for its oil exploration work. The pipeline is also used to bring in fuel, most recently from Come-by-Chance, NL, which would not include heavy fuel oil, but refined product.

Occasionally trucks from Quebec show up to fuel ships, likely from the Valero refinery in Lévis. However since the trucks are not marked for Valero, there is no way to be certain where the fuel comes from. Similarly the local tank truck operators Seaboard also deliver ship fuel, again anonymously.

Algoma Dartmouth has hardly been busy since it arrived here, sometimes sitting idle for many days  at a time. Recently I have noted the coaster Nolhan Ava - berthed at pier 36 - less than 100 feet away from Algoma Dartmouth is now taking fuel from a McAsphalt tanker truck. Other users include the Canadian Coast Guard and some naval ships. Other Canadian navy ships appear to be refueling at Irving Oil Woodside these days, so cruise ships have been the main customers this fall. With that season now ended, there will be a major drop off in business.

As a "full service port" Halifax has benefited from the waterside delivery of fuel, without the service it seems like another, albeit small, factor in making Halifax less attractive to shipping.

No announcement has been made by Imperial Oil or Sterling on whether they plan to acquire another tanker. My thinking is that if they had such plans something would have been said by now. However, their web site, at least as of today, continues to show Algoma Dartmouth and advertise fueling by tanker and by truck.

Since the takeover by Sterling the Algoma Dartmouth has been sourcing fuel from several locations. At first it was making trips to Point Tupper, NS to load fuel there and even made a trip to New York /New Jersey in early 2014.

Recently however Sterling gets its MDO (Marine Diesel Oil) from Imperial Oil at its terminal in Dartmouth. Imperial imports most if its refined product from Europe. Heavy fuel comes from Sterling's parent company McAsphalt, and is loaded at their dock in Eastern Passage. That material is mostly produced by Irving Oil at their Saint John refinery.

Since January 1, 2018 Algoma Dartmouth has refueled about 112 ships. Of those 44 have been cruise ships. The slowest month this year was February with only four calls for bunkers. September saw 24 and October had 26 refuelings. Of these 18 were cruise ships for each month. The average is one refueling every three days from January 1 until the end of October 31.

All of the cruise ships, 44 refuelings in all, with several ships refueling more than once, took bunkers while alongside.

My unofficial analysis indicates that the next largest source of work, after cruise ships, is from:
- ships sailing to or from Quebec ports such as Sept Iles, La Baie (Port Alfred) and the St.Lawrence River ports (about 19 ships), all taking bunkers while at anchor.
- tankers form a large part of the business with more than 25 vessels served, a few of which have already called in Saint John or are destined for Saint John. Others are St.Lawrence related and are included in the number above. Again all these were while the ships were anchored.
- container ships account for a small part of the work, with only four serviced, and these were relatively small spot charter ships.  Oceanex Sanderling has been served, but may also be refueling from trucks.
- miscellaneous ships in the breakdown include three CSL bulkers, and two cable ships.
It should be noted that these numbers are only approximate and are based on my own personal observations and records which are not exhaustive.

Larger shipping companies, particularly the container lines, working fixed routes, have long term fuel contracts with suppliers and usually take on fuel on pre-arranged schedules. Ships that are more or less tramping (no fixed routes) or are spot chartered, are more likely to need fuel before or after transatlantic trips. Halifax is well positioned for that business, but apparently there is not enough of it to justify the expense of a full time bunkering tanker. I reckon only about a dozen of the calls since January would fall into that category (aside from cruise ships).

It will also be interesting to see how operations in Saint John work out, since many of the ships calling there are anchored in an open roadstead, and conditions may make it difficult to service them.

Although Saint John has about half or less the number of cruise ships calls that Halifax does, they are almost all the same ships. So many of those that customarily bunker in Halifax could presumably do so in Saint John. Those that only call in Halifax could probably make do with truck delivery, depending on their berth.

It would seem that the basis for this move is that Algoma Tankers needed to find more work for its vessel, since it was sitting idle too much. Irving Oil perhaps felt that selling its heavy fuel directly to a user would be better business. However with new regulations regarding fuels, Marine Diesel Oil must be used by more and more ships. That could be another reason for the move, since Imperial must import all that fuel from abroad, whereas Irving has the capability to produce it locally (at least until the recent fire.)

 With fenders permanently deployed on the ship's starboard side, it returns from a bunkering assignment.

When Algoma Dartmouth (perhaps to be renamed?) sails, I will provide a potted history of bunkering in Halifax. It is currently at pier 9B undergoing some modifications for its new job. Due to its age (built in 2007) it must also be due for a drydocking. The last one was in January 2012 so perhaps this will be done at Shelburne en route to Saint John.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Twin Citieis Part 1

The cities of Sioux City, Iowa and Wichita, Kansas may not have much in common, and as far as I know are not twinned, except in the names of two new ships for the United States Navy.

Both ships, USS Sioux City LCS-11 and Wichita LCS-13 have been completed by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin and are on their delivery trips. Both are scheduled to visit Halifax en route, and the first arrived today.

Today's fog and rain added to the ship's stealth characteristics.

