Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fog, mist, drizzle, showers

The notoriously wet month of June lived up to its reputation today, delivering a variety of precipitations, especially when ships were moving.

This morning I had hope for a good photo of the 8456 TEU CMA CGM Titus on its fourth visit to Halifax. I had missed its first visit 2015-10-04 and all subsequent visits for various reasons. As the tugs vanished into the fog inside Meagher's Beach I could hear the ship's booming fog signal, but it was not until the ship was well up to the Middle Ground that it was anything like visible.

With tugs alongside (one to port and one to starboard) the ship was about to make its turn and was still sounding its fog signal.

CMA CGM is bringing larger ships along all the time, so it was important to get a photo of this ship, which is one of the smaller types that may be replaced. The 90,931 grt, 109,021 dwt ship dates from 2011 when it was built by Samsung Shipbuilding and Heavy Industries Co Ltd.

Later in the day the fog had moved off somewhat in the upper reaches of the harbour, but the on again / off again showers were on again for the sailing of K-Line's George Washington Bridge. The Panama flag ship was built In 2006 by Hyundai Heavy Industry in Ulsan and carries 5624 TEU, including 600 reefers on 68,750 grt, 74,023 dwt.

Bridge and bridge - the ship has just passed the A. Murray MacKay bridge outbound.

K-Line's plans to merge its container operations into a joint venture called the Ocean Network Express (ONE) with the other Japanese lines MOL and NYK has run into trouble with the Competition Commission of South Africa. That body is of the opinion that it could lead to collusion on rates. The same lines had previously been found to collude on auto carrier rates, and South Africa therefore will not approve the merger. Where this leaves the plan is in is question. Oddly United States, the Federal Maritime Commission stated that they did not have jurisdiction in the matter since it was not a merger but an acquisition.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Harry DeWolf - roll out coming

Halifax Shipyard indicated some time ago that the roll out of Harry DeWolf will be happening in July. Now with warm weather upon us, the overhead doors at the Shipyard allow for the occasional peak at what we may be seeing soon.

Several bow bulwark components have arrived on the dock from Woodside and  the centre mega block module that carries the ship's bridge is visible from time to time. The bow and stern blocks are under construction on the adjacent bay on the right.

The ship is the first in the six ship Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOP) contract. The last ship is due to be delivered by 2022.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Argentia Desgagnès - another new Canadian

Transport Desgagnés Inc of Quebec has been on a major buying spree this year, acquiring cargo ships and taking delivery of a new tanker *- the first of several new builds.

Today the latest cargo acquisition arrived in Halifax for reflagging. Argentia Desgagnés, built in 2007 by Ustaoglu Yat KO of Eregli, Turkey is the former Turkish flag Ofmar. A general cargo / bulker of 6369 grt, 8950 dwt, it is fitted with two cranes and clamshell grabs and will replace the veteran Amélia Desgagnés.

The new ship was reflagged as of today and its port of registry is now St.John's, NL.  It was registered in Barbados for the delivery trip from Tuzla, Turkey, where it received a new paint job, including the distinctive Desgagnés yellow stripe.

The new port of registry is unusual for Desgagnés, but since the ship will be running mostly in eastern Canada (as its new name suggests) it does make sense.

Its predecessor, Amélia Desgagnées was familiar sight in the Atlantic Canada for many years. Built by Collingwood Shipyards in 1976 as Soodoc for N.M.Paterson, its modest size of 4490 grt, 7250 dwt allowed it access to many smaller ports. However it also called in Halifax with grain.  Soon after it was built it was fitted with four 10 ton cranes in pairs, allowing it to handle a variety of bulk cargoes such as salt. Transport Desgagnés acquired and renamed the ship in 1990.

Amélia Desgagnés, in ballast, drops anchor approaching Pugwash, NS to load a cargo of salt.

Amélia Desgagnés arriving in Halifax with a small cargo of grain.
 _ _ _

* The company's newest tanker, Damia Desgagnés, ran into a spot of trouble Friday last week when it had a mechanical problem and ran aground at Mariatown, ON, near Iroquois, on the St.Lawrence Seaway. Traffic in the busy waterway was held up for a day until the ship was freed Saturday by two tugs. It was escorted to Johnstown, ON for survey. The new dual fuel ship was on its first trip up the Seaway bound for Nanticoke, ON,  with a cargo of heavy fuel.
There has been no report yet on the extent of damage.  


Sunday, June 18, 2017

A sub and more cars

The absence of a submarine in Halifax harbour for many months was broken for a short spell yesterday and today as HNLMS Zeeleeuw [Sea Lion] put in for a brief visit. One of four Walrus class subs of the Dutch navy it has been in commission since 1990.

An RCN sailor stands by to pipe a salute as the pup tug Granville turns the sub off the pier. 
The civilian tug Atlantic Willow did the work of "lifting" the sub away from the jetty.
HNLMS Zeeleeuw underway for sea.

The Dutch diesel electric subs have been instrumental in numerous intelligence gathering operations and have been deployed in anti-piracy operations.

Our own local submarine HMCS Windsor (all the others are on the west coast) has been invisible for many months. However it was announced last week that the RCN will keep the subs for another decade or more, which will mean many billions in refits to extend their life expectancy from 2020 to the 2030s. New subs will then not be needed until the frigate program is complete.

A much more common sight in Halifax is car boats - love' em or hate' em they are a fact of life, and their daily (or more frequent) arrivals and departures create lots of work for pilots, tug crews and longshoremen. 

 Talia has rounded Indian Point headed for Ives Knoll- at the north end of Macnab's Island. 
Note the ship's sloping forepeak, which improves visibility forward, but also improves areodynamics.

