Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Eidsvaag Sirius hoists the Canadian flag

Skretting Canada Inc of Bayside, NB, representing owners Eidsvaag AS , registered Eidsvaag Sirius in Halifax June 20. The ship arrived in Halifax June 11, and was covered in my post of June 12.

The ship sailed this morning, June 26 for its new homeport of Bayside.

It replaces Eidsvaag Vinland which worked in the region for several years, transporting fish feed around Nova Scotia, New Brunswick. Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. It put in to Halifax only once, to shelter from a storm, and tied up at the same pier that Eidsvaag Sirius occupied.

Eidsvaag Vinland sheltering at pier 25 in 2011.

I don't expect to see much of Eidsvaag Sirius in Halifax once it enters service either.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bright Sun Woes

Everyone is enjoying bright summer sun, except those of us trying to take photos from the Halifax side of the harbour.

EM Kea arrived a little later than the crack of dawn, and after it tied up around 0900 the reason became apparent.

All Halterm's cranes were busy working on the earlier arrival, APL Houston, which picked up its pilot at 0430 hrs. At some pojt during the day, some of thecranes moved away from the 9200 TEU APL shiup to the 3108 TEU EM Kea.

Later morning with the sun nearly overhead, it was even more challenging.

 From the Herring Cove look-off, I wasn't the only ship watcher.

Elandra Oak was first of two arrivals, and proceeded in for Irving Oil Woodside. This is the ship's second call in Halifax. The first was November 14, 2016 when it docked at Valéro, Eastern Passage.
The 29,737 grt, 49,999 dwt tanker was built in 2016 by SPP Shipbuilding Co in Sacheon. It is indirectly owned by the Latvian Shipping Company.

Next along was K-Line's Euphrates Highway. It is a 59,447 grt, 18,668 dwt auto carrier built in 2012 by Imabari Zosen in Marugame. Sources indicate a car capacity of 6,215 CEU.

There was another K-Line ship in port too, but this one a container ship.

 Brevik Bridge has been a regular caller since it initiated THE Alliance's Transatlantic Loop 6 in April 2017. It is a 4526 TEU ship of 46,444 grt, 58,200 dwt . Registered in Hong Kong with Xiangcheng Shanghai Ship as registered owners, it is owned by Seaspan International and is on a 12 year charter to K-Line with two 3-year options. Now that K-Line has merged its container operations with MOL and NYK it will be interesting to see if the ship's livery changes or if it switched to another other route.

Whether as a result of the merger or not the once familiar NYK Terra has been sold.

NYK Terra built in 2008, 76,928 grt, 80,282 dwt, 6661 TEU (including 460 reefers) fetched US$25mn in a recent sale to Singapore owners. If the Hyundai Ulsan built ship is on charter to K-Line, the change of ownership may not be significant - it may stay within the new Ocean Network Express (ONE).


Friday, June 22, 2018

Viking Destiny and Oborishte

The auto carrier Viking Destiny arrived this morning in calm and clear conditions. This is very different from its first scheduled arrival March 7 when it was held off the port for two days due to weather. It finally entered March 9 and sailed later the same day.

The ship was built for Gram Car Cariers in 2017 by Jiangsu Jinling and has a capacity of 6700 CEU, measuring 62,105 grt, 18,500 dwt. Gram is a Norwegian company, with offices in Singapore, and about 22 ships time chartered to other carriers. The ships are managed by OSM Ship Management, another Norwegian company. Many of Gram's executives once worked for Hoegh, a major Norwegian car carrier owner.

On sailing this afternoon, its blue hull was much more visible in direct sunlight.

A ship that arrived Monday sailed this afternoon after topping off a cargo of grain. Oborishte flying the flag of Malta, operates for Navigation Maritime Bulgare, but does not have the usual putty coloured superstructure of state owned Bulgarian ships.

It was built in 2010 by Wuhu Xinlian and is optimized for the St.Lawrence Seaway at 662' loa x 77'04" breadth (the maximum allowed width) and 20,491 grt, 29,720 dwt. It carries three 30 tonne cranes.
The original German owners named the ship Luebbert under Intersee management. That was changed in 2014 when Marconsult became managers,  becoming Marbioko. The ship came under NMB management in 2106 and took its present name (that of a Bulgarian village). All three owners were single ship companies using the ship's name, so may in fact have been one in the same.

