Tuesday, November 12, 2019

USS Indianapolis

The Freedom class Littoral Combat Ship USS Indianapolis LCS 17 arrived this morning at the same time as the first wave of high winds and heavy rains.

Tugs Atlantic Fir and Spitfire III met up with the ship while it was inbound east of George's Island.

Built by Fincantieri's Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, the ship was commissioned in Burns Harbor, Indiana on October 26. It made its way down through the Lakes and Seaway, sometimes with tug escort, and a brief stopover in Quebec City. It is en route to its home port of Mayport, FL.

This is the ninth ship of its class built in Marinette, and all have called in Halifax on their delivery trips.

Hardy crew members took up station on deck when even Halifax gulls decided to remain on shore.

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Monday, November 11, 2019

November 11

November 11 is observed as Remembrance Day and most activity comes to a halt at least for a minute at 11:00 am, the hour of the Armistice that ended World War I. As might be expected there are numerous memorial sites around Halifax recognizing the contributions from various communities and the different armed services.

Nevertheless (shamefully) the day is not a statutory holiday in Nova Scotia, so many businesses remain open and industries such as construction and shipbuilding continue unabated. Some enlightened employers however do close their doors for the day and allow their employees to observe the day in their own ways.


At Halifax Shipyard it was a regular working day, with the newly launched AOPS2 (future Margaret Brooke pennant number 431) alongside at pier 6, after yesterday's float off (and yes Shipfax did not observe that operation).



Halterm welcomed Tropic Lissette for Tropical Shipping on the usual Monday schedule. The ship was off for one trip due to some mechanical issues, and may still have some deficiencies, but is at least back in service.


Cerescorp had two ships at Fairview Cove. CLI Pride is back again after several trips to Montreal and is now headed back to Rotterdam.


The much larger Budapest Bridge had the whole terminal to itself later in the day after CLI Pride sailed.


Even National Gypsum got in on the act today with CSL Tacoma sailing this morning for Savannah with less than a full load.


Siem Hanne was alongside at the southernmost end of pier pier 9B, and late in the day the Atlantic Condor arrived for pier 9C north.


One of the most attended Remembrance Day services is at the naval memorial at Point Pleasant Park. Seen from Purcell's Cove shortly after the end of the service, it was a particularly fine day to linger along the shore while poppies were placed at the base of the monument.


Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the service - and maybe not noticed by participants, was the aggregation of seals on rocks just off the point as the service progressed. From one seal at the start of the service, there were at least six by the time eleven o'clock had passed.


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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Saturday business

It was typical Saturday business in Halifax, despite a light dusting of snow over night.

It was back to more typical sized ships as CMA CGM Norma arrived at Halterm and tied up at pier 41. Built in 2006 by Hyundai, Samho, it is a 107,711 gt, 113,999 dwt vessel with a capacity of 9415 TEU, including 700 reefers.


Maersk Patras tied up at pier 42. It is a regular on the five ship rotation usuallly calling on Saturday  from Montreal.


It was a different ship for Nirint's service from Cuba at pier 31. Hooge flies the Gibraltar flag while sailing in the Briese fleet.


Dating from 2006 when it was built by Shandong Weihai, the 15633 gt, 16,986 dwt ship has a capacity of 1306 TEU (870 if loaded to 14 tonnes) and has a pair of 45 tonne cranes. Both cranes were working today to unload bagged nickel cargo. (I would not have taken a picture through so many fences if it had not been a first time caller.)

The PCTC Morning Crystal managed to squeeze in at the adjacent pier 27 to unload RoRo cargo.



With a capacity of 6,215 cars, the ship can also carry a variety of wheeled cargo, some of which will be offloaded at pier 27. Built in 2011 by Imabarai Zosen in Marugame, the ship measures 59,524 gt, 18,918 dwt.

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The Big Move - Part 1

Saturday, November 9 - the day for the big move of Boabarge37 from Halifax Shipyard to Bedford Basin seems to have come off without a hitch.

The barge's payload, AOPS #2 (the future HMCS Margaret Brooke) had been rolled aboard and secured on the barge deck.


With three tugs in attendance, the barge was eased out into the stream off pier 6 and guided through the Narrows to Bedford Basin.




Once clear of the Narrrows the barge took up position just north of anchorage 7, where it will be readied for float off tomorrow morning.


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Friday, November 8, 2019

Short Term callers

As promised gloomy weather and early sunsets resulted in some dark images today. First in and early  out today was K-Line's Apollon Highway (Panama flag) painted in the latest K-Line livery.