Talia arrived this morning and sailed late afternoon. A  57,692 grt, 21.021 dwt ship, built in 2006 by Gdynia Shipyard in Poland, the ship is owned by Ray Car Carriers and is on long term charter to Wilhelmsen Lines. Although auto carriers look alike, there are subtle differences in appearance and size.

From nearly broadside, the ship's immense size becomes apparent - it has a capacity in excess of 6,500 cars. The tug Spitfire III follows the ship outbound for its next assignment (see below)

As Talia left, the next Autoport customer was arriving. Viking Queen is a new name for ship that has been in service for nearly ten years. Built as Hoegh Delhi by Uljanik Shipyard in Pula, Croatia, the 55, 775 grt, 16,890- dwt ship was renamed earlier this year, reflecting an ownership change that took place in 2014. Current owners are listed as Gram Car Carriers Holdings, but the original owners were Viking Car Carriers, so this might have been an internal transfer rather than an actual sale. Nevertheless it is unusual for car carriers to change names.

Viking Queen has a slightly more conventional appearance, and somewhat smaller tonnage, but can still carry 7,000 cars.Tug Spitfire III has made up aft and Atlantic Oak moves in forward, to assist the ship to Autoport.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Saudi Chemicals

Saudi Arabia is not just an oil producer. One of the world's largest chemical companies, Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is also based there, but has facilities around the world. It is a  leading producer of ethylene glycol, but produces scores of other petroleum based commodities.

SABIC, in partnership with Bahri (the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia) operate National Chemical Carriers (to be renamed Bahri Chemicals) , owners of the ship that arrived in Halifax yesterday. The ship had been at anchor offshore for a time before tying up at Imperial Oil dock number 4.

Although not particularly clear in this photo, the ship has about 27 manifold connection symbols on the hull, indicating that it is set up to carry many different cargoes at the same time.

NCC Sama flies the Saudi flag, and is a 2012 product of the now defunct ShinaA Shipbuilding Co of Tongyeong, South Korea. (The yard specialized in product and chemical carriers, which are now in abundant supply). The ship is of  MR (mid-range) size, 29,168 grt, 45,471 dwt.
Another chemical/product tanker of the same fleet, NCC Rabigh called on Halifax in May 2014. Otherwise Saudi flag tankers are rare callers in Halifax.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Big Ship Day - amended

Two big ships are in port today.
The first arrival was the always impressive Queen Mary 2. I may get a photo when it sails later in the day.

The other big arrival is a relatively rare loaded crude oil tanker. Evridiki built in 2007 by Hyundai Samho is 84,796 grt, 167,294 dwt ship operating under the Liberian flag by the Greek company Liquimar Tankers Management Services Inc of Athens. The ship is assigned to the Blue Fin pool of Suezmax tankers, which provides commercial management of more than 100 tankers of all sizes  under parent company Heidmar.

Evridiki monopolizes number one anchorage while the Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducts its inspection.

Its port call will be brief, since it is here for an Asian gypsy moth inspection, and will be sailing as soon as it receives clearance. As with all large loaded crude tankers it was assigned two pilots on arrival and will also take to pilots on departure.

Inland ports, such as Quebec are particularly sensitive to gypsy moth exposure, since the pest can invade the valuable coniferous forests if not caught in the egg stage. The species originates in China, Japan, North and South Korea and the Russian Far East.

The ship loaded in Novorssysk, Russia with crude oil from the Tengiz field in the Caspian Sea and is bound for Quebec City.

I did get a chance for a photo of Queen Mary 2 on her departure, from virtually the same angle as previous photos of the ship - but this time there was a difference:

 Under a broken sky, Queen Mary 2 gets underway from pier 22 and passes the Italian naval training ship Americgo Vespucci at pier 20.

It was also a cruise with a difference for passengers. While well off Newfoundland, QM2 was tasked with rescuing a single handed sailor, Mervyn Wheatley, after his boat capsized in hurricane conditions. The single-hander was participating in the Ostar race and his was one of five boats damaged by the wind and 15 meter seas. All the sailors were rescued by a variety of ships and a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter. QM2's rescue boat is credited with superb seamanship in carrying out the rescue in difficult conditions.    

Just before Queen Mary 2 sailed the autocarrier Bess left Autoport for sea. It is a 58,750 grt, 18,013 dwt ship with a capacity of 6,284 cars.

The ship is named for the operatic Bess (from Porgy and Bess) - not after good Queen Bess of England.
Built by Shin Kurushima in Toyohashi, Japan iit is owned by EA Car Carriers Panama SA and operates under long term charter to Wallenius Lines for the Wallenius Wilhelmsen pool.


Monday, June 12, 2017

What's in a name

I am always interested in a ship's name - particularly if it is out of the ordinary. Certainly this afternoon's arrival for Autoport would fit into that category.

 Morning Ninni inbound has passed Meagher's Beach and approaches waiting tugs Atlantic Willow and Spitfire III. Heat haze forms a backdrop in near 30 degree C temperatures.

Morning Ninni is an otherwise typical autocarrier of 51,917 grt, 17,372 dwt., with a capacity of 5,340 cars. Built in 2008 by Tsuneishi in Tadotsu, Japan, it is operated by Eukor (EUrope KOrea). Eukor, based in Hamburg, was set up to carry Hyundai and Kia cars but as with most autocarriers, it works world wide carrying autos for all manufacturers.

 With tugs in place, the ship prepares to make its run into Autoport in Eastern Passage.

There is no great secret to the name "Ninni" - it is a woman's given name [pronounced Nee-Nee]. It is not to be confused with Ninny (a female donkey, but used unflatteringly to describe someone whose mental faculties may be scrambled.)