Saturday, October 31, 2009

Antonis G. Pappadakis

The Maltese flag bulk carrier Antonis G. Pappadakis exAtlantica-07, Atlantic Crown-00, launched as Atlantic Rose, 39017/95 Hyundai, Ulsan anchored in Bedford Basin on Thursday Ocotber 29.

The ship was en route Baltimore to Rotterdam when she diverted to Halifax for repairs. The tug Point Chebucto escorted her in from the pilot station. At 73,538 tonnes deadweight, and over 13 meters draft she is certainly one of the largest loaded (non-container) ships to anchor in the Basin.

With this draft, and a mechanical problem that forced her to steam at reduced speed, the tug, tethered to the stern to provide steering and braking assistance, was certainly a wise precaution.
Update: Because of high winds the tug Point Valiant was called in to stand by the ship all night Saturday/ Sunday, while engine repairs were completed. The ship sailed late Monday afternoon, November 2.

Friday, October 30, 2009

From the Shoebox........Drift

Back in October 1969 there were still several working fish plants in Halifax. They and their lingering aromas are long gone. (Although on a foggy night I can still conjure up the unique delights they contributed to Halifax.)

One plant, the 40Fathom division of National Sea Products was located at pier 29. Although new stern trawlers had come into service, side draggers were still operating there. Two of my favouties were the twins Calm and Drift dating from 1941.

They were built by American Shipbuilding at Lorain, Ohio and served the US Navy during World War II. Drift was YP416 until 1945 when she was picked up by National Sea Products. She fished out of Halifax until the end of 1975. Atlantic Salvage purchased her intending to convert her to a salvage vessel, to be named Atsal Five, but the work was never completed. She languished at the Cable Wharf, until eventually expended as a naval gunnery target.
In the background a German trawler lies at pier 28. She is Fritz Homan BX-689.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Senator Greene ...

Senator Greene has dropped his personal bombshell on the port of Hailfax. Promoting Point Melford and Sydney as replacements for Halifax's container piers in order to improve downtown street traffic in Halifax makes as much sense as his support for converting the present railway cut into a truck corridor.
If the container piers are gone, who would need a truck corridor? The port of Halifax would not have enough non-container traffic to warrant such a hugely disruptive project.
Senator Green, a minor cog in the defeated former Tory provincial government, has been named to the Senate. Predictably his agenda is muddled, his facts askew and and his credibility is zero.
He has apparently concluded that a large increase in Halifax container traffic would result in traffic grid-lock in Halifax. Does he think that all those additional containers would be loaded onto trucks? Apparently so, but that would require a massive increase in locally generated traffic. Traditionally the vast majority of Halifax container traffic is sent on by rail to central Canada or the US mid-west. So a big increase in container traffic in Halifax might well result in some increase in truck traffic, but there are other solutions to Halifax traffic problems.
Railways in the US are now carrying containers on realtively short hauls, keeping more trucks off the highways. Who is to say that this would not happen in Halifax?
Short-sea shipping has been promoted for container transfers. Such services would transship containers right at the container terminal, without clogging city streets.
As for Point Melford or Sydney, they should be allowed to sink or swim as container hubs on a purely business basis, all on their own, without his or any other government's interference.
My advice to Sentor Greene is to take the big pay cheque, wait for the big pension and keep quiet. Nobody actually expects him to do anything to earn either.

From the shoebox... Douglas Reid

Another oldie.

The tug Douglas Reid pictured on Octber 2, 1969 during construction of the Halterm container pier. The tug was built in 1914 at Cleveland, Ohio, as Racine for Great Lakes Towing. In 1940 A.B.MacLean & Sons of Sault Ste.Marie, Ontario bought her. They in turn sold her to McNamara Construction Ltd of Whitby, Ontario in 1950.

McNamara rebuilt the tug, converting it from steam to diesel power and giving it the name Douglas Reid.

McNamara were contracted for the marine construction portion of the Halterm pier, and in this photo workers are doing some repairs on a day off.

The tug was removed from the register in 1978, by which time she had been broken up.

For more on the A.B.MacLean companies, see the new book "A.B. MacLean & Sons Ltd" by Buck Longhurst and Skip Gillham, published by Glenaden Press, 3750 King St, Vineland, ON, L0R 2C0 (ISBN# 978-1-926744-01-8)

If you were wondering why there is no pier 40 in Halifax (berth numbers skip from 39 to 41) this photo is part of the answer. The tug's bow is pointed at berth 40, which was filled in during the Halterm construction.