USS Sioux City was laid down February 19, 2014, launched January 30, 2016 and delivered to the USN on August 22. After acceptance trials, it sailed from Marinette October 23. After a stop in stop in Detroit it made its way through the Welland Canal, escorted by the Hamilton, ON based tug Océan A. Gauthier and the St.Lawrence Seaway with the assistance of the tug Océan Henry Bain. After a stopover in Montreal it sailed November 3.  It is another in the Freedom class of Littoral Combat Ships built at Marinette, all of which have stopped in Halifax on their delivery trips.

Next week the next in the series USS Wichita is due in Halifax*. It was laid down February 2, 2015, and launched September 17, 2016.  After acceptance trials it was also handed over to the USN on the same day as Sioux City, August 22, 2018. It sailed from Marinette November 1 and following the same route, with the same escorts, arrived in Montreal yesterday, November 5.

Both ships have thus avoided last year's fiasco when LCS-9, USS Little Rock was beset by early forming ice in the St.Lawrence Seaway and had to spend the winter in  Montreal. Instead of arriving in Halifax over Christmas, it did not arrive until April 3.

The latest arrivals are not the last we will see.  A total of fifteen ships of the class have been built or are on order, with Marinette Marine, with eight still to come our way.

Update: As you will see from the comment below, someone is reporting that the USS Wichita visit will not take place.


With the arrival today of two ships, the Halifax cruise season for 2018 has come to an end. Insignia tied up at pier 22 and Silver Wind at pier 23 on another day of high winds and driving rain. The last few weeks have been plagued by wild weather, and one wonders if lines will continue to come so late in the season where weather can be an issue. It is not just the missed or delayed port arrivals, but conditions at sea between ports must be less than idyllic too.

An uninviting looking pier 22 and pier 23 greeted the last visitors of 2018.

Insignia had an abbreviated visit October 29 - which was late at night and only long enough to take on needed fuel - and dropped its Sydney call altogether to head on to Quebec City. Silver Wind was also late arriving October 16 due to weather and sea conditions. Once again, as it did then, it used two tugs to berth. Remarkably I counted only two outright cancellations due to weather this year.

The ship Victory II that was late entering service from its refit and had to change its itinerary. That resulted in the loss of several calls. It, along with Pearl Mist,  each cancelled a late season call, likely due to weather. There was the abbreviated call mentioned above and some unplanned overnight stays that likely resulted in cancellations at other ports.

Halifax has experienced a continued growth in the cruise business this year, and will likely do so again next year.  A second berth in Sydney, NS next year is expected to mean more and larger ships in that port. It will also mean that fewer ships will have to tender passengers ashore from anchorage, making a Sydney call more attractive. The ports of Saint John, Sydney and Charlottetown see many of the same ships as Halifax, and improvements in one port will benefit all.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Value Added

The self-unloading bulk carrier Algoma Value arrived this morning and tied up at pier31. I noted some tank trucks waiting, so it is likely to be bunkering, but may also have some maintenance work to do.

CSL Value "puts on the brakes" as it reverses engines to slow down before turning into pier 31. Two tugs are on the ship's starboard side.
This is the ship's third name - at least for part of it. As re-counted here in  Shipfax March 7, 2016 
the ship was built as the tanker Polysunrise in 1981 then converted to a self-unloader with a new forebody in 2006 and renamed Baldock. When owners Klaveness decided to exit the CSL self-unloader pool, Algoma picked up the ship and hastily renamed it Algoma Value as of January 1, 2016. Now that the ship has been in Algoma service for a couple of years, they have had time to repaint it in Algoma colours.

 Still with remnants of its Klaveness colour scheme, Algoma Value bunkered at anchor in March 2016.

Its last port of call is listed as Montreal, but I can't confirm that (AIS is sometimes mistaken).


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday containers

After a very stormy night, with high winds wreaking havoc with power lines ashore and regional ferry services, shipping seemed to return to normal this morning, even though it was still windy, with the arrival of three container ships. Regular callers Atlantic Star and Bilbao Bridge, one after the other for Fairview Cove had all four harbour tugs in Bedford Basin at one time.

However before that happened a first time caller tied up at Halterm. CMA CGM Amazon arrived on the Columbus JAX service. Although similar in size to the other 18 or so ships on the rotation, it is not owned by CMA CGM or their wholly owed APL. Its owner is listed as Dias Container Carrier SA c/o Capital Ship Management of Piraeus, Greece. With 60 plus ships of all types totaling over 7mn tonnes deadweight under its control, Capital is one of the larger Greek shipping companies. Most of its ships' names begin with the letter "A".

Built in 2015 by Daewoo Mangalia, the 96,424 grt, 115,145 dwt ship has a capacity of 9288 TEU including 1500 reefers. It has open bridge wings unlike the recent APL ships that have full width enclosed bridges.

When CAM CGM Amazon arrived at Halterm, it squeezed in astern of San Adriano, yesterday's sole arrival, but which could not work last night due to fierce winds.

San Adriano, sailing on the Maersk Montreal Mediterranean Express (MMX) service, completed loading and sailed late this afternoon (and in daylight, thanks to the switch back to Standard time.) It is one of five ships on the service, that seem to be changing out from the original callers that started calling here in August, so this is likely its last call.

