Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Carnival Sunshine -

Carnival Sunshine called today for the first time since her major refit in 2013. Before that she was Carnival Destiny a regular here in the early 2000s.

Dense fog creeps in as Carnival Sunshine gets away from pier 22 this evening.
Built in 1996 by Fincantieri Italiani, Monfalcone, it was the lead ship of the Destiny class of four. Originally with a passenger capacity of 2,642 that was increased in a 2013 refit to 3,006 although crew size remained at 1,150.

 The ship was much sleeker looking in its orginal form.

The refit at Trieste, the biggest in Carnival's history, cost a reputed $155 mn and involved redoing almost all of the public spaces. It also added a large water slide and some new high level spaces forward. The change was so dramatic that the ship was re-branded as Carnival Sunshine .

Passengers got a bit of thrill as the ship heeled over to make a very sharp turn north of George's Island. Another uncooperative pleasure sailor (just off the bow) was the cause.

The ship's sleek appearance in the first go round has been marred by the new cabins up top forward, but it is the water slide that really rankles! Oh well, it is a cruise ship.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Titania takes a turn

It was a breezy day in Halifax harbour, and so must have presented some challenges for turning an auto carrier. However Titania pulled it off, with the help of two tugs.

The ship arrived this morning at Autoport and late this afternoon moved across harbour to unload some non-automobile RoRo cargo.

With the assistance of the tugs Atlantic Fir (5,000 bhp) and Atlantic Willow (4,500 bhp) the ship turned in number one anchorage and backed into the camber at pier 30-31.

Titania dates from 2011 when it was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co in Okpo. Classed as a LCTC (Large Car and Truck Carrier)  It carries 7,800 (some say 7,934) cars in its 74,255 grt, 30,907 dwt on 13 decks. It can also carry significant sized RoRo cargo thanks to some strengthened decks, some movable decks and its 320 tonne capacity stern ramp.


Harbour Icons make strange neighbours

I usually cover the interesting arrivals and departures, particularly ships that have never been here before. However there are a lot of ships that rarely or never leave Halifax harbor, but do move about within its confines.

Among them are Theodore Too and Sackville - two boats that would seem to have very little in common.

Theodore II is a full size version of a children's television series character. The wooden hulled vessel returned to its builder's yard in Dayspring, NS, over the past winter for a refit. It is now back in Halifax offering harbor tours and acting as greeter for visiting cruise ships.

Sackville has returned to its waterfront location at the foot of Sackville Street after spending the winter at HMC Dockyard. The former RCN corvette is the last of its type, and is a genuine article. A true artifact of Canada's naval history, it draws many visitors every year.

The two are rarely seen as close together, but repair work on the seawall where Theodore Too normally docks has forced a temporary relocation.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cars, gas and more waiting - all singing the blues

Much of Halifax's shipping activity this weekend has centered on automobiles and the fuel to run them. Of course there was other activity too and for some reason the predominant colour was blue.

The big autocarrier Neptune Ace spent the morning at Autoport so did not have a huge number of cars to land, although it has a capacity of 6400.

The 59,996 grt, 18,346 dwt ship was built in 2010 and is registered in the Bahamas for Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd of Tokyo. MOL also owns the Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co that built the ship, likely at its Shitanoe shipyard.

Also in for a morning visit was the tanker Citrus, flying the Maltese flag.

Well out of the water, the ship shows off a bulbous bow. Newer tankers are omitting the costly protrusion, since its benefit seems to be mostly at higher speed than the ships usually travel.

Part of the Diamond Ship Management fleet headquartered in Greenwich, CT, it was built in 2008 by Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan and measures 29,295 grt, 46,934 dwt.

 It is high season for flowering plants, including purple lupins, but no citrus is to be found around Halifax harbour.

Algoma Dartmouth is tied up alongside to deliver bunkers - blue on blue.

Citrus was en route from New Haven, CT to Point Tupper, NS when it dropped in to top up on fuel.

