Friday, October 29, 2021

We have lift on - updated

 The United States flag (Alaska port of registry) motor yacht Infinity was lifted aboard the BBC Missouri [see yesterday's post] at Pier 27 today, October 29. The ship used both cranes in tandem with its own spreaders and straps. However there was a Dominion Diving Ltd boat standing by, probably  with divers.

The 27m vessel was reported in Port Everglades, Florida in May, then spent some of the summer on the Great Lakes, returning via Montreal, Quebec City, Matane and Summerside to Halifax September 25.

The boat looks quite capable of returning to Florida on its own hull, but it is late in the season, so maybe it is taking an easier ride, or it may be headed farther away. 

Update: According to the ship's AIS signal it is headed for Newport, RI, the "yacht capital" of the USA.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

Weather Woes - revised

 The month of October is usually noted for wind, but up until now this year it has seen unseasonably mild temperatures instead. However the wind has finally arrived and the last two days have been quite gusty. Those breezes resulted in rough conditions at the pilot station making it too dangerous to embark and disembark pilots. Pilotage operations were suspended at some point yesterday during the day and not resumed again until this morning. Some ships wetre thus delayed.

Among those was the general cargo ship BBC Missouri arriving from Schiedam, Netherlands and Santander, Spain. The 9,627 gt, 12,767 dwt vessel was built in 2010 by Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering Co in Taizhou, China. An open hatch, multi-purpose type it mounts a pair of 150 tonne capacity cranes than can work in tandem for a 300 tonne lift.

It was still quite windy as the ship made its way in this afternoon. The tug Atlantic Fir was working stern first and kicking up a lot of spray, but its fore deck was in the lee and dry. BBC Missouri was built in 2011 as Brattingsborg, deleivered sas OXL Rebel but renamed Brattingsborg againlater in 2011. In 2012 it became Clipper Agnes, then reverted to Brattingsborg in 2014, finally becoming BBC Missouri in 2020. 

The ship is registered in Liberia. Its owners are listed as Hono Ship Investment Inc (which is associated with Thorco Shipping A/S of Denmark), technical operators are Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd of England, commercial managers are Weco Projects APS of Denmark, but the ship is sailing as part of the German BBC Chartering fleet, whicn specializes in heavy lifts and project cargoes.

The ship tied up at Pier 27, a general cargo and open pier, but its cargo is as yet unknown (to me). Interestingly the Port of Halifax schedule still refers to to its Brattingsborg.

Things are busy at Irving Oil's Woodside terminal. The tanker Acadian completed unloading yesterday then moved to anchor in Bedford Basin instead of going to sea. That left the jetty open for the French cable ship Ile d'Aix to take bunkers.

The Louis Dreyfus managed ship has been in port since October 20 fitting out for a project at IT International Telecom's marine base at Pier 9A.

I took this picture October 25:

With the Iled d'Aix occupying the berth Irving Oil's next caller, Elka Bene came into to anchor in the lower harbour.

 The 30,770 gt, 45,467 dwt tanker is a regular caller at Irving Oil, bringing refined product from Amsterdam. It was built by Brodosplit, in Split, Croatia in 2002 and is operated by European Product Carriers. The ship was built as Asirat but renamed Bene in 2002 and Elka Bene in 2004.

A number of ships hove to offshore last night, awaiting better conditions, among them was CMA CGM T. Jefferson. The 14,414 TEU ship is now due at PSA Halifax late this afternoon - docking after dusk later today oir tomorrow. Also the container ship ONE Hangzhou Bay was delayed from sailing yesterday, but was able to get away this afternoon. but will now wait until tomorrow, Otober 29. Also waiting for better condiitons is the Eimskip vessel Vivienne Sheri D. It went to Bedford Basin and anchored yesterday and may now sail overnight on its return trip to Iceland.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

More Cars

 Despite the chaotic conditions in the car industry where the want of computer chips is holding up production, new cars keep rolling in to Autoport. Today (October 26) saw a return of the Felicity Ace which was last here March 6

This time I was able to see the ship from the starboard side, which is a bit more interesting due to the presence of the side loading door and ramp.

