Monday, April 29, 2013

CCGS Corporal Teather CV

1. CCGS Corporal Teather CV in Narrows just after sunset.

CCGS Corporal Teather CV sailed just after sunset this evening. Halifax Shipyard launched the boat December 15, 2012 and the Coast Guard took delivery in February. Since then it has been outfitted at the Bedford Institute pier and conducted trials.
It is the third of the new Hero class Mid-shore Patrol Vessels to go into service with the CCG. After passing through the Canso Canal tomorrow morning, it will stop in Summerside PE before proceeding to Quebec City and on to its destination in the upper St.Lawrence River/Great Lakes region.
Next vessel in the class, Constable Carrière is due to be handed over this week.

2. Outfitted with a pair of fast inflatables,and other policing gear, the boat begins to pick up speed as it passes pier 9.


Wadi Alarab - missing cargo

 1. Wadi Alarab at anchor today, in ballast.

The Egyptian flag bulk carrier Wadi Alarab is back in Halifax, this time for bunkers. Since it was here as recently as March 10 to 17, what has it been doing all this time, and where did its grain cargo go? It loaded some grain in March then went to Port Cartier where it waited at anchor for quite a long time and perhaps loaded some more. It then went up river, and was last reported anchored off Trois-Rivières. Somewhere along the line it managed to lose the grain that it had loaded.

The ship has a history however, so maybe it is just a hard luck case. Its first visit to Halifax was in April 2003 when it was anchored outside the port under quarantine. A crew member had died in Trombetas, Brazil of suspected anthrax, and as a precaution authorities disinfected the ship and made some tests. They found no sign of anthrax. Brazil then reported that the man died of unknown causes-but not anthrax.Wild reports that the anthrax was to be delivered to Canada as part of a terrorist plot were discounted. After five days at anchor the ship was permitted to sail on April 29, 2003 - ten years ago today - to La Baie, QC with its cargo of bauxite.

Then on December 25, 2008 pirates attacked the ship 50 miles off Yemen. The German warship FGS Karlsruhe dispatched a helicopter that scared off the pirates, but not before they shot one crew man. Another German helicopter evacuated the crew man for treatment. Karlsruhe then captured a motor boat with the six pirates, but freed them, citing German policy not to arrest pirates unless they attacked a German ship or German citizens.

2. Wadi Alarab at pier 27 on March 17, shortly before sailing the last time.

While last in Halifax Wadi Alarab also made the news when there were reports that two crew members jumped ship, one on March 12 and one on March 17. The Canadian Border Services Agency did not address reporters questions directly, so we are not sure if in fact the reports were true. Police did question a man on a bus from Halifax headed for Montreal, when the bus stopped in Amherst. Again no one is saying what happened after that.

3. Sailing March 17 with a partial load of grain.
4. Sailing today, with no cargo on board.
Strange ship - strange stories, and strange missing cargo, and maybe missing crew.
The ship is now heading for Norfolk, VA, where it is expected to load a cargo of coal.

Later Note: I have it from a reliable source that the two "missing" crew men were back aboard when the ship sailed on March 17. One mystery solved.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

BBC Seine

The German owned, Antigua flagged, cargo ship BBC Seine arrived this afternoon for CFIA Asian Gypsy Moth inspection. The ship sailed from Viana do Castello, Portugal on April 19 and is headed for Trois-Rivières, QC with a cargo of windmill components.
The inspection will be fairly brief, with the ship due to sail at 9 pm.
Owners Briese Schiffahrts now has a fleet of 130 ships, many with specialized capabilities. BBC Seine can carry containers, heavy cargoes and oversize loads. It is fitted with 3 cranes- 2 of 250 tonnes and 1 of 80 tonnes capacity. Built in 2010 by Xingang Shipyard in China, it has a gross tonnage of 12,974 and deadweight tonnage of 16,968 tonnes.
Briese (also known as BBC Chartering) specializes in windmill parts, and its ships are common sights in eastern Canada with deck loads of wind vanes.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

IT Intrepid - off to Deep Panuke

 1. IT Intrepid sails for Deep Panuke this afternoon.

The cable ship IT Intrepid sailed this afternoon for the Deep Panuke gas field off Sable Island. The project, which has experienced numerous delays and is not yet in production. IT Intrepid's work involves, not cables, but removing tunnels and installing scour protection.
The ship, which is operated from Halifax by IT International Telecom, flies the flag of Barbados, and required a coasting license to do the work.
2. Almost brand new, Sir Eric Sharp looked like a large yacht.

