Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bluenose X launched today

The latest iteration of the schooner Bluenose took to the water today in Lunenburg. After a two year construction period, the essentially new vessel, is expected to resume the role of its illustrious predecessors as the icon of Nova Scotia.
If you have watched the construction on the web through the excellent web cams on site you will have noticed that this is a keel up new construction.
For political reasons (I guess) the boat is named Bluenose II, even though precious little of the previous Bluenose II remains. The spars from the previous BII will be re-stepped and some other equipment will be re-fitted into the new boat.
If I were to write the boat's name now I would call it Bluenose II (ii) since it is a new vessel. It could not be named Bluenose III since that name is already taken, the Province of Nova Scotia was in a quandry as to a name, so they took the only route open to them and re-used the name. However they muddied the waters from day one by insisting that it is a reconstruction. I have never seen or heard of a reconstruction that is so extensive, so why they could not admit that it is a new Bluenose II I will never understand. Perhaps that is why I will never be a politician.
In any event it is a beautiful boat, and well built, and it will be a credit to all.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sea-Land Eagle has Landed

Maersk Line's Sea-Land Eagle arrived at noon time today. The 49.985 gross ton ship has a container capacity of 4062 TEU( 350 reefers), amd much larger than the usual Maersk ships we have been seeing.
This one was bilt in 1997 by IHI Shipyard in Kure, Japan for the American company Sea-Land Shipping, which was taken over by Maersk. Sea-Land used to call in Halifax when it was an independent line.
Interestingly this ship and several sisters did not change name since the Sea-Land name was so well established in the US. (They pioneered container shipping)
In 2009 the ship was transferred to US flag after various other registries including UK and Hong Kong. It is registered in Norfolk, VA, which is also Maersk's US headquarters.
The ship normally serves on Maersk Transatlantic service to the US.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Marine Coaster III - another litle car ferry

The diminutive car ferry Marine Coaster III arrived today and tied up at pier 28. Built in 1976 and measuring only 112 gross tons, it was originally the Lady White Head and ran between Grand Manan Island and White Head, NB in the Bay of Fundy. When its replacement was delivered last year, the ferry was sold to the Puddister Trading Co of St. John's and acquired its present name.
It is en route to Newfoundland, where the residents of Bell Island hope it will enter service to from Portugal Cove.
Why does it carry the number 'III" you may ask?

Puddister Trading Co is an old established ship operator in Newfoundland, and over the years have owned many small cargo and passenger ships, and this is the third Marine Coaster they have owned.

The first Marine Coaster began its life in 1902 in Paisley, Scotland as the Druid, built for the Canadian Minister of Marine. Its builders, Fleming and Ferguson, produced the 160 foot, 503 gross tons ship as a lighthouse supply vessel. Powered by a 60 nhp steam engine it worked out of the Quebec Agency of what eventually became the Department of Transport.It was sold in 1950 and converted to a diesel powered cargo ship and carried the names Steve Ahern, Ile VerteVega, Eva Marie and Eva until purchased by Puddister Trading Co in 1971 becoming the first Marine Coaster.
2. The Marine Coaster outboard of the Marine Trader in St.John's.

As a cargo ships it travelled far and wide including the Great Lakes several summer supply trips to Hudson Bay in 1956, 1962, 1963, 1968, [and perhaps other years also]. It delivered 90,000 lbs of cod to Hubbards, NS in 1966, and was often chartered to CN Marine for freight service around Newfoundland and up and down the Labrador coast. It also filled in as temporary ferry between St. Barbe and Blanc Sablon in 1976. In 1977 it was hired as a base ship to search for the wreck of the William Carson which sank in ice off Labrador.
In 1977 the ship had finally reached the end of its useful life and was laid up. In December 1986 it was towed out of St.John's and scuttled at sea. For more data see:

The second Marine Coaster was one of six search and rescue ships built for the Canadian Coast Guard in 1963.  Named Rally it was capable of 15 knots, powered by two 1200 bhp engines and measured 140 gross tons. Built by Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon, QC in June 1963 it conducted trials from Chester, NS in July. Not long after entering service it suffered majort storm damage and had extensive repairs at Stenpro in Liverpool. It served the CCG until 1983 and figured in a good many rescues and towed countless fishing boats into various Nova Scotia ports.