The 76,299 gt, 20,321 dwt PCTC was built  by Japan Marine United, Ariake, in 2017 and has a capacity of 7,625 cars. Unlike some other autocarriers seen recently it has a side ramp.

Another short term visitor was the Malta flag La Partenais a member of the Louis Dreyfus Bulk  fleet, An open hatch type bulker of 24,604 gt, 40,652 dwt, the ship was built as Crescent Star in 2015 by Yangfan Group, Zhoushan to a B-Delta 40 fuel efficient standard design. It carries four 30 tonne cranes with grab buckets. The ship was delivered as La Partenais and entered into a long term management charter with Louis Dreyfus. It carries a variation on the traditional the "LDA" funnel [Louis Dreyfus Armateurs]. This one has "LDP" on the white band. This may stand for LDAP a partnership established with financiers FFP [Peugeot] and Bank PBS to build and own this and four similar ships.


The ship arrived from Baie Comeau, where it presumably unloaded bauxite. While tied up at pier 27 the ship appears to have landed something from its number 5 hold. It did not load or unload any cargo that I could detect.


I was determined to get a photo, despite fading light, to show the ship's bluff bow. Its next port is given as Boston - hardly noted for bulk  cargoes, so perhaps it is headed for drydock.

In for a longer stay is the tanker Anemos I at Imperial Oil #3 dock. Launched in 2007 as Anemos by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, the 27,916 gt, 47,823 dwt ship was renamed on delivery to owners Splendour Shipholding SA under the operation of Capital Ship Management.

The ship gave Sept-Iles, QC as it last port. That would mean it loaded its refined product cargo (likely in Antwerp) then delivered some to Imperial's depot in Sept-Iles , then came on to Halifax with the rest. Imperial's regional depots serve customers by truck.


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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Outport Report

With the possibility of winter weather coming soon, it was time to check in on nearby 'outports'.  before road travel becomes unpleasant.

Lunenburg is now home to a couple of globe trotting vessels, both of which have recently returned to port after their latest voyages.

Polar Prince, the former CCGS Sir Humphrey Gilbert (built 1959)  is tied up adjacent to Picton Castle  (built 1928).  Both vessels might be considered by some to be past their prime, but they are carrying on useful functions in research, and training and look set to continue in these roles for some time to come.


It was a  bright sunny day in Lunenburg on Wednesday as Picton Castle and Polar Prince await their next assignments. Picton Castle returned from its latest round the world trip in June, then joined Tall Ships events including a trip to the Great Lakes). Polar Prince returned to Lunenburg in late October after another summer in the north.

The future is not so bright for the vessel that appears between the two in the photo. Conversion of the trawler Primo to a sailing vessel appears to be stalled. It is listed as owned by the same owners as Picton Castle. Built in 1963 by Geo T. Davie + Sons Ltd in Lauzon, QC, it should have many more years left if work can be found for it.


Holiday Island hauled out in Pictou for refit.
The open decks are normally tarped in for the winter.

In Pictou the 1971-built summer ferry Holiday Island has been hauled out at the shipyard for refit. Replacement for the Voith-Schneider propelled ship has been the subject of speculation recently, but there did not seem to be much mention about it during the federal election. New construction seems the likely route in view of the dismal performance of some second hand ferries recently acquired in Europe.

Confederation approaching the Caribou, NS dock on its noon time crossing.

Its fleet mate Confederation was built in 1993 as a result of an election promise - (made by a sitting MP without the knowledge of his caucus or leader according to legend).  Its performance has not always been sterling either, and the Holiday Island is the go to boat. However with the season winding down it is running the Caribou, NS / Wood Island PE route solo.

What appears to be a former Province of Nova Scotia cable ferry is tied up near the shipyard,  less its wheelhouse.


Devoid of any name, but still equipped with at least one hydraulic ramp, the boat may have been converted to a work barge. It is possible that it is the former Englishtown ferry Angus MacAskill replaced in 2010. Since the Province of Nova Scotia does not register its ferries, it is difficult to trace individual units.

Tenders were supposed to close October 18 for two new cable ferries for the Province (one for Country Harbour and one for Little Narrows) but I have not heard the results yet.

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Ocean Force closeup

The Ocean Force moved from anchor to pier 9C today, allowing a for a bit of a close up look.


As mentioned previously the ship is reported to have semi-submersible capabilities, and this seems to be confirmed by the unusual feature of draft marks extending all the way up to the main deck. Certainly not something one would want to see on a normal ship!