It is also interesting to try to trace the ship's recent movements as it picks up and delivers cars from a variety of ports. I have been able to find records of port calls as far back as June:

June 25-27 Houston, July 7-9 Veracruz, July 16 Davisville, RI, July 28 Emden, August 12 Sparrows Point, August 22 Houston, September 6-8 Veracruz, September 13 Jacksonville, September 16 Sparrows Point, October 12-15 Emden. From Halifax the ship is sailing for Davisville, RI again.


Monday, October 25, 2021

Big Ships - north and south

 Both container terminals hosted ships with capacity in excess of 9,000 TEU today, October 25. The first ship to arrive was ONE Hangzhou Bay at Cerescorp, Fairview Cove.

The ship is a regular caller now on THE Alliance's EC5 service. Built in 2012 as Hangzhou Bay Bridge for K-Line, the 96,290 gt, 96,980 dwt ship was renamed earlier this year and repainted in ONE colours. It was here last on September 30 and is now on the return leg. It has a capacity of 9120 TEU and was built by IH, Kure.

The South End terminal operated by PSA Halifax saw the arrival of MSC Lisbon for the first time. 

It is the third ship to call on MSC's Indus 2 service. Built in 2007 by Samsung, Koje, igt is a 107,849 gt, 110,697 dwt ship with a reported capacity of 9178 TEU. That figure seems a bit low based on the ship's tonnage, but some owners are coy about actual numbers. The ship was named Santa Lucilla for a short time when built but was soon renamed.



Sunday, October 24, 2021

Beans and Gas

 The Port of Halifax welcomed two ships today with totally unrelated cargoes (despite the headline above.)

First in was the bulk carrier Tufty. From the Canadian Forest Navigation fleet, it is named for species of ducks. See Canfornav for more on the company.

The ships are regular traders to the Great Lakes carrying a variety of cargoes, but at this time of the year they usually load export grains. On this trip the ship departed Antwerp, Belgium September 15 and unloaded in Quebec City, Cote-Ste-Catherine and PortWeller, ON, then loaded soy beans at Johnstown, ON, to the maximum allowable St.Lawrence Seaway draft. Departing Johnstown October 19 it made good time to Halifax, arriving this morning for the start of the work day at 0800 hrs.

Inbound the Tufty is met by tugs, and the usual gull (which was not added by photo editing).

Built by Shanhaiguan Shipyard in Qinhuangdao, China in 2009 the 19,814 gt, 30,803 dwt ship carries three 30 tonne capacity cranes. It docked at Pier 28 (the worst place in Halifax harbour to try for a photo) and will top up its cargo which is stored in the Halifax Grain Elevator.

This not the first time the ship has called in Halifax. It was also here November 29, 2013, also to top up its cargo of soybeans. See Tufty

The other arrival of note was the tanker Iver Prosperity which tied up at Irving Oil's Woodside terminal.

The ship is on charter to Irving Oil and usually trades between Saint John, NB and US east coast ports. However with the Saint John refinery shut down for maintenance, the ship was sent to Europe to load refined product. It sailed from Amsterdam October 6 and delivered some cargo to Saint John October 17. It then proceeded to Halifax but anchored offshore from October19 until today.

The name "prosperity" seems entirely appropriate as gasoline prices in Halifax have reached $1.47 per litre (for regular grade) - the highest in history - even though the price is government regulated.  (Canadians inexplicably insist on using the word gas to mean gasoline or natural gas, thus making for confusing conversations at times, particularly with the British and Europeans who also inexplicably use the word petrol to mean gasoline.) 

Iver Prosperity dates from 2007 when it was built by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan and measures 23,421 gt, 37,456 dwt. It is the same size as Irving  Oil's other tankers chartered from the Vroon company Iver Ships, but which were given Irving hull and funnel colours and local names. Vroon ships, including offshore support vessels, usually wear the large  "V" painted on the hull.