Meanwhile waiting patiently since June 23  in Bedford Basin is the tanker Ardmore Seatrader.

It flies the Marshal Islands flag for Ardmore Shipping Services of Cork, Ireland. Built 2010 by Onomichi Zosen as St.Georg it was renamed in 2010. The 28,552 grt, 47,141 dwt ship arrived from Paldiski, the port for Tallin, Estonia.
Ardmore Shipping's blue funnel continues today's blue theme.

Speaking of patience the crew of the cargo ship Spiekeroog may be getting the blues as their ship is setting a bit of a recent record for Bedford Basin anchorage.

It arrived in Halifax May 8 and was fitted with a undersea cable holding rack in the hold (called a tank in the cable business). It then went to anchor in Bedford Basin May 16. On May 19 it sailed for Newington, NH to load cable and returned May 30. Aside from a one day visit to pier 9C for fuel and water on June 17, the ship has remained in the anchorage ever since.

Would Spiekeroog's crew rather be sailing?

I understand that it will be sailing in mid-July.

Also waiting is the brand new harbour ferry Viola Desmond just delivered last week from A.F.Theriualt + Sons Shipyard in Meteghan River.

It will not be waiting as long however, since it is due to go into service very soon. Its blue, yellow and white colour scheme blends nicely with the picnic tables on the Dartmouth waterfront. A man in blue keeps an eye on things.

There may be some additional waiting overnight in Bedford Basin.

The self-unloading bulker Algoma Mariner arrived this morning to load gypsum. Since that work will not be completed until late tonight after cutting work begins on the Macdonald bridge, the ship has opted to remain in port until morning. Algoma ships' deep blue hull colour appears black in some light.

Algoma Mariner was a frequent caller at Little Narrows, NS on the Bras d'Or Lakes, but Canadian Gyspum Company will not be mining this summer due to week demand for the product. A decision on the future of the mine, which has been in operation since 1935, is expected later this year.

Not likely to wait, the giant G4 ACL ship Atlantic Star is due to sail at midnight.

 The big blue ship strides up the Narrows this morning en route to Fairview Cove.

These June 10 photos show what happens when the torches start up to cut out old bridge deck sections:

New bridge deck sections installed on the Dartmouth (east) (left in photo) side of the span.

Work is coordinated with ship traffic so that there is no hot work when ships need to transit under the bridge.
Since these photos deck replacement has passed beyond the mid point and is now on the Halifax side of the centre span.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Vega Rose - bulker in transit

With the deep decline in bulk shipping these days, it is relatively rare to see bulk carriers in Halifax. Today's brief visit from the Panama flag Vega Rose was for an Asian gypsy moth inspection, so the ship did not stay in port for very long.

The ship is en route from Alumar (Sao Luis), in the state of Maranhao, Brazil to Trois-Rivières, QC with a cargo of alumina. The port of Alumar is named for Consorcio de Aluminio do Maranhao a joint venture between BHP Billiton's Brazilian division South 32, Rio Tinto Alcan and Alcoa Aluminio do Brazil. It is the site of a large aluminum smelter (which has been shut down since 2015 due to week demand), and an alumina refinery with a production capacity of 3,639,000 tonnes per year. The raw bauxite comes from the  Mineraçao Rio do Norte open cut mine.
While the ship's destination is given as Trois-Rivières, the cargo may be going to Alcoa's Bécancour smelter, which on the south shore of the St.Lawrence, opposite.

Vega Rose was built in 2007 by Kawasaki, Kobe for Osaka Asahi Kaiun Co. The 30,847 grt, 55,711 dwt ship is equipped with cranes and clamshells for cargo handling.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fairlift in Halifax - but no lift.

The heavy load carrier Fairlift made a day long visit to Halifax, but from my observation did not work any cargo. It did take on some fuel from RST (Irving) tank trucks,and there was some activity on and below decks as one of the cranes was slewed out for a time. It is likely that the crew was stowing dunnage used to secure the load.

