Monday, March 31, 2014

Hoechst Express - Hapag veteran

The eight ship Kiel Express class* 4,839 TEU ships from the backbone of HAPAG-Lloyd's Pacific Atlantic Express, but at an average age of more than 20 years, one has to wonder how much longer we will be seeing them. With HAPAG's recent merger with CSAV and other G6 Alliance redeployments, and more efficient newer ships, I guess we should enjoy them while we can.

 Hoechst Express navigates the Narrows this afternoon for the umpteenth time.

When built by Samsung in Koje, South Korea in 1991 the 53,833 grt ship was considered quite modern, and it still has a dashing look about it, but the lifepsan of a container ship these days, under original ownership would not likely exceed 25 years in most cases.

The shift of flag from Germany to Bermuda last year, and management to Anglo-Eastern indicates to me that there are plans afoot to move these ships out of HAPAG service before they reach 25 year of age - perhaps when the new Panama Canal opens, or even sooner depending on how the line deals with the current world over capacity.

Hoechst Express had at least one memorable visit to Halifax. On September 29, 2003 it was lying peacefully at Fairview Cove when Hurricane Juan struck. Despite putting out extra lines, the ship was hit broadside by winds and at 0012 hrs the ship's master reported that she was adrift. The tugs Point Halifax, and Point Valiant were dispatched despite conditions, and the usual 20 minute to half hour run to the Basin took over an hour. They managed to wrestle the ship back to its berth, reporting all secure at 0145 hrs.   There were airborne containers from storage stacks ashore, but I am not aware of any great damage to the ship or its cargo.

* the other ship of the class are Atlanta ex Lusdwigshaven, Boston ex Essen, Dresden, Kiel ex Hannover, Portland ex Leverkeusen, Paris ex Hamburg and Stuttgart Express.


Anne - small cargo ship for Halterm

The small cargo ship Anne arrived for Halterm this morning. It was dwarfed by the tug Atlantic Larch which was called in to turn the ship so that its cranes would be on the offshore side.

Atlantic Larch meets Anne off Ives Knoll.
Once alongside, the tug assisted the ship in turning.

Anne backs in toward pier 41-42.

Built in 1997 by the Slovenske Lodenice Shipyard in Komarno, Slovakia, Anne measures only 2528 grt /3526 dwt. It is a multi-purpose tween-decker, with two 35 tonne cranes that can work combined. It has carried six different names in its career, and is now owned by Held Reederei of Haren Ems, Germany. Management is entrusted to Marship Ship Management, which manages the Held and Broese fleets and ships from other small owners.

Local agent for the ship is Protos Shipping, but I believe the ship may be loading for St-Pierre et Miquelon. Repairs are still ongoing on the regular SPM ship Fusion, with an expert team from Germany in Halifax working on the ship's engine.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Big Day

It was a day for big ships in Halifax and a big day for ships, with several ships arriving despite deteriorating weather.

Corrosol brought up at anchorage number 6 on a blustery morning.

The first big ship to arrive was the Greek tanker Corossol, at number 6 anchorage. The 58,418 grt / 106,897 dwt ship is a 2010 product of the Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding yard in Shanghai. It will be here for most of the day for an Asian Gypsy moth inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The invasive species from the orient is a risk to Canadian trees. The eggs can survive for long periods on ships, and must be removed prior to entering certain Canadian ports. Once cleared the ship will sail for Whiffen Head, NL to load oil
Corossol is part of the TMS Tanker fleet of some 97 ships controlled by George Economou, Greece's third largest ship owner.
Once at anchor it was met by Dominion Diving's Roseway and the slop barge Dominion Mercury.

Hanjin Buchanan transits the Narrows.

The second large ship to arrive is the fully laden Panama flag bulk carrier Hanjin Buchanan . At 63,993 grt / 114,688 dwt, the ship is carrying a cargo of iron ore from Port Carter, QC. Built in 2011 by New Times Shipbuilding of Jingjiang, China, the ship is operated by Hanjin Shipping of Seoul, South Korea.

 The ship headed up through the Narrows with the tug Atlantic Oak as stern escort and Atlantic Larch alongside.

The ship anchored in Bedford Basin for a divers inspection for ice damage.

