Friday, December 30, 2022

Name Changer

On December 22 Algoma Central Corporation of St.Catharines, ON, announced that its Algoma Tankers subsidiary had acquired two ships to replace older units in its domestic Canadian tanker fleet and third ship to join the fleet at a later date.

One ship, currently carrying the name Birgit Knutsen, was acquired in the third quarter of 2022 and is working internationally under charter. It is a sister to Algoma's Algoterra. Built in 2010 by Jiangnan, Shanghai, it is a 11,889 gt, 16,536 dwt vessel. No date has been suggested for its arrival in Canada.

The other two ships are sister ships, built in 2007 by RMK Marine in Tuzla, Turkey for Sea Tankers Shipping SASU of France. The  ships named Chantaco 11,793 gt, 18,734 dwt and Chiberta 11,799 gt, 18,734 dwt will be renamed Algotitan and Algoberta upon handover to Algoma.

Hand over of the Chantaco is expected very soon as the ship arrived in Halifax today, December 30 after a trip into the Great Lakes from Milford Haven. The ship sailed from the UK port December 4 and arrived in Hamilton, ON December 20. It sailed from there December 22 and passed Montreal December 25. 


On arrival today the ship backed in to Pier 25 where the handover and renaming will take place.

 From an "examination" of the stern of the ship it appears that it is a twin screw ice class vessel as two ice knives can be seen under the counter in line with the rudders. The twin funnels would also suggest two engines and twin screws. 

Once the Algotitan is in service it will replace the Algoma Hansa in coastal trade this winter. The latter ship was built in 1998 and is en route to Halifax for layup and sale. More on that when it arrives. The Chiberta / future Algoberta is still operating in Europe under charter to Furetank AB of Sweden and will be coming to Canada sometime in 2023. It is due to replace the Algosea.

About the Names

On a somewhat whimsical note, it is fairly obvious that Chiberta's name suggests the Province of Alberta, source of most of Canada's crude oil. Therefore the name Algoberta makes a certain amount of sense for a tanker.

I can't say as much for the name Algotitan. There does not seem to be any obvious reason for that choice (the similarity to "Titanic" is rather uncomfortable however). But I am glad that Algoma did not follow the previous example and borrow the last syllable of the Chataco for a rather unappetizing choice.


All Out

 Today, December 30, was another busy day in the Port of Halifax with activity at almost every pier in advance of another long holiday weekend. Both container terminals had ships alongside and more due while Autoport had its third ship in as many days.

PSA Fairview Cove had the colourful ONE Helsinki for THE Alliance. When it sailed NYK Romulus took its berth. The coastal ConRo Nolhan Ava was also alongside loading for Argentia, NL and St-Pierre et Miquelon.

 Built in 2012 by IHI, Kure as Helsinki Bridge the 96,801gt, 96,980 dwt ONE Helsinki has a capacity of 8930 TEU according to most sources. K-Line renamed the ship in 2020 as part of the Ocean Network Express amalgamation (in 2017) of the primary Japanese container lines (K-Line, MOL and NYK) to form Ocean Network Express.

The photo shows quite clearly why a second navigating bridge was added above the orginal one. It allows for the required visibility forward when the deck load was increased to six-high container stacks. 

Predictably ONE's choice of hull colour - magenta - has not proven to be terribly practical. The paint has faded due to ultra-violet degradation (and not evenly at that.) and touch ups do not match older paint. Also the usual wear and tear, rust streaks and tug and pilot boat contact scuff marks show up much more readily than on other colours. The problem is most obvious around the pilot door, but also appears at scuppers and drains.

As one of the biggest ships to call at PSA Fairview Cove, this ship made use of the tugs Atlantic Bear (alongside) and Atlantic Oak (tehered stern escort) as it made its way outbound through the Narrows.

 PSA's Southend terminal has ZIM Yokohama alongside with APL Sentosa due on its departure. Oceanex Sanderling was also working at the Atlantic Hub, but moved to Autoport when the berth was free. When there is a space clear tomorrow the smaller Lagarfoss, in Eimskip's Green Line service, will come alongside at Pier 42. In the meantine it anchored in the lower harbour.

Autoport had the SFL Conductor in from Emden, Germany.

Built in 2006 as Favorite Ace by Shin Kurushima, Hiroshima, the 60,118 gt, 17,709 dwt ship was renamed Glovis Conductor in 2012 and SFL Conductor in 2019. It has a capacity of 6500 Car Equivalent Units. The ship gave Baltimore as its destination on departure this afternoon

There was one more notable arrival, but that will be the suject of another post. See "Name Changer".


