Thursday, June 28, 2012

Zim has good news for Halifax

Zim Container Line brought some good news to the Port of Halifax today, along with a new service and a new (to Halifax) ship.
Zim Constanza is the first ship to arrive since Halifax was added to a weekly transatlantic service from Israel to the US. The ship starts in Haifa, then calls in Piraeus, Genoa, Tarragona, Halifax, New York, Savannah, Kingston (Jamaica) and back to Tarragona and Haifa.
Kingston is a major traffic hub for Zim and other lines, and an interchange port for other Zim services. The added tonnage will also be good news for Halterm which lost the eastbound leg of Zim's Asia service last year, leaving one weekly call on Wednesdays westbound for the far east.

Zim Constanza was built in 2010 by Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipyard in Jiangyin, China, and is a ship of 40,542 gross tons, 50,107 deadweight, with a capacity for 4,256 containers, including 698 reefers. It is owned by Rickmers Shipmanagement (Singapore) Pte Ltd (a major German shipowner), registered in Liberia, and on long term charter to Zim.
Through the fewnce photos of sahips at Halterm are not my favourite form of photo, but they do form useful comparisons. On April 28, 1975 Dart Europe was tied up in about the same place. Although it was a large ship of 30,491 gross tons, it could carry only 1556 TEU. First generation cranes were able to reach all the  way across the ship.
Built in 1970 Dart Europe was broken up in 1999, and Halterm has been extended to the south twice.

Havelstern - another from Woodward's

Coastal Shipping, rare callers until this year, had their fourth ship in port inside of a month. This time it is Havelstern one of a pair of ice class coastal tankers purchased last year from Rigel Shipping of Germany. A sister to Alsterstern, the ship is 11,423 gross tons, 17,080 deadweight and was built in 1994 by WTW Schiffs. of Wismar. Owners Coastal Shipping Ltd of HappyValley-Goose Bay, NL, are part of the Woodward Group.
Havelstern anchored in number 2 anchorage to take on bunkers. It will proceed to Ultramar to load and will sail north to service remote comnunities.
For the other Woodward ships see: Nanny June 9, Alsterstern June14, Tuvaq Jume 16.

Skomvaer - recalls Norwegian barque

1. Skomvaer arrives at anchor.
The bulker Skomvaer arrived this morning for bunkers with a cargo of grain from Baie-Comeau.
Built in 2010 by Yangzhou Dayang in Yangzhou, China, the ship measures 32,839 gross tons and an even 58,000 deadweight tonnes. She does not appear to be fully loaded.
The ship's name recalls one of the most famous and largest Norwegian sailing vessels, the 1890 steel-hulled barque Skomvaer which survived until 1921, criss crossing the world in the final days of commercial sail. That ship in turn was named for a lighthouse and point of land in the Lofoten Archipelago, one of  Norway's remotest outposts.
The current ship is operated by Scantank AS of Oslo, a four ship company, and is registered in the Marshall Islands.  It is fitted with four cranes allowing it to discharge bulk cargoes such as ore and coal. Grain requires more delicate handling however, and is usually removed by conveyor of suction device.
2. Taking bunkers. Note the clamshell grabs on deck.

Princess of Acadia sails

The ferry Princess of Acadia sailed this morning, meaning that she will be in service for the holiday weekend. While in the Novadock at Halifax Shipyard for repairs caused by tangling with lobster gear, the ship also got a new coat of anti-fouling paint below the waterline.
Photo taken June 27.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Princess of Acadia - again [revised and updated]

1. Princess of Acadia arrives in Halifax this afternoon.

The Digby-Saint John ferry Princess of Acadia is back in drydock in Halifax, less than a month after its last visit. According to sources, the ship is having a problem with tail shafts, which wasn't completely rectified during its last drydocking. June 25 Update: The Digby Courier newspaper reports that the ship's props became fouled by lobster potlines for the second time. Apparently there is some dispute over the ship's proper course and the location of lobster fishing areas, resulting in the ship tangling with the lines.
The 10,051 gross ton ship was built in 1971 in Saint John, NB for CP Ships to replace a smaller ferry of the same name. The previous Princess of Acadia was built in 1951 in Govan Scotland as Princess of Nanaimo and served in British Columbia waters until 1963 when it came to the Bay of Fundy. When it retired in 1971 it reverted to its original name for a time and became Henry Osborne in 1972 to run between Saint John, NB and St.John's NF to carry vehicles only. The operation was not a success and the ship was sold for scrap in 1974. The German tug Hansa towed the ship to Bilbao, Spain to be broken up in January 1974.

