Saturday, March 6, 2021

Ships do pass in daylight

 Ships passing in the night - it does happen, but it also happens in the daylight as it did this afternoon with the departing container ship Macao Strait meeting the inbound auto carrier Felicity Ace. The ships arranged a conventional port to port passage with Macao Strait taking the western or deep water channel, passing close under York Redoubt at Ferguson's Cove.

Macao Strait, is sailing for Melfi Marine and is en route to Cuba, as it has been doing since November 6, 2014. This is the clip that accompanied that visit:

"Melfi Lines ships change in and out frequently, so a first timer is not a rarity. Today's arrival Macao Strait is on its first voyage for Melfi from Europe to Cuba. The 21,108 grt, 25,903 dwt ship is a product of the Taizhou Kouan Shipbuidling Co in Taizhou, China in 2008. It is equipped with a pair of 40 tonne cranes and has a capacity of 1795 TEU of which 319 may be refrigerated. It is owned by the German company of Carsten Rehder and has changed names six times in its short life. It started off as Macao Strait but was soon renamed Niledutch Qingdao for a charter. When that ended in 2011 it reverted to its original name and in 2012 became BG Freight Atlantic. That only lasted to 2103 when it reverted again briefly, before becoming Vento di Ponente. It assumed its original name again earlier this year. It is registered in the Portuguese offshore registry in Madeira."

Most Melfi Marine charters are of shorter duration, but today's trip is Voyage 37. Its running mate, X-Pres Irazu started with Melfi in January, and is due here again March 16 on Voyage 2. A third ship, Imedghassen [see previous posts] that was due to join the Melfi service remains tied up at Pier 9C. It is  reported that the ship has air compressor problems, which prevent it from starting and reversing its engine.

Once Macao Strait had disembarked its pilot it proceeded to the outer anchorage area where it appears to have conducted a compass swing, allowing an adjuster to calibrate the ship's compass. The launch RMI Seafox then rendez-voused with the ship, presumably to disembark the adjuster.

Taking the eastern channel this afternoon the Japanese owned Felicity Ace, inbound from Emden, Germany, was meet by the tugs Atlantic Willow (bow) and Atlantic Fir (stern) once it was inside Maugher's Beach.

The ship is operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL)  and as with all their auto carriers, it has an "Ace" name [for Auto Carrier Express]. The ship was built by the Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co Ltd's Onishi shipyard in Japan. The 60,118 gt, 17,738 dwt ship has a capacity of 5232 CEU (Car Equivalent Units).

In mid-2020 MOL began a drastic fleet reduction by returning charters, scrapping older ships and laying up others in response to economic conditions. Some 40 ships were to be pared, representing about 5% of the fleet. However auto carriers seem to have fared worse than other sectors, with no recovery to 2019 levels expected until 2023. MOL also operates bulk carriers, tankers and container ships.


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