Next to arrive was a now rare caller in Halifax. It was able to reach the Narrows first by slipping along west of George's Island to get ahead of the Hanjin Buchanan. Salarium is a CSL self-unloader on long term charter to Mines Saleines to transport salt from the mine in the Magdalen Islands. At this time of year it often has to find other cargoes due to ice conditions in the Gulf of St.Lawrence.

Salarium approaches the Svitzer dock in driving rain. Steaming up the west side of Georges Island allowed it to get ahead of Hanjin Buchanan..

From 1980, when it was built as Nanticoke, the ship was a regular caller here with grain inbound and gypsum outbound. When it entered the charter and changed its name in 2009 it has been a less frequent visitor.Despite dire predictions about the ship's life span now that it is carrying salt, it seems to be carrying on regardless.
  The ship carries the symbol of its charterers superimposed on the typical CSL funnel.It will load at National Gypsum and is due to sail tonight.

Other arrivals, for which weather did not permit photos:
- IT Intrepid returning from a second cable repair job in Newfoundland (believed to have been caused when the bulker John I ran aground in Rose Blanche.)
- Zim Texas at the very exposed pier 42.
- Saudi Abha due at pier 31 late this afternoon to load industrial fabrications and a small fleet of military vehicles.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dockyard craft

The Royal Canadian Navy has a large fleet of Dockyard craft. These include boats and barges for all sorts of uses around Halifax harbour at their various installations. Most of the barges live hidden away within the confines of HMC Dockyard where they remain unseen to the civilian eye. Others, although in plain view, somehow manage to escape attention for the most part.

One of the more noticeable craft rarely visits HMC Dockyard, but instead sits at anchor off Birch Cove in Bedford Basin performing acoustic calibration work through the Defence Research and Development Canada Atlantic (DRDC) once known as Defence Research Establishment Atlantic (DREA). The 300 tonne, 36m x 17m barge has an enclosed heated deckhouse, 18m x 9m moon pool, a 10 tonne deck crane and a 5 tonne internal gantry crane. It is moored 1 km offshore in 42m of water and is used to calibrate sonar transducers.

Earlier this month it was towed to Jetty Lima in the Naval Armaments Depot / Dockyard Annex in Dartmouth. This is also the area where surplus naval vessels are stored before disposal.

In 1996 the barge received a major refit at the old Dartmouth Marine Slips, where the whole (very shallow) hull of the barge was supported by an elaborate cribwork  It may have received a new roof and lost its green siding at that time.

I have previously reported that, based on my research, this barge is named YLP 451 and so far I haven't been contradicted. However there is evidence to suggest that it was built at Halifax Shipyard in 1959 as YBE 454. It is not unheard of that Dockyard craft can change their names, but usually it is only the initials portion that changes, not the numerical portion.

While DRDC barge was refitting in 1996, another dockyard craft was completing its refit. YD 253, a steam powered derrick had been unrigged when I photographed it, but it was returned to full service soon after. It was built in Pictou in 1957 as YC 253.

Oddly, last week when the DRDC barge moved, it displace the same derrick barge from its usual spot inside Jetty Lima.
Now long out of commission, with is steam plant removed, and the derrick unrigged, the barge has been languishing unused for many years, possibly awaiting disposal. It has also lost its elaborate ropework pudding fenders and other appliances such as spud frames and firefighting gear.

The little scow with a tent on it, labeled NETE is another of the many strange craft within HMC Dockyard. NETE stands for Naval Engineering Test Establishment, a group which provides a whole host of services within the RCN.


Two tankers - Cartagena, Nord Steady

A pair of typical Korean built product tankers arrived one after the other this morning.

First in was Cartagena , flying the Libyan flag, built in 2009 by Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan. The 29,304 grt / 46,923 dwt ship brought up in anchorage number 6 and will eventually head to the Ultramar dock in Eastern Passage. The ship is operated by Executive Ship Management of Singapore, but operates for General National Maritime Transport Co, the state owned Libyan shipping company.

Following not long after, the Singapore registered Nord Steady headed for Bedford Basin to anchor. It was built in 2013 by STX Offshore + Shipbuilding of Jinhae, and is of similar handy size, 29,983 grt / 49,994 deadweight. It will remain at anchor for Asian Gypsy Month inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The ship is operated by Norden Shipping Singapore, an offshoot of Norden A/S of Hellerup, Denmark.