2. The previous Princess of Acadia at the old ferry terminal in Digby in her last year of operation, 1970.

CP  operated the new Princess of Acadia,  linking its rail terminus in Saint John, with the Dominion and Atlantic Railway (a subsidiary), until 1976, although the Canadian government, through the Minister of Transport took over ownership in 1974. CN Marine and successor Marine Atlantic then operated the ship until 1997 when current operators Bay Ferries took over.
In the past few years there have been repeated concerns about the ship's age and the need for a replacement. Various reprieves have been granted with subsidies extended, but there seems to be little action at present to build a replacement.
As the only remaining ferry service across the Bay of Fundy, the route is an essential one, and the inconvenience of having the ship out of service in holiday season cannot be overestimated.
Government action is needed to organize a replacement, and in view of today's shipbuilding and economic climate, it is becoming urgent. Any serious downtime for the ship will have a major impact on the economy out western Nova Scotia in particular.
For more on this ship and its service, see the Bayferryman blog link.
Also added June 25:
Photo added June 25 While in drydock the owners are taking advantage of the opportunity to carry out some other work. If the shaft bearings or gear boxes were damaged when the lines became tangled around the props, it may be some time before that work is completed. Today the ship's bow visor was open, but I could not see if there was hull work going on. The Bay Ferries web site indicates a tentative resumption of service on Wednesday June 28, but will give 24 hours notice.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

HMCS Fredericton relocating

HMCS Fredericton was moved by tugs today form the Graving Dock at Halifax Shipyard to alongside at the Machine Shop wharf. The ship is part way through its 18 month FELEX (Frigate Life Extension) refit, with the hull work completed, The ships mast is still encased in staging and the bridge is tarped in. Much of the remaining work will involve electronics, controls, radars and weapons systems, all of which can be done with the ship in the water.
Due to the awkward location of the graving dock, and a stiff breeze, it took an hour's careful work to ease out of the dock and alongside.

Davino D for pier 9

1. Davino D arriving.
The chemical/product carrier Davino D is unloading heating oil at pier 9. A pipeline from the pier runs to the storage tanks on Barrington Street now operated by Wilson's Fuels. Wilson is an independent fuel dealer and operates its own gasoline stations and distributes and sells home heating oil. As an independent they are free to buy product from a variety of sources, including the local refineries or from abroad.
The Barrington Street tanks were once operated by Fina.
Davino D was built in 2005 and operated as Panam Caribe until 2007 then as Clipper Caribe until 2011. It is now owned in the Netherlands by DePoli Tankers, but is registered in the Bahamas. The ship measures 8,254 gross tons, 14, 246 deadweight tonnes.
After tying up alongside pier 9, Dominion Diving's Roseway rigged an oil containment boom around the ship in case of  a spill.
2. Roseway with boom.

3. At pier 9 discharging.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Zhenghe- first PRC naval vessel in Halifax

Ships from many navies have visited Halifax over the years, but some have been notably absent. The Peoples Republic of China has certainly been one of those -until today that is.
Cool relations with China over the past few years have perhaps been a factor in that situation, but recently our government has made overtures to China in an effort to find customers for its resources, particularly oil. China is already a major customer for coal, iron ore and timber.
Naval ship visits have always been symbolic, and so the government must be welcoming the arrival of the PRC naval training vessel Zhenghe, even if it is three days ahead of schedule.
Put the the early arrival down to a passing tropical storm, but the Canadian navy is not prepared to roll out the welcome mat until Monday, and so the ship will remain at anchor for the weekend.
Commissioned in 1987 Zhenghe (pennant number AXH 81) is especially desinged for officer training and in addition to the usual operating crew, it can accommodate 30 instructors and 200 midshipmen.
Although it is fitted with some weapons and defence systems and a helicopter platform, it is not very warlike in appearance, and that is perhaps why it is such a suitable vessel for such a visit.
The ship is on a round the world, 11 country tour.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Heather Knutsen-what you doin'

After days of discharging apparently clean water through side scuppers and hawsepipes, the question is, will they be pumping the entire harbour through this ship?
Normally ships do some washdown of the anchor hawsepipe to prevent friction sparks, wash away rust scale and remove muck from the anchor chain and anchor itself. They also wash out the chain lockers to remove accumulated muck too. This is usually done from deck hydrants, which pump water directly from the sea (or harbour).
Ships also exchange ballast water at sea- to remove invasive species (a requirement of many coastal states including Canada and the US). They aslo discharge ballast water as they load. Ships have tanks exclusively for ballast, which is needed to mainain the ship's stability and trim.
Some modern tankers can also use seawater displacement ballasting to maintain ship stability as oil cargo is pumped out (oil floats on water-well most of it).That water is then purified or pumped ashore for cleaning and is not discharged directly back into the sea.

