MSC Freedom arrived this morning, apparently in ballast and spent all day loading up on MSC containers left here or delivered here during the Montreal port lock-out.
As with many MSC ships she is not a new vessel! In fact she was built in 1980 for Sea-Land Service Inc,. as one of their revolutionary diesel powered D-9 class container ships, Sea-Land Freedom. With the rapid expansion of trans-Pacific container trade, the ship was lengthened 30 meters in 1985 and now measures 32,629 gross tons. Her bridge deck was also raised at the time to maintain the mandated view over the bow. This explains the unusual"gap" under the wheelhouse. With the lengthening, she became a D-9J (J for jumboized.) It is hard to imagine now that at the time she was among the biggest and fastest container ships in the world. Her single Sulzer engine propelled the ship at better than 22 knots. Her container capacity of 2472 TEU is now considered modest. This is further reduced on the St.Lawrence trade, due to draft restrictions.
Maersk acquired Sea-Land and ran the ship, with the name unchanged, until 2007 when it became MSC Freedom. It now sails under the Marshal Islands flag, but is owned in Greece.
Traces of Maersk blue paint can still be seen on her hull where the black top coat has worn off.
In the photo above she is seen emerging from the fog in the Narrows early this morning, with the tug Point Chebucto alongside. Atlantic Oak is out of the picture, but also assisted in the docking. On departure early this evening, Point Chebucto was bow tug and Atlantic Oak was stern tethered escort.