Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hebridean Sky - Nostalgia at Pier 23

The sight of the mini-cruise ship Hebridean Sky at Pier 23 resulted in a flash-back to the 1970s and 1980s.

Although owned by a company called Noble Caledonia, the ownership in fact is vested in the legendary Salén family of Sweden. Their company Salén Ship Management, has the technical and hotel management of the ship and its two sisters. This latest company to use the Salén name was founded in 2009, however the name has been associated with ships since the early 1900s. Its blue funnel with the white letter "S" was once one of the best known in the world.

Hebridean Sky carries the traditional Salén funnel mark, on a non-traditional funnel.

Sven Salén founded a shipping company in 1915 that eventually became one of the largest in Sweden, owning shipyards tankers, oil rigs, but principally refrigerated cargo ships. Saléninvest AB, as it became, was synonymous with the reefer trade, and its ships and the many that it managed for other owners, often called in Halifax and frequently at Pier 23.

 The 1960 built Rio tied up at Pier 23 in September 1978 to load squid for Japan. It was built for Salénrederierna A/B as Antigua by Oresundsvarvet, Landskrona and although renamed Antilla in 1972 and Atlantide in 1977, it was still managed by Salén and wore their funnel mark in 1978. It was sold again in 1979 becoming Rosy then in 1980 as Safina Reefer for Saudi owners. It was broken up in 1983 at Gadani Beach.

Crew members apply the Salén funnel mark to the Port Line reefer Port Chalmers at Pier 27. One of  the largest refrigerated cargo ships ever built, it had fallen on hard times when containers began to make inroads into the UK /  New Zealand trade. 

Salén managed the ship for a time until it was sold in 1981 as Manaar with parent company Cunard taking over management. It became Golden Glory in 1985 but was laid up until sold for scrap in Shanghai in 1985.The 21.5 knot ship was built in 1968 - the second last ship built for Port Line and the last ship built (Hull No. 700) by Alexander Stephen + Sons, Linthouse, before the yard became a division of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders. Sister ship Port Caroline was Hull No.1 at the re-named yard and the last ship built for Port Line. It shared the title as largest refrigerated cargo ship ever built.

When the Israeli owned Maritime Fruit Carriers company went bankrupt Salén took over management of many of their ships. They were also Pier 23 callers bringing in fresh fruit.

 Bananacore, with its name spelled in Hebrew and English characters on the bow, docked at Pier 23. It had arrived with the first cargo of the season - possibly tangerines or citrines.

Salénrederierna A/B the shipowning arm of the company continued to build ships to its own account. Among them was the splendid Snow Ball (one of several ships with a Snow name)

Chantier navale La Ciotat built the 14,512 grt Snow Ball in 1973. It had no less than seven subsequent names before it was broken up in Chittagong in 2006.

Salén also had ships built in Swedish yards, including San Bruno at Eriksberg in their home town of Goteborg in 1967.

San Bruno also tied up at Pier 23 - the shadow the grain leg falling across from pier 26.

In 1983 the ship became Malayan Venture under the Philippine flag, but arrived in Shanghai for scrap in June 1985.

Salén formed a 50/50 joint venture with another Swedish company, Rederi AB Transatlantic, to build this 8023 grt reefer at Eriskbergs in 1965. Initially named Arawak it was managed by Salén. When it called in Halifax in 1979 Salén had bought out RABT's share and renamed the ship Altcar and sold it to Greek owners, retaining management at least for a time.

Altcar at Pier 9B displays a bulbous bow that was added in 1970 and the Salén houseflag, funnel and bow crest.

The ship was laid up in Borneo in 1983 and arrived in Kaohsiung for scrap ion July 1984.

Departing from the usual white colour for reefers, Satsuma had a sort of putty colour. The former Satsumacore was built by Bergens MV in Norway in 1970.

A few feathered spectators view the Satsumacore optimistically at Pier 34.

The ship had a variety of managers for owner Intermare KG Kuhlschiff Gmbh until 1988 when it became Copacabana Reefer. After a fire in Piraeus in January 1993 it was sent to Aliaga for scrap.