Also as Heather Knutsen is doing, they flush their ballast tanks with (relatively) clean harbour water to ensure that whatever residues may be left in them are removed. Since this can take a long time so as to insure large dilution ratios, it is done only during times of maintenance or when the ship is idle. Also because the ship's stability is maintained by ballast tanks, it can usually only be done while the ship is in harbour.

Sea water is used as a coolant for ships engines. Massive amounts of water may be needed in warm climates to keep the engines within safe operating temperatures. Very cold water may have the opposite effect, and some engine heat is diverted to prevent freezing of intake water in arctic regions.
And finally water is used as a coolant in warm weather to keep the hull from distorting. Distortion or hogging can occur with loaded ships or light ships, and is usually not a structural issue. It is of particular concern in draft restricted areas such as the St.Lawrence Seaway where even a few inches of overdraft can prevent a ship from transiting the locks. This not an issue with Heather Knusten, which is far too big for the Seaway. Lakers are fitted with special deck hydrants that look for all the world like lawn sprinklers, which cool the ships deck and hatches, keeping the ends of the ship from sagging.
Tankers could equally well be called "pipers" because they are full of piping systems to heat, cool, load, unload, wash and stabilize. Liquid is continually moving around the ship in miles of pipe.

Vietnam - startlingly clean hull

Vietnam Express sailed this afternoon with a surprisingly clean hull. The ship must have just come out of the shipyard, because there was scarcely a mark on it. A few tug scuffs on the stern and a bit of wave action forward was it. A beautiful sight.
Despite its Hapag-Lloyd sounding name, the ship still displays its OOCL colours and banner. It is actually owned by Nissen Kaiun of Imabari, Japan. It is a post-Panamax ship of 66,462 gross tons, 5888 TEU (including 586 reefers) built in 2007 as OOCL Italy and renamed in 2010.
The re-naming to H-L pattern was apparently to give H-L some of its own presence in the joint service with OOCL,  since H-L is not contributing any post-Panamax ships to the rotation.

CFAV Quest, a view from the dark side

The strange bi-coloured paint scheme on CFAV Quest is still in place, but looking decidedly shabby. The ship has moved to Jetty Lima on the Dartmouth side of the harbour, at the berth recently vacated by the submarine Ojibwa.
Quest's port side was painted gray last year as part of RIMPASSE (Radar Infrared electro-Magnetic Pressure Acoustic Ship Signature Experiments) also known as Infrared Signature trials. As part of the work the ship was also rigged with removable side curtains, a hull cooling piping system, a degaussing loop, and its mast was modified. The ship is operated by the Queen's Harbour Master at HMC Dockyard, with a civilian crew, for Defence Research and Development Canada. More often associated with acoustical signature trials, DRDC participated in the NATO, German/Dutch RIMPASSE with Quest crossing the Atlantic from August to October of 2011.
Although a design has been prepared for a replacement, the 1969-built Quest will  remain in service for some time to come.
In fact there has been a major investment in the ship over the past couple of years to correct a long standing stability/safety issue. New water tight bulkheads were fitted within the ship and hull sponsons fitted toward the stern of the ship at deck level. Other equipment was removed, including oceanographic kit.
CFAV Quest 2012-06-14

The ship was built by Burrard Dry Dock in Vancouver in 1968 and commissioned in 1969 as a hydrographic research vessel (hence the white colour.) Nevertheless it has long been assigned to the RCN for operation as a research vessel. It is powered by four Fairbanks Morse diesel engines driving two GE electric motors through twin screws. It is known as a "quiet ship", used to test innovations to reduce its acoustical signature and avoid enemy detection.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thor Omega - miniature supplier

The small supplier Thor Omega anchored in #2 anchorage this morning to take bunkers. Operated by Thor P/F of Hosvik, Faeroe Islands, the boat is operating under a Canadian coastal license. That is, it is permitted to operate in Canadian waters, because no Canadian ship was available to do the work.