Saturday, October 23, 2021

AOPV3 - roll on, float off - UPDATED

 The third Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel to be built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc's Halifax Shipyard has taken another step toward completion. Yesterday, October 22, it was rolled onto the launch platform Boa Barge 37 and today, October 23, the barge was moved to an anchorage in Bedford Basin. Later today the barge will be semi-submerged and the ship floated off. The ship will return to Halifax Shipyard for additional fitting out before being handed over to the Royal Canadian Navy. When it is commissioned next year it will be named HMCS Max Bernays AOPV 432.

October 22, halfway onto the barge, the ship is moving on an array of Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs).


October 23, tug Atlantic Cedar pulls the barge away from Pier 6 while the tug Atlantic Fir stands by.

Moving through the Narrows the barge and cargo approach the MacKay bridge.


Once into Bedford Basin the barge will be anchored and the float off process will begin.


As the afternoon wore on drizzle began and intensified into rain, and darkness ensued. Therefore there was not enough light or clarity to catch the actual moment of flotation. 

A number of small craft attended the operation, including RMI Marine's Tidal Runner, RMI Seafox and Speculator, the Coast Guard work boat CGE 316 and the tugs Atlantic Cedar and Atlantic Fir which were later joined by the Atlantic Willow.



Friday, October 22, 2021

Grande Florida, and MSC update

 The auto carrier Grande Florida made its first call in Halifax today, October 22. It is one of seven ships of its class built for Grimaldi Europa SpA of Italy.

The Yangfan Group of Zhoushan, China built the ship in 2020. With a capacity of 7600 CEUs, the ship has tonnages of 65,148 gt and 15,583 dwt. It also carries a 150 tonne capacity stern ramp.

The ship called at Autoport only, and did not discharge any RoRo cargo on the Halifax side. That kind of cargo can be carried by the ships of the Atlantic Container Line, which is also owned by Grimaldi. 

In bright sunlight the ship's yellow hull really stands out.


The MSC Pamela was still working at PSA Halifax today, so it must be here on paying business, rather than just picking up empties. As an unscheduled caller it is likely clearing a back log of cargo for an established route.

The truck gate at PSA Halifax was still jammed up at 5 pm today as last minute cargo was also arriving for Oceanex Sanderling.

PSA Halifax was bustling today. At Pier 41 Oceanex Sanderling was loading for Newfoundland, but MSC had boxes coming and going.



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

MSC Pamela - unscheduled

 It is difficult to keep track of all the container ship schedules these days, since there have been "blanked" sailings, where the ships have bypassed the Port of Halifax. This may be because of delays in other ports, and owners are trying to make up time by skipping smaller ports such as ours. Interestingly there have also been unscheduled arrivals. These are container ships that are not regularly scheduled for Halifax, but are deviating from regular routes to stop here or they are "extra loaders". Due in the early hours (that is while it is still dark) of October 21 is one such "extra loader", MSC Pamela. It has been anchored off Halifax since October 19. (Way out in the anchorges there is heat distortion and a maxed out lens that fuzzify the image. Those are fishing vessels on the far background, and the Mars Rock buoy H9 in the foreground.)

(For more info see: Mars Rock on the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic's Marine Heritage database.)

Samsung Shipbuilding + Heavy Industry Co built the MSC Pamela in 2005. It is a large ship at 107,849 gt, 110,592 dwt, with a capacity of 9178 TEU including 700 reefers. While it does not appear to have much additional container capacity, it is apparently coming in to pick up empties. 

Many ports, particularly in Europe, are so clogged with empty containers that they have been refusing trucks entrance to the port if they are hauling empties. These extra loaders are sent to retrieve as many empties as they can to return to Asia.

Footnote to readers:

Technical issues may prevent frequent postings over the next few days or weeks. I have been instructed to be patient while a solution is found. Please bear with me.