Fairlift emerges from the fog. Fog still surrounds the nature of its visit to Halifax.
My intelligence indicates that the ship may have delivered some component(s) to the drill ship Stena Icemax at the Shelburne Basin well site that was vacated when the drill ship dropped the drill riser due to a heave compensation failure. What that component could have been my sources do not say. This ship could handle some very large pierce of gear. [Of note the supplier Breaux Tide has been idle at anchor in Halifax all the time that Fairlift was reported to be with the Stena Icemax  It would normally have been shuttling back and forth to the drill ship.]

The Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board is still being very tight lipped about the details of the riser drop. 

Fairlift was built in 1990 by Ysselwerft BV in Capelle o/d Ijssel, Netherlands and is a 6953 grt, 7561 dwt shallow draft ship equipped with one 400 tone and one 250 tonne crane (combined for 650 tonne lifts). It was in Halifax in 2006 and 2007 loading locomotives for the UK and once in 2013 with unknown cargo.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016


At Halifax Shipyard work is progressing on the construction of the first of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels. Since the work is going on indoors in the shipyard's new Assembly facility it is rare to get a glimpse of any activity.

Today I was fortunate enough to see one of a pair of MAN diesel engines underway from pier 9C to the shipyard. Rigging and transport of the engines was being carried out by Anderson Haulage of Stouffville, ON.

 The engine is sitting on a Scheuerle motorized dolly, controlled by an operator walking behind. (The rig is moving to the left in this picture.)

In the background the telephone wire is raised for the dolly to pass. The operator follows and there is an escort vehicle with an understated sign.

The first AOPS, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf was laid down September 1, 2015, followed by HMCS Margaret Brooke. They are to be powered by four x 3600 kW / 4800 hp diesel generators driving two 4500 kW / 6,000 hp electric motors [ratings are approximate].


He Chi - follow up

 It is not often that I get to actually follow up on the movement of a ship. It is also rare to get a decent photo from the window of a commercial aircraft. However I got a chance yesterday when, flying into Montreal en route to Toronto, the airplane flew directly over Section 103, the Shell Canada dock. On the North side of the dock, the Chinese tanker He Chi was berthing with assistance of two Groupe Océan tugs.

It is also interesting to see ships from a different angle. The tanker's manifolds are clearly visible.
On the south side of the dock is the Canadian tanker Algocanada.
Also visible is the "winch only" signage for a helicopter landing spot.

The He Chi had bunkered in Halifax last week - see Shipfax June 15

A low level view of the He Chi with Algoma Dartmouth bunkering in Halifax last week.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

OOCL Washington - Halterm for a change

Ships of the G-6 Alliance normally dock at the Fairview Cove container terminal, but this afternoon OOCL Washington opted to tie p at Halterm instead. The ship was quite lightly loaded, even though there were a lot of containers on deck.

It is likely is that with deck replacement work under way on  Angus L.Macdonald bridge taking place on weekends, and with work this weekend right in the centre span area, it was wisest to remain outside the bridge. Although it was low tide when the ship arrived, and its departure at 0430 tomorrow morning will also be at close to low tide, there might not be adequate air draft clearance for the ship due to the work, or there might be hot work going on above and it would be unsafe. This could cause delays, which shipping lines do not like.

The ship is a regular now since September 2015, and was here most recently on June 9. At 89,097 grt, 99,631 dwt and 8063 TEU it is still classed as Post Panamax. However when the Panama canal's new locks open for business June 27 it will then become possible for this ship and scores of similar size and larger  vessels to pass through with ease.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Nolhanava returns to service, and a BONUS

The much traveled Nolhanava returned to service today after a hiatus of eight months. During that time the ship has been to Nantong, China for the installation of a ceramic membrane exhaust gas scrubber system and to pick up a load of brand new containers for the St-Pierre et Miquelon service. The ship sailed October 3, 2015 via the Panama Canal and Papeete, Tahiti, arriving in Nantong December 5. On completion of the work it sailed form Nantong April 24 returning via the same route and tying up at Pier 9B on June 8.