Friday, March 28, 2014

OOCL Oakland - home from the wars

The post-Panamax container ship OOCL Oakland arrived yesterday morning and sailed at noon time today. The ship appears to have been in at least a minor battle with a pier, and shows a large crease and other marks on its starboard quarter.

The crease does not appear to have happened here [ but it did - see comment]. OOCL ships are usually very neat and clean looking, so the damage must have been done fairly recently.
The ship is on the G6 Alliance service, which seems to have been monopolized by ships of HAPAG-Lloyd and APL recently.

Ville de Quebec - home from the range

HMCS Ville de Quebec spent all of last night transiting the dynamic sound range in the entrance to Halifax Harbour.
Yesterday afternoon the ship left HMC Dockyard and headed first for a choppy Bedford Basin.

After some time circling the Basin, it went out to the sound range, and made many passes in and out for calibration purposes. It is much easier to do this work at night since there is less conflict with commercial shipping which distorts the process with their own sounds. Ville de Quebec did make special passing arrangement with the pilot boat Chebucto Pilot when it was outbound, but completed its work when ships began to arrive.

Shortly after 0800 Ville de Quebec was inbound for HMC Dockyard.


Cap Georges in from the ice

A tanker more likely to be seen on the St.Lawrence River arrived in Halifax at noon time today and tied up at pier 27-28.

Flying the Greek flag, but owned by Euronav of Antewerp, Belgium, the 81,148 grt/145,652 dwt tanker unloaded a cargo of Algerian crude at the Valero (Ultramar) in refinery in Levis, QC, and arrived here in ballast.

Since the ship had to transit heavy ice en route, I assuming that her unusual visit relates to ice issues.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ghost Icebreakers - time to get to work

The three heavy icebreakers currently languishing in Halifax (one suspects until April 1) and one in Quebec City, should really be getting back to work right now. If fiscal year/budgetary restrictions are the sole reason they are sitting there, surely someone in Ottawa can figure out how to move them up a couple of days. (For instance why did they fuel up CCGS Hudson last week when she is not going anywhere until after April 1, but leave the Louis "out of gas"?)
Granted, there was bad weather, but that has now passed. Is there something else going on?

An emergency call for icebreakers on the Great Lakes has diverted three icebreakers from the Gulf and River already, leaving the Gulf to lighter duty craft almost entirely.

Currently CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, and CCGS Terry Fox are idle at the Bedford Institute in Dartmouth, as previously reported. Louis has used up her fuel for the year, but Terry Fox may be all right for fuel.

CCGS Henry Larsen is still lying at the Dartmouth Coast Guard base today, but was fueled up on arrival Tuesday.

Meanwhile the CCGS Martha L. Black (a light duty icebreaker) from the Quebec Agency has been sent up into the Seaway to break ice in the South Shore Canal between St.Lambert and Valleyfield.

CCGS Pierre Radisson from her Gulf of St.Lawrence station has now transited the Seaway and has passed up through the Welland Canal to break ice at the Port Colborne entrance, where Lake Ontario Erie ice has rafted in to 12 to 14 feet thick by some accounts.

CCGS DesGrosseilliers has been diverted from her Trois-Rivieres station to go up, likely all the way to Lake Superior, to stand in for CCGS Samuel Risley which is of limited use, since she is down to one working engine (out of four), and CCGS Griffon which already has its hands full.

Louis S. St-Laurent is too wide and both Louis and Terry Fox are too deep for the Seaway, so they will remain in the River, Gulf or coast.

Ice maps of the Gulf show the heavy cover of 9/10 over much of the area, with severe conditions on the west coast of Newfoundland and Northumberland Strait. There appears to be an open are now in the Cabot Strait and south of Anticosti, but that could change. This is not to mention the east coast of Newfoundland which after this week's storm could be boxed in for some time to come.

Eastern icebreaking is thus left to CCGS Edward Cornwallis (Northumberland Strait) and Sir William Alexander out of Halifax (in the Gulf), Ann Harvey out of St.John's and George R. Pearkes out of Quebec City. All are 1100 series boats, considered to be light duty. CCGS Earl Grey (in the Gulf) at 6500 kW is slightly more powerful than the 5250 kW of the Type 1100s.

