Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lean On Me

1. Oceanex Sanderling this afternoon at pier 36 with a list.

2. Onno on her first visit to Halifax April 12, 1987.

Oceanex Sanderling appears to be having a problem. She was due to sail last evening after bunkering [see background in photo of MOL Paramount] but instead she moved to pier 36.
Today she is listing noticeably to port and it is apparent that some sort of work is going on which requires the ship to be heeled over.
During her 23 years running between Halifax and Newfoundland the ship has had her share of problems, but she is getting on in years, so these are to be expected.

The ship was built in 1977 by Sasebo Heavy Industries in Japan, one of four sisters (two built in Germany and two in Jaapan) for DDG Hansa a renowned German company that specialized in heavy lifting and special cargo ships.
Not long after she was built DDG Hansa fell upon hard times and the company was liquidated by 1980.
This ship, which was built as Ravenfels, was sold to ms Essen Schiffs, a Hapag-Lloyd operation and renamed Essen. She carried that name only a short time. In 1981 a Norwegian America Line subsidiary called S.E.A.L. RoRo bought her and she went to work in East Africa and the Indian Ocean as Kongsfjord.
That lasted in 1983 when she was again sold, this time to Amasis Rederei GmbH Co KG (Heyon Jannse, manager) and began running between Bremen and Honduras as Onno. That line went under also, and she became available for sale or spot charter.
She made her first appearance in Halifax on April 12, 1987 when she substituted for Atlantic Container Line while their ships were being lengthened. Later that year,in November, Atlantic Searoute bought her and she arrived in Halifax December 7.
ASL renamed her ASL Sanderling, and after fitting of car decks and other modifications in Halifax she began operating weekly between Halifax and St.John's and Corner Brook starting January 10, 1988. She has been doing that run pretty much steadily ever since, aside from refits and repairs.
In 2008 ASL and Oceanex began operating under one name and the ship was renamed Oceanex Sanderling.
She has been rumoured for replacement for many years, but she is a fairly unique type of ship and would be extremely costly to replace. She can carry 522 TEU of containers, has a large RoRo capacity with a slewing stern ramp (it can rotate to allow her to unload to port or starboard in addition to directly astern, thus does not require a special pier.) She also has a side loading door, but I have not seen it used. She was built to a very high standard and ships of comparable quality are not available on the used market.
As an important link betwen Newfoundland and the mainland, she provides a vital service. It is hoped that she will be able to sail this evening.

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