Thursday, December 31, 2015

Freezing spray and fog

That unique combination of frozen spray and fog prevailed today as temperatures rose to zero and above. The melting snow from two days ago and light rain saturated the air which was still cooler than the sea surface temperature, resulting in a moderately thick fog.
However colder temperatures just a day ago had given inbound ships a thick coating of frozen spray. Not much effort was made to remove the stuff, since it was sloughing off in the warmer air anyway.

Atlantic Concert picked up a heavy of frozen spray south of Newfoundland on its way across the Atlantic.

It sailed from Fairview Cove this morning and its booming fog signal echoed off the walls along the Narrows and could still be heard even after the ship had passed Meagher's Beach on the way out to sea. Thick ice still coated the fore section of the ship, but was sliding off periodically.

A regular caller since June 1984 the ship and its remaining three sisters are on the way out, with the news that the first G4 ship Atlantic Star sailed from Liverpool December 28. It is due in Halifax January 4 or 5, replacing Atlantic Companion, which has already gone to the scrappers.

At Haltern, another ship that had followed a similar course across the Atlantic, picked up its frozen spray on the way from Argentia to Halifax.

Selfoss  had a thick coating on its breakwater, making for awkward work on the foredeck for the crew. The ship is now bound for Portland, ME and warmer temperatures.

Selfoss has been a regular since February of this year when it was added to the Eimskip service with Reykjafoss and  Skogafoss. It was built in 1991  by Orskov Christensens in Frederickshavn, Denmark, first as Hanne Sif. It was soon renamed Maersk Tertio, then Hanne Sif, Elizabeth Delams, Vento di Ponenete and Hanne Sif again before becoming Selfoss in 1999.
It carries 724 TEU and two 40 tonne cranes and measures 7676 grt.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In and out before the next deluge

With more snow predicted for today, the auto carrier Dignity Ace made it in to Autoport this morning and sailed at noon just as the snow was starting.

As reported, the ship aborted its scheduled call yesterday due to high winds, but made a safe re-entry today. Its next port of call is Davisville, RI.

Also arriving at noon time was Oceanex Sanderling on its weekly run from St.John's.Freezing spray warnmings from last night proved true and the ship had a fine coating of ice on the hull and deck load.

A lobster boat with its posse of gulls heads out to tend traps as a rimed Oceanex Sanderling glides in. It used the western channel to give Dignity Ace lots of room.
Frigid air, around -10C, over much warmer water, plus fine snow flakes in the air, resulted in some fuzzy photo effects.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Busy Christmas Season of Yore

A little Christmas Holiday nostalgia from the old shoebox from 1979. If we think the Christmas season of 2015 was a busy one for Halifax, it was nothing like Christmas week of 1979. Christmas fell on a Tuesday that year, but the harbour business continued virtually unabated.

Friday December 21 [9 arrivals, 4 departures]* (from my records only - not official)

The French tug Abeille 30 towed in the disabled Biban. The 1977 product of Marine Industries in Sorel, QC for the Algerian state shipping company, it had a main engine break down in Duluth MN in June. It was towed down through the Great Lakes to Montreal where Abeille 30 took over, sailing December 11. Biban went into drydock December 24. The pair laid over in Halifax until January 1, 1980 when they left for Europe. The ship lasted until 2003 when it was scrapped in Alang, India.

At Halifax Shipyard, the veteran ore carrier Dapo Star was getting the final touches after drydocking.

The Machine Shop Wharf is still recognizable at Halifax Shipyard, but much else has changed.

The ship was still alongside into January 1980.
Built in 1959 as Queensgarth by Blyth DD + SB Co of Cowpen Quay, the 10,762 grt, 15,386 dwt ship was built  with an island bridge just forward of midships, straddling the sliding hatch covers. In 1977 it was sold to Greek owners and renamed Dapo Star and continued trading as an ore carrier until 1981 when it was converted to a drill ship. This rebuild extended the ship's life to 1992, having been renamed successively Australind, Eniwetok, Five Star and Star Drill, before it was broken up in Alang.

Saturday December 22  [3 arrivals, 5 departures]
Among the arrivals was Arc Minos, for pier 9C where it loaded lumber on deck.

The background has seen major changes. CN's intermodal terminal occupies the lower level and the oil tank farm has expanded. There are also more sheds on the pier face.

Christmas Day 2015 from a slightly different angle.

The ship returned to Halifax in March-April 1989 with ice damage to its rudder and again in 1990, but as Clipper Pacific with engine trouble. It eventually suffered an engine failure in 2010 and was scrapped in Aliaga in March 2011. The ship was built at Neptun VEB, Rostock, East Germany and was a typical small general cargo ship at 5999grt, 7923 dwt. It carried nine different names in its career.