Colorfully painted and loaded with brand new containers, Nolhanava leaves pier 9B this morning to return to service.

Nolhanava (a name made up from those of the Owner's children) was built for the Halifax to St-Pierre RoRo container service in 2000 by Santierul Naval Constanta SA in Romania as Shamrock. It arrived in Halifax for the first time January 20, 2001, but ended its service early in 2004 amid financial problems. Sold at auction to Clarke Inc, it operated a shuttle between Fort Lauderdale and the Cayman Islands until it was acquired by MG Management SAS of St-Pierre in 2015.
On April 4, 2015 it arrived in Halifax again and re-entered St-Pierre service June 6, 2015.

Dinkeldiep heads for sea after completing eight months work on the St-Pierre service. (June 17)

From October 1, 2015 the St-Pierre service was maintained by the general cargo vessel Dinkeldiep. The 4220 grt, 5646 dwt vessel, built in 2011 by Rongcheng Shipbuilding in China made its final call in Halifax when it arrived Thursday June 16. After unloading it went to anchor in Bedford Basin and sailed Friday 17 for St.John's, NL.

And now from the Mundane to the Sublime:
What more inspiring sight could there be than Bluenose II actually sailing into Halifax on a summer afternoon. Although its engine was burping to life for docking, it was under sail and like its illustrious ancestor before it, was leaving no wake.

Although the "II" has a flying jib, it no longer carries topsails or a staysail, so this is as good as it gets.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Torm and Torm Again

One of the world's leading tanker operators, the Danish company TORM is noted for its unique colour scheme. Their black hulls and burnt orange superstructures mean that they stand out wherever they go. TORM is also noted for having survived a near death experience following the 2008 economic crisis.

TORM tankers stand out.

As a resulted of a complex restructuring process over a five year period, the company, now known as TORM plc, with a British parent company, is traded on the NASDAQ Copenhagen exchange.
Founded in 1889 by Dietlev Torm and Christian Schmiegelow and publicly traded since 1905, it was known as TORM A/S until the recent transaction. Oaktree Capital Management, an American bail-out specialist, and a number of banks managed to rescue the company which now has a fleet of 77 owned tankers and 4 charters, with several more under construction for delivery over the next two years. It has exited the unprofitable bulker business.

Even with so large a fleet it is unusual to see two of them at the same time, but that was the case this evening.
First to arrive was TORM Madison which tied up at Imperial Oil dock 3 yesterday.

Torm Madison sports a gigantic satnav"golf ball" on its monkey island.  
Built as Nina in 2000 by Daedong Shipbuilding Corp of Jinhae South Korea, it became Madsion in 2001 when it was purchased from Seaarland Management by OMI. In 2008 in a previous deal, TORM A/S and Teekay took over the OMI fleet as a joint venture and renamed the 23,8423 grt, 35, 828 dwt  tanker TORM Madison

By contrast Torm Mary has a miniature version on its signal mast.

Today's arrival is the much larger TORM Mary, from Bonny, Nigeria. It was built in 2002 by STX Shipbuilding Company in Jinhae, South Korea. The 30,128 grt, 46,348 dwt ship anchored in the harbour and is due to sail later on.
It is one of the ships purchased from TORM A/S by Oaktree subisidiary OCM Njord in 2012. In 2015 Njord contributed 25 ships to TORM in exchange for controlling interest in the company.  TORM Mary was managed all along by TORM, but returned to TORM owership.

Both are handysize (under 50,000 dwt) or Medium Range (25,000 - 54,999 dwt) size product tankers.
TORM  has 62 tankers in this size range. It has 7 Long Range 1 (55,000 - 79,999 dwt) and  8 Long Ranger 2 (80,000 - 159,999 dwt) size crude oil tankers.