Its work is to supply fuel and stores to the seismic research vessel Geco Caribbean conducting  a survey in the Flemish Pass area off the Grand Banks. The license is good for the period of May 15 to October 15.
It could be that the heavy fuel oil or marine gas oil is not immediately available in St.John's and therefore the vessel came to Halifax. Built in 2008 it has special tanks for carrying fuel, and is in fact a small tanker. In addition it can carry deck cargo. It measures 1061 gross tons and 1575 deadweight.
A former fleet mate from Thor P/F is doing similar work for new owners Atlantic Towing Ltd. Now called Atlantic Birch II it is supplying another seismic boat in waters between Canada and Greenland. (Since it is now a Canadian flagged vessel it does not need a coasting license).[SEE ADDENDUM]
Seismic vessels are expensive to operate and send most of their data out by satellite for analysis elsewhere, so it is cheaper to keep them on station and supply fuel and stores to them.
Thor Omega's owners advertise their web site on the ship's side:
ADDENDUM:-see comment following- Atlantic Birch II was removed from the Canadian Register on June 6 and is presently in Saint John, NB.

Heather Knutsen-too big for Halifax Harbour?

The handsome tanker Heather Knutsen has been occupying a prominent spot in Halifax harbour since Friday. One of Canada’s largest tankers (80,918 gross tons, 148,644 deadweight tonnes) it was built in 2005 by Samsung Heavy Industries in Koje as a shuttle tanker for the White Rose project off Newfoundland. It is on a ten year charter to Husky Oil Operations by owners Knutsen Boyelaster VI KS of Haugesund, Norway and operated by Canship Ugland of St.John’s.

1. Heather Knutsen at anchor, bow south.

With the White Rose floating production and storage ship off station, the ship has been tramping oil from other from other sources. After unloading at Imperial Oil last Monday to Wednesday (June 11-13 ) it proceeded to the outer anchorages where there is lots of room for a ship of its size.

On Friday June 15 however it returned to port. Some minor maintenance work is apparently going on, since I have seen the tug/workboat Halmar shuttling back and forth with technicians or spare parts.

When a ship of this size comes into Halifax to anchor for a few hours to take bunkers, it is usually assigned to anchorage number one south of George’s Island. This is a short term deepwater anchorage but cannot be used for long periods because it impedes traffic going into Imperial Oil and Autoport and the upper harbour.

For longer term periods, the anchorages north of George’s Island are suitable for most ships, but a ship this size would also impede traffic if anchored too far north. The only spot for it therefore is just north of George’s, square on the ferry track between Woodside and Halifax. When the ship swings at anchor, with a north/south heading, all is well, but if the wind shifts, and the ship moves to an east/west position. There is just enough room for traffic to pass ahead and astern of the ship.

3. With bows east, and the tug/workboat Halmar alongside.
Anchoring in Bedford Basin is another possibility, but only if the ship can get under the bridges. I don’t know the air draft of this ship, but it may be an issue

Pier space is also at a premium, but would also be an option if there was no commercial traffic at those piers. This was certainly the case last week, when all the piers that were long enough for the ship were already occupied. Also the cost of using a pier, and the cost of tugs to get the ship alongside would be dollars the operators would rather not spend.

4. bows heading south of east, the ship allows for easy passage of traffic.

So is the ship too big for Halifax harbour? I would say no, but only because it is the only ship of its size currently in the port. There is no room for another of its size unless it was able to go to Bedford Basin.
5. Seen from under the Macdonald bridge, the ship dwarfs George's Island, the only other obstruction in the lower harbour.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tuvaq - convincing icebreaker

The Coastal Shipping tanker Tuvaq made one if its rare calls in Halifax - the third visit by a Woodward tanker in the last week or so. It anchored this afternoon for bunkers.

Built in 1977 by the Werft Nobiskrug in Rendsburg, Germany for Neste O/Y of Finland, it is an icebreaking tanker, intended for the harshest conditions of the Baltic. Originally named Tiira it was acquired by the Woodward Group in late 2002 and renamed.
It has also proven itself in the Canadian arctic with numerous forays into the far north  and winter service in the St.Lawrence. It was here first in  February 2004 at Ultramar.
Originally powered by two V-12 MaK engines generating 15,600 bhp it was re-engined with two Wartsilsa 6 cylinder engines in 1997, this time giving 15,908 bhp on a single controllable pitch screw. For a ship of 11,290 gross tons/ 15,954 deadweight tonnes, this is about twice the power of a comparable non-icebreaking tanker.
Its impressive bow gives it a distinctive and powerful look.