Monday, October 18, 2021

Maria S. Merian

 The German research vessel Maria S. Merian has completed its summer projects in Canadian waters and will be moving on to its next project off northwest Africa. After refueling this morning it shifted from Irving Oil Woodside to the C.O.V.E. dock, and sailed from there late this afternoon.


The ship's most recent work off Prince Edward Island involved seismic and other surveys searching for under sea aquafers. This is reportedly pioneering work which may assist in dealing with fresh water shortages in many parts of the world. Prior to that, from July to September its was working in the Labrador Sea exploring the North Atlantic Mid-Ocean Channel (NAMOC) by core sampling and other techniques. The ship returned to Emden briefly between the two missions.

Maria S. Meriam is named for an early (1647-1717) naturalist and scientific illustrator, and operates for the University of Hamburg and the German Research fleet. It is made available through charters to a wide range of research insitutions and is equipped for a wide range of research work.

For more information see: Maria S. Merian




Saturday, October 16, 2021

Contship Leo - new ZIM feeder

Ever since ZIM started its East Coast North America feeder service, called Canada Feeder Express (CFX), in April 2018 it has been using short term charter ships. All have been about the same size and configuration, and today's first time arrival is no exception.

Contship Leo was built in 2008 by China Commerce Group Kouan Shipbuilding as Vega Saturn. It became CFS Paceno in 2016 and took on its current name in 2020. The 9957 gt, 13,803 dwt ship has a container capacity of 1118 TEU had carries two 45 tonne cranes.

The CFX runs between Halifax, New York and Kingston, Jamaica, using two ships, but the schedule has been disrupted in recent weeks and was reduced to one ship. Published schedules now indicate that Contship Leo will become a regular and the second ship will be the Taipei Trader, which was a regular, resuming in November. It was recently reported en route to Brazil.


Friday, October 15, 2021


 The Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean ship Tulane arrived in Halifax October 14, unloaded some RoRo cargo at Pier 31 then moved to Autoport and sailed today. On sailing it exhibited one of the scruffiest paint jobs seen recently.

It may be among the last ships in the traditional Wilhelmsen orange. Most others have been repainted in the new joint colours. The ship was built in 2012 by Hyundai Ulsan, it will be due for a ten year survey sometime next year, so will likely get the new paint during that drydocking. They have apparently used up some of the old orange along the waterline.

It is a 72,295 gt, 28,818 deadweight vessel with a 7934 CEU capacity. The ship is not on the usual route for autocarriers: Zeebrugge Oct 3, Southampton Oct 4, Santander Oct 6 and is not due to call at any US ports en route to Manzanilla terminal, Panama.

The ship follows the Wilhelmsen tradition of ship's names starting with the letter "T". Presumably it is named for the New Orleans university, home of the Green Wave. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

MSC Susanna on Indus 2

 The second ship to arrive on Halifax on MSC's Indus 2 service put into port today, October 14. MSC Susanna is a sizeable ship of 108,930 gt, 117,095 dwt with a capacity of 9178 TEU, including 700 reefers. It was built in 2005 by Samsung Shipbuilding + Heavy Industry Co, Koje, South Korea.

It is considerably larger than the first ship to call on the Indus 2 service, MSC Stella, a 6724 TEU ship that was in port October 5-6.


quite bit larger than the first ship that called last week, MSC Stella

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

All in a day's work

 Halifax is a great harbour for shipwatching because of the great variety of shipping that can be seen on a given day. Of course container ships get most of the glory due to their size and colourful appearance.

The 5087 TEU MOL Emissary dates from 2009 when it was built by Hyundai, Ulsan for Seaspan Corp. It is chartered to MOL (a partner in ONE) and working for THE Alliance on the AL5 service. I have photo'd the ship many times as it passes through the Narrows en route to the Fairview Cover container terminal.

Another often photo'd ship is CSL's Thunder Bay, en route to Gold Bond Gypsum's dock in Bedford Basin.
The self-unloader, built in 2013 by Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China is a 24,430 gt, 34,433 dwt ship that sails under the Canadain flag and works in and out of the Great Lakes. The noticeable abrasions on the hull near the bow signify frequent passages through the locks of the St.Lawrence Seaway.