The setting sun turns the back hull into a burnt ortange to match the superstructure.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

OOCL Belgium - North Atlantic daredevil

The container ship OOCL Belgium has gained something of a reputation as it plies back and forth between Europe and Montreal on the GEX1 service operated in conjunciton with MSC and Hapag-Lloyd.
In February 2013 it attempted to navigate the Strait of Belle Isle and became beset in 70cm of ice. It took icebreaker assistance to get out, and an emergency drydocking in Bremerhavern to repair prop damage.

Then in January 2014 it reportedly registered a 40 degree roll in the North Atlantic. For the sceptical, a video was posted on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx9FmEq5D6A

On June 1, 2016 it arrived in Montreal from Montreal with ice damage. No explanation has been given as to where or how it incurred the damage, but it was apparently bad enough that the ship was removed from one complete rotation. The Offen Reederei ship Cap Harrisson has been brought in for one trip, leaving Europe June 16.

Built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co Ltd in Okpo, South Korea in 1998, OOCL Belgium and sister ships Ottawa Express and Mississauga Express were designed broad and shallow especially for the St.Lawrence River, and LR ice class 1A for year round service.
OOCL Belgium flies the Hong Kong flag, and measures 39,174 grt, 40,972 dwt with a capacity of 2808 TEU uncluding 200 reefers.

Tanker He Chi - needs a revision

A rare Chinese flag tanker put in today. A handysize tanker, He Chi is en route from New York to Montreal, and anchored for Asian gypsy moth inspection and to take bunkers.

He Chi still carries the funnel markings of the China Shipping Group.

Predictably it was built in China too, at Guangzhou International shipyard in 2013. Although measuring 30,235 grt and 48,698 dwt, typical for a handysize chemical and oil product tanker, it is classed as a crude oil tanker by many sources. However it does have seven discharge manifold connections, which would certainly indicate the ability to carry several products at a time. [The manifolds are marked by white circles, just above the word "shipping".]

The ship's operators are proclaimed as China Shipping Tanker (a subsidiary of China Shipping Development Company of Shanghai, a state owned company) however that is now history.

Following the December 2015 forced Merger of China Ocean Shipping Corp (COSCO) and China Shipping group (CS), the state formed a new company to operate the combined fleet of tankers. Now with a fleet of 105 tankers and 25 LNG carriers, the new company was unveiled last week as "China COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation Company". Despite that rather cumbersome name, it is expected to do very well due to high tanker demand. (The bulk carrier and container segments of the two corporations, which were also merged are struggling, to say the least.)

We can therefore expect that He Chi will soon get a new banner on its flanks (Will the ship have to be lengthened to carry it?) and possibly a new funnel mark too.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tankers moving

Amidst the usual container ship and autocarrier movements today there were two tanker moves of interest.

British Serenity arrived only yesterday from New York. It appeared to have some cargo aboard, but was not deeply laden. Built by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan in 2005, it has typical handysize tonnages of 29,214 grt, 47,210 dwt. It is operated by BP Shipping Ltd and wears the traditional BP funnel marking of black cap, green stripe on a white band and red base.

 Tugs nudge British Serenity alongside Imperial Oil dock 3 yesterday evening.
It will sail this evening and will carry out a compass swing after it leaves the dock. Calibrating the compass is an important part of ship's maintenance, since compasses can become skewed due to magnetic interference on the ship. The compass adjuster, a skilled technician from shore, will compare the ship's compass to a known fixed point and prepare a revised compass card so that navigators can correct for compass error.

Anchoring for bunkers for a few hours this evening the Prince I arrived from Port Arthur, TX. It is bound for Lewisporte, NL, where it will be providing Woodward Group with fuel that will most likely be carried to northern ports during the summer months by Coastal Shipping tankers.

Algoma Dartmouth prepares to start bunkering and Chebucto Pilot has the disembarking pilot aboard.

Prince I was also built by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, but in 2006 and is slightly smaller at 24,996 grt, 43,158 dwt. It was built as Montenero for D'Alesio's Delmare SpA of Italy. Last year it was acquired by Gandia Shipping with Sea World Management of Monaco as managers.