It was taken up by the RCN in 1983 for reserve training and assigned pennant number 141. After nearly ten years of use it was sold to Puddister Trading in December 1993 but was not renamed until July 1995. It was modified to carry 40 passengers and light freight ferry to such ports as Rose Blanche, Las Poile and Grand Bruit until 2009 when it was retired from service. Although it has been for sale, it is need of major repairs and remains laid up.

Yorktown - a familiar look

1. Yorktown arriving at noon time.

The small US flag cruise ship Yorktown arrived today for bunkers. The ship has spent a good part of the summer on the Great Lakes and St.Lawrence River, visiting ports that would not otherwise see cruise ships.
Built in 1988, it measures 2,354 gross tons and is rated for 138 passengers.
Its original name was Yorktown Clipper, becoming Spirit of Yorktown in 2001 and taking its present name earlier this year.
If the ship looks familiar it is because of its smaller near sister that used to call in Halifax. Nantucket Clipper it was built in 1984 and was rated for 102 passengers. It was slightly smaller at 52.6m loa vs. 68.3m  for Yorktown, but otherwise of essentially the same design. It was renamed Spirit of Nantucket in 2006.
It struck a submerged barge in the Intracoastal Waterway in November 2007 and came close to sinking. It was repaired and sold for further use in Alaska and started the 2008 season there as Spirit of Glacier Bay, the name it still carries.
2. Nantucket Clipper in its original all white colour scheme in 1996.
3. In 2004 it sported a blue hull.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

HMCS Iroquois and HMCS Athabaskan - back when

As orginally configured the four Tribals including HMCS Iroquis and HMCS Athabaskan had canted funnels, giving them a truly distinctive and even racier profile. Unfortunately it gave them a too distinctive radar and heat singnatures, and they received conventional funnels, similar to Halifax class during their TRUMP refits.
A recent posting on Boatnerd  (go to Information Search) had some photos of Athabaskan in refit at Seaway Marine & Industrial in St.Catharines (Port Weller). A huge tarped staging  had been built around her mast, but that has now been removed. It is still hoped that she will be completed in time to leave the Seaway before freeze up.

USS De Wert, back from the Lakes, to refuel

USS DeWert made a brief return visit to Halifax today, just long enough to refuel. The ship left Halifax July 23 [ see: ] and has toured the Great Lakes in company with Canadian ships to commemorate the War of 1812.

The Walter Gray - back again [and update]

The small deck ferry Joshua Slocum was built in Halifax in 1973 by Halifax Metal Workers for the Minister of Highways. It  entered service on the short run between East Ferry, and Tiverton, Digby, County. Fitted with twin steerable props - one at each end, it could carry 15 cars (or a combination of trucks, school buses and cars). At each end of the run it would shove its own ramp onto a shoreside ramp to load or unload. It was essentially double ended, meaning it did not have to turn in the very stiff tidal currents running through Petite Passage. It was expected to carry 54,000 vehicles per year.

1. Joshua Slocum approaching the landing ramp at East Ferry. Note the strong tide sweeping the ferry's wake.
2. Docked at Tiverton, again note the tide. The ferry maintains its position at the dock by keeping full power on its props.

It operated on that run until 2004 when it was replaced by the Petite Princess, built by Halifax Shipyard.
It was then purchased by Beaver Marine, and stopped off in Halifax en route to Point Tupper where it was laid up for a time. It was then sold for fish farming use, and renamed The Lost Joshua and later The Walter Gray.

3. In its new role it has been fitted with a knuckle boom crane, and one leg of its bridge support has been straightened.

4. One propulsion unit has been swung up out of the water. The engine house is on deck, with a direct connection to the drive unit.

It is now back in Halifax for the third time with another boat called Juggerknot, which is also a fishing vessel. but is presumably towing the former ferry. Juggerknot does not seem to be registered under that name.

The Walter Gray sailed on the evening of September 24 for Port aux Basques, under its own power.

E.R. Denmark arrives for Hapag-Lloyd

The post-Panamax container ship E.R. Denmark arrived this morning for Hapag-Lloyd. The 65,792 gross ton ship was built in 2002 by Samsung Shipbuilding and Heavy Industries of Koje for E.R. Schiffs of Germany. (E.R. orginally stood for Ernst Russ)
It was launched as E.R. Denmark, but immediately entered into a ten year charter to APL Lines and was renamed APL Denmark. APL (formerly American President Lines) is the Singapore based subsidiary of Neptune Orient Lines, and provides transPacific container services.
In July 2012, following completion of the charter, the ship was handed by to ER Schiffs and reverted to its original name. Its hull was obviously repainted, and is now a very deep inky blue, almost black.
The ship has a capacity of 5762 TEUS (656 refrigerated) and is typical of the post-Panamax ships operated by Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL on their service from the Far East to Halifax via the Mediterranean..