Owned through the Claus-Peter Offen interests of Hamburg, the ship was launched in 2008 under its present name, but was renamed Ibn Qutaibah for a year before reverting back. It is a product of Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan and at 22,914 grt, 28,300 dwt, has a capacity of 1819 TEU including a large reefer component of 462. It is also equipped with three 45 tonne cranes.


Saturday, November 3, 2018

More Boister

Another boisterous day on Halifax harbour, and there was only one commercial arrival and no departures. Some ships that were due today have delayed arrival until tomorrow when things are expected to calm down.,

In the harbour traffic was limited to the usual ferry crossings between Halifax and Dartmouth, with Halifax Transit's newest vessel Rita Joe doing the honours. The boat was completed by A.F.Thériault in late September and arrived in Halifax ca. September 30. Although it entered service about October 22, it was not officially welcomed into the fleet until a ceremony on October 26.

Passengers enjoy a splashy trip from Dartmouth to Halifax. 
It is the last of the five boat replacement fleet built since 2014, and means that Woodside I, built in 1986, has been removed from service. Both Dartmouth III and Halifax III have been sold to Toronto Island Transit Services Inc, with the first named delivered to Toronto last year, and the second still sitting in Sambro, NS awaiting delivery. 

In the murky reaches of anchorage number 2, at the entrance to Eastern Passage, CCGS Sir William Alexander and CCGC Sambro, with a number of CCG RHIBs were conducting a Search and Rescue exercise, well beyond clear camera range from Halifax.

At HMC Dockyard HMCS Windsor was enjoying shore leave so to speak, on the synchrolift. The sub was away from Halifax all summer and is no doubt in need of some maintenance.

A white tent structure erected astern may be related to prop work.

Today's one arrival, San Adriano appears to have moved up a day, to allow for tomorrow's arrival at Halterm, CMA CGM Amazon, a 9288 TEU ship that would be unwieldy to berth in today's windy conditions.


Friday, November 2, 2018

Now We Are Six

As children of a certain era will recall, A.A.Milne's collection of poems for young readers was entitled "Now We Are Six".Today the minister of defence read from a sort of juvenile script - meant to reassure Halifax shipyard workers that all is right in the world and there is nothing to fear.

He managed not to sound embarrassed to announce that Halifax Shipyard will be building a sixth Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS). He sounded very complimentary to Halifax's shipbuilders, and promised them that there would now be continuity between completion of the AOPS work and the start of the frigate replacement program. Six AOPS had always been planned, but only five were contracted, with the sixth held out as a plum for good behaviour. Now that they have been good little boys and girls (and not messed up any welding) they are being rewarded with something that they had already earned and are entitled to.

As paternalism goes, this has to be one of the most blatant sops that government has made in recent memory.

In exchange for giving away millions of dollars of refit work to the existing Halifax class frigates, the government got off cheap, and relatively unscathed - so far. The timely start up of the new frigate program is hardly certain, and if it is delayed at all, then the promised continuity will be lost.

The recent announcement that half of those Halifax class life extension upgrades would go to Davie, a shipyard with no naval experience in recent memory - was totally political. Just because Halifax shipyard currently has only one drydock does not mean that a way can't be found to refit two frigates at once. But that was the excuse given for the giveaway. Instead, why not give Davie the job of building a new floating dock for Halifax. [This was how the late lamented Novadock came to be built mostly in Sorel and partly in Pictou - not for Halifax Shipyard, but for the Province of Nova Scotia. That floating dock was sold out from under our noses, and maybe Irving Shipbuilding's nose is being tweaked for that.] Davie benefits from a federally owned graving dock, so maybe a federally owned floating dock for Halifax is not a bad idea.

So spreading the soft SOAP (AOPS re-arranged) fell to the Minister, and he may have pacified some objectors. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how Davie can be expected to survive on handouts, and maintain any consistent level of expertise if the only work it can find comes as political crumbs. Davie risks becoming a chronic welfare case, always having to beg and never satisfied with what they are getting. They will always be playing the political card and will always drain off work from Halifax to get it. It remains to be seen if the refit work will give Davie sufficient expertise to force themselves in on the frigate construction.

It is virtually impossible to form a federal government in Canada without a majority in Quebec as any politician knows, but rather than be so blatantly political, surely their skills could be put to work in finding other work that Davie can do and provide them with some bankable expertise. I can think of no better way than to make them the go to yard for new conversion, rebuild and new construction for the Coast Guard.


White on White

As the penultimate cruise ship day for the 2018 season, Halifax greeted the Seven Seas Navigator. The last day of the season will be November 6 with both Insignia and Silver Wind scheduled. However for today visitors were "treated" to a good old pea souper that developed as the morning wore on. Passengers were seen emerging with complimentary blue brollies and boarding buses for sites that may also be almost invisible.

Essentially the same scene as my October 23 post, minus the wind - plus the fog 
(and a supervising gull.)

The late days of this season have brought frightful weather which goes some way to explaining why there have not been many posts lately.