Thursday, December 29, 2022

MSC Leigh - new assignment

 The Mediterranean Shipping Company's MSC Leigh has been a some time caller in Halifax since 2020 on the CANEX 2 service to the St.Lawrence River. The ship called initially for Canadian Food Inpsection Agency invasive species clearance. It then called to lighten off or top up cargo to ocean draft. It was the subject of several posts on this blog: March 21, 2020, November 30 and December 12, 2021, February 9 and 19, 2022.

It was in port again today, but on a different route. It has now been assigned to the Turkey and Greece to North American east coast service. It departed Piraeus, Greece on December 10 and stopped in Naples December 14, Valencia, Spain, December 17 and Sines, Portugal, December 19.

 Launched by Daewoo Mangalia, Romania in 2006 as Buxtine for NSB Niederelbe, the ship was delivered as MSC Leigh. The 50,963 gt, 63,410 dwt ship has a capacity of 4884 TEU including 560 reefers.

The ship sailed for Boston later this afternoon.


Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Catch Up Day

 It was unusually busy in the Port of Halifax today, December 27. There were several reasons for this, including improved weather and the end of the Christmas break (not for ships and terminals,but for truck traffic). Ships had been holding off shore to avoid the recent high winds and others scheduled arrivals to avoid overtime / holiday pay for longshore workers.

Although the weather was benign here (cloudy with snow showers, no appreciable wind, temperature around or above Zero C) the weather inland as far as the US mid-west has had a major impact on rail traffic. A derailment at Grafton, ON, December 24, blamed on a faulty switch, but in the midst of a snow strom blocked the CN main line between Montreal and Toronto. The derailed train was number 121, out of Halifax with a lot of international containers and intermodal boxes bound for Toronto, Detroit and beyond as far as Chicago. With the line blocked, train traffic bound for Halifax has been held in Toronto and west.

It was also an unusual day, with four ships calling in Halifax for the first time (to my knowledge).

At Autoport the Eukor carrier Morning Charlotte arrived from Goteborg and other European ports.

A flotilla of Mallard ducks wintering over in ice-free Halifax, took off en masse when I arrived.

The 61,002 gt, 22,362 dwt ship was built in 2007 by Imabari Zosen in Marugame, Japan. It has a capacity of 6502 CEU and is operating on Wallenius Wilhelmsen's transatlantic service.

It is also unusual to have two autocariers in port at the same time, but the second arrival headed for Pier 9C first to offload heavy machinery and other RoRo cargo. Talia carries a Wilhelmsen name and is also operating for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean. It will move to Autoport tomorrow after Morning Charlotte leaves.

Talia glides through the Narrows to Bedford Basin with the tugs Atlantic Fir (forward) and Atlantic Oak (aft).
Once in the Basin the ship begins a wide "U- turn" and returns to the Narrrows.
The ship must berth starboard side to the dock at Pier 9C.
 Talia is a 57,692 gt, 21,021 dwt ship with a capacity of 6500 RT43 autos and is equipped with a 150 tonne capacity stern ramp. It was built by Stocznia Gdynia in 2006.
PSA Halifax's Atlantic Hub hosted two ships today, both first time callers.  ZIM China is a newcomer on ZIM's ZCA service.It tied up at Pier 42.

Built in 2008 by Samsung Shipbuilding + Heavy Industry in Geoje, South Korea, it is a 40,487 gt, 51,733 dwt ship with a capacity of 4275 TEU. It carried the name Hanjin Kenya from 2008 to 2017 then after a brief spell as Seaspan Kenya it became ALS Fauna later in 2017. It became ZIM China as of April 1, 2022.

Later in the morning it was joined at Pier 41 by MSC Margarita a 67,466 gt, 67,644 dwt ship with a capacity of 5770 TEU including 632 reefers. It was also built by Samsung SB + HI, Geoje.

The ship was originally named Santa Virginia, but was renamed OOCL Thailand on delivery. It became Santa Virginia again in 2009 then Cap Verde in 2010 and Santa Virginia again in 2013. It was renamed MSC Margarita in 2014. It is now operating on MSC's Turkey / Greece to East Coast North America service.

Another caller, which arrived yesterday, is certainly not a first timer, but is a regular for Irving Oil. East Coast discharged product at Irving Oil's Woodside terminal then this morning shifted to Imperial Oil's number 3 dock.

The various competing oil companies in easternn Canada make transfers to meet demands, so it it is not unheard of to see an Irving Oil tanker at Imperial Oil. This is the second time I know of that it has happened in 2022. Product from Suncor in Montreal and Valero in Lévis also arrive at Imperial Oil's depot from time to time.