Naval vessels are also frequent callers in Halifax, since the port is home Canada's east coast navy base, at HMC Dockyard. The Canadian Coast Guard also has a large presence here as does the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of which it is a part.  When a member of the United States Coast Guard visits Halifax it is usually as a guest of the Royal Canadian Navy, which has better facilities but is also a military organization, which the Canadian Coast Guard is not. One such guest for the past few days has been USCGC Healy WAGB-20, which sailed this afternoon.

The ship recently completed a west to east Northwest Passage. These northern waters are claimed by Canada as territorial waters, while other nations claim they are international waters. Canada is increasing its activities in the north in order to underscore its claim, and sent HMCS Harry DeWolf on an east to west Northwest Passage. Although the USA is one of the nations claiming the waters are international, it nevertheless went though the process of advising Canada in advance of Healy's trip. The trip was also completed in compliance with Canadian environmental and health regulations for the Arctic.

The Canadian Coast Guard was at work today as CCGS George R. Pearkes did some buoy tending off Halifax. The ship has been drafted in from Newfoundland while other ships are in refit.

The Pearkes is visible on the horizon as Dominion Bearcat works on some reef balls off Black Rock Beach, Point Pleasant Park. Despite the best efforts of generations of seabirds the black rocks are still black.  (mostly).

Not to neglect the tug industry, see also today's post on Tugfax

And as a follow up on yesterday's post, the tanker New England moved alongside Irving Oil's Woodside terminal late this afternoon. If you didn't catch my amendment yesterday there was more information added after the initial post.

Unusually warm weather brought out a multitude of pleasure craft today. 


Monday, October 11, 2021

Tanker New England, a rare caller (amended)

Irving Oil has a large marine terminal in the Woodside area of the Dartmouth side of Halifax harbour.  Domestic and foreign tankers bring in refined product where it is stored in tanks onshore. It is then distributed by truck throughout mainland Nova Scotia. The product comes from Irving Oil's huge refinery in Saint John, NB or from Amsterdam, Netherlands where Irving Oil maintains a facility.

Material coming form Saint John arrives on one of the tankers Irving Oil operates under Canadian flag. Product from Amsterdam has until now arrived on foreign ships sometimes operating in a pool or as spot charters. A surprise arrival today from Amsterdam is Irving's own long term charter. New England is one of the four ships built by Hyundai, Mipo in 2005 for the Netherlands based Vroon company, also known as Iver Ships BV, and chartered to Irving Oil. Two currently operate under Canadian flag: Acadian and East Coast ex Nor'easter (i), and two under Marshal Islands flag. Those latter vessels Great Eastern and New England along with Nor'easter (ii), the former Iver Progress, operate out of Saint John, NB, servicing Irving Oil's large New England market through such ports as Searsport, Bucksport and South Portland, ME, Boston, MA, Providence, RI among others. It is therefore unusual that one of these ships can be spared for a transatlantic voyage. It might make sense if it was combined with a visit to a European shipyard for maintenance and drydocking, but in this case there doesn't seem to have been time for that as the ship sailed from Providence  September 17 (presumably in ballast) and was in Amsterdam September 28, sailing from there September 30.

New England at anchor after a transatlantic trip.

In any event we have the rare sight of two Irving Oil tankers in Halifax at one time, as fleet mate, but Canadian flag, East Coast is already alongside at Woodside. New England will remain at anchor until the berth is free.

East Coast at the Woodside jetty, will sail this morning for St.John's, NL.


 Since posting this earlier today, a kind reader has pointed out that the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John is closed for a seven week "turnaround" and therefore both the New England and the Iver Prosperity (another long term charter from Vroon) have been sent to Amsterdam to pick up cargoes of refined product to satisfy demand.