CCGS Amundsen, the only other heavy duty icebreaker is tied up in Quebec City. How come?

Certainly mysterious in the worst ice season in years when all the big icebreakers are tied up. To quote the immortal words of the theme to Ghostbusters "something strange goin' on - who you gonna call?"

P.S. to the above - I guess I scared them. After this was written but before it was posted, CCGS Henry Larsen sailed. Last seen on AIS she was heading northeast at 16.5 knots,. The ship is likely returning to the Cabot Strait where it was last working.
And on Friday morning, Terry Fox got away from BIO and went to Imperial Oil to fuel.

CCGS Terry Fox  Friday morning. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CSL Tacoma - invisible arrival - beautiful departure [updates]

Wednesday March 26
CSL Americas' self-unloader CSL Tacoma arrived this morning and anchored in Bedford Basin. The ship is quite new, and is the third Trillium class Panamax self-unloader built by Chengxi Shipyard, Jiangyin City, China. It was delivered in October  2013. Due to high winds and blowing snow, I could neither see nor photograph the ship, but if you want an image and specs refer to:

The state-of-the-art Trillium ships are 43,691 grt and 71,552 dwt ships and can unload at a rate of 4,200 to 6,000 tonnes per hour depending on the cargo, which could be coal, gypsum, stone or iron ore.

The two other ships of this class in the CSL fleet, Hon. Paul E. Martin , which is currently tied up in Shelburne for crank shaft repairs, and CSL Tecumseh, which is still operating on the west coast. 
Two more ships of the same class, Balchen  and Balto are operated by Klaveness as part of the CSL Americas pool.

Thursday March 27

After a night at anchor in Bedford Basin, CSL Tacoma was no worse for the experience. Wind gusts well in excess of 100 kph, were really all she had to endure. 6 meter seas outside and higher winds would have been the alternative, so coming in was a prudent move.
The ship's departure mid-afternoon was the polar opposite from yesterday's arrival. Blazing sun, above zero temperatures and rapidly melting snow (some 20cm fell in Halifax) allowed for the following photos.

The Trillium class of ships for CSL represents the five Panamax ships listed above, and four Seawaymax size ships also built in China, and delivered in 2012-2013. Baie Comeau, Baie St.Paul, Thunder Bay and Whitefish Bay (all flying the Canadian flag) are also state of the art self-unloaders, sized to maximize cargo capacity in the St.Lawrence Seaway. Although capable of coastal voyages, so far they have been restricted to Gulf of St.Lawrence and Great Lakes service.

P-3 -One Step Closer, and HAPAG merges

Faced with a large over-capacity in container ships and the resulting depressed state of container shipping in general,  the world's three largest container lines Maersk (15% of trade), MSC (13%) and CMA/CGM (8%) decided last year to pool their ships into one service called the P3 Network. Longstanding competitors, the three lines desperately need to lower costs to survive, since they have ordered so many giant (but efficient) ships, with not enough cargo to carry. By inference of course they also want to drive smaller operators, with smaller (and less efficient) ships out of the market too.

To keep regulators happy the P-3 stated that they would still run their businesses independently, but only pool the ships. So far US regulators have approved the proposal, but only as it applies to US ports. China and the EU have yet to weigh in. The latter has a 30% market share cap on shipping consortia, which the P-3 likely exceeds. In fact it is nearly a 40% share, which would effectively be a monopoly by many definitions.

Three separate trade routes are involved: Asia-Europe (via Suez), Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic. With the US approval it seems likely that changes will be made on the Atlantic before the full service comes into play sometime mid-year. This may well effect Halifax and Montreal.

Maersk currently serves Halifax and Montreal with a direct transatlantic service. The latter port is  inaccessible to the giant Maersk ships, but Halifax is.

Maersk Pembroke is one of the Maersk ships that serves Montreal westbound and Halifax eastbound on a weekly transatlantic service.

CMA/CGM did serve Halifax with its own ships, but has been using slots on Maersk ships for more than a year. (see photo above)

MSC Kyoto on the St.Lawrence last summer.