The ship was built in 1989 by Swan Hunter in Wallsend for Cable and Wireless Ltd, the British company, as Sir Eric Sharp. When built, she was all white, with buff funnel and mast, giving a smart yacht-like appearance.

3. The A-frame was built around the stern sheaves.

The ship has bow and stern sheaves. Since acquired by IT the stern was heavily modified to accommodate an A-frame and other gear associated with trenching and burying of cables.  Cable ships have usually had very fine lines, going back to the aforementioned Lord Kelvin mentioned last week.
4. Lord Kelvin arriving at the Cable Wharf in the 1950s. What is now the IEL wharf is in the background, it was then the Acadia Sugar refinery.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Royal Natura - CFIA AGM inspection

1. Royal Natura inbound. Some of her cargoes must be highly corrosive judging by the area below the manifold.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency Asian Gypsy Moth inspectors must have their work down to a science now. The chemical tanker Royal Natura was brought up at anchor around 1730 hrs and sailed again before 1930 hrs.
The ship was built in 2008 by Sekwang HI in Ulsan, South Korea, measuring 12,560 gross tons and 19,998 tonnes deadweight. It is bound for Becancour, QC.

For the record, I missed a photo of the tanker Scarlet Ibis which was also in for CFIA inspection on April 24, due to fog. It was bound from Ijmuiden, Netherlands to Montreal.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Going Up - Bayonne Bridge raising awarded

1. A familiar Halifax caller, Atlantic Compass, approaches the Bayonne Bridge while heading for Newark Bay.

On April 24 The Port Authority of New York /New Jersey awarded a contract to Skanska Koch Inc/ Kiewit Infrastructure Co  (Joint Venture) to raise the Bayonne Bridge. The $1.29 billion dollar project will see the 1931 vintage bridge with a wider car deck (built above the existing one while traffic still flows). But more importantly it will raise the bridge by 64 feet, making Newark Bay accessible to most of the world's shipping. The new clearance of about 220 feet will exceed that of the Bridge of the Americas across the Panama Canal (201 feet) and will nearly equal the Mubarek Peace Bridge on  the Suez Canal (230 feet).  

The massive project, when combined with the huge dredging project in the Kill van Kull, increasing water depths to 50 feet, will ensure that the container terminals in Newark Bay will remain competitive after the opening of the new Panama Canal.
At the same time the NY/NY Port Authority also announced a replacement of the Goethals Bridge in a Public Private Partnership worth $1.5 billion. The current bridge has a 140 foot clearance, but since it spans the Arthur Kill, a smaller waterway, overhead clearance may not be an issue. However any new bridge will likely be higher.
The Port of Halifax, with two bridges of about 165 feet clearance has long had an edge on New York for larger ships. One of Halifax's container piers, and most of its deep water piers are accessible from the sea without passing under any bridges and that unlimited air draft will keep Halifax in the running foir bigger ships.
Raising the Halifax bridges would pose problems since they are cable suspension bridges, whereas the Bayonne Bridge is a steel arch structure. It will be raised by elevating the bridge piers in Bayonne and Staten Island. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Atlantic Navigator - too much fog, but.....