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Caporal Kaeble V.C. - launch day

Early this morning preparations were well under way for the scheduled noon time launch of CCGS Caporal Kaeble V.C., the second Hero class patrol boat under construction at Halifax Shipyards.
The first boat in the series, Privarte Robertson V.C. was delivered this summer and is now in Hamilton, ON. It sailed under its own power, putting on quite a display as it sped up the St.Lawrence River.

2. CCGS Private Robertson V.C. at speed.

Following the launch, which was shrouded in fog, the tugs Atlantic Oak and Atlantic Larch took control and moved to the Machine Shop Wharf. Connors Diving removed the launch cradle and the tugs gently moved the ship to its fitting out berth at Pier 9 B: 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Veendam - flu like ship bound for Halifax

Press reports indicate that the Holland America ship Veendam arrived in Sydney, NS this morning with 2,000 passengers. Among them were twenty exhibiting the proverbial "flu-like symptoms." The sick passengers were reportedly confined to their cabins.
The ship is due in Halifax tomorrow, September 20, which may result a repeat of the last similar incident. when contagious passengers and crew were unleashed on Halifax infecting many on shore. These nasty gastro-intestinal ailments are common on cruise ships due to improper sanitation and  are entirely preventable.
Perhaps the whole ship should be quarantined and forced to sanitize itself and sent off to some other port-preferably in another country.

Sirius Leader - inbound for Autoport, before the storm

1. The tugs Atlantic Larch and Atlantic Oak have made up alongside in choppy conditions and high winds.

With winds building up, Sirius Leader arrived this afternoon for Autoport. With a storm on its way it was thought for a time that the ship might hold off Halifax until conditions improve. However it arrived and docked on schedule.
The ship was built in 2000 for the Singapore Shipping Corp (SSC) and is on charter to NYK Line, which operates more than 100 RoRo vessels in its world wide service.
The ship measures 51,496 gross tons and has a capacity of 3,938 cars.
2. The ship's upper hull is rounded over the bow, but with slab sides and sharp corners, unlike yesterday's visitor with its rounded edges. These measures are intended to streamline the ship somewhat, but cannot conceal the fact that it is a floating car garage. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tombarra - outbound from Autoport

1. A small group of gulls observe the departure of Tombarra as it passes Algonova, anchored in number two anchorage area. Did you know that gulls are not just car spotters, but are ship spotters too?
The steady stream of car carriers to Autoport continues unabated.  Canada's high dollar must be making imports more affordable, because there seems to be no end to the Audis, BMWs and Mercedes arriving-not to mention all the other European brands available in Canada.
Today's visitor is no stranger. Tombarra, built in 2006 is a Wilhelm Wilhelmsen ship operating under the Wallenius Wilhelmsen  banner, in the pooled fleet.
It is a mid size carrier by today's standards, with a capacity of 6,354 vehicles.
Recent investigations have lead to charges of price fixing in the autocarrier world, so be prepared for some shakeout in the industry.

Monday, September 17, 2012

HMCS Iroquois - does life begin at 40

This year HMCS Iroquois is celebrating the 40th anniversary of her commissioning into the RCN July 29, 1972. Laid down at Marine Industries Ltd in Sorel, Qc on January 1, 1969 and launched November 28, 1970, she is the lead ship of the Tribal class destroyers. [Sister Athabaskan was laid down June 1, 1969, launched November 27, 1970, but was commissioned later on September 30, 1972. She is now in refit at St. Catharines, ON.] Both received extensive upgrades in 1994-95.
Despite her years, Iroquois continues to be a sleek and powerful vessel. I missed getting a photo of her on a celebratory day trip last week - she slipped in and out too fast for me to catch. I was luckier this morning since she had to reduce speed to allow a tour boat to dock, so I caught up with her as she passed the Tall Ship Quay.
As Canada's oldest fighting ship, she certainly does the RCN proud.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