HMCS Halifax

HMCS Halifax returned to HMC Dockyard yesterday after her FELEX refit at Halifax Shipyards.
The 18 month (scheduled) refit, estimated to cost $549mn for the Halifax class frigates involves a huge modernisation that will allow the frigates to last until replacements are built.
With recent rumblings from Ottawa that the Canadian military's procurement package may be cut back, this mid-life refit may have to last longer than planned.
As Halifax is the first and oldest ship in the class, it will be the first to go when its time is up, but that not be until later than originally expected.
Work on the ship is not complete from my understanding-only the shipyard portion. More equipment upgrades/replacements will be performed at HMC Dockyard. Then come all the workups required to get the ship back into service.

Friday, June 15, 2012

That sinking feeling

Workers from McNally Construction completed forming and pouring the first crib for the Pier 9C extension yesterday, and today moved the crib into position. It will gradually sink into place this evening as air is expelled from its flotation chambers. Mooring points on shore and on the barges Canadian Argosy and Derrick No.3 will ensure that the crib remains in position while it slowly settles into place.

By early evening the crib was settled on the bottom and the crew packed up for the night.

Colorado Star - speaking of Rigel

The recent rash of Rigel tankers (past) now includes a present member of the fleet. Colorado Star arrived last evening and tied up at Imperial Oil. Built in 2010 at 21st Century Shipbuilding Co in Tongyeong, South Korea, it is a ship of 8,851 gross tons and 13,091 deadweight. Although orginally flying the German flag, it is now registered in Malta.
Conditions were not particularly favourable for photography, but to complete the series here it is:
The ship bears little resemblance to Alsterstern and Dara Desgagnés, the past members of the fleet that called recently. Colorado Star also does not appear to be an ice class vessel.

Clipper Round The World Yacht Race

Leg 13 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race got underway at noon today with a sail/past race start in Halifax harbour. A minor traffic jam took  place as the 10 boats jockeyed with spectator craft and others for position. First off was Gold Coast Australia with the race leader New York well back in the pack. The closely matched boats have a long transatlantic leg ahead of them to sort out the overall winner.
There is a very good web site to follow the race more closely and cheer on your favourite:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

AFL New England - sad story continued

June 14 marks the first anniversary of the arrival of AFL New England in Halifax for the start of a new feeder line to the US east coast. Unfortunately no one is celebrating. The saga of American Feeder Lines and the ship AFL New England reached a turning point while I was away. According to newspaper reports the likelihood that the ship's crew would run out of food hastened the Halifax Port Authority's decision to order the ship alongside pier 33. It had been anchored in Bedford Basin since AFL terminated its service, and I understand that numerous maritime liens were placed on the ship by various unpaid creditors.

1. AFL New England anchored in Bedford Basin in April - stormy times were ahead.

Since tying up the crew has been repatriated, although I do not think they have received all their back wages. The Halifax Port Authority has taken possession and is providing security/watchman services.
The owner of the ship is a single ship company and its only asset is the ship, so it will end up being sold to satisfy creditors. The company behind the shipowner would like to have the ship back and put it back in service, but is unwilling/unable to satisfy the liens and unable/unwilling to post a bond to cover them, and is therefore presumably willing to forfeit the ship. Whether he is eligible to purchase the ship by marshal's sale is a matter of legal interpretation.
The ship was bareboat chartered to AFL, and the owner probably does not feel responsible for any of the resulting mess. The judicial sale prpocess may take many months, and so for the time being the ship remains tied up at pier 33.
The unfortunate history of feeder lines running from Halifax has had some bright spots over the years, but there has always been the issue of finding enough traffic to make the service pay.  Most operations were discontinued because they could not generate enough business.
Here is a sampling of some of the earlier ships:

2. Bergfalck as it was then called, began a Halifax/ US East Coast feeder service in 1973 for Maritime Coastal Container Line. It ran for a few years, but the ship was renamed Berglind in 1977 and took up a charter with Saguenay Shipping, and the next year worked out of Iceland. It sank off Glace Bay in 1980 after a collision with the Danish cargo ship Charm.
3. Zim Container Lines started its own feeder service in 1977 with Zim Atlantic It ran between Halifax, Boston, Baltimore and Norfolk.
4. Zim Northland took over the service in 1978 and ran until about 1983.
5. The most successful feeder service was operated by Hapag-Lloyd using the Yankee Clipper, Starting in January 1980. It ran between Halifax, Portsmouth and Boston
6. Later repainted blue, the ship made its last trip in October 1993.