Satsumacore may have been the last Salén ship to call in Halifax. On December 19, 1984, when a plea for a state and bank funded bail-out failed, the company declared bankruptcy. It was then history's largest shipping company collapse with the operation of 140 ships* (most under management) , employing 2,100 people.

Remnants of the reefer fleet joined Cool Carriers. That company still exits today, but has gone through numerous ownership transitions over the years (including Leif Hoegh, J.Lautitzen / SAF Marine, NYK and Baltic Reefers)  and currently only operates 17 ships.

[ *  Just a coincidence? The most recent large shipping bankruptcy was Hanjin Shipping in 2016. It operated - wait for it - 141 ships.]


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Gravity Highway. Hebridean Sky and USS Toledo

There were three ships of note in Halifax today:

1.     The oddly named Gravity Highway made its second visit to Autoport today. The first was in February 2017 but that arrival was not mentioned in these pages. K-Line car boats use "Highway" in their names for obvious reasons, but the word "Gravity" may need some explanation.

There are many places in the world where the eye plays tricks on the brain, giving the impression that cars move uphill without the aid of an engine. Various explanations have arisen - some involving ghosts, aliens, or magic formulae. In New Brunswick Magnetic Hill was long a famous tourist draw. There is at least one of these places on the North Mountain of the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia too - but I am not sure it has a name. Some of the locations are known as Gravity Hills so that is the origin of the ship's name.

Gravity Highway was completed in 2014 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, for Ray Car Carriers and has a capacity of 7700 CEU, while measuring 58,767 grt, 21,000 dwt. It's completion almost didn't happen however after a serious accident during its trials trip.

On December 29, 2013 while only about 9 miles from Busan, the ship "T-boned" the Hong Kong flagged tanker Maritime Maisie which immediately exploded and caught fire. Fortunately an intensive rescue effort recovered all 27 crew from the tanker and the 64 trials personnel from the auto carrier with only minor injuries. Gravity Highway only suffered some superficial fire damage, and was soon completed and delivered.

However things were different for the tanker. It took nearly 19 days to bring the fire under control because fire fighters did not know that water would not extinguish the 4,000 tonnes of burning peraxylene and acrylonite. Not only that but the latter chemical, when heated, undergoes explosive polymerization and releases hydrogen cyanide, a carcinogen.

While firefighting was going on, the ship drifted into Japanese waters, and a long process began to find a port of refuge where the ship would be allowed to offload the remaining 26,000 tonnes of chemicals and 240 tonnes of fuel before the ship broke up - which it was in danger of doing due to severe hull damage.

Finally, after 102 days and negotiations with nine different potential ports of refuge, the port of Ulsan accepted the ship and it was lightered off in a ship to ship transfer. The tanker was rebuilt and renamed Corona and is still sailing.

2.      Hebridean Sky can only be described as a mini-cruise ship. More yacht-like in size and character, it has a long history of unsuccessful occupations, however seems to have found its niche with current owners Noble Caledonia Ltd.

 The tug Belle-D. and barge alongside Hebridean Sky at pier 23 to offload refuse.

The 4200 grt ship was built in 1991 by Nuovi Cantieri Apuania, Marinada Carrara as Renaissance VII for the Renaissance Cruises fleet. That operation failed and the ship was tried out by a variety of owners and charterers carrying the names 1992: Regina Renaissance, 1998: Renaissanace VII, 2001: Renai I, 2003: Sun, 2004: Island Sun, 2005: Corinthian II, 2013: Sea Explorer and 2014: Sea Explorer I.
Noble Caledonia, which is a partnership of the Noble and Salén families, had success with two sister vessels (Renaissance VI renamed Caledonia Sky and Renaissance VIII renamed Island Sky) and acquired the ship, gave it a major refresh and introduced it last year as Hebridean Sky.

With a capacity of only 120 passengers and 72 crew, the ice class vessel caters to the luxury exotic cruise market with trips to the Arctic and Antarctic.