I did not get to see Atlantic Navigator when it arrived today - too much fog! On one of Atlantic RoRo Lines rare Halifax calls, the ship berthed at Halterm. I was sorry I missed it because it has an interesting history, which ties in to Halifax.
Built in 1992 as an Astrakhan class general cargo ship with RoRo capability it was built as Kovrov for USSR owners, but was renamed Ever Vital in 1997 for a short time, before becoming Thorsriver in the same year. It was chartered to serve Christensen Canadian African Lines (CCAL) owned by A/S Thor Dahl, a legendary Norwegian company.
Founded in 1887 in Sandefjord, Norway, A/S Thor Dahl grew to have its own shipyard, A/S Framnaes M/V, and operated shipping lines to the Pacific and Orient, and operated a large whaling enterprise in South Georgia. In 1948 the company's owner Lars Christensen founded a new line to run from Canada to various African ports. Although based in Montreal, the company's beautiful white ships called in many Canadian ports to load export cargo, especially paper, and brought in fresh fruit, often calling in Halifax. The ships of CCAL were also distinguished by their huge bow crest which showed the god Thor (standing on a whale) and a funnel mark with a stylized whale.
In 2000 CP Ships purchased CCAL from A/S Thor Dahl but merged it into Lykes Line (which it had also acquired) and eventually sold the whole works to TUI, and it was folded in to Hapag-Lloyd. A/S  Thor Dahl still exits in Norway, but seems to have given up shipping to become involved in real estate and construction.Thorsriver was renamed Lykes Energizer in 2000 and was then returned to owners and became Atlantic Navigator.
CCAL had an offshoot called Christensen Canadian Enterprises which had ships based in Halifax. Two ships, built along trawler lines, were used in the annual seal hunt, but also carried out research work and participated in summer northern supply work to the arctic. Karlsen Shipping in Halifax acted as agents for CCE until the ships were sold. Karlsen also acquired two whale catchers from A/S Thor Dahl, which they operated also for sealing and research.
So today's arrival of Atlantic Navigator brought back some memories of:.
1. The magnificient Thorshope tied up at pier 39-40 in 1968. The pier is now buried within Halterm. Built in 1958 by the Thor Dahl's Framnaes shipyard, the ship was sold in 1978 and broken up in 1980. Note the painting stage at the bow - the ship's crew is touching up the white paint.
 2. The 1977 built Thorscape was among the last ships built for CCAL. It came from the Mitsui yard in Tamano, Japan. It could handle general cargo, with four 40 tonne cranes, eight 10 tonne cranes (removed by the time this photo was taken) and a mighty 120 tonne Stülcken derrick. It could also carry 500 TEU of containers.
3. CCAL ships' bows were adorned with a huge bronze shield showing Thor grasping lightening bolts, supported by a pair of seahorses, with a whale beneath his feet. Regrettably in later years these shields were not as well maintained as they once were.
4. Funnels carried a stylized whale in the form of a letter "C" and a red star facing aft. The ship was sold at the time of CP takeover and eventually scrapped in 2003.
5. Theta, built in 1953, was one of the CCE ships based in Halifax. It could carry cargo, navigate in ice and worked as a sealer and researcher. Sold in 1977, the ship sank in Nicaragua in 1981.
6. The larger Theron, built in 1950 once reached 81 degrees north during a supply trip. It also had the whale symbol on its funnel, and a seal, with the red star facing aft.
 7. A/S Thor Dahl owned the steam whaler Thorfinn until 1966 when they sold it to Karlsen Shipping of Halifax. It was then renamed Chester, but still carried the Thor Dahl  funnel mark. It was sold in 1976 to west coast owners as a tour boat, then went to Micronesia. 
8. Although built as the Dutch Inga Vinke in 1961, the whale catcher Thorarinn was owned by A/S Thor Dahl from 1964 until sold to Karlsen Shipping in 1970. When whaling was banned in Canada in 1973 the boat carried on with research work, becoming Goel No.1 for Karlsen's Geophysical Ocean Exploration Ltd in 1975. It was a total loss after grounding on Robben Island in Table Bay, South Africa in 1976. Note the whale gun ,mounted on the bow.
Christensen Canadian African Lines and A/S Thor Dahl were once well known names in Halifax. It is therefore with some nostalgia that I would have greeted Atlantic Navigator - had I been able to see it. It sailed this evening (still in dense fog) for Houston, TX..