Sunday December 23 [1 arrival, 4 departures]

The sleek reefer Itassucé sailed from Pier 9B.

Christmas Day 2015 shows Cape Roger at pier 9A and Atlantic Condor at the new pier 9C with a vacant  pier 9B between.

Built in 1972 by Verolme do Brasil in Jacuacanga, the 10,846 grt, 12,222 dwt Itassucé's 18,400 bhp B+W could propel it at 20 knots. It was broken up in 1988 in Kaohsiung - another victim of containerization.

Monday December 24 [2 arrivals, 2 departures, 1 move]

Biban entered drydock, assisted by the seagoing Point Carroll which usually did not do harbour work The tug has worked for McKeil Marine as Tony MacKay since 2001, but has been laid up in Hamilton, ON.

Tuesday December 25   [3 arrivals, 1 departure]

The container ship Marseille was tied up at pier 37. A relatively new ship, built in 1977 by Smith's Dock, South Bank, Middlesbrough, it was having a checkered career. Originally Manchester Venture, it was chartered out as Seatrain Bennington in 1977, came back to Manchester for a time in 1979 and then was renamed Marseille and chartered to Zim.

It sailed December 27, and over the next several years, as Manchester Liners disappeared into CY Tung's Orient Overseas Lines, it changed names eight times before reaching Chinese scrappers in Xinhui in 2002.
It had a capacity of 946 TEU, including 80 reefers and measured 17,385 grt, 17,607 dwt.
The similarly sized Fritz Reuter (see below) has a capacity of 946 TEU, including 80 reefers on 18,480 grt, 23,732 dwt.

Hapag-Lloyd's New England feeder Yankee Clipper was also in over Christmas.

Halterm was much thinner on cranes in 1979 -it had 3. It now has 8, but only 5 really work.

Yankee Clipper sailed December 29 on its regular run.

On Christmas Day, the Canadian flagged Maurice Desgagnés moved from anchored to take a berth for bunkers at Imperial Oil. The ship was a precursor to Desgagnés' expansion from a base of coastal and northern supply shipping to worldwide trading.

Built in 1963 by Terneuzen Shipyard in the Netherlands as Vaasa Provider, it became Lauri Ragnar in 1966 and Finnrunner in 1971. Desgagnés acquired the ship in 1972 to run between Montreal and Sept- Iles on a Clarke contract. It also traveled widely to the Great Lakes, Brazil, Guatemala, Bahamas and Egypt.

This was the ship's last visit to Halifax however. It sailed for Venezuela, and then loaded oak rail ties in New Orleans for Sept-Iles. On March 12, 1980 while about 75 miles east of Halifax the ship was struck by a powerful sea, took on a severe list and eventually heeled over on her beam ends. A helicopter from HMCS Huron rescued the 21 crew in three trips and the ship sank shortly after. 
Wednesday December 26  [4 arrivals, 1 departure, 1 move]

no photos

Thursday December 27  [3 arrivals, 5 departures, 1 move]

Another cripple arrived today. Biokovo had to re-stow deck cargo after going through some very high winds earlier in the week. Owned by Jadranska Slobodna Plovidba of Split, Yugoslavia (now in Croatia) the ship had flown the Yugoslavian flag since 1971.

Before that it was Manchester Port, built in 1966 by Smith's Dock,. South Bank, and another ship that was displaced on its trade route by the quick rise of containers.The 8168 grt, 12,060 dwt ship was built to Ice Class 1 for winter St.Lawrence service and was fitted with an array of cargo handling gear: 1-30 tonne, 2- 10 tonne and 1 - 5 tonne cranes and 4 - 10 tonne derricks.

It was renamed Ydra in 1980 and on January 20, 1983 it caught fire and was wrecked 1 mile off Bizerta on a voyage from Piraeus to Sweden.

Friday December 28  [3 arrivals, 1 move]

The big bulker Oremar needed four tugs to move from anchorage to pier 25-26. In addition to the usual Point Vim, Point Vigour and Point Viking the bigger tug Point Valiant was also brought in to provide some extra power.

Oremar was working for Bethlehen Steel , and had a US and Taiwanese crew. It was en route to Sept-Iles to load. Welding repairs were completed by a flying squad from Halifax Shipyard and it sailed December 29. [It may have have arrived in tow of Point Valiant with hull cracks-not confirmed]

Built for Livanos as Marka L by Hakodate Dock in 1968 and measured 35,742 grt and 74,245 dwt, and was considered a giant at the time. It lasted until 1995 when it was broken up in Chittagong after four more name changes.