Monday, June 13, 2016

BBC Paula

The general cargo ship BBC Paula arrived this morning at pier 30 to discharge more steel fabricaitons for the McInnes cement plant in Port-Daniel, Quebec.

The unmistakable hull blisters identify it as one of the Carisbrooke Shipping fleet, at least originally. Construction of the ship started at the Damen Galati shipyard in Romania. The shell was then towed to the Netherlands where it was completed by Damen's Hoogezand yard in Foxhol in 2002. Named Geja-C. it was simplified to Geja C. in 2009. In 2013 it was sold to current owners HS Schiffahrts of Haren (Ems), Germany and became BBC Paula. It was placed under the commercial management of the 140 ship strong BBC Chartering fleet.

The 7511 grt, 10,618 dwt ship has removable tween decks, and hatches that can be lifted by a traveling deck gantry crane. It also has a pair of 60 tonne cargo cranes, offset on the starboard side.  Although it is more suited to break bulk cargoes, it can carry 671 nominal TEU (457 at 14 tonnes) including 60 reefers (with tween decks removed from the ship.)

If the gross and deadweight tonnages of this ship sound vaguely familiar, it may be because they are about the same as World War II era standard ships such as the Canadian Park ships:

Federal Pioneer was built by United Shipyards in Montreal in 1944 as Outrement Park for the Canadian government's Park Steamship Co.  It measured 7158 grt, 10,697 dwt.
From 1946 to 1958 it operated as Brazilian Prince for Furness Canada, until it was acquired by Federal Commerce + Navigation Co Ltd. After many years of northern supply work it was finally sold in 1970 and sailed to China for scrapping.

Similarly Oregon Shipbuilding Corp in Portland, OR built Samuel A. Worcester in 1943 as an EC2-S-C1 "Liberty" ship, measuring 7176 grt, 10,865 dwt. It was immediately signed over to the USSR under the Lend Lease program and renamed Sovetsakaya Gavan [a port of the Strait of Tartary on Russia's far east coast].
Remarkably, although laid up at various points after 1975, it was not scrapped until 1990 when it arrived in Bombay.

It is interesting to compare crew size and operating costs between these mid 20th century steamships and this modern day cargo hauler.

BBC Paula  
145.63m x 18.25m x 10.3 (depth) 14 knots on 18 tonnes/day RMG 380, crew: 12 to 14

North Sands (Canadian Park Ships)
129.5m x 17.25m x 10.6m (depth) 10.5 knots

US Liberty Ship
134.5m x 17.3m x 8.5m (draft) 11-11.5 knots on 30-36 tons/day, crew: 45 plus gunnery crew = 81.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Return from the Med

A strange sight for Halifax today was the arrival of an OOCL ship in non-OOCL livery. The Panamax OOCL Mexico arrived on G6 Alliance service and tied up at Fairview Cove.

OOCL Mexico in the Narrows en route to Fairview Cove.
Built in 2002 by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea it immediately went into charter as Zim Mediterranean and arrived in Halifax for the first time April 5, 2002 It was the first of six Panamax sister ships to go to work for Zim. It flew the Israeli flag and was owned by the Ofer Brothers Group, then a major shareholder of the previously state owned Zim.

Zim Mediterranean in bound to Halterm on its second visit to Halifax May 7, 2002.

The ship measures 53,453 grt, 66,686 dwt with a capacity of 4,839 TEU, including 350 refrigerated. Its 9 cyl B+W engine is rated at 55,890 bhp giving a cruising speed of 24 knots.

The seven stars of the Zim funnle marking were painted over when the Zim charter ended.

On completion of the Zim charter in 2014 the ship was then chartered to OOCL with only the name changed and Zim markings painted over. It also hoisted the Liberian flag. In 2012 the Ofer Holdings Group changed its name to XT Group of Tel-Aviv, and they are listed as the ship's current owner.

For more on the history of Zim see: Zim.com legacy


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Arrivals, auspicious and otherwise + Sunday update

There were three notable arrivals in Halifax today - some making more of an impression than others.