HMCS Winnipeg - note to the press it was an allision

The incident in Esquimalt BC on the morning of April 23, wherein the American trawler American Dynasty rammed HMCS Winnipeg has almost universally been called a collision by the press.
Initial reports made it sound like the Winnipeg actually collided with the trawler.
In my opinion a collision can only occur between moving objects. Winnipeg was decidedly not moving!
It was tied up at at a pier completing its FELEX refit, and the six injured civilians were all below deck working on the ship.
In marine parlance the correct term is allision - when a moving object strikes a stationary one.
(Wiktionary doesn't support me on this one-it calls the action of striking another vessel a collision, but never mind.)
(Merriam-Webster does agree with me, to whit: the running of one ship upon another ship that is stationary —distinguished from collision)
Why am I making a point of it? In an allision, the moving ship must prove that the allision was the stationary object's fault. In a collision one or the other or both may be at fault, and the burden of proof is shared.
American Dynasty, 3659 gross tons, built in 1974 is a 250 foot long, 54 foot wide, 41 foot deep behemoth, whose knife-like bow towers over that of Winnipeg. That bow tore into Winnipeg forward of the bridge, at nearly a 90 degree angle and heeled the frigate over against the jetty.
American Dynasty is a twin screw vessel, with controllable pitch props and a bow thruster. Normally a very maneuverable type of ship.Something went wrong however, and it did not or could not stop itself in time.
The extent of damage is clearly enormous, and in fact is probably the equivalent of a constructive total loss, were it a merchant ship.  However in the case of a naval vessel that term may not be useful. The amount of damage will very likely exceed any coverage the trawler might have had, and the RCN is self-insured.
If the ship is damaged beyond "economical" repair, it still may be necessary to repair it, even if it adds two years or more to the FELEX refit, and many dollars to the taxpayers' bottom line. We do not have too many surplus warships that we can afford to lose one.
A very regrettable incident - let's be thankful no one was killed.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FS Aquitaine sails

The newly minted FREMM FS Aquitaine sailed this morning and obligingly took the course west of George's Island.Because the channel is narrower (though deeper) to the west, and there were divers working at pier 22, the tug Atlantic Willow took up position as stern escort. The pilot boat Chebucto Pilot also paced the ship as they took the western channel outbound to avoid the inbound deep draft tanker Minerva Marina.

It certainly is a splendid ship, and received favourable comments from the Minister of Defence when he made a tour on the weekend. Should this be the model for the new RCN frigates, it would at least be a proven design, with several novel features, including reduced crew size, and multi-mission capability.
It certainly appears that DCNS (the French state owned naval builder) and Fincantieri (the Italian mega ship builder) have got their act together on this one.

CCGS Sir William Alexander - ready for a refit

1. CCGS Sir Wialliam Alexander arriving this afternoon,April 22, showing some signs of wear and tear after a busy fall and winter with buoy removals and now spring replacements. Note the port bridge wing platform is folded upright, adding to the rust streaks.

CCGS Sir William Alexander (call sign CGUM) arrived at BIO this afternoon April 22.On Wednesday April 24 there will be a bidders conference on board prior to her alongside refit scheduled for June 13 to July 19 at BIO.
Completed in 1987 by Marine Industries in Sorel, QC, the Type 1100 light icebreaker and navaids ship has been based in Halifax since its arrival here in May 1987 (it called in at Charlottetown en route - its alternate home port.)

The ship had its moment of glory in June 1995 when it hosted dignitaries during the G-7 Summit:

2. Escorted by high speed patrol boats and helicopters, some G-7 leaders are hosted under a tent on the helo deck for a harbour cruise between Shearwater and Historic Properties. (The ship appears as built, with a cargo derrick).

From August to September 1998 it had a major overhaul during which saw its derrick removed and the installation of a crane in its place. Sister ship CCGS Edward Cornwallis, also based in Halifax, still has the derrick, making it easy to distinguish between the two ships (as long as you remember it is the Sir Bill with the crane, and Ed with the derrick).