Saturday December 29 [8 arrivals, 7 departures, 2 moves]

The magnificent Port Line reefer Port Chalmers arrived December 21 (featured here before). The largest reefer ever built, it was on its last legs. Obsolete when it was built in 1968 it was almost immediately outmoded by containers. The last ship built for Port Line, it lost its traditional funnel mark while in Halifax, taking up a Salén charter.

It sailed December 29 for Mexico, Long Beach, then Japan and was back in Falmouth in July 1981. It was laid up in 1985 and scrapped in Shanghai.

Monday December 31  [4 arrivals, 2 departures]

A traditional general cargo ship, Gold Mountain was built in 1963 by Uraga Dock in Japan for Zim Israel Nav Co Ltd as Tesdek. In 1974 it was transferred to Cedar Shipping Group, still under Israeli flag and renamed Gold Mountain.

Gold Mountain at pier 30 was here on Zim breakbulk business.

In 1989 was sold to Costamare of Greece [now a frequent provider of charter tonnage to Zim Integrated Shipping] and hit the scrappers beach in Chittagong the same year.

Tuesday January 1, 1980 [12 ships in port, 17 tugs and suppliers, 8 fishing vessels, 11 government ships,  11 wrecks and relics, - not including scows, barges and harbour craft. If those are included, the number of identifiable named craft in the harbour comes to 104, not including the Eastern Passage fishing fleet]**

There was no let up on New Year's Day as the small general cargo ship Breehelle arrived at pier 24.
Built in 1971 by Baatservice, Arendal Norway as Angelika Lehmann for German owners, the 1585 grt, 3100 dwt ship was sold to Dutch owners in 1973 and renamed.

Nova Scotia Power's Water Street plant was pumping out electricity - it has since been converted to the company's corporate HQ and the stacks are long gone.

In subsequent years the ship has carried nine different names under the flags of Cyprus, Norway, Bahamas North Korea, Georgia, and last heard from, earlier this year, was flying the Moldovan flag for Syrian owners as Gulf Star.

And that was not all that was happening in Halifax, just some of what I managed to photograph.

* The count of vessels is very rough - based on my observations only and not on official records. It is probably off by two or three each due to arrivals during the night.

** Wait for my January 1, 2016 comparison!


Challenging afternoon

Strong winds persisted into the afternoon and evening as cold air continued to pump in.

The regular caller Frtiz Reuter  arrived on its 16th trip for Melfi Line and tied up at pier 42.

Atlantic Larch begins to push Fritz Reuter around to back in to pier 41 in a stiff breeze.

The next three callers were presented with a number of challenges, particularly since they were all due at the pilot station at 1600.
First in was OOCL Washington, which required the services of all three tugs to tie up at pier 41. Both the car carrier  Dignity Ace and the ConRo Atlantic Cartier took their pilots, then returned outbound to delay their arrivals until the tugs were freed up.

Yesterday's mirages were nothing compared to today's as OOCL Washington (right of centre) and Dignity Ace (left) approach the pilot station. Air temperature was -7C but water temperature remains a balmy 0C.

Dignity Ace then made its "re-entry", when the tugs Atlantic Larch and Atlantic Willow were available to take it in to Autoport. However once at Autoport the tugs could not hold the ship alongside in the high winds, and it left Eastern Passage for number one anchorage. Its anchor would not hold there, so it opted to head out to sea and try again in the morning. High sided ships like auto carriers are notorious for their sail effect, and must be handled with great care in windy conditions.

Meanwhile Atlantic Cartier took the tug Atlantic Oak as stern escort through the Narrows to Bedford Basin. Once there it had to await Atlantic Willow before it could get alongside Fairview Cove. The ship is also high sided and subject to windage too, but was able to dock safely eventually.

Dignity Ace is a first time caller, and at 6697 car capacity, it is the biggest ship in the MOL ACE car carrier fleet of 120 or so ships. It was built in 2010 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, and measures 58,767 grt, 20,589 dwt. Flying the Bahamas flag, it is owned by Ray Car Carriers of Douglas, Isle of Man, and is on long term charter to Mitsui OSK Lines Auto Carrier Express.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Avant le déluge

There was just time this morning to take a few quick photos before the snow strarted.

At pier 41 CMA CGM Lavender had rapidly filled its decks, and probably holds too, with CMA CGM and Hamburg-Süd containers left here by HH Emilia.

Rounding Sandwich Point, CSCL Oceania was heading for pier 42. Within minutes of this photo, visibility was reduced dramatically by the arrival of the season's first snow.