3.    After a long weekend visit in Halifax to commemorate the United States' Memorial Day, the US Navy Los Angeles class fast attack submarine USS Toledo SSN-679 sailed this afternoon from its berth at Shearwater. The sub arrived last Friday and crew members participated in a ceremony Monday on Deadman's Island (now a peninsula) where 195 American prisoners of the War of 1812 were buried. They were imprisoned on the adjacent Melville Island, now joined to the shore and part of the Armdale Yacht Club, where some original buildings are still standing.
A view of Melville Cove was still possible from the Herring Cove Road in 1970. Trees obstruct the view now. That is Melville "Island" to the right, and the Armdale Yacht Club. Deadman's Island is out of the picture far to the right.

Toledo was assisted away from Shearwater by the tugs Granville and Listerville and several small craft including 127.

 Once clear of Eastern Passage the deck crew retired below through a flush hatch, leaving a very tight crowd on the open bridge. (One of whom is a civilian pilot)

Patrol vessel Guardian and the tug Glenbrook accompanied the sub to the pilot station.

After rounding Ives Knoll Toledo began to pick up speed. Its reported surface cruising speed is 25 knots, and its submerged speed is acknowledged to be in excess of 30 knots.

USS Toledo has four torpedo tubes and 12 Tomahawk missile silos for vertical launch.This is its second call in Halifax that I am aware of. It was here in September 2016.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Asian Sun out AS Felicia in at Halterm

This afternoon Tropical Shipping's Asian Sun sailed just as ZIM's AS Felicia was arriving. This was likely an arrangement that allowed for efficient use of line handlers on the pier, but also it took place during shift change time, meaning that work would start on AS Felicia at the beginning of a shift and complete before the end of the shift to avoid overtime.

Both ships have been mentioned and photographed (after a fashion) here before.

AS Felicia is one of two ships, along with Arsos, that ZIM is now using as a weekly feeder shuttles on what they call the  Canada-Florida Express. The ships will shuttle containers from Halifax via US ports to Kingston Jamaica for loading on larger ships.

AS Felicia has a 1296 TEU capacity, including 390 reefers and has a pair of 45 tonne cranes.

Tropical shipping operates Asian Sun along with Bomar Rebecca on its Caribbean service from Halifax to Palm Beach, FL with most ports in the Caribbean served directly or by feeder. Tropical is a heavy user of refrigerated containers (painted white) for both import and export.

Asian Sun has a 1118 TEU capacity and a pair of 45 tonne cranes.


CSL Tarantau: the new look

CSL Tarantau arrived this morning for National Gypsum. The ship is sporting a fairly recent hull paint job, improving greatly on its look the last time it was here.

The ship was built as Balto in 2013 for Klaveness Selfunloaders AS of Norway, then members of the CSL self-unloader pool with Algoma and Oldendorff, to a standard CSL Trillium class design. The 43,691 grt, 71,405 dwt ship was fitted with an 80m boom and can unload at speeds ranging from 4200 tonnes per hour for coal up to 6,000 tph for iron ore. Gypsum goes at 4,500 tph.
Builders Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangjin certainly skimped on the paint which deteriorated rapidly once the ship was in service. In 2015 Klaveness opted to leave the CSL pool and their ships were taken over by Algoma and CSL. CSLAmericas took Balto and renamed it in 2016. When the ship arrived in Halifax October 14, 2016 under the new name, Shipfax noted the newly painted CSL funnel colours, but that the Klaveness orange hull paint would likely have to wait for a scheduled 5 year drydocking to be redone.
 Shipfax/2016/10/14, csl-tarantua-ex-balto.html
That appears to have happened in March this year, so the ship looks quite respectable now. The deck, fittings and self-unloader apparatus will be left for the crew to paint, but the orange actually looks quite good, though not typical for CSL.

CSL continues to expand its international self-unloader fleet. They announced just this week that they are partnering with the German company Hartmann to build a 40,000 dwt self-unloader at Chengxi Shipyard in China.The ship will have a forward mounted self-unloader, a feature of smaller ships of the type, and will work under charter to Mibau Stema Group (Hartmann and Heidelberg Cement AG)  delivering aggregates in Europe.
Image from CSL Hartmann press release


Monday, May 28, 2018

Maersk skips a beat (again) and adds a number

The weekly Maersk / CMA CGM  "Canada Atlantic Express" transatlantic service skipped a Halifax call again this past weekend as it did two weeks ago. That was partially made up for with a double call one week ago. However it seems that the schedule will be in a muddle for some time to come.