The ship's departure today marks the end of a lengthy odyssey in Canadian waters. It arrived in the Sorel anchorages below Montreal on April 21. It was placed in detention there for two days until deficiencies identified by Port State Control were rectified.

It was not until April 28-29 that it passed upbound through the St.Lawrence Seaway. Its destination was Oshawa, ON, but the ship went to the Port Weller anchorages in western Lake Ontario and remained there until May 14, when it finally reached Oshawa to unload. It then returned to the Port Weller anchorages May 18 where it languished until June 11 when it moved to nearby Hamilton to load. Once that was completed it sailed June 14,  passed down the Seaway directly for Halifax arriving June 18.

Two months is a long time in shipping terms, and cannot have been a profitable experience.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018


It was a day of contrasts, both in colour but also in style.

The Portuguese naval training barque Sagres got underway after a three day visit at Pier 24. [see also Tugfax]. There was enough wind that the ship's sails were actually drawing after it made a turn in the harbour before setting out to sea.

 Sagres puts to sea passing George's Island.
Note the CCG helicopter next to the lighthouse.

When Sagres was here for Tall Ships 2009, it put on a real show under full sail.
Sagres passing the reviewing stand for the Parade of Sail.

A more utilitarian vessel arrived late this afternoon in bright red paint (hence the contrast in the title).  Polar Prince, the former CCGS Sir Humphrey Gilbert made the headlines last year when it circumnavigated North America as part of the Canada C3 expedition.It returned to Lunenburg from that voyage where it spent the winter.

The ship still looks very trim despite being built in 1959.

The ship's extreme icebreaker bow was built by Halifax Shipyard and installed during a refit in 1984-85.

Thrusters powered by engines in the forepeak, and exhausted through the legs of the goal post mast, push the ship sideways toward Pier 9A in a stiff breeze.

Enter "Polar Prince" in the Search box to the left for several previous posts on this ship.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Paul E., not Paul R. Martin

CSL has two ships with the name Paul Martin. The one that visits Halifax from time to time is the  Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin named for the former Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006, Paul Edgar Philippe Martin (b.1938). Prior to that he was the owner of CSL, but divested his interest to his three sons under public pressure.

The ship named for him was built in 2012 at Chengxi Shipyard, Jiangyin City and is a Trillium class vessel, but of the deep sea version. (There is also a Great Lakes version). It is a self unloading bulk carrier of 43,691 grt, 71,406 dwt and was built to then Panamax dimensions.

Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin arrived in Halifax this morning to load gypsum, its second visit this month. The ship is owned by CSL Americas , one of several offshore divisions of CSL Group.

The other CSL ship is named for Paul Joseph James Martin (b.1903, d. 1992) the father of Paul E. Martin, and a long time Canadian politician. The ship named for him is called Rt.Hon. Paul J. Martin and was built in 1973 at Collingwood, ON as H.M.Griffith a 22,775 grt self-unloader to maximum Seaway dimensions of 730' x 75'. It was named for an executive of the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco) a long time client of CSL.

H.M.Griffith downbound in the Interpool between the Eisenhower and Snell Locks in the US section of the St.Lawrence Seaway. The stretch of water is known officially as the Wiley-Dondero Ship Canal.

 At 75' wide the ship was already a tight squeeze in the 80' wide Seaway Locks

In 2000 the ship was rebuilt at Port Weller Dry Docks with a new bow and cargo section to take advantage of revised Seaway maximum dimensions, emerging with a measurement of  739-07" x 77'-11" and 23,989 grt. Its Seaway-draft cargo capacity is 37,694 tonnes. At that time it was renamed  Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin.

 With the new width, the ship has a lot more scrapes on the hull. The ship is upbound in ballast.

In 2013 its original Manchester-built Pielstick engine was removed and replaced with a new generation MaK/ Caterpillar. The ship is confined to the Great Lakes and St.Lawrence and portions of the Gulf St.Lawrence, and cannot venture out to sea. It is owned CSL Group Inc and operates in the domestic fleet, still known in most circles as Canada Steamship Lines..

