Saturday, January 14, 2017

Frosty Saturday

It was a frosty day with temperatures plunging from plus 8C yesterday to minus 8C or colder today. It did not seem to slow down shipping activity with half a dozen arrivals and about the same number of departures.

Chebucto Pilot was busy and accumulated a bit of frozen spray as it ran back and forth to the pilot station.

An early morning move was Minerva Virgo from Imperial Oil to Irving Oil. The ship appeared to be nearly empty, by late morning and is due to sail over night. A 2006 product of the STX Shipbuilding Co in Jinhae,South Korea, the 28,960 grt, 50,921 dwt tanker is operated by Minerva Marine Inc of Athens.

A regular is Maersk Palaermo making one of the weekly calls on Maersk's Canada Express transatlantic service in conjunction with CMA CGM and NYK Line. The lightly loaded ship is certainly showing signs of the brutal conditions it experiences on that run. The heavily wrinkled bow plates are a result of constant slamming into seas.

Built in 1998 as P+O Nedlloyd Auckland it carried the name Lykes Pioneer from 2000 to 2002, then returned to its original name. Maersk acquired PONL and it became Maersk Palermo in 2006. Although ideally suited in size to its present service, one wonders how long it will stand up to the pounding.
Its capacity is 2890 TEU (including 400 reefers) on 31,333 grt, 37,842 dwt. It is one of the rare container ships built in Europe, a product of Warnowwerft, Warnemunde. It still flies the Dutch flag, as a reflection of its original owners.

As Maersk Palermo slipped away from pier 42, CMA CGM Bianca arrived and turned off the pier , with tug assistance, and backed in to pier 41.

Only the second ship to call in Halifax on the Columbus Loop service, it arrived August 31, 2015. The service was inaugurated officially the next month with the arrival of CMA CGM Melissande September 13, 2015. CMA CGM Bianca dates from 2011 when it was delivered by Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Heavy Industries Co Ltd. The 90,500 grt, 101,433 dwt ship carries 8530 TEU, including 700 reefers, and always arrives in Halifax looking almost fully loaded.

A mid-afternoon arrival was another regular, OOCL Antwerp, looking quite trim in the low sun.

The 66,462 grt, 66,940 dwt ship, built in 2006 by Koyo Dockyard Co in Mihara, Japan can carry 5888 TEU, including 586 reefers. It did not appear to have much ice accumulation on its run up from New York.

All the above ships are typical, if not regulars in Halifax. Today however there was one unique arrival. The multi-purpose cable laying / trenching support vessel Isaac Newton would be an unusual sight no matter where it arrived.

Operated by the Luxembourg based dredging and marine construction giant Jan De Nul Group, the 16,255 grt, 13,433 dwt ship is fresh off a cable laying project between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The large yellow "basket" on deck amidships carries some of the cable, more is accommodated below deck.

The ship conducted trenching and cable laying (including the use of an ROV) across the Northumberland Strait between Cape Tormentine, and Borden (the former ferry route) of a pair of 3 phase 138 kV power cables, 17 km long. The work started in October and was completed in December 2016.
An impressive ship, built by the Uljanik Shipyard in Pula, Croatia, it can carry 10,700 tonnes of cable, with turntables above and below deck, served by two large heave compensating cranes and numerous other appliances. Alternatively it can also carry 10,000 tonnes of rock for subsea rock installation work using a fall pipe, for depths up to 200m - or a combination of the two modes.
It bristles with thrusters, one retractable, and is equipped for Dynamic Positioning level 2. 

The slides fitted over the stern allow the cable to slip off as the ship progresses.
A gantry on the starboard quarter handles the ROV.

The Jan de Nul Group is multi-faceted, and its web site is very informative. Look for Isaac Newton in  the Equipment Section, under Cable and Umbilical Installation Vessels:


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