It all started when Maersk Patras was a week late arriving in Montreal on the westbound run, arriving at about the same time as the next ship in the rotation, Maersk Penang. After discharging in Montreal, both ships made their way to Halifax, but the Maersk Penang arrived first, on May 19 - on schedule, effectively "lapping" the Maersk Patras. However Maersk Patras then arrived on May 20- still a week late.
This week it was the turn of EM Kea (the CMA CGM representative on the route), but it skipped Halifax entirely and sailed from Montreal direct for Bremerhaven.

EM Kea on an previous call in Halifax.

EM Kea joined the rotation July 25, 2015 and has been a reliable ship after several previous CMA CGM ships could not keep up the gruelling pace of a weekly transatlantic service. Built by Stocznia Szczecinska Nowa in 2007, the 35,824 grt, 42,166 dwt ship has a container capacity of 3108 TEU. It carried the names Cap Norte from 2007 to 2012 then Cap Egmont to 2015, suggesting charters to Hamburg-Sud, before taking its present name for Kea Trading Ltd, with Eurobulk Ltd of Athens as managers.Kea Trading Ltd morphed into Kea Seaways Ltd at the end of 2017.

Maersk and CMA CGM have announced a new service from the Mediterranean. Since 2017 the two lines had slot arrangements on another service to Montreal operated by HAPAG-Lloyd. However those arrangements do not always suit the needs of competing companies. Maersk and CMA CGM working together under the banner of the 2M Alliance, will start a new joint service from Salerno, La Spezia, Fos and Algeçiras to Montreal returning eastbound via Halifax to Valencia.
HAPAG-Lloyd needs six ships to maintain their service, but the new Mediterranean-Montreal service will use five Maersk ships starting in July, with the first call in Montreal July 19 and Halifax likely around July 26.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Autos Carriers from the shoebox

Saturday's arrival of the auto carrier Goodwood was an unremarkable event in many ways - we are so used to seeing these ungainly craft working in and out of Halifax on such a regular basis, they attract very little attention. (Except perhaps a maiden voyage such as Grande Halifax last week).

Built in 2016 by Imabari Zosen, Marugame and operated by Zodiac Maritime, Goodwood is pretty standard as Pure Car and Truck Carriers go - 59,516 grt, 18,770 dwt with a capacity of 6203 autos. It has a single stern ramp, a small side ramp and some hoistable car decks. However it took quite a while to establish this standard with its immense capacity, and my shoebox has a number of examples of that evolution.

Here's a chronological tour
Initially cars were carried as just another item of general cargo and were slung on and off ships with conventional cargo handling gear. This was a less than ideal arrangement since damage was almost guaranteed. The numbers of cars imported to North America were small until Volswagen began an huge influx in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The Norwegian ship owner Anders Jahre built portable car decks in his bulk carriers, filling them with cars westbound on the Atlantic. Although still required to sling them on and off, the cars were at least not mixed in with other cargo and were easier to handle.
Once the cars were off- loaded the car decks were stowed and the ships could carry grain or other bulk cargo eastbound. 

 Jarabella dated from 1963 when it was purpose built as a car/ bulker of 13,173 grt, 19,650 dwt by Kaldnes, Tonsberg. It eventually reverted to a conventional bulker in 1972 and ran as Atlas Counsellor (perhaps prophetically for Hyundai International) until it was broken up in Nantong in 1993.

The Norwegian company Dyvi Shipping AS built the first pure car carrier in 1964. With a capacity of 450 cars it established the basic shape of purpose built car carriers for the years to come. However there were many iterations along the way.

Dyvi Oceanic of 1968, a 5444 grt, 6066 dwt ship built by Tangen Werft, Kragero lasted until 1987 when it was broken up in Kaohsiung. Note some of the accommodation appears to be at deck level aft. It also was working exclusively for Volkswagen, which meant a lot of deadheading or ballast voyages.

One of A/S Uglands earliest ships was Laurita built in 1970 by Blohm + Voss at their Steinwerder (Hamburg) shipyard. It 5353 grt, 5738 dwt was certainly on the small size, so in 1976 they had it lengthened by 13m to 180.7m increasing its tonnages to 6533 grt, 7919 dwt.