The ship's extra width was faired into the existing stern section's plating and is barely noticeable.

Have the two ships ever met? That is a question I cannot answer. The logical place for that to happen would be in Sydney, NS, where both could deliver cargoes of coal.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Big Bulker - Golden Amreen

The big bulker Golden Amreen emerged from the fog and anchored in number one anchorage area at noon time. The ship will undergo Canadian Food Inspection Agent inspection for Asian Gypsy Moth before sailing later this afternoon.

The ship wold have been considered to be Capesize, with measurements of 93,464 grt, 179,337 deadweight. Ships of this size were too large to transit either the Suez or Panama Canals. However improvements at both facilities mean that this ship could use the canals depending on its load status. At 292m x 45m it fits the neo Panamax dimensions of 366m x 49m. It would also be able to transit the Suez Canal, even at loaded draft. However I can find no record of it having passed either waterway on this trip, so may well have sailed via the Cape of Good Hope.

It was built in 2015 by Sungdong in Tongyeong as Q Amreen for Quintana Shipping, but was sold and renamed Golden Amreen 2017.  [Amreen = Sky].
It is now part of the 70 ship plus fleet of the Golden Ocean Group. Golden Ocean is the Norway based, Bermuda registered publicly traded corporation that was demerged from John Frederiksen's Frontline Group in 2004. Frederiksen is reported to hold about 40% of the company indirectly.

The ship's last port is given as Krishnapatnam, India. That tells me it is likely headed to Port Cartier, QC to load iron ore product from ArcelorMittal Mining Canada. ArcellorMittal produces both pellets and concentrate to ship from Port Cartier.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Rare caller - regular caller

It has been a while since a Maersk Line Ltd USA ship has called in Halifax. These ships, flying the US flag, normally sail past Halifax en route from the mid and far east via the Med to the US east coast on the MECL1 service- essentially the old Sea-Land route.
Maersk Atlanta, today's arrival, is one of 11 ships on the run, all of  6188 TEU.

Maersk Atlanta was built as Maersk Kowloon in 2006 by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co Ltd in Busan. It measures 74,642 grt, 84,500 dwt. It was brought into the US fleet in 2013 when it was renamed.

Regular caller YM Evolution successfully wove its way through pleasure craft in the Narrows to reach Fairview Cove this afternoon.Sunny warm summer weather and a good breeze - a perfect recipe for sailing.

YM Evolution is one of four 4662 TEU ships on what is also ACL's AL1 transatlantic service with THE Alliance.

Sail Ho

Although there is no scheduled Tall Ships event in Halifax this year, there have been events in Philadelphia and Boston, and one of the participants is making a return visit to Halifax. The Portuguese naval training vessel Sagres arrived this morning and tied up at Pier 24.

Sagres is the third ship of the name in the Portuguese navy, but was built for the German navy in 1937 and was awarded to Brazil following World War II. It moved to Portugal in 1961 and has called in Halifax several times since the 1984 Tall Ships event.

 Docking assistance was provided by the RCN pup tugs. Listerville and Merrickville wearing white covers over their bow fenders.

While Sagrès was arriving Bluenose II was getting away for a harbour tour. The schooner will be in Halifax until June 20. After that it will be visiting numerous other Nova Scotia ports until late August when it is off to Boston and Gloucester. Its next stay in Halifax will be September 16 to 21.


AIDAvita inaugural call

AIDAvita made its first ever call in Halifax this morning. The ship is en route Hamburg to New York on a 16 night 17 day cruise. (Hamburg, Invergordon, Kirkwall, Reykjavik, St.John's, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, New York).

Aker MTW, Wismar built the ship in 2002 as a twin to AIDAaura. With a capacity of 1266 passengers in 633 cabins and a crew of 426 it is among the smallest AIDA ships.It has been upgraded several times in its career, which originally started with P+0 Princess Cruises. When that company joined Carnival, ownership  was handed over to Costa Crociere, which manages all of Carnival's European operations. Despite the fact that the it therefore flies the Italian flag, it is in all other respects a German ship.

After arriving in New York June 21 the ship will carry out New England / Maritimes / Quebec cruises until mid- August when it returns to Germany.