The ship is registered in Belize City, Belize (formerly British Honduras), a flag of convenience, and one normally reserved for aging vessels working in the Caribbean.


After completing its substitution on the St-Pierre et Miquelon service last month, the ship has been idle at anchor in Bedford Basin awaiting orders.
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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Riviera marks the end of the season


Riviera's arrival at pier 20 early this morning marks the end of the 2019 cruise season. All indications are that it was a successful year for Halifax, with very few outright weather cancellations and all cruises reportedly sold out, maximizing the number of passengers.

Fincantieri's Sestri Ponenete yard completed the 66,084 gt Oceania class ship in 2011, with a passenger capacity of 1250 and 800 crew. Operator Oceania Cruises is one of the brands in the Norwegian Line Holdings portfolio, that also includes Norwegian Cruise Lines and Regent Seven Seas.


The ship obligingly arrived east of George's Island and turned north of the island to berth bow south (seaward) at pier 20. With clearing skies, it seems that it will be a good day for shore activities. Previous cruise seasons have seldom extended past November 1 to avoid the risk of wintry weather.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Miscellaneous Basin Activity

Bedford Basin was the main centre of interest today for the Coast Guard, Navy and commercial vessels. Coincidentally several of the vessels had connections with the month of November.


The Container/ RoRo ship Atlantic Sky arrived at Cerescorp's Fairview Cove container terminal.


The fourth of five ships in the G4 series built in China for ACL, it made its first call in Halifax May 23, 2017, six months later than expected in November 2016. The first ships in the series have had a number of mechanical issues and the second ship, Atlantic Sail has been out of service since April when it was drydocked in Hamburg. It is now scheduled to sail from Liverpool November 17 and is due in Halifax November 25.

The Canadian Coast Guard's Arun class lifeboat Clarks Harbour made a trials run from the Bedford Institute to Bedford Basin.


The boat is likely completing its yearly refit before the start of the District 33, 34 lobster season, the last Monday of November. As the busiest SAR lifeboat, working from its home port on Cape Sable Island, it needs to be in good working order.

Last year however it broke down off Halifax November 10, 2018 when returning from refit in Cape Breton. It was towed into Sambro, and made it to Lunenburg before it needed more attention. The boat apparently had fuel system related problems. Clarks Harbour was built in 1996 and should be on the replacement list.

HMCS Shawinigan MM 704 made its way to Bedford Basin, tying up at the Bedford Magazine.


The fifth Kingston class coastal defence vessel, it was launched at Halifax Shipyard November 15, 1996.



The ship was named for the hometown of then Prime Minister Jean Chretien and was the second ship of the name in the RCN. The first, HMCS Shawinigan K-136, a Flower class corvette built in 1940 by Davie Shipbuilding + Repair, Lauzon, QC, was torpedored and sunk by by U-1228 in Cabot Strait November 25, 1944 with the loss of all 85 hands.

Not quite in Bedford Basin (yet) work is ongoing to launch the second Arctic Offshore Patrol vessel, AOPS2 Margaret Brooke.  Halifax Shipyard has once again marshaled the multi-wheel dollies that will transfer the ship to the launching barge Boa Barge 37. The barge was repositioned yesterday to bow north, aligning it for loading the ship. It may be floated off by the end of the month.


Also on hand is an aluminum landing craft, built by Abco in Lunenburg for AOPS1 Harry Dewolf. One of these craft will be assigned to each of the AOP ships.

Still in Bedford Basin Ocean Force continues to swing at anchor. The container RoRo (and sometime semi-submersible) has been idle in the Basin since completing its assignment with TMSI last month.


That service to St-Pierre et Miquelon and Argentia, NL, has encountered another glitch as its ship Nolhanava may be subject to detention / arrest due to an unsatisfied  claim by a supplier according to court filings.

Meanwhile  those who have been missing the familiar sight of the Defence Research and Development barge in Birch Cove were encouraged by the presence of tugs and a dive tender at the location last week. Perhaps they were making preparations for the return of the barge which has been tucked away in HMC Dockyard undergoing some refit for many months. Its place has been taken by a flat deck barge - much less interesting than the house like structure we have grown accustomed to.




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Monday, November 4, 2019

CMA CGM Aquila - big ship

The ships keep getting bigger and bigger and with today's arrival Halifax has passed the 11,000 TEU mark again. With a capacity of 11,200 TEU the CMA CGM Aquila is among the largest container ships to call in Halifax - so far.