It lasted until 1987 when it was sent to Kaohsiung for breaking up.

Another approach was making a radical conversion of an obsolete passenger/cargo ship. Amazon was built in 1959 by Harland + Wolff, Belfast for Royal Mail Lines. After a spell as Shaw Savill + Albion Co Ltd's Akaroa 1968-1971, A/S Uglands Rederi had the ship converted by building out its cargo holds and passenger decks, and perching the wheelhouse atop the deck houses. It also retained some cargo derricks.

As Akarita from 1971-1977 it then joined Hoegh -Uglands as HUAL Akarita from 1977 to 1980 before reverting to Akarita again in 1980. It was scrapped in Kaohsiung in December 1981. [HUAL stood for Hoegh Uglands Autoliners]. Built at 20,348 grt, it measured 10,866 grt as an autocarrier, later revised to 11,081 and 9400 dwt. However at the time the car decks above the main deck were apparently classed as open shelter decks and did not count in gross tonnage, so the numbers can't be compared to what it would measure under today's regulations.

Asian Highway built in 1978 by Imabari Zosen, Marugame, lasted until 2009 when it was broken up at Chittagong after being sold and renamed Pacific Explorer in 1993. By that time it was measured at 38,970 grt, 18,069 dwt with a capacity of 4700 cars. K-Line placed all the accommodation above the car decks, but the bridge is positioned further aft than other ships. Note also it has three cargo cranes, so likely had hatches into the car decks for ports not equipped with RoRo facilities..

After trying out bulk carriers fitted with portable vehicle decks, Wallenius lines decided to convert their bulk carrier Aida to a "pure" car carrier by fitting permanent auto decks and side ramps. The stepped deck garages allowed for visibility forward, but required that the bridge to be raised. That also necessitated raising the funnel, so several new decks were added to the accommodation block.
Built originally by Komuny Paryskiej in Gdynia, Poland in 1973 as a dual purpose bulk carrier of 33,905 grt, 51,644 dwt , when rebuilt in 1980, despite all the increased enclosed volume the gross tonnage somehow came out at 23,768 and deadweight became 28,565 dwt.  It was broken up in 1987 in Kaohsiung.

A comparison with Wallenius' last Aida shows where development was going:

Built in 1991 by Hitachi, Maizuru, the 52,288 grt, 29213 dwt Aida had a capacity of (only) 6118 cars. It was sold in 2005 to US owners and renamed Courage. A fire in the English Channel June 2, 2015 destroyed 100 cars but also so seriously damaged the ship that is was scrapped later that year in Aliaga. A fault in one of the car's ABS system triggered the fire that caused $100 mn damage- and it had only 600 cars on board at the time. No lives were lost and crew managed to extinguish the fire with CO2.

Now back to the 1980s:

Uglands turned to the Tsuneishi shipyard in Numakuma in 1980 for the Rolita The 12,369 grt, 12,169 dwt ship was of modest size, but nevertheless managed to serve Uglands and HUAL and then Hoegh until 2006 when it was broken up in Xinhui, China.

Although the ship was sleeker looking, it was still reminiscent of bulk carrier conversions

Yokohama Maru was an auto manufacturer branded ship owned directly by Nissan Senyosen K.K. It was built in 1981 by Sumitomo Heavy Industries in Oppama and ran to 17,372 grt, 17,938 dwt.  Nissan initially branded its cars as Datsun in North America, but when that was changed to Nissan, the ship was re-branded too.

It was unusual by today's standard by having stern ramps on each quarter - something Japanese RoRo and ConRo ships sported for some time until starboard quarter ramps became the norm. Nissan also got out of the dedicated carrier business and the ship was renamed Yokohama in 1988, HUAL Trinita in 1995, HUAL Trinity in 200 and Hoegh Trinity in 2005 before heading to unknown scrappers (likely in China) in 2009.

Ingolstadt was an example of a branded auto carrier, which despite its German name was built in 1987 by Hashihama Zosen, Tadotsu. German owners Chr. F. Ahrenkiel chartered the ship to V.A.G Transport, which was Volkswagen AG's exclusive transport arm. VW began to downplay their own name and offer space to other automakers and eventually faded from the scene.