MSC operates a feeder service from Montreal and Saint John, NB to the Dominican Republic, which connects with other MSC world services.

Are bigger ships on the way for Halifax? Certainly the two container terminals are ready for larger ships, but will they come?

If they do, will they bite into the trans Atlantic services of other lines?

My guess:
ACL (Atlantic Container Line) - no, because the line carries significant RoRo cargo, and largely serves northern Europe.

Post-panama, US flag, APL Belgium leaving Halifax March 23, runs on the G6 Alliance service.

 G6 Alliance - maybe, even though G6 members HAPAG-Lloyd and APL use a significant number of post-Panamax ships they are still less efficient than the new P3 giants

Zim Tarragona at3500 TEU is considered to be a small and inefficient ship.

Zim - maybe, because they use smaller ships, which are considered to be inefficient in today's terms. The Port of Halifax's largest container customer has been in a vulnerable position for some time.

Several lesser players such as Nirint and Melfi - probably not since the call in Halifax en route southern Europe to Cuba.

Ottawa Express on the St.Lawrence last summer.

Meanwhile HAPAG-Lloyd has come one step closer to sealing its deal with the Chilean CSAV, wherein CSAV would become HAPAG's largest shareholder. The merger (some would say takeover of HAPAG) will also include financing for seven new 9300 TEU ships-not exactly the formula one would expect if they are trying to reduce capacity. It will however see the disposal or transfer of smaller ships.
The merger would also see HAPAG + CSAV become the fourth largest container line, edging ahead of CMA/CGM.


Icebreaker parking lot

Halifax has become something of an icebreaker parking lot in the last two days. The combination of an approaching severe winter storm, with hurricane force winds and the monthly crew change date, saw CCGS Henry Larsen arrive yesterday morning and CCGS Terry Fox yesterday evening.
Larsen went to the fuel dock first (see excellent photo on Halifax Shipping News ) then moved to the old Dartmouth Coast Guard base yesterday afternoon.
Terry Fox arrived and tied up at BIO adjacent to the idle CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent.

At 8:15 this morning, just before the storm arrived, Canada's two most powerful icebreakers lie quietly alongside the pier at the Bedford Institute.

In view of the storm conditions, I expect the ships to remain in port until tomorrow at the earliest. Both of the new arrivals were once common sights in Halifax, but have been rare in recent years, as all are now based in Newfoundland.
Gulf ice conditions remain severe, so their services will be needed again as soon as they are able to leave port.


Monday, March 24, 2014

AN Annaba, ArcelorMittal's own bulker

Much of the world's mineral ore is transported on chartered tonnage, but in the last couple of years both Vale and ArcelorMittal have acquired their own ships for the work. Perhaps to take the unpredictability out of charter rates, or to acquire the exact type of ships they want, both companies seem destined to become major players in the shipping business in view of the size of their mining and processing operations. Sending their ships on long ballast voyages would seem to increase operating costs, but the companies are apparently willing to make the investment nevertheless.

In Canada, ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer, operates the former Quebec-Cartier mining and concentrator operations in Mont-Wright and Fir Lake, QC, the 420 km rail line, and the pelletizing and port operations in Port Cartier, QC. The port loads 450 ships a year with 20mn tonnes of ore and pellets.

Today saw ArcelorMittal's bulker AM Annaba sailing from pier 27 after a brief over night stay. It will anchor off Halifax until a weather system passes. The ship is in ballast and is en route from the company's steel mill in Point Lisas, Trinidad to Port Cartier to load.

The 41,254 grt, 76,079 dwt bulker was built by Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding in Shanghai and delivered in 2013.
ArcelorMittal owns Dofasco of Hamilton, ON which was a primary owner of Quebec-Cartier, and has steel making operations around the world. The name of the ship AM Annaba derives from the initials "AM" for ArcelorMittal and "Annaba", the port in Algeria, better known as Bone.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

New icebreaking bulk carrier Nunavik

Delivered January 18, 2014, the brand new bulk carrier Nunavik arrived in Halifax March 20. Built by JMU Tsu shipyard in Japan, the ship is also a Polar 4 class icebreaker. Owners Fednav of Montreal ordered the ship to service a contract with  Canadian Royalties Ltd (a subsidiary of Jilin Jen Industry Co Ltd of China.) It will be in dedicated service from Royalties'  Nunavik Nickel Project in Deception Bay, QC, carrying nickel and copper concentrates to processors and returning with supplies and equipment for the mine. The ship will sail year round unescorted, and will not require government icebreaker assistance.