Svitzer Bedford Fire

The Halifax based tug Svitzer Bedford was abandoned on fire off Quebec City on Wednesday October 28 at about 10 am local time. The tug had sailed from Quebec City for Becancour, towing the barge Transport 1 when the fire broke out. The master decided to abandon ship when the engine room fire could not be brought under control and requested that the Coast Guard vessel Cap Tourmente take the crew off.

The tug has been away from Halifax for several months towing supply barges from Quebec to Hudson's Bay. It was pressed into service when the tug Point Halifax was damaged in ice.

The tugs are owned and operated by Svitzer Canada Limited of Halifax (formerly Eastern Canada Towing Ltd)
Update 1: The fire was brought under control quickly by the Quebec Fire Department and was confined to the engine room. There was a lot of smoke, and the exent of damage is still to be determined.
Awaiting updates.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oldie from the shoebox... Federal Pioneer

If you've seen Piet Sinke's newsletter he often concludes with an "oldie from the shoebox." Firmly believing that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I will do the same from time to time. I have posted lots of old stuff on Shipspotting, but the photos I will post here will not be the standard ship portraits.
I took this October 15, 1969 from Barrington Street, looking down into the Graving Dock at Halifax Shipyard. It shows FEDERAL PIONEER (ex Brazilian Prince -58, Outremont Park -56) 7158/44 United Shipbuilding, Montreal.
She spent her last years lying in Halifax until needed for northern supply work in the summers.
In 1970 she was sold for scrap to China. She sailed there on her own via Honolulu (December 19, 1970) and arrived in Hsinkiang January 21, 1971 where she was broken up.
The photo also shows a swanky looking vehicle pulled up at the front gate - perhaps a Jaguar.

Cruise countdown

The cruise season is winding down, and Crown Princess sailed this afternoon after her fifth visit to Halifax this year.

Only two ships to follow - Queen Mary 2 on November 2 and Crystal Symphony on November 5.

That's Pearl Mist in the background - still undergoing corrective surgery at the Woodside dock of Halifax Shipyard/ Irving Shipbulding.

A painted ship upon a painted ship upon a painted sea...

Perhaps a little poetic liberty here, but it was a beautifully calm afternoon on Tuesday, October 27 when the lift boat Seajacks Kraken (painted red), on the deck of Swan (painted orange) sailed for European waters.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


It was a wild night and morning in Halifax with gales, lashing rain and high seas. Tugs were scurrying to re-anchor Swan and its deck load, which had started to wander. Both cruise ships required tugs today, Deutschland which arrived early, and Crystal Symphony which delayed arrival until 9 am. But it was all over by noon and a beautiful day broke out.

Deutschland sailed in near perfect conditions.

Lorelay in for repairs

The pipelaying vessel Lorelay arrived in Halifax Saturday October 23 for repairs. Bad weather on Friday October 16 forced the ship to abandon pipleay operations when she could not maintain position. There was some damage to the ship as a result, and she first went to Sheet Harbour. She has now moved to Halifax for completion of repairs.

She is accompanied by the support vessels Manta III and Calamity Jane.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

By 3 pm the Swan's hull deck was just clearing the water. A large bracket on the ship's deck is securing the stern of Seajacks Kraken.

Rig on Board

By noon the Seajacks Kraken had been carefully positioned over the semi-submerged Swan, and the tugs returned to base.

It now remains for the Swan to pump itself up to normal freeboard. Once the Swan's deck is above water, the job of securing the rig to the deck begins. Special brackets are secured to the ship's deck, and rig is locked in place for the transatlantic trip.

Rig on the Move

The jack-up vessel Seajacks Kraken is on the move this morning. Following work off Sable Island on the Deep Panuke gas project, the vessel has returned to Halifax. It will now be loaded aboard the semi-submersible heavy lift ship Swan for a trip to the UK for its next assignment.

Under control of the tugs Atlantic Larch and Atlantic Spruce, with Atlantic Oak following along, the rig is shown moving down the harbour toward the Swan.

The Swan has been floated down ready to take the rig aboard.