 I see in the photo that the small side ramp is also in use. At the time Autoport's "dock" was series of floating scows that had some deck room. Since they were replaced with the current dolphins, side ramps are no longer used. 

Ingolstadt may still be running. It was renamed Foresighter in 2010. It still measure 38,062 grt, 13,898 dwt. The very high bridge must have given excellent visibility.

Kassel was another V.A.G Transport ship, but this one was operated by the Norwegian owners Fearnley + Eger A/S. It was built in 1987 by Uljanik, Pula (now Crotia) and is notable for its hard edge hull chine, a common feature once but seldom seen now. Forward visibility must have been poor but the bridge was well sheltered. It also had ice class for Baltic service.

Measuring 34,8960 grt and 12,077 dwt, it was broken up in Chittagong in 2016 after serving as 96: Freccia and 00: Salzgitter.

In the 1990s further evolutions took place to maximize internal space and improve aerodynamics. Those pictures are in another shoebox.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Itea sold to breakers

A container ship that was a regular caller in Halifax for more than two years has been sold to breakers "as is" in Hong Kong. Itea began to call for ACL in 2016 on its container only service from North Europe (Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, London gateway), in cooperation with what was the G6 Alliance.
Its first call in Halifax was likely July 25, 2016 - at least that is the first record I have.

It took a regular slot in the rotation and was here roughly monthly thereafter, usually calling east and westbound until its last call March 8, 2018.

It was reported yesterday that the ship had been sold to breakers only a few weeks before the 20th anniversary of its construction. Rather than face the strict requirements for classification after a twenty year survey, the Owners opted to unload the ship.

Itea emerged from the Hyundai, Ulsan shipyard June 8, 1998 as Bunga Raya Satu owned by Malaysian International Shipping Corporation Berhad (MISC Berhad). In 2011 MISC decided to get out of the highly competitive container business, and in 2012 sold the ship to Liberian flag owners, under the Costamare umbrella who renamed it Ky Parissia. The ship was renamed MSC Itea in 2014 for a charter to the Mediterranean Shipping Company that lasted until early in 2016. With a swipe of the paint brush it became simply Itea.

The ship is a 39,582 grt, 49,304 dwt vessel with a container capacity of 3842 TEU. During the most recent slump ships of this size were thought to be highly inefficient and were scrapped in droves, however there is again demand in that size range, but it was too late for Itea, which was likely built and operated for a short life.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Herring Season

The annual arrival of the herring seiners is a sure sign that summer must be on the way. As the boats follow the migratory fish northward in late May and early June they usually put into Halifax. If the fish are close by they will unload their catch here.
At mid-day today there were three boats in Halifax.

Note the prominent paravanes, in the stowed position. These movable outriggers are now seen in one form or another on all the smaller boats and are used to steady the craft when it is at sea.

Morning Star is one of the newer smaller boats, built in 1991 in Caraquet it measures 180 grt and fishes out of Yarmouth, NS.

On the other hand Lady Melissa is the largest boat in the fleet. It was built in Pictou in 1980 and is operated by Comeau's Seafoods Ltd of Saulnierville, NB.

 Lady Melissa did some trials in the harbour this afternoon, allowing for a good view of the boat's huge seine net stowed on deck aft and its bug boat perched on the stern.

 A third boat, Sealife II, was also in port today.
Other boats, from the southwestern coast of New Brunswick, mostly from Grand Manan Island are also frequent callers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Acadia Desgagnés arrives for reflagging

The general cargo ship Acadia Desgagnés arrived at pier 25 this morning to be reflagged back to Canada after spending the winter flying the Barbados flag. Transport Desgagnés acquired the ship a year ago with the intention to operate it for part of the year in Canadian waters and to trade internationally the rest of the year. This has been a successful pattern for the company with half a dozen of its ships earning their keep elsewhere in winter, but returning to home waters for the summer and into the autumn. (Fleet mate Rosaire A. Desgagnés arrived in Halifax May 2, 2018 for its reflagging back to Canada.)