The ship measures 22,622 dwt, 24,997 dwt and is fitted with two 30 tonne and one 50 tonne cranes. It was designed and built by Sumitomo and Universal of Japan, and will join Fednav's two existing icebreaking bulk carriers, Arctic and Umiak I. Unlike those ships the new Nunavik is not registered in Canada. It flies the Marshal Islands flag since it will be trading between Deception Bay and Europe or Asia.

Speculation abounds that the ship will inaugurate the first regular shipping route through Northwest Passage, but for now it will run to Europe.

p.s. The ship sailed at 4 pm today direct for Deception Bay. Its icebreaking skill will soon be put to the test, as it will need to sail through heavy ice to pass Newfoundland. Its destination on Hudson Strait will certainly be clogged with ice.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ocean Emerald - Voyage 1 for Melfi

Melfi Marine, one of the lines serving Cuba through Halifax, has chartered a wide array of ships over the years, and some make very few voyages for the line, others are on hire for longer periods. Therefore I always make an effort to catch a ship on its first trip to Halifax, in case it doesn't come back.
I had to be patient for today's arrival. Ocean Emerald arrived off Halifax March 17, but anchored outside until in came in to Halterm at noon time.

Unusually for ships these days, this one was built in Taiwan by China Shipbuilding Corp, Kaohsiung, Otherwise it is built to a fairly standard pattern, 18,123 grt, 22,314 dwt, with a pair of 40 tonne centreline cranes. It has a capacity of 1713 TEU and has carried the same name since built in 2008 for the Carsten Rehder Reederei of Hamburg. It flies the Liberian flag.

After turning with the assistance of the tug Atlantic Willow the ship backed down to come alongside pier 42.


British Serenity - headed south

British Petroleum's British Serenity made a bunker call in Halifax today. Bound from Montreal, the ship also disembarked its ice adviser.
Acting pilot boat Capt. A.G.Soppitt heads for shore with the harbor pilot and ice adviser shortly after British Destiny brought up at anchor.
The ship is a product of Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, South Korea at 29,214 grt, 47,210 dwt, built in 2005. A far cry from the elegant British Petroleum tankers of yore, it does have some non-standard features compared to other ships from the same yard. The most noticeable is the full width enclosed covered bridge structure wings.
On completion of bunkering from Algoma Dartmouth , the ship wasted no time in coming about and heading for sea. Its next port is Guyanilla, Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Down with the old and up with the new at Halifax Shipyard

The first roof truss was raised today at the new ship construction hall at Halifax Shipyard.
The immense scale of the new structure may be appreciated when compared to the remnant of the old hall (in the background) which will be disappearing soon.


Seattle out, Barnacle passing, Sanderling arriving and more on the Louis

The bulker Seattle  sailed this afternoon after discharging its cargo of nickel ore. While in port it acquired a little frozen spray on its bulbous bow

Assist tug Atlantic Larch  has her bulwarks coated in frozen spray after returning from a trip to Shelburne escorting he bulker Hon. Paul E. Martin [see previous post]

An unofficial Sea King escort flew near the ship as it passed Ives Knoll, on its way to Cristobal, Panama (the ship that is).

Once out at sea Seattle passed the Barnacle, inbound from Panama, which will be picking up an ice adviser on its way to Belledune, NB. Connor's Diving's Eastcom will take the adviser out to meet the ship.
The heaviest ice in the Gulf in many years will make that it interesting trip. For more on ice advisers, listen to my CBC Information Morning item of today's date:

Speaking of ice and freezing spray, Oceanex Sanderling arrived today with some remnants of ice around her anchors, but also on the breakwater above the forepeak and on the containers. She crossed from Newfoundland in stormy conditions and accumulated quite bit of ice.

