Sunday, October 13, 2019


Weather moderated considerably last evening and by today, although it was gloomy, Halifax harbour activity returned to normal. Three cruise ships put in, Norwegian Dawn, Zuiderdam and Riviera. Of these the latter two sailed before dark, in calm conditions although there was some residual swell.

Riviera makes its way outbound past a late season sailor (not making much way in fitful conditions) as the substitute pilot boat Capt A.G.Soppit paces the ship.[see below]

Only three minutes later Zuiderdam passes the end of the new pier 42 extension.
(The sailor has made little progress.)

Pilot boat operations in recent weeks have been carried out in part by Captain A.G.Soppit a boat built in 2012 by ABCO in Lunenburg, NS, and assigned to Saint John, NB. The Atlantic Pilotage Authority normally operates the two former Dutch crew boats Nova Pilot (ex SC Lynx) and Scotia Pilot (ex SC Cheetah) in Halifax. The latter is apparently out of service, and the Soppitt has been brought in to ensure that there are two boats available.

Captain A.G.Soppitt has an operating speed of 18 knots.

Nova Pilot although capable of 24 knots operates at a maximum 20 knots.

The Atlantic Pilotage Authority has back up boats available to cover refits, and they do shuffle them around as the various ports have different requirements. The run from downtown Halifax to the pilot station area off Chebucto Head, requires a boat with a reasonable turn of speed and some of the back up boats would not be able to do it in the 45 minutes to one hour that the above boats can do.

While Captain A.G.Soppitt is in Halifax, the port of Saint John is making do with  Fundy Pilot, and A.PA. No.18. The other regular Saint John boat and Soppitt sister vessel Captain E.T. Rogers appears on AIS to be in refit at Meteghan, NS.

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