WEC Majorelle

1. WEC Majorelle conducts a compass swing in number one anchorage area Friday.
The story ends here for American Feeder Lines, with the sailing Friday of WEC Majorelle.  First seen here as AFL New England, the ship was to be the first in a fleet of coastal container ships providing a feeder service between major ports on the east coast of Canada and the US.
Unable to generate enough cargo out of Halifax, and even less return cargo from Boston and Portland, the service was finally terminated in April. With mountains of debt surrounding the operation the ship was finally impounded and sold at auction.
The new owners renamed the ship WEC Majorelle and she sailed on Friday September 14 for Casablanca. That port is a hub for West European Container Lines BV, a Dutch firm, formed in 2009, but with roots going back to 1978. It has expanded dramatically from short sea routes to incoporate about 20 different lines covering Spain/ Portugal, the West Indies, North and East Africa.
See more at
Most of their fleet appear to be small hatchless container ships similar to WEC Majorelle.
2. The launch Captain Jim comes alongside to disembark the compass adjustor, as the ship heads for sea.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two out one in - cruise ships on the hop

With tropical storm Leslie messing up cruise schedules, there was a rare situation today in Halifax - two cruise ships sailing and one arriving.

Eurodam sailed after overnighting in Halifax. Her planned visit to St. John's was scrubbed so that she could avoid the storm. She therefore arrived in Halifax yesterday morning and remained tied up over night, sailing late this afternoon.

Celebrity Summit sailed soon after, on her regular schedule.
And as these ships were leaving, AidaLuna arrived to tie up over night. She had also planned a call in St.John's but had cancelled due to the storm.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

HMCS Charlottetown-back after 247 days.

HMCS Charlottetown returned to Halifax this morning after completing one of the longest overseas postings in the history of the RCN. The ship left Halifax January 8 and spent four months for NATO in the Mediterranean. It then shifted to the Arabian Sea. Its mission included counter terrorism and drug interdiction work. The ship spent two days in St.John's and hastened opn to Halifax in advance of post tropical storm Leslie.
It actually arrived at CFB Shearwater during the night. It embarked VIPs this morning and made a ceremonial arrival at HMC Dockyard for 10 am. In the photo it is seen clearing the Eastern Passage heading for Halifax.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Geo Caribbean - seeks shelter [update]

The siesmic research ship Geo Caribbean arrived in Halifax today to get out of the path of Tropical Storm ex Hurricane Leslie, which is sweeping toward Newfoundland.
The Norwegian ship had been working on a 2-D seismic survey on the Flemish Pass. Because the area is within Canadian waters, it had been granted a coasting license for the period May 15 to October 15. It also had the supply vessel Thor Omega running fuel and provisions out to the ship from time to time.
The stern of the ship is where the action is. It trails seismic streamers from a series of winches and take up reels. The 12,108 gross tons ships was built in 2008.
Tuesday Sept 11 Update:
The ship moved alongside pier 27 late monday evening, and during the day Tuesday took the opportunity to do some work over side. It also gave me the opportunity to make up for the stern shot:

The ship's foredeck is also a helicopter landing platform. It carries an array of water craft including an enclosed lifeboat, a work boat and an inflatible, which had been working around the bow. Note also the open platform near the bow. This is a docking platform similar to those found on cruise ships. It used by crew to heave mooring lines and to provide a view of the ship below the curvature of the bow while docking.

Cruisers bid good bye to Halifax

I dislike taking "stern shots" of ships, but it seemed appropriate today for a couple of reasons [see also following post].
It was a miserably wet day for the passengers of three cruise ships that happened to call here. Despite the inclemency many passengers made their way by bus and on foot -clad in disposable ponchos and other rain gear- to "soak up" the Halifax ambiance. I don't imagine too many of them were sorry to say good bye to Halifax at the end of the day.
1. First to leave was Caribbean Princess with her "shopping cart push bar" sky lounge. She is bound for Saint John, NB.
2. The sleek Carnival Glory followed a bit later. Next port is also Saint John, NB. 
3. Norwegian Gem was last to go - some of her passengers were held up in traffic, delaying the departure by about 30 minutes. The ship is heading for Quebec City, and so will be passing through the heaviest rain sometime tonight off Cape Breton.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Busy weekend in Halifax

No sooner did Vectis Harrier [see previous posting] sail than Atlantic Compass arrived. In fact the ships passed in the Basin after Compass cleared the Narrows.