A strange theme runs through all these ships - every one of those pictured (except Zim Atlantic) was built by the J.J.Sietas shipyard in Germany.

Another short-lived operation was Searoad, operated by a Gloucester MA company, using the ship Grey Master in 1974. It was to provide a RoRo, truck trailer service between Halifax and Gloucester. The ship could carry 60 semi-trailers or 75 cars, but its initial thrice weekly service was cut back and eventually discontinued. 
7. Grey Master was a lovely ship, and could even carry 12 passengers.
8. Searoad  did not attract enough business and was gone in a matter of months.

Alsterstern - another first for Coastal and Woodward

Another first time arrival today for a tanker from Coastal Shipping. [see Nanny last week]
This time it is Alsterstern one of a pair of tankers acquired last year from the German Rigel Shipping Co. Neither ship (the sister is Havelstern) has been renamed.

Built in 1994 by MTW Schiffswerft in Wismar, Germany these chemical/product carriers measure 11,426 gros and 17,080 deadweight, and are considerable larger than the similar Desgagnés trio, which were built by the same yard for the same orginal German owners. One of those, Dara Desgagnés was in this week too, and loaded at Esso.

Dara Desgagnés was built in 1992 as Elbestern, and came to Canada as Diamond Star in 1993 for Rigel's Canadian operation. After charter to Desgagnés it was sold to them in 2010. It measures 6,262 gross tons and 10,511 deadweight. The ship usually carries product from the Ultramar refinery in St-Romauld, QC.

Alsterstern tied up at Ultramar in Eastern Passage to load for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Coastal Shipping is part of the Woodward Group a multi-armed industrial/commercial operation, based in Happy-Valley-Goose Bay.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hooray - it's open

The walkway from Point Pleasant Park out along the breakwater to the end of Pier C (Halterm) has finally reopened to the public!
Now that the extension to Pier C is completed, we can get up close and more personal to inbound and outbound ships.The new walk around the pier is not as generous as the one it replaced-it is very narrow and it does not extend all the way across the end of the pier. It will certainly not be large enough to accommodate the crowds that usually convene to see the Cunarders sail, and it will prove difficult to keep clear of snow in winter. (The old one was wide enough for a bobcat.) All this seems to me to be unnecessarily stingy, but at least it is available and open.
The authorities cited security and safety concerns from ships lines, to explain why the walkway doesn't extend all the way across the end of the pier.
In my opinion these issues could have been dealt with by a more sensitive and accommodating design process. Nevertheless, it is now cast in concrete and will be there for better or for worse, for a long time.

An easy 4 1/2 minute walk will get you from the Point Pleasant Park lower parking lot to the end of the pier.

CCGS Matthew

The hydrographic research vessel CCGS Matthew is preparing for another summer of charting work. The ship is based at the Bedford Insitute and works seasonally in eastern Canada conducting surveys for the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS). Using sophisticated sonars it records data which is then used to update marine navigation charts. As a Coast Guard ship it is also multi-tasked to carry out search and rescue if needed and to assist in scientific and other duties.

1. On June 10, CCGS Matthew returns to BIO after trials in Bedford Basin. The open area amidships will house two survey launches when the ship resumes service for the summer season.

The ship is named for the 3 masted caravel used by John Cabot when he "discovered" the New Found Land on the feast of Saint John, June 24, 1497.
The present day Matthew was built by Versatile Pacific Shipyard Inc in Victoria, BC in 1990. A modest 857 gross tons, it is fitted to carry scientific crew and two survey launches. These are carried under heavy davits amidships. The ship transferred to this coast in 1991 and in 1997, acquired the red hull of the Canadian Coast Guard. losing the traditional white livery of survey ships. The Maritime Museum's CSS Acadia, a former survey vessel, still proudly maintains that attractive white, with green boot topping and buff masts.
2. On June 10, 1996, CSS Matthew in traditional survey ship livery sails through the Narrows. Note the dorries stacked on the bridge forward of the wheelhouse.