Sunday, April 18, 2021

Big Ship Day

 It was a big day for ships or put another way it was a day for big ships. 

The first arrival was Algoma Integrity to take on a load of gypsum from Gold Bond. 

Algoma Integrity loading at Wright's Cove in Bedford Basin.

At 33,047 gt, 47,761 dwt, the self-unloader is a regular caller. The former Gypsum Integrity was acquired and renamed by Algoma in 2015 after a brief career with U.S. Gypsum's Fundy Gypsum fleet. It was built in 2009 by EISA-Ilha in Rio de Janeiro to serve Hantsport, NS and Little Narrows, NS, but was redeployed, then sold, when the parent  company shut down its Nova Scotia operations.

Next along was a most unusual caller. The Marshal Islands flag crude oil tanker Elli arrived at Pier 9C. It first went to Bedford Basin where it was turned by tugs then tied up at Pier 9C, with its bow facing seaward.

The ship was met at Pier 9C by a pair of fuel tankers, operated by the J.D.Irving trucking company RST Transport. 
( The large grey objects are fenders which are used along the pier faces for cruise ships. They are unlikely to be deployed this year.)

New Times Shipbuilding Co of Jingjiang, China, built the ship in 2010 as United Fortitude. It took its present name in 2018 when Halkidon Shipping Corp of Piraeus, Greece took over. The ship figures to be 62,775 gt, 112,719 dwt.

Elli arrived from Point Tupper, NS where it off loaded a cargo to Nu-Star's terminal.Canaport, Saint John, NB . Once it had refueled it sailed for sea for tank cleaning, then will be headed for Sorel-Tracy, QC .

In ballast Elli was an impressive sight in the Narrows.*

Sprague Energy operates the Kildair Services ULC facility in Sorel-Tracy, where they store and export diluted bitumen crude for Suncor. That crude comes from Alberta by rail. In 2013 the federal government permitted ships wider than 32 meters on that portion of the St.Lawrence River, but they still restrict draft. Tankers loading at Kildair are known to top up at other facilities once they get to deep water.

When Elli sailed, the ConRo Atlantic Sky was inbound, and a passing plan was arranged whereby Elli would pass west of George's Island and Atlantic Sky would pass to the east, leaving each vessel lots of room.

At 100,430 gt, 55,828 dwt, the ACL G4 ships are the largest by dimension to transit the Narrows on a regular basis., but not the largest in terms in terms of container capacity.

Among the other ships in Halifax today is Energy Progress arriving from Port Neches, TX (Beaumont-Port Arthur) for Imperial Oil. Most ships arriving for Imperial lately have been from Antwerp, in part because of the disruption to refining caused by severe winter weather in the southern US.

Tugs Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Fir push the ship alongside Imperial Oil #3 dock.**

A fairly typical MR tanker of 29,605 gt, 46,606 dwt, it was built in 2008 by the lesser known Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering of Tongyeong, South Korea. Unusual also is that it is registered in Douglas, Isle of Man. 

Operators Golden Energy Management are based in Athens, Greece.

The other sizable ship to call in Halifax today was the container vessel Bilbao Bridge, which, at 46,944 gt, 59,623 dwt would be considered medium sized to small these days, with a capacity of 4526 TEU.

Such is the demand for container ships these days, there is little talk of inefficiency in sips of this size. It was built by Samsung Shipbuilding and Heavy Industry in Koje, South Korea in 2011. It is on charter to K-Line from Seaspan Corp. (K-Line's container operations are now part of Ocean Network Express ONE).

I rarely mention the fact that I like to include wild life in my photos if possible, without distracting from the main subject. Halifax harbour and its shores are home to many species of birds - some seasonal - and mammals such as seals, occasional whales and squirrels. I feel fortunate when I am able to include one of these creatures, since they are rarely willing to sit still:

Today I was able to include birds on two occasions.
* - (dead centre bottom) - a starling (year round residents)
** - (bottom left and bottom right) - common eiders (seasonal)

Sometimes of course I see an animal when there is no ship in sight and I am forced to take a solo photo. Recently I spotted two birds that are usually hard to get:  this thick billed murre, a fairly rare sight in my experience.

Red breasted mergansers usually dive out of sight before I can get a picture:

Some readers noted the squirrel in a post a while back: 2021-02-04

I have no intention of making this a nature photo blog, so will refrain from noting animal life in future unless it is particularly noteworthy.


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