Thursday, January 3, 2013

Heinrich J - outbound - but

Melfi Lines' Heinrich J got away for Cuba this afternoon after taking on a large cargo of containers, and the customary second-hand school buses and trucks. Not long after leaving the berth it was apparent that the ship was not going to be making much speed. In fact the pilot boat, which was following it along, made a u-turn and came back to its dock.
I hear that Heinrich J had a "cold fuel" problem, and was operating at reduced efficiency. The pilot boat returned to the dock to pick up a pilot for another inbound ship, and caught up with and passed Heinrich J  well before reaching the pilot station.
After disembarking her pilot Heinrich J proceeding to Anchorage Bravo to rectify matters.
Temperatures of minus 10 degrees C and more for the last two days have slowed down a lot of things in the Halifax area. Ships burning heavy fuel need to heat the fuel to give it enough viscosity to flow properly through fuel filtering systems which remove water and impurities and into the engines.Even diesel fuel can suffer from cold temperature, degrading its quality and trapping impurities and solidifying wax and other impurities.
One aspect of the ship noted on its departure is its asymmetrical appearance.The superstructure looks very different from the the starboard side, with a large forward extension at deck, which I assume to be part of the engine room ventilation system. Also it has a sloped edge to the house on this side only, due to the offset funnel and free fall lifeboat.

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