Friday, April 30, 2010

She'll be back

Costa Crociere's Costa Atlantica made her first stop of the season today, and I just missed her getting away. However she will be back on May 11.

The port of Halifax publishes its cruise schedule and it is available at:

Costa Atlantica, flying the Italian flag, was built in 2000 and is an 85,619 gross ton vessel.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


The Dutch cargo ship Americaborg put in for bunkers this evening. She is a member of the Royal Wagenborg fleet, noted for their distinctive colour scheme.
These ships carry forest products of one sort or another, and are frequent callers on the St.Lawrence River and in the St.Lawrence Seaway. She is coming from the Gulf of St.Lawrence, possible Baie Comeau.
Americaborg was built in 2007 and measures 11,864 gross tons.
Wagenborg's website can be found at: and is worth a look to discover the scope of this interesting company, and its fleets.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Cruise Ship of the Year

Halifax welcomed the first cruise ship of the 2010 season today. Silver Spirit was built in 2009 and is operated by Silversea Cruises Ltd of Fort Lauderdale.

It was a grey and misty day with some showers, so not exactly the most pleasant of days for tourists.

The ship tied up at pier 23, instead of the usual pier 22, perhaps because the G8 economics ministers were meeting nearby at pier 21.

Zim out, Zim in

Zim Container Line often has two ships due on the same day. Sometimes the ships are both berthed and working at the same time, however Monday it was a quick passing off pier C as Zim Panama sailed and Zim Shenzhen arrived.

Both ships are products of the Hyundai Ulsan yard in Korea and are listed at 53453 gross tons. Zim Panama, built in 2002 carries 4839 TEUs and Zim Shenzhen, built in 2004 carries 4814 TEUs. Although owned in Hong Kong, both ships are registered in the UK and managed by Zodiac Marine, under long term charter to Zim.

In the photo Zim Panama (right) has just cleared berth 41 and is heading (south) to sea. Zim Shenzhen (left) is just beginning to turn to back into the same berth, with tug assistance.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Busy pilots

How you might ask, does the eruption of the Icelandic volcano effect shipping in the port of Halifax?
It turns out that among the thousands of stranded passengers in Europe were several Halifax harbour pilots. They were in Europe for training sessions, and were stuck there when flights were grounded because of the ash cloud.
Ship traffic in and out of Halifax harbour was thus delayed due to a shoratge of pilots.
Here we see the pilot on the bridge wing of OOCL Oakland as she gets under way from Fairview Cove this afternoon.
And another shot of the ship as she steams past Tall Ship Quay.

Roll out at Halifax Shipyard

The superstructure of the latest newbuilding at Halifax Shipyard has been rolled out of the fabrication hall.
This structure will eventually be placed atop the hull of the the supply ship under construction for Atlantic Towing Limited.
My apologies for this semi-over the fence view. I will have to take my step ladder next time!

Preserver in the Novadock

HMCS Preserver has entered the Novadock floating drydock as part of her latest life extension refit. The ship, which was supposed to be replaced by now, will be given a refit to extend her life, supposedly until a replacement can be built. At the rate these things go however, we will be lucky to see such as ship in ten years.
The governement's most recent cancellation of a replacement due to to high cost, meant back to the menu board for the navy.
In the meantime the navy is without an operational support ship on this coast.
The ship has its own webiste see:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fairlift with locos

Another Dutch ship sailed from Halifax today. This one is the heavy lift ship Fairmast. Loading a dozen locomotives is child's play for this ship, which can make a combined lift of 1,000 tonnes, using both derricks.

It and sister ship Jumbo Challenger are in the D1000 class, but Jumbo Shipping has a new J1800 class, which can do combined lifts of 1800 tonnes!

All this and more can be found on Jumbo's website:

In the background is CCGS Sir William Alexander anchored in Mcnab's Cove, at he trot buoys of the navy's static sound range.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Frisium takes more poles to Droghada

The low air draft cargo ship Frisium, registered in Sneek, Netherlands sailed this evening after loading a cargo of wooden utility poles for Drogheda, Ireland. That city is located upstream on the River Boyne, and the ship's low air draft may be a factor in its ability to navigate the river.
Google Earth's satellite photo of Drogheda shows the Steamship Quay immediately upstream of a bridge, with a very similar ship to Frisium alongside.

This not the ship's first visit to Halifax, She took a similar load on February 22.
The top photo shows the mate walking aft with a crewman (in orange) still stowing lines on the forepeak.
The bottom photo shows the actual loading process for the 80 foot long poles, using Logistec's large Liebherr crane at pier 30.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nona Bulker in for bunkers

The bulk carrier Nona Bulker is shown arriving last evening. The ship is owned in Singapore by the Danish Lauritzen group, and was built in 2009. She took bunkers and sailed this morning.

Lauritzen were the pioneers of winter navigation on the St.Lawrence in the 1960s and were regular callers in Halifax for many years, when they operated general cargo ships.

For the last number of years they have concentrated on reefers and bulkers.

Lauritzen's Helga Dan won three gold headed canes from the Port of Montreal for first arrivals: Mar 12, 1962, January 4, 1964 and January 1, 1965. Their Thora Dan arrived February 28, 1963. They were the first ships ever to arrive in Montreal in February and January. Ever since then, the Port of Montreal has been considered a year round port, with every first arrival of the year registered on January 1.

Helga Dan is shown here arriving at pier 9 on October 2, 1969 with cargo for the Volvo assembly plant. She was built in 1957 and was broken up in 1982.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sackville move

Canada's naval war memorial, the corvette Sackville, moved back to its summer quarters this morning, with tug assistance.
Update: Sackville turned in the stream and returned to HMC Dockyard. The move was part of a ceremony off the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oakglen becomes Canadian

Although Oakglen was officially registered in Canada on April 7, it wasn't until this evening that the port of Montreal began to appear on her stern.

This photo, taken through a forest of other shipyard activity, shows the painter just starting to work on the "L".

My rather breathless announcement that it wouldn't be long now on April 2, was anticipating just a bit! Normally drydockings take a month, so I will remain patient until the ship emerges.

It appears that repainting the superstructure will be left to the crew when the ship returns to service.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Virgo Leader sails

Virgo Leader sailed into a little rain shower on her way out this afternoon. Classed as a PTC (pure truck and car carrier) the ship has a capacity of 6400 standard automobiles. Built in 2004, she is one of over one hundred car carriers in the NYK fleet, which claims to be the world's largest.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Viola M. Davidson

The research vessel Viola M. Davidson was registered in Ottawa on April 6. The 59 gross ton aluminum hulled vessel was built by Abco Industries Ltd in Lunenburg, and is seen here fitting out at their dock on March 6.

Abco (formerly known as Atlantic Bridge Co) has built several small aluminum craft for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans recently, but this appears to be the most sophisticated.
The vessel's namesake, from what I can determine, is or was a scientist of some note.

Update: An article in the Halifax Sunday Herald April 18 tells more about the construction and operation of this vessel. It will operate out of St. Andrews, NB, where Ms. Davidson was one of the first female marine scientists. As with all CCG DFO vessels it will be multi-tasked to Search & Rescue if needed, but its primary role is research. As such it can be fitted with several types of fishing gear and other scientific apparatus.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Can't be long now.

Oakglen looks to be just about ready to leave the drydock,. Her new paint is progressing well. Unlike fleet mates Atlantic Huron and Birchglen, she is getting anti-fouling paint on her lower hull, which appears to be just slightly duller than her new CSL red.