Monday, April 22, 2013

Green Ridge - US flag autocarrier

1. Green Ridge at Autoport, as seen from Halifax.

A typical autocarrier in most respects, except that it is flying the United States flag, Green Ridge unloaded at Autoport today. Built in 1998 by Imabari Zosen in Marugame, Japan as Hercules Leader, the ship sailed under the Panama flag as a member of the  NYK line fleet of autocarriers until 2005.
It was then acquired by Central Gulf Lines of Mobile, AB, (LMS Ship Management of New Orleans, managers) and raised the US flag.
As a foreign built ship it is not Jones Act compliant, (it cannot trade between US ports) but it is part of a fleet of foreign going US ships available as strategic assets if needed. Its US crew also get valuable deep sea experience which might not otherwise be possible on domestic ships.
The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) in fact subsidizes 42 ships under the Maritime Security Program (MSP) program to:

"Assure that sufficient sealift capability and intermodal transportation infrastructure exists to support vital homeland and national security interests." quoted from from Marad

Most of the ship are container ships, but there are also tankers and autocarriers, giving a broad range of possible call ups in case of national security needs.More at:

Constable Carrière - sea trials today

1. Constable Carrière builds up speed in Bedford Basin.

Launched as recently as March 24, the newest Hero class patrol boat Constable Carrière conducted builders sea trials today in Bedford Basin and in the harbour approaches. At times the boat exceeded 25 knots (28 mph, 47 kph).
2. Returning from sea trials.

Sister craft CCGS Constable Teather CV remains at BIO. It was delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard in February. It conducted trials yesterday, also in Bedford Basin.
3. Constable Teather CV at speed in Bedford Basin 2012-04-21. [contributed]

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cape Ballard - one more for the torch

 1. Cape Brier was the first in a series of three sister trawlers built at Halifax Shipyards.

The Halifax built trawler Cape Ballard arrived in Grenaa, Denmark on April 17 to be broken up by Fornaes. As reported earlier, it had been towing the Cape Beaver which sank off Iceland en route from Newfoundland.

Cape Ballard was the middle of three stern trawlers built by Halifax Shipyards (then under the ownership of Halifax Industries Ltd). Although subsidizied to the tune of $6 million, the yard lost money on the three, which took twice as long to deliver as the sister boats built in Japan (of which Cape Beaver was one.)

2. Cape Brier during final fitting out, at the Machine Ship Wharf, with CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent in the graving behind.

First of the series was Cape Brier (hull number 69). The keel was laid on May 7, 1980, it was launched on December 20, 1980 and delivered in July 1981. Owners, National Sea Products Ltd, sold the trawler to Russian interests in1999 and it was renamed Muran Pride for a short time then Lydia L in 2000.
In 2004 it raised the flag of Georgia and became S. Ocean Skipper. Operated by the Sirichai Fishing Group of Thailand, it was involved in overseas joint ventures, far from Thailand, but it is no longer shown on the company's web site, nor listed among active ships.

3. Cape Ballard shows off its fine lines at pier 6. Most of the pier structure in the background was  demolished this month as part of the shipyard's modernization project.

Cape Ballard was the second boat of the series (hull number 70). It was also laid down May 7, 1980, but was not launched until June 1, 1981 and was delivered in November 1981. Following a shake up in the fish business and collapse of the cod fishery, its ownership changed several times, ending up with Ocean Choice before its recent sale.
For some interesting photos of the ship see:

4. Cape Forchu on one of its rare visits to Halifax.

Third and last of the series was Cape Forchu (hull number 71) Launched on March 10, 1982, it was delivered in June of the same year. It had a very short working life however. On May 3, 1989, while 18 miles south of Cape Ray, NL, it collided with the 15,667 gross tons Polish bulk carrier Ziemia Opolska. Cape Forchu was badly damaged, and soon sank. The crew were all saved.