CAUTION - if you book a cruise on AIDA or Costa be prepared to be greeted aboard and assisted by an autonomous humanoid tri-lingual emotional robot named Pepper. It can read your emotions - and who knows what else.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday action

Several arrivals today meant that there was something happening almost continuously.

The earliest arrival was Maersk Patras at Halterm. This is a ship that was a week late last month, but now that Arica has been inserted in the lineup, Maersk Patras is here on a Saturday.

The ship tied up out near the end of pier 42 allowing room for the next arrival, APL Santiago.

 Built in 2014 by Daewoo, Okpo, the 109,712 grt, 115,077 dwt ship has a capacity of 9200 TEU.

The ship's distinctive full width bridge, is more than 45 meters from side to side.

After a short wait, the next arrival was Atlantic Huron for a load of gypsum. Its last port was Charlottetown, PE where is had delivered a cargo of construction aggregates.

Built in 1984, converted to self-unloader in 1989 and rebuilt mid-body in 2002, the ship just keeps on keeping on. Once a frequent caller here with grain, it seems to specialize in coal, aggregates and gypsum now.

Next up was the MOL Paradise for Fairview Cove.

 MOL Paradise glides in abreast of George's Island, with Bluenose II and Chebucto Head in the background.

This is the ship's first arrival in Halifax and is on THE Alliance's EC5 service. The 71,902 grt, 72,968 dwt ship was built in 2005 by Koyo Dockyard Co in Mihara, with a capacity of 6350 TEU (including 500 reefers).

As the ship was only minutes away from the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, someone or something plunged off into the water near the Halifax side. It was surprising that no shipping in the harbour was aware that police had closed the bridge and were on the scene.

When HMCS Charlottetown reported the incident a minute or so after I saw the splash at 11:11, it dispatched a RHIB to the scene, however nothing appeared to have re-surfaced. A general Mayday was issued for ships in the area to assist if possible.

CCGC Pennant Bay, which had passed the area few minutes earlier came about in Bedford Basin and sped to the scene.

CCGC Pennant Bay with crew on the flying bridge make haste off Pier 9. The lifeboat, delivered late in 2017 will be stationed in Sambro, NS.

 It was far too late to halt the movement of MOL Paradise which passed though the area only about 5 minutes later.

Later this afternoon two autocarriers arrived. However only one entered port. Viking Conquest went to anchor offshore while Shanghai Highway continued on in.

Built in 2005 by Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corp at the Nantong COSCO shipyard in China it is of an older type design, with no aerodynamic faring that is common on modern car boats. It also has numerous hull penetrations that appear to be small sections of open deck.

The ship is also smaller than many we see here. It comes in at 48,927 grt, 15,413 dwt and has a reported capacity of 5,036 cars.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Ile d'Aix back

The cable ship Ile d'Aix returned to Halifax this evening. After its lube oil spill in Halifax harbour May 29, the ship went to the Verreault shipyard in Méchins, QC for drydocking. It tied up this evening at Pier 9B which will allow for a closer look over the next few days.

The ship has a one year coasting license from November 23, 2017 to November 22, 2018 for permanent standby for cable repair services for what was called the Hibernia Cable Systems network. GTT Communications took over the five cable network in January 2017. It has renamed the Hibernia Express cable from Halifax to Ireland and the UK as the GTT Express.

The ship is expected to underway for repairs to the GTT Express with 24 hours and within 36 hours for the Greenland Connect cable and the Grand Banks Offshore Optical Cable.

Waterfront walk

The downtown waterfront is a popular walk for tourists. Here is some of what they would see today (especially if they took photos with their cell phones as I did.).

The major attraction on the waterfront is the Maritime Museum of  the Atlantic. At its dock is the CCS Acadia, joined to today by Bluenose II

 While most of the Museum's artifacts are indoors, there is a collection of ironmongery outside, including a very distinctive Trotman type anchor (lower left in the photo).

At the pillot dock the boat Fundy Pilot has been called in from Saint John, NB as back up boat.  Built in 1983 by Gladding-Hearn in Somerset, MA it is a classic US style boat, and worked for Virginia Pilots and Boston Pilots before joining the APA fleet in 2005.