1. Some close quarters work as Atlantic Compass sails the Narrows. The new Pier 9 C extension is to the right.
2. Algoma Dartmouth had just completed bunkering Vectis Harrier and waited for Atlantric Compass to clear the Narrows, before heading to the cable ship Wave Sentinel.

Vietnam Express had arrived early in the morning and in the evening moved out to anchor to free her berth for PusanAtlantic Compass sailed Saturday night.

3. Pusan steaming in on Saturday afternoon. She is on chartter to Hapag-Lloyd.

Canada Express arrived early this morning (Sunday) taking Pusan's place, and Vietnam Express moved  from anchorage back in to Fairview.

4. Vietnam Express has her anchor up ready to back alongside.

Also on Sunday the autocarrier Seven Seas Highway arrived at Autoport and tow tankers sailed from Imperial Oil. The chemical tanker Sichem Contestor and the crude carrier Energy Sprinter.
The cruise ship Disney Magic was in port Sunday, and the container ship Marwan anchored in the harbour and will dock Monday morning.
5. Energy Sprinter will soon be getting underway from Imperial Oil dock 5, as a storm approaches offshore.

6. The gulls are aware of the tropical storm that will pass to the east of Halifax, and have, like Warwan sought shelter in port.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vectis Harrier - Super Greenship

The first Super Greenship and the first "Cross-Bow" ship to call in Halifax arrived today:
1. Alongside at Fairview Cove, the distinctive fine bow is evident.

2. Entering the Narrows from Bedford Basin, outbound. A travelling gantry, stowed forward, is used to lift off the hatches.

Carisbrooke Shipping  of Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK, is building a fleet of super efficient ships. The first series are called the Super Greenship 8500 class. Based on a design by the Dutch firm of Groot Ship Design, the 8500 tonne deadweight multi-purpose ships feature the distinctive "Cross Bow" * form. Intended to reduce pitching and slamming at sea, the bow also claims to produce greater efficiency of operation when combined with a new propellor design and other features. The ship is also rated as Finnish Ice Class 1 A.
Built by Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Co Ltd in China and delivered earlier this year, Vectis Harrier tied up at Fairview Cove this morning and sailed at noon. While there it took on bunkers from Algoma Dartmouth but did not seem to work any cargo.
Aside from the bow, the ship looks like most small general cargo/bulk/container ships of 6190 gross tons, 8557 tonnes deadweight. It is fitted with two 80 tonne cranes and has a single box shaped hold, with lift off hatch covers.
The ship seems to be a throw back to olden years when knife-like ship's bows were all the rage. Their effectiveness in slicing open other ships in collisions (the Empress of Ireland being a prime example-it was sliced open by the collier Storstad) lead to the development of the "soft bow" which gave way in collisions, and tended to protect the forward collision bulkhead also.
[* a similar looking bow form called the "Axe Bow" has been developed by Damen Shipbuilding and similar versions are widely used in new offshore support vessels.]
Vectis Harrier is a fairly tame energy saver compared to the ship I saw on the St.Lawrence in August. E-Ship 1 is wind assisted. There are no sails however. The ship is fitted with four rotating cylinders which assist the ship to varying degrees, depending on wind speed and speed through the water. When I saw it on August 21 it was not getting much help from the wind.
3. E-Ship 1 downbound from my front porch in Quebec. The ship is about 5 miles away, and the church spire is more than 10 miles from my vantage point, so this is the best that can be expected from a 300mm lens.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Maersk Jefferson - a new face for Maersk Line

During my absence in August, Maersk Line has brought in the Maersk Jefferson a chartered ship, owned by NSC Schiffs. of Germany. Built in 2008 it measures 32,901 gross tons and has a capacity of 2797 TEUs of which 746 can be refrigerated.

Wave Sentinel - Cable Ship Rendezvous

The cable ship Wave Sentinel arrived this morning and tied up at pier 9 alongside another cable ship, IT Interceptor. This generally means a transfer of cable from one ship to another. Cable is a notoriously difficult cargo to transport, requiring special holds and gear.
IT Interceptor is registered in Barbados, but is operated by IT International, the Canadian cable company.
Wave Sentinel is operated by Global Marine Systems of the UK.
Wave Sentinel was built in 1995 and is of a modern design-working the cable over the stern only. IT Interceptor , built in 1988, is of a traditional design, working over bow and stern.