The 11,000 TEU threshold was passed in January 2019 and bigger ships are anticipated. So far at least only CMA CGM is bringing these large ships to Halifax. Nevertheless Halterm is expanding to accommodate two 10,000+ TEU ships at one time.


It is not only a question of length however, as these ships are 18 or more containers wide and require long reach cranes  to service the entire breadth of the ship.

CMA CGM Aquila dates from 2009 when it was built by Hyundai, Ulsan with tonnages of 131,332 gt, 128,550 dwt.

Supposed to be the "largest" ship to call in Halifax do far, CMA CGM Libra was rated at 11,338 TEU with a dwt of 131,246, but its dimensions of 363m long x 45.6m wide are almost identical to CMA CGM Aquila.

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Silver Wind - second last but better this year

For its final call this year Silver Wind could hardly have asked for better conditions. Perhaps a soupcon of drizzle early in the day, but that cool clear air in the afternoon was ideal autumn weather.

The last of 295 passengers straggle back on board before the ship sails from Halifax for the last time this year.

Last year Silver Wind shared last ship honours with Insignia on November 6, 2018 and it was a less than ideal day: http://shipfax.blogspot.com/2018/11/finale.html

Today's departure for Bar Harbor could only be described as idyllic, if a little chilly. I could only detect two or three passengers on deck despite the calm clear conditions.

The low afternoon (now standard time) sun made the ship glow as it sailed.

November 6 will be last day for the cruise season again this year, but the last ship is to be the 
Riviera with 1250 passengers.

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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Catch Up Day

When yesterday's high winds and seas diminished over night, pilotage operations resumed and it was a very busy morning as several ships arrived and sailed. In view of the sun direction and location of the ships, I stationed myself in Eastern Passage to see most of them, even though from a distance.

Starting with Halterm, the Tropical Shipping substitute Vega Fynen (see October 30) moved out to anchor last night and sailed this morning. Thanks to news received, I understand it was called in to take the place of the new Tropical Lissette which has some mechanical problems. The normal schedule for Tropical ships is Monday, so the breakdown and the weather have meant a major delay.

Giving Tropical Shipping good advertising, Vega Fynen prepares to get underway from anchor.

The overnighter Hansa Meersburg filling in on ZIM's feeder service also got underway.


With the piers clear, the arrivals were able to tie up. First was ZIM Monaco for pier 42.


On ZIM's transatlantic service, the 40,030 gt, 50,800 dwt ship flies the Malta flag for owners Danaos Shipping Co Ltd. Built in 2009 by Samsung SB+HI in Koje, the ship has a capacity of 4253 TEU.

Following not long after Maersk Patras managed to dodge the weather and arrived on its usually scheduled day from Montreal.


The 2090 TEU (400 reefers) ship is on the eastbound leg of its regular transatlantic run.

Autoport's caller was the Hero [High Efficiency RoRo] class Theben. A 75,283 gt, 23,786 dwt ship, it combines the capabilities of a Pure Car and Truck Carrier [PCTC] with a capacity of 8,000 cars, with those of a RoRo carrier, employing a 300 tonne capacity stern ramp.



Built in 2016 by Hyundai Samho, the ship has no side ramp, but carries accommodation ladders and even a lifeboat in hull recesses. I hope they demanded a refund on the paint. Normally a sparkling orange, many of the recent Wilhelmsen ships have a washed out faded look.


MOL Paramount sailed from Fairview Cove and Gerhard Schulte arrived for ACL this morning and early this afternoon Nolhanava moved from its storm berth at pier 9C to Fairview Cove to load for Argentia and St-Pierre et Miquelon. Presumably some ACL cargo from France was to be unloaded from Gerhard Schulte  and loaded on Nolhanava.

Nolhanava glides past the Atlantic Condor stocking up at pier 9C. 

Next along for Fairvew Cove was YM Modesty. However it had to wait in Bedford Basin until Nolhanava sailed.


The 71,821 gt, 72,370 dwt YM Modesty carries 6258 TEU. Built in 2013 by Koyo Dockyard, Mihara, the ship is on long term charter through Zodiac Maritime to Yang Ming Line.

Two other departures were noted. HC Svea Kim completed unloading its cargo of rails for CN in good time and was able to sail this morning. (See October 27 arrival).


and the tanker Elka Eleftheria sailed from Irving Oil and headed back to Amsterdam. (see October 31 arrival).


With tonight's shift from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time, photographing late afternoon arrivals and departures has likely come to an end until February. Despite more light early in the morning, photos at that hour will continue to be difficult due to the sun position. Shooting directly into the sun is a challenge!

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