Acadia Desgagnés was built in 2013 by Shandong Baibuting in Rongcheng, China. It was ordered as Montelena, but the name was changed during construction to BBT Ocean but was changed again before it was launched as Sider Tis. It initially flew the flag of Panama but that was changed to Malta in 2014. Transport Desgagnés took delivery and renamed the ship in Ravenna, Italy in March 2017 and it arrived in Shelburne, NS April 30, 2017. It was then refitted for Canadian service and registered in St.John's, NL, May 12, 2017. It is smaller than Desgagnés' northern supply ships at 7875 grt, 10,936 dwt (11,353 at summer draft of 8.46m) but has box shaped holds and a pair of cranes rated at 40 tonnes. It can carry container, break bulk or bulk cargoes.It is rated as ice class 1D by Lloyd's which is the lowest ice class rating.

Desgagnés also bought the Argentia Desgagnés last year and it arrived in Halifax June 19, 2017 to be reflagged from Turkey. The forner Ofmar is a 6369 grt, 8950 dwt ship of the same type, although its 35 tonne cranes are mounted on the ship's centre line. Both ship are registered in Newfoundland, since they are intended for trade on the east coast and into the Lakes, rather than the traditional Desgagnés northern supply work. They will carry salt, minerals, coal, grain and similar bulk cargoes replacing the two older ships Amélia Desgagnés and Mélissa Desgagnés. 

Their area of trade explains their non-typical names - most Desgagnés ships are named for people. (The first names - usually women's names, and not necessarily members of the Desgagnés family - are then compounded with the Desgagnés family name. A similar system of naming is used by Moran Towing in the US. These names will drive genealogists crazy in coming years, since there are no actual people with these fabricated names.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Oceanex takes cars

As soon as Oceanex Sanderling had completed offloading its containers and RoRo cargo at pier 41 this morning (see previous post) it moved over to Autoport before noon.  When it sailed this afternoon there were no containers on the weather deck - it was jammed with cars.

Harbour watchers can't recall when the ship sailed with such a large load of cars (and pick-up trucks) and particularly on the weather deck. It is well known that Newfoundland has a large demand for rental cars in summer and that combined with the usual demand for new cars, are the reason for this mid-week trip.


Return of the Arsos and Asuka II

Two ships whose names coincidentally begin with the letter A are returning to Halifax after long absences.

First in this morning was the container feeder ship Arsos which is now serving ZIM'S new Canada-Florida Express, which extends to the Kingston, Jamaica hub. It made its first visit in that service April 10. The ship was last here in 2010 on a short lived CMA CGM feeder service called Gulf Bridge - also running to Kingston, Jamaica.

Built in 2007 by Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding Co Ltd in Zhoushan it is a 15,375 grt, 12,700 dwt ship with a capacity of 1296 TEU and carrying a pair of 45 tonne capacity cranes.
Following shortly after was the cruise ship Asuka II. It was here previously as Crystal Harmony, a name it carried until 2006. It was then transferred from Crystal Cruises to parent company K-Line and renamed.

When Mistubishi Heavy Industries of Nagasaki built the ship in 1990 it was registered at 48,621 grt, Following a refurbishment in 2006 the tonnage was revised to 50,142. There are few outward signs of that refit, but the two red stripes previously found at the foot of the signal mast forward have been transferred to the funnel, replacing the Crystal logo.

It is rare for cruise ships to take tugs, but this time the Atlantic Bear assisted the ship in turning off pier 22 and then moved around to push it alongside.


Other arrivals this morning included Pearl Mist, a yearly caller. Initial construction was completed by Halifax Shipyard in 2009, but a lengthy dispute saw the ship laid up then refitted in the United States before it entered service in 2014. It will spend the summer cruising the Great Lakes.

The first ship to arrive this morning was Oceanex Sanderling. It does not usually arrive this early in the week, but it will make two trips to Newfoundland this week instead of the usual one.It is scheduled to sail later today and again on Saturday.

It is one of the few ships in the world to carry 53 foot containers. Boxes of that size are usually restricted to intermodal (road and rail) service. Note the Canadian Tire and Oceanex 53 footers in the third, fourth and fifth stacks aft of the bow.