A common sea level optical phenomenon (an inferior mirage) appears to show the ship's reflection, but of course that is impossible, since the sea surface is not a mirror in this case.  It is really light rays refracted by colder air sweeping over the warmer sea, and is similar to those non-existant puddles "seen" in paved roads in the heat of summer.

CSCL Oceania flies the Hong Kong flag, but is owned by Seaspan Corp (based in Vancouver) and chartered to China Container Shipping Lines. It was built in 2004 by Samsung, Koje, and measures 90,645 grt, 101,810 dwt, with a capacity of 8468 TEU, including 700 reefers.

In 2007 the ship was renamed MSC Belgium. It then returned to its original name in 2009 and is now part of the CMA CGM / CSCL / UASC Columbus Loop service.

By early afternoon, work was completed  on  CGM Lavender . It is due to sail later today for Tilbury, UK.
Two of the cranes had moved down to pier 42 to work on CSCL Oceania. By this time the snow had changed to ice pellets.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holiday Catch Up

It was a busy day in the harbour to make up for the Christmas Day holiday when there was almost no activity. Longshoremen do not work on Christmas Day, so there were idle ships waiting to work cargo.

The big bulker Xin Hong arrived on Christmas Eve and tied up at pier 28. It loaded soybeans in Sorel, QC, to maximum allowable draft on that portion of the the St.Lawrence River, and will top off here.

Xin Hong is a product of the Dalian #2 shipyard in China and  measures 44,5453 grt, 82,226 dwt. Owned by FEH Shipping of the Cayman Islands, it is managed by Global Marine Ship Management of Qingdao and flies the flag of Hong Kong. It remained idle on December 26, also a holiday in Halifax, which means that longshoremen get paid overtime.

Two other ships in port on Christmas Day were Kobe Express [see below] and Dinkeldiep, the St-Pierre et Miquelon feeder ship. The latter's Ukrainian crew have spent Christmas in Halifax for many years.

There was also an early morning sailing from Imperial Oil on Christmas Day. Zambezi Star arrived on December 21 and was originally due to sail December 24, but likely remained in port due to very high winds on Christmas Eve.

December 22 photo

Zambezi Star was built in 2010 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, and measures only 23,312 grt, 37,814 dwt (most handysize tankers are in the 50,000 dwt range). It is owned by Rigel Schiffahrts of Bremen, Germany and flies the Isle of Man flag.

Among the few vessels moving in Halifax harbour on Christmas Day was the tour boat Haligonian III. It was on what would be called a re-positioning cruise if it had been carrying any passengers. There was no one aboard however, except the crew - and a small one at that - as the boat moved from its summer berth at the Cable Wharf to Bedford Basin where it joined its fleet mates in winter layup.

Haligonian III has been a fixture in Halifax harbour since 1972 when it was built at Wheatley, ON by Hike Metal Products Ltd..
And why is it named Haligonian with a three?  There actually were Haligonians I and II, which were replaced when this boat was delivered.  They were wooden vessel, built on the lines of fishing boats. I caught Haligonian II in spring refit in Sambro in April 1970:

Built in 1968 by Deschamp + Jackson in Shelburne, NS, it was sold to owners in the Gaspé and is still in operation taking tourists to Percé rock. It was extensively rebuilt in 1997, but looks very much the same and surprisingly still carries its original name.

Mar (background) Haligonian III, Harbour Queen I, Summer Bay and Silva of Halifax at their winter quarters in Mill Cove, Bedford. Missing from this grouping is Theodore Too.

In recent years these boats have wintered at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth or at the Cable Wharf, so this is a new arrangement for them. The entire fleet and related business including Murphy's restaurant and gift ship was acquired during 2014 by Ambassatours, owners of a fleet of doubledecker and other tour buses and the Harbour Hoppers.

Both container piers were busy today, with two arrivals each. At Fairview Cove, the first in was OOCL Kuala Lumpur, a ship I have never photographed before, although it called in Halifax first July 30, 2012.

 Kuala Lumpur Express strides up the Narrows and into a brisk northerly wind with Atlantic Larch forward and Atlantic Oak as stern tethered escort

The ship was built by Koyo Dockyard Co in Mihara, Japan in 2007 for Nissen Kaiun Co and has been chartered to OOCL ever since. In 2012 it was sold to Grace Ocean Investment of Kowloon, Taiwan and reflagged from Hong Kong to Singapore. It measures 66,462 grt, 66,940 dwt and has a capacity of 5888 TEU including 586 reefers.