An Irving Oil press releases says the project, called Operation Sandpiper, costing $121 million, will employ 2,500 tradespersons in addition to the regular workforce. These "turnarounds" occur every year and vary in size and duration depending on the scope of work to be accomplished.


Sunday, October 10, 2021

USCGC Tahoma

 The USC GC Tahoma sailed this morning October 10 after a three day stay in Halifax. The Kittery, ME based cutter makes occasional courtesy calls here - the last in August 2020.

In April 2021 the ship made a Panama Canal transit to work on drug interdiction in the eastern Pacific.  The operation was carried out in cooperation with "Allies and Partners" including the Royal Canadian Navy and netted two smuggling vessels and a significant quantity of drugs. The Halifax-built HMCS Saskatoon, based in Esquimalt, was one of the participants. In early June Tahoma returned to its base after the 79 day mission.

 The ship was commissioned in 1988 and carries a complement of 100. This can include specialist aircraft crew for helicopter surveillance and sniper operations.


Saturday, October 9, 2021

In from the cold

 Recent warm weather may be cause to forget that there is cold weather ahead. However two of today's arrivals have put the cold weather behind them - at least for a while.

CCGS Jean Goodwill returned to its base at the Bedford Institute after its first season in the arctic for the  Canadian Coast Guard. 

 The former icebreaking / anchor handling tug/supplier, Balder Viking has been upgraded for Canadian Coast Guard use, although that work may not be entirely complete. Built in 2000, the 18,020 hp ship is considered an "interim" solution to icebreaking needs until new vessels can be built.

Today's other arrival from the north is of a similar age, but is larger and vastly more powerful. The USCGC Healy WAGB-20 was commissioned in 1999 and develops 46,350 hp.

It is arriving in Halifax having made a Northwest Passage from its home base in Seattle. This is the ship's second visit to Halifax. The first was in the year 2000. It will now return to Seattle via the Panama Canal. While en route it will pass the HMCS Harry DeWolf AOPV 430 which has recently completed its own Northwest Passage from east to west, arriving in Esquimalt October 4. It will be returning to Halifax via the Panama Canal too.

While Harry DeWolf is in full service as the first of the RCN's Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels, the second, Margaret Brooke AOPV 431 is alongside HMC Dockyard. AOPV 3 to be named Max Bernays AOPV 432 is under construction at Halifax Shipyard. 

Launch date for the ship has not been announced yet, but that is expected soon after October 15 when the coasting license for Boa Barge 37 kicks in. (It is used as the launching platform.)

On this visit to Halifax USGC Healy is tied up at HMC Dockyard. But back in the pre 9/11 days of April 2000 the ship berthed at Pier 20, with minimal security.


Friday, October 8, 2021

Vivienne Sheri D - and Sackville end of season

 The container ship Vivienne Sheri D arrived today October 8, on the eastbound leg of its regular trip from Iceland to Portland ME, via Argentia and Halifax, and return. This is the second rotation since the ship changed its name (from Pictor and before that Pictor J) and made its first call September 13, 2021

Since that first visit the crew has had time to paint the ship's new name on the bow (it is an awkward place to reach). The name reflects the new Canadian owners, Doornekamp Shipping Ltd, of Odessa, ON. They have purchased the ship but will continue its charter to Eimskip and stay with F+L Schiffahrts, its German managers, while ship sails under Antigua and Barbuda flag. In about two years time when the charter ends they may reassign the ship. In its present arrangement it also operates a New England feeder service for CMA CGM on the Halifax / Portland / Halifax leg. 

Doornekamp has also recently inaugurated a container service called Cleveland Europe Express (known as CEE Way) serving the  Great Lakes from Antwerp in cooperation with the Dutch company Spliethoff using another of their ships, the Peyton Lynn C. Depending on cargo demand the ship may call at intermediate ports, including Doornekamp's Picton Terminal. That service is expected to use Halifax  in the winter when the St.Lawrence Seaway is closed.

