Sunday, July 19, 2015

Weekend Round Up

Halifax harbour is always bustling at the height  of summer, but mostly with tourist and recreational activity. Commercial activity goes on, but at a reduced level.

I wasn't the only one that had the idea of taking a picture of the same subject.

Asphalt Sailor arrived Thursday and remains tied up at Pier 9B. The small tanker is no stranger to Halifax. On its first two calls here in 2014 it loaded asphalt in transfer operations from other tankers. It made two calls here in February of this year, both times to deliver asphalt to the McAsphalt facility in Eastern Passage.
On this visit the ship is in ballast.

A passenger takes a panorama of the Halifax skyline from the upper deck of the cruise ship Insignia
as it prepares to leave on Saturday. Note the container strapped down on deck below the funnel - it was not there last year before a fatal fire in the engine room. 

The cruise ship Insignia called on Saturday. This the ship's second visit to Halifax - it's first was October 12, 2014.  Not long after that, on December 11, 2014 it suffered an engine room fire shortly after tying up in Castries, St. Lucia. Two contractors and one crew man died but all 656 passengers managed to flee the ship and were flown back to Miami. The ship was sent to San Juan, PR for repairs.
No official report has been issued yet, and there are still questions about the crew's emergency response.

Insignia outbound at dusk Saturday evening.

Meanwhile down the shore, Lunenburg welcomed the replica of Hermione, a French frigate of 1779 on the return leg of its voyage from France to the USA when it tied up near the finally rebuilt Bluenose II.

Did anyone miss the irony of this visit? This perfect replica, built with authentic materials and methods, and through public subscription, did not embarrass the French government one iota - nor presumably cost them much, if any, in money. (The government's investment was more than recouped with tourism dollars and was part of a larger project to restore Rochefort.)

Instead the high profile and ridiculously well organized project makes everyone look good.
Perhaps next time Nova Scotia?

Normal harbour traffic on Saturday included the tanker Jo Provel, on its way to Come-by-Chance, NL with a load of crude oil.

Amid more political talk about pipelines and western oil and the North American Free Trade Agreement, here  is crude oil being imported to the refinery closest to Newfoundland's own offshore oil.
Flying Norway's International registration flag, the ship was built by STX in Jinahae, South Korea and measures 42,203 grt, 75,013 dwt - very small as crude oil tankers go. After a Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspection for Asian gypsy moth, the ship sailed in the early afternoon.

Speaking of refining, the bunkering tanker Algoma Dartmouth sailed for Point Tupper again to load more bunker fuel. The commodity is no longer available in Halifax because Imperial Oil is not refining it here, nor apparently, willing to import and store it on its vast tank farm site.

Algoma Dartmouth normally carries large pneumatic fenders on its starboard side when delivering  bunkers, but these are removed when it heads to sea.

Sunday morning was the time chosen to move HMCS Ville de Quebec out of the graving dock at Halifax Shipyard. It was then positioned at the Machine Shop Wharf for completion of the shipyard portion of its FELEX refit. It began the 18 month process last November.

Tugs Atlantic Larch (stern) and Atlantic Willow perform the cold move from the graving dock.

The graving dock will now be prepared for the next ship in the FELEX sequence, HMCS Toronto, the last of the seven six ships from the Atlantic fleet to undergo the modernization program. (There are also "stand alone" projects being done on the ships, not part of FELEX - these are generally done at HMC Dockyard after the ship leaves the shipyard.)
The entire program is due to be complete by 2018 (including the five six west coast ships which are being refitted at Seaspan in Vancouver.)



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