These three were amongst the last big trawlers built in Canada. When new ships were needed they were bought overseas, often second hand.With the collapse of the cod fishery in particular, and the demise of much of Canada's shipbuilding industry, we are unlikely to see many more Canadian built trawlers.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cap Theodora - pirate attack repelled - AGAIN (UPDATED)

The Suezmax tanker Cap Theodora eluded a pirate attack on April 16 in the Gulf of Guinea. The ship was bound from Quebec to Usam, Nigeria when the pirates attacked, firing on the ship's bridge. The ship's crew took evasive maneuvers, issued an SSA Alert and distress call, started fire pumps to repel boarders, and secured to a safe citadel within the ship.
After about 20 minutes the pirates gave up on the attack. The ship was about 36 nautical miles WNW of Principe Island at the time of the attack.
Numerous pirate attacks in Nigeria and nearby waters recently have alarmed  shipping interests. Similar to events in east Africa, these west African incidents involve hostage taking, robbery, assault, killings and even hijacking of the ships.

1. Cap Theodora seen from the front porch of my summer place in Quebec, 2012-08-09.

Cap Theodora, a Greek flagged vessel, is a regular caller at the Ultramar refinery at Lévis (St-Romuald) opposite Quebec City. Built in 2008 by Samsung in South Korea, it is a ship of 81,324 gross tons, 158,819 deadweight tonnes. It is operated by Euronav NV, which has a fleet of 30 some tankers, many, named with the word "Cap", bring crude oil to the Ultramar refinery. Euronav is a publicly traded Luxembourg company,  with ties to the Belgian Saverys family and the Greek Livanos family.

Update: A second attack on the ship was reported April 22, it was also repelled. Authorities now say that  pirate incidents in the area have increased dramatically in the past year and threaten to be as bad or worse than those in the Horn of Africa/Somalia. The security of oil supply from this area may be threatened as a result.

Fog Season is upon us

With warmer air temperatures, but very cold water (there are still ice pockets in the Gulf, and lots of ice off Labrador) it is fog season once again.
 I will spare you the gory details of ship photography in such a climate, save for the two examples today, which will explain that photos may be few and far between on foggy days.
Mitsui-OSK Lines auto carrier Precious Ace, built 2010, 59,402 gross tons and a capacity of 5200 cars, made a brief morning call at Autoport, arriving and sailing in fog.
1. Precious Ace outbound at noon time.

You could tell there was a ship there, because the ship was sounding its fog horn virtually from the time it left the dock at Autoport.(Stern at left, bow at right of photo.)

Farther up the harbour, the fog dissipated and ships were more visible:
2. Canada Express rounds George's Island headed for Fairview Cove.

Once into Bedford Basin things were more civilized, but less than ideal for photos. Canada Express built 2006, 66,462 gross tons, 5888 TEU (the former OOCL Dubai to 2010) sounded her fog horn until she reached the Ives Knoll area.

Friday, April 19, 2013

IT Intrepid - more work

The cable ship IT Intrepid has been granted a coasting license for more work in Canadian waters. This time it will be to remove concrete tunnels and install temporary scour protection along the face of the remaining concrete tunnel at Deep Panuke.
While this does not sound like cable work, it does seem to require the services of an ROV, for which IT Intrepid is fitted.
Work is permitted from April 20 to May 4.
 IT Intrepid is fitting out for the work at pier 9, the base for International Telecom.Meanwhile fleet mate IT Interceptor is also at pier 9, standing by for cable repair work.
It has been many years since two cable ships have been in Halifax for any extended period. In November 1966 the cable ships Lord Kelvin and Cyrus Field were towed out for scrap after being laid up at the Western Union Cable Wharf.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quest - deplorable lack of respect for tradition

1. CNAV Quest heads for Bedford Basin this morning for a day of trials. Her four Fairbanks Morse engines are still warming up, with lots of white smoke from her (white) funnel. (This is not the ship's good side)