As the ship nears the A.Murray MacKay bridge the tug Atlantic Willow comes alongside. As soon as the ship clears the bridge, Atlantic Oak will cast off and return to the lower harbour for the next ship. Atlantic Larch and Atlantic Willow will berth the ship at Fairveiw Cove west, under the big cranes.

Atlantic Oak has control of  Oakland Express as it takes a broader turn around the knuckle at Pier 9-9A. It will go out into Bedford Basin to await its berth at Fairview Cove east - occupied by fleet mate Kobe Express.

By coincidence the ship was built as Kuala Lumpur Express in 2000 by Hyundai Mipo. Built for Costamare Shipping Co of Greece it has been on charter to Hapag-Lloyd ever since. It was renamed in 2008 to free up the name for a larger ship. In 2013 Costamare shifted its operation to a Chinese subsidiary and reflagged the ship from Greece to Hong Kong. It has been a regular caller in Halifax under both names.

Another regular caller in Halifax, Kobe Express arrived on the morning of December 24. It got about a half day's work then and finished up with a half day today sitting idle on Christmas Day.  It dates from 1998 when it was produced by Samsung, Koje as Shanghai Express. It rates 4612 TEU , including 350 reefers, carried by 52,523 grt, 67,058 dwt. The ship has always been owned by Hapag-Lloyd directly and received its current name in 2002 when a larger ship rated the Shanghai name.

Not to be outdone by commercial shipping, the sailing catamaran Butterflies are Free took a leisurely Boxing Day cruise around the harbour. In the background Wilhelmsen's Toledo unloads at Autoport. It later moved to Pier 31 to unload before sailing for New York.

Although identified as Butterflies are Free (US flag) on AIS, I believe this boat to be Pride MMXVI  A Dufour 44' built in 2014 and registered in Halifax on November 10. Perhaps it is time the owners reset the AIS.

Also getting in a last cruise, several kayakers round Point Pleasant Park as the next inbound arrives.

That inbound was due for Halterm where an early arrival was the regular Maerk Pembroke in from Montreal on the transatlantic Maersk - CMA CGM service.

It had no operational bow thruster on arrival, but it may have been fixed by the time the ship sailed.

The next arrival was another CMA CGM ship far from its usual run.

 A group of eider ducks, recently arrived for the winter, seems undisturbed by the arrival of a ship.

CMA CGM Lavender is one of seven ships on the Panama Direct Line, operated by CMA CGM, ANL and Marfret. [ANL is the former Australian National Line, now part of CMA CGM. Marfet (Marseille-Fret) is an independent, serving the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South Pacific.]

Its normal route is Tilbury - Rotterdam - Dunkerque - LeHavre - New York - Savannah - Kingston, Jamaica - Cartagena - Papeete, then returning northbound via Noumea - Sydney - Melbourne - Wellington - Tauranga - Napier - Lyttleton - Manzanillo - Savannah - Philadephia - Tilbury.

This is the first time I have seen Marfret containers in Halifax, but they are not likely to be unloaded here. Instead, I conjecture that the the ship will take on some of the containers left by HH Emilie and forward them on to another shipping hub, such as Kingston.

 The ship was built by Hyundai, Mipo in 2006 and measures a modest 28,927 grt, 39,418 dwt, with a nominal capacity of 2,824 TEU. It is very lightly loaded, so should be able to take a fair chunk of the boxes left by HH Emilia.

There was also a ship for Imperial Oil today. The colourful Inyala arrived mid-afternoon.

Another smaller handysize tanker of 25,400 grt, 40,037 dwt, it was built by SLS Shipbuilding Co, Tongyeong, South Korea in 2008 for Unicorn Shipping of Durban, part of Grindrod Shipping.

The Unicorn motif appears on the funnel and the bridge front, but the Inyala is a South African antelope with two horns, as far as I can tell..


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

HH Emilia sails

The container ship HH Emilia sailed at 2330 hrs December 23 after unloading about 2,000 containers at Halterm [see previous post] .It also loaded (or re-loaded) a number of Hamburg-Süd containers, that are probably empties.

Among the boxes unloaded was this stack of shiny new United Arab Shipping Co reefers.
Reloaded Hamburg -Süd containers spotted on alternate hatch covers.

The ship went out to anchorage number 10 in Bedford Basin the evening of December 22, without a working bow thruster, but that now seems to have been corrected, since only one tug was required for departure. (Atlantic Oak performing its usual tethered escort task though the Narrows.).

HH Emilia was a  forlorn sight this afternoon, and very high out of the water.

Marine Traffic gives its destination as Port of Spain, Trinidad.