The first was the Canadian owned Zélada Desgagnés, arriving from Freeport, Bahamas, under the Barbados flag. Like several of her sister ships in the Transport Desgagnés fleet, the ship spends a portion of the year trading internationally under foreign flag. Come summer however the ships return to Canadian flag and prepare to service northern Quebec and arctic ports during the July - October resupply season.

Zélada Desgagnés dates from 2009 when it was built by Qingshan Shipyard in Wuhan, China as part of a large order of heavy lift general cargo ships initiated by Beluga Shipping. Launched as Beluga Freedom, it was renamed Zélada Desgagnés on delivery. It was initially registered in Canada in January 2009 but reflagged to Antigua and Barbuda to work for Beluga Shipping  until June 2009 when it arrived in Canada. Despite the failure of Beluga Shipping, the ship has continued to work bareboat charters for much of the year.
The 9611 grt, 12,850 dwt ship is equipped with two 180 tonne cranes. Fleet mates Rosaire A. Desgagnés (ex Beluga Fortification) and Sedna Desgagnés (ex Beluga Festivity) are fitted with two 120 tonne cranes but are essentially sister ships.

The port of registry of Bridgetown (Barbados) is offset to port, but welded letters ''Quebec'' are centered under the ship's name. A few brush strokes will return them to prominence, while Bridgetown will be painted over.

The ship tied up at pier 26 where it is expected to be handed over to a Canadian crew and reflagged in the next few days.

Updated on Sunday:

Despite fog and rain the foreign crew was busy returning the ship to its pre-charter condition. This also included painting QUÉBEC as the port of registry. The ship is still flying the Barbados flag, so the actual handover has not yet taken place.
Captains J. Henri-Zélada Desgagnés (b.1880) and his son Joseph Artur Zélada ''Mick'' Desgagnés (b.1903) were, among the founding fathers of the current Desgagnés fleet, which is no longer family owned, but nevertheless pays tribute to its roots by continuing to honor the family name.

A pair of new vessels to Halifax made their arrivals today:

Kawartha Spirit is the latest acquisition of the Ambassatours fleet, as a replacement for Haligonian III. Of essentially the same design, and built by the same builders, Hike Metal Products Ltd of Wheatley, ON, Kawartha Spirit  is in fact eight years older, built in 1964. However it has spent its entire existence in fresh water, first as Miss Muskoka. It has also been upgraded with a more modern wheelhouse and other amenities.

Its last owner, Randy Hinton of Bobcaygeon, ON operated the boat for 26 years until accepting the offer to sell to Ambassatours. He also undertook to deliver the boat down the Trent Severn Waterway, across Lake Ontario to the New York State Canal  system to New York City, then hugging the coast to Halifax.

I am hopeful of a name change, but so far Ambassatours is using the Kawartha Spirit name in its advertising.

The most noted, but perhaps least auspicious arrival today was the debut of the Katie Belle, the product of amateur boat building cousins from Stewiacke, NS. They captured the imagination of many with their five year home build project schooner, which has already this year sailed as far as Charleston, SC where it was rigged and outfitted with sails.

Construction of a 23m schooner is no doubt a singular achievement, but the boat's graceless lines and high freeboard show little reference to Nova Scotia schooner tradition. 

Its much anticipated arrival in Halifax nearly resulted in tragedy however, when it cut across the main shipping channel, without warning or communication forcing the auto carrier Zenith Leader to stop engines to avoid a collision. Later tacking about in the harbour caused some concerns among other vessels as well, most notably the harbour ferries.

Failure to maintain VHF listening watch, failure to adhere to navigation lanes, failure to give way and general inattention are among the most common  misdeeds of pleasure sailors in Halifax, giving commercial shipping fits on an almost daily basis in the summer season. I have never heard of any  consequences for violators however. So it seems unlikely that carelessness and ignorance of the rules of the road is likely to change without police or Coast Guard enforcement. Someday an accident will happen.