The newly rebranded Royal Canadian Navy (I won't mention its former names, which like Prince's are unintelligible) nonetheless is normally a respecter of nautical tradition. However I feel it is time to blow the bosun's whistle on a flagrant disregard for tradition in the case of CNAV Quest.
As a Canadian Navy Auxiliary Vessel (again, but, for a time a Canadian Forces Auxiliary Vessel) Quest does have an unusual parentage. Officially it was commissioned in 1969 as a hydrographic research vessel, but was assigned to the RCN for acoustical and other research for DREA=Defense Research Establishment Atlantic (now DRDC=Defence Research and Development Canada).
As previously reported at length, the ship was painted gray on the port side (and the funnel painted white) in 2011 for Q340 Radar Infrared  Electro-Magnetic Pressure Acoustic Signature Experiments, conducted with the German and Dutch navies. While this work may be a little removed from its hydrographic origins, the ship nonetheless still conducts water related experiments including ship under water acoustical signature work.
Following the Infrared tests, the side curtains and hull cooling pipes were removed and it was then that the unforgivable sin was committed. The funnel was repainted  left in WHITE paint.

 2. The day's trials completed, Quest passes CCGS Matthew at BIO - a formerly white ship too. (Quest's good side is to the camera in this photo)

Traditionally hydrographic ships have buff coloured funnels with black cap, as Quest did before the gray paint job.
3. CSS Acadia, celebrating her 100th anniversary this year carries the traditional colours of a hydrographic research ship.

Since this is the 100th anniversary of CSS Acadia's construction, and now the only ship left in the traditional Hydrographic Service colours, wouldn't it be nice if the RCN could find that old can of buff paint stored away in some forgotten locker and apply it to Quest's funnel. A little green boot topping would be nice too. 

4. CSS Acadia when she was only 90 years old. She arrived in Halifax for the first time On July 8, 1913 - look for a major celebration this summer.

As a footnote the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, inheritors of the Dominion Hydrographic fleet, the Canadian Hydrographic Service, etc., repainted their white fleet in DFO/CCG colours in 1997. CSS Matthew based at BIO in Halifax is one of the last survivors of that white fleet.  Wouldn't it be nice to see her repainted white too?
5. Graduating Canadian Coast Guard College cadets carry out RHIB training with RCMP Preventor off CCGS Matthew at BIO this morning. Matthew has had a red hull since 1997.

FS Aquitaine - a first look

The spanking new French frigate Aquitaine put in to Halifax today as part of its first "Long Cruise" Following commissioning in November 23, 2012, the FREMM (frégate multi-mission) has been working up with various milestones, such as first replenishment at sea (January), first missile firing (Ferbruary) and most recently on April 9 a replenishment at sea from a USN T-AO off Norfolk.
This is the first of nine state of the art frigates for the French Navy, ten for the Italian navy and one for Morocco.
Despite Halifax's notorious early morning sunshine, it was possible to see a number of the ship's features, including its helicopter (outside its hangar) and a rapidly spinning radar in a pyramidal shaped box mounted on the bridge.
The features of the FREMM  are too numerous to mention, but there are scores of excellent descriptions and  videos on the net:

Given the tendency of visiting naval ships to pass east of George's Island on departure, there is little chance of better pictures when the ship leaves, but I will update this post if I get more.
Once tied up at HMC Dockyard, in full sun, a few more details become visible, including the helo perched over the stern.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ZIM - light at the end of the tunnel

Zim reported positive earnings (EBITDA) for 2012 compared to losses in 2011. The modest turn around still represents a significant loss to shareholders. A much smaller player than the Maersks and and Hapags of the word, Zim is still an important Halifax customer.
1. Zim Panama arrives this afternoon.

Zim had to cancel a number of ship orders and take penalties, and defer other orders for several years up to 2016. Freight rates were up a bit too, which helped the bottom line. Zim has also made agreements with the banks to reschedule debt, and will submit a 5 year plan by April 30.

HMCS Halifax - back from sea and other navy news

Navy News for today:
  • HMCS Halifax returned from sea last night and anchored in the harbour. It got under way at 0800 hrs this morning to tie up in the Dockyard.
 1. Halifax weighs anchor at 0800 hrs.
  • Meanwhile HMCS St.John's , Iroquois, and Preserver were reported in Leith, Scotland this week.

  • Due tomorrow at 0900 at the pilot station is FS Aquitaine, the brand new French frigate, just commissioned in November and on its first "long cruise."