It will be backing up Nova Pilot while Scotia Pilot is in Lunenburg for repairs. The two boats were acquired from Sima Charters in Holland last year and have been in service here less than year. They are water jet propelled former crew boats from Rotterdam, built in 2010 and 2012.

At Bishop's Landing and Tall Ship's Quay the herring seiners that had been held in port all week by weather were getting ready to sail.

Morning Star left, Lady Melissa centre, Sealife II right. A fourth boat, Tasha Marie had already sailed when I happened by. They were finding herring about 40 miiles east of Halifax last week.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Paxi sails

The Livberian flag Paxi sailed this afternoo, with a substantial deck load. The ship is on its eastbound leg for THE Alliance. It called here for the first time June 1 on the westbound leg. See http://shipfax.blogspot.com/2018/06/paxi-works-and-paramount-waits-and-waits.html

The ferry Vincent Coleman skipped ahead of the Paxi  from Woodside en route to Halifax.

The ship was built in 2014 by Hanjin, Subic Bay as CCNI Iquique, and has a capacity of 6865 TEU on 70,262 grt, 80,097 dwt..


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Grandeur of the Seas

A regular caller over the years, Grandeur of the Seas arrived this morning for the second time this year.

The 73,817 grt ship, built in 1997 by Kvaerner Masa has a passenger capacity of 2446 with a crew of 760. It is considered by many to be an ideal size - not too big, not too small. It has had several home ports over the years but has been based in Baltimore, MD for several years and has been calling in Halifax since 2001.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Early arrivals and Coast Guard Doings

 Early Arrival

The small Norwegian flag bulker Eidsvaag Sirius put in to Halifax last night and docked at pier 25. It was built in 2006 by the CSPL Shipyard in Decin, Czech Republic as the Marietje Benita for Dutch owners Danser Shipping CV, and managed by Wagenborgs. At that time it was classed as a general cargo ship, but was gearless, with open hatch design. The hatches were operated by a light gantry (or iron deck had as it is called on the Great Lakes.) It measures 2409 grt, 3200 dwt.

In 2009  Eidsvaag AS of Norway acquired the ships and it went to work for Skretting, a company that specializes in feed for fish farms. The ship was then equipped with an additional travelling gantry carrying a backhoe type crane for loading. It also received a small derrick, starboard side amidships, to handle the unloading hose.

Skretting has a Canadian operation, called Skretting Canada, based in Vancouver, and St.Andrews, NB.
Previously Skretting had the ship Eidsvaag Vinland (ex Vissersbank) a 1682 grt ship, built in 1994 working under Canadian flag, and managed by Norcon. It operated between Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
However that ship's registration has been closed and as of March it has been sailing as Superior under Norwegian flag for Marrbulk Rederi AS.

Eidsvaag Sirius appears to be its replacement.

CCG Doings

CCGS Cape Roger appears to be undergoing in water refit at BIO. It is tied up at the seawall with its lifeboats removed. The SAR cutter is normally based in St.John's but has been working out of Halifax this spring. The ship was built by Ferguson Industries in Pictou in 1977 and has been based in St.John's ever since, but has worked seasonally from Halifax.

Just astern of the Cape Rodger I spotted a pair of new looking aluminum work boat / landing craft. As unregistered vessels they are difficult to trace, or to find out who built them.

Yesterday another Newfoundland based Coast Guard ship arrived, perhaps for the first time in Halifax. CCGS George R. Pearkes was built in 1986 by Versatile Pacific in North Vancouver as  a light icebreaker and buoy tender. It is powered by three Alco diesels of 8447 bhp that drive a pair of GE  electric motors giving 7,040 shp. In 1991 it was transferred with CCGS Martha L. Black to Quebec City, then in 2004 to Newfoundland.

The ship has apparently loaded a cargo of new or re-conditioned buoys, and one of the new workboats.

CCGS Sir William Alexander made a brief stop at Pier 9B to offload a buoy, before docking at BIO.

The 3m buoy known as the Smartatlantic Buoy is a meteorological. and oceanographic buoy normally moored off Herring Cove. It measures wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity and dew point, barometric pressure, water temperature, current speed and direction, wave height, direction and period, and spectral information. It provides a continuous data feed and can communicate directly with ships. It appears to be in need of some maintenance, but should be back on station soon.