On the eve of Canadian Thanksgiving weekend Canada's naval memorial Sackville winds up its summer tourist season and moves (with tug propulsion) from Sackville Landing to HMC Dockyard. It is also an opportunity for a short trip to a position off Point Pleasant Park for a salute to the War Memorial and sometimes a committal of ashes.

Sackville looks quite jaunty as it returns from Point Pleasant. With only the mast of the tug Glenevis showing it is not hard to imagine the vessel as it appeared during World War II service.

After a major hull rebuilding over last winter, Sackville is now assured of many more years of service as a largely static display, open to the public. 

The "pup" tug Listerville provided an escort off the bow, as Glenevis provided power. There was also a RHIB motor boat in company.


Thursday, October 7, 2021

Unscheduled for ZIM, more reefer madness and other business

 PSA Halifax, operator of the southend terminal is stacking them high these days as they are chock-a-block with boxes, particularly reefers.

Granted it is harvest season and more perishables are passing through the port, notably potatoes, but likely all other commodities too, and possibly fish. Maersk seems to be the biggest owner. Eimskip and Tropical are also well represented, as they export and import reefer cargo through Halifax..

Even containers bearing obsolete names, such as Maersk-Sealand can be spotted. (That name was in use from 1999-2005 only).

There is no lack of other non-reefer boxes at PSA too, and in order to reduce the inventory of empties, ZIM sent in an "extra loader" today - the unscheduled Seaspan Melbourne.

We don't often see ships with the "Seaspan" prefix, however the company is a large owner of container ships. Seaspan Corp does not operate a container line itself, but instead finances, operates and charters out ships to other shipping lines, and the ships usually adopt the nomenclature of the charterer. Thus a goodly number of their ships do call in Halifax, but are not immediately identifiable as Seaspan ships.

Seaspan Melbourne was built in 2005 by Samsung, Koje, as CSCL Melbourne for long term charter to China Shipping Co Ltd. When that charter ended in 2018 the ship was renamed and chartered to Korea Marine Transport Containers for about a year, then to ZIM.  It is a 39,941 gt, 50,797 dwt ship with a capacity of 4250 TEU including plugs for 400 reefers.

It appears to have been taken off the Asia Gulf Express service (via Suez) and on this trip the ship sailed from Chinese ports in early September, worked its way transpacific through the Panama Canal September 26, and then called in Norfolk and New York. It seems to be headed for ZIM's hub port of Kingston, Jamaica next, loading ZIM boxes (and container leasing company boxes) exclusively. The ship's draft indicates that most of its cargo is empties.

Far right in the photo - a glimpse of the ZIM boxes on the ship.

There was other business in the port too:

CSL Tacoma gliding through the Narrows with the tug Atlantic Willow on its way to Gold Bond Gypsum disturbed a glassy calm, despite a noticeably falling tide.

 made a return visit (it was last here August 30). This time the ship is arriving from Saint John, NB with a small cargo of refined product for Irving Oil. It unloaded most of its cargo from Amsterdam in Saint John early this week before coming to Halifax, the reverse of its last call.


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

MSC out, MSC in

MSC Stella departed this morning after its inaugural call on MSC's Indus 2 service. 

This was the first visit to Halifax for the 6724 TEU capacity ship, which is now underway for Norfolk.

This afternoon's arrival is a regular caller in more ways than one. Since 2020 MSC Veronique has been calling Halifax en route to or from Montreal on MSC's Canada Express 2 service. 

Today the 4437 TEU ship was escorted to its berth at PSA Halifax by the tugs Atlantic Oak (not visible - on the starboard side) and Atlantic Hemlock. (The latter is in port temporarily from Saint John as the big tugs are needed there for an LNG tanker).

MSC Veronique was a regular caller in Halifax as far back as the 1990s when it was the Mette Maersk. Built IN 1989 by Maersk's own Odense shipyard. the 52,1919 gt, 60,9000 dwt ship is one of the oldest on transatlantic routes, but in these boom times (for shipowners) it will likely be kept in service for a while longer.