And finally back to the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent.
The ship had been on "lay days" a term defined by the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Treasury Board in their collective agreement- to whit the crew on this ship falls under Annex E
  1. Subject to operational requirements, the Employer will operate the selected vessels on a lay-day system. Under this system, all days will be considered as working days and there will be no days of rest.
  2. "Day" in relation to an employee means the twenty-four (24) hour period during which that employee is normally required to perform the duties of his/her position and commences at the designated crew change time.
  3. "Lay-Day" means a day off work with pay to which an employee becomes entitled by working on the Lay-Day Work System for a number of days. A lay-day shall be considered a part of the work cycle and as such is not considered as a day of authorized leave with pay.
End Quote

- meaning, in lay parlance, all dressed up and nowhere to go or ship with crew, but not working.

We now learn that the ship has used up its fuel allotment for the fiscal year (which ends March 31) due to extended operations. I'm not sure what those operations were since the ship was in refit for a long time. Perhaps the powers that be put the ship on reduced rations this year due to that refit, and when she was brought out to cover for CCGS Terry Fox she blew the budget.

There is some thought that the ship may be reactivated after March 31 "if ice conditions warrant" , but maybe that will eat into its summer fuel budget for the Arctic. Wait (like the Louie) and see.
Since CCGS Martha L. Black and Pierre Radisson will be heading up into the Seaway March 22 and March 25 respectively, the CCG will be woefully short of power in the Gulf and lower river.

This particularly gloomy photo of CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent  was taken on Coast Guard Day, June 8, 1975. It shows the ship in her "as built" condition, and was taken from the bridge of CCGS Alert.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday roundup - Admiralengracht, Seattle, Fusion, and updates

There was a lot of activity in Halifax this Monday, so instead of a number of different postings, this roundup will summarize the more interesting ones.

Another Spliethoff ship called in Halifax today. This time it was one of the smaller type of ships of the ten ship A class. Admiralengracht dates form 1990 and measures 7,949grt, 12,150 dwt. It is fitted with three 40 tonne cranes and as with all Spliethoff ships, can carry a variety of cargoes
It tied up at pier 37, an unusual pier for general cargo, since it is within the Halterm container terminal, but one that is often used for "one of" or military cargoes. I have since learned that the ship was in fact filling in for Fusion- see below.

Atlantic Oak assists Admiralengracht in getting away from pier 37 this evening.
The distinctive green containers on deck do not belong to any regularly scheduled container line calling in Halifax. Also last week I spotted some military vehicles in the pier 37 area, and they may have been loaded too.
Military vehicles on pier 37 March 10. This were in fact exported on a Zim ship earlier in the week
While in the area, it is worth noting that Fusion is still sitting idle at pier 36, perhaps undergoing repairs. The ship was towed in on March 11 and unloaded, but has not loaded any cargo. There were a couple of tank trucks on the pier the other day, but they appeared to be fueling the ship.
As mentioned the ship is owned in Odessa, Ukraine, and one hopes that it is not caught up in the present unrest of that country.
At nearby pier 31 the Cyprus flag Seattle is offloading nickel sulfides from Cuba. It is not a usual Nirint ship, but has a larger capacity than those ships, so perhaps has been called in to make up a backlog.
Built in 2000 by Saiki Heavy Industry of Japan it is a bulk carrier of 19,743 grt, 31,923 dwt and carries four cranes, which it is using to discharge. The ship carried the name Stornes from 2000 to 2004, and UBC Seattle until 2004.
Other updates:
Peresenk - completed prop repairs, and is bunkering and will sail this evening.
Pioneer -   work is still underway on the prop hub.
Beverly M 1 tug, was finally able to sail today with the Derrick#1 for St.John's, NL. They held in port to avoid bad weather,. They must now skirt ice to reach their destination.
The tanker Cape Brasilia  finally made it into Imperial Oil dock 4 today. It first arrived off Halifax March 4 from Houston. It had to put back out to sea at least once due to weather, but finally came in last night on departure of Energy Pride.
Built in 2006 by Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan, South Korea, it is a chemical product tanker of 25,108 grt, 40,327 dwt. It is owned by Columbia Ship Management of Hamburg, Germany and operates under the UPT pool, whose brilliant hull colour it wears. A fairly standard looking ship, it does have an unusual reverse rake funnel cap.