While observing the ship from afar (that is from Halifax) it appears that two of Imperial's mooring buoys have been brought ashore. This could be regular maintenance or the result of storm damage. Imperial has upgraded the moorings at number 3 dock to withstand heavier weather, but it is still an exposed location and ships frequently move off the dock in times of high winds.

Two red and white buoys can be seen under the bow of the ship and a couple of backhoes seeem to be working in the area too.(Apologies for the out of focus view - too far for my camera.)


Monday, December 26, 2022


 Traditionally December 26, known as Boxing Day, is also a holiday in Nova Scotia, with stores closed and most businesses shut down for the second day in a row. Port operations however can be different, and today's Boxing Day arrival of CMA CGM Unity meant that PSA's Southend terminal, also known as the Atlantic Hub was open for business for ship operations only (no truck traffic).  (PSA's Fairview Cove was also open for vessel operations, but as there were no ships alongside, it appeared that there was only maintenance and office staff on site.)

CMA CGM Unity occupied Pier 41 and much of Pier 42. It allowed a litle room for the Oceanex Sanderling which moved in later in the day from a safe anchorage in Bedford Basin to Pier 42.

Large lettering on the CMA CGM Unity's sides proclaims that it is "LNGPOWERED" (appearing as one word) and is repeated just in case you could miss it. 

Built in 2021 by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, the 150,783 gt, 160,194 dwt ship has a capacity of 14,806 TEU (other sources say 14,812). It is one of 22 Suezmax ships ordered by Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd for charter to CMA CGM and called the Argentina class. The ships were ordered in three batches from Hyundai Samho and Hyundai Ulsan, and all were nominally rated at 15,052 TEU. The first five have scrubber equipped conventional diesel engines, but the remainder (including five yet to be delivered) are dual fuel - capable of using heavy fuel or LNG.

Ships with LNG fuel capability give up some cargo space for LNG storage, which may account for the discrepancy of TEU figures. It is also reported in some sources, that the ship was originally to be named Bonsavista Bay but that was seemingly changed early on in the construction process. 

LNG refueling is not widely available, but CMA CGM has a ten year contract from 2020 with Total for 300,000 tons of the stuff, to be provided in Europe. CMA CGM has committed to LNG fuel for all its new ships, including the larger 22,000+  TEU size and is promoting its use to other lines. LNG provides dramatic reductions in sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide pollutants and a reduction in carbon emissions.  Meanwhile non-carbon based fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia are still in development.


Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas Day news: Augusta Luna

 News coverage is hard to find on Christmas Day as most news outlets and reporters are enjoying a well earned day off. Thanks to Facebook and a few enthusiast posts some news does seep out. It was from these sources that I learned that the ship Augusta Luna en route from Moa, Cuba (via Halifax) for Bilbao, Spain put into St.John's, Newfoundland this morning, December 25, due to a medical emergency.


The ship operates between Europe and Cuba and is a regular caller in Halifax for Nirint Lines. It carries nickel sulfides for processing in Canada, as well as some other export cargo from Cuba. Its most recent call was on December 22.

The ship put into St.John's at about 0900 hrs NST this morning and the local fire department used an aerial ladder to extract the seafarer from the ship. I have no further information except that the ship was in port for less than an hour and returned to sea.

When the Augusta Luna sailed from Halilax it was ahead of some very bad weather. From the sound of the news, it would seem that the seafarer was injured (instead of suffering some disease or ailment), and that evacuation by helicopter was not practical, perhaps due to weather.

To quote from several previous Shipfax posts:

 A versatile ship of 12,772 gt, 17,370 dwt, Augusta Luna has a capacity of 903 TEU (nominal) including 60 reefers. It also carries two 150 tonne and one 80 tonne cranes. Built in 2011 by the Xinshun Shipyard Group in Yueqing, China, it started life as Rickmers Yokohama. In 2015 it became Lolland and Augusta Luna in 2019. 

 It is unfortunate that incidents such as this occur and at Christmas too, but it is a reminder that going to sea on ships can be a dangerous job. Many people must do that work - and on holidays too - often to make life easier for the rest of us. Our hopes are for a safe recovery of the seafarer.


Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Greetings [Revised]

 My post from yesterday with a sort of "conditional" Christmas greeting turned out to be unecessary. Despite the high winds Ship Central (the home of Shipfax) did not lose power and and has maintained continuous operation. However the weather, and the usual Christmas halt to port operations, has meant that there has been no shipping activity to report, and there are no scheduled arrivals, departures or moves in the port until Monday December 26. 

As usual at Christmas many ship enthusiasts like to exchange photos from the long ago past, along with their Christmas greetings. This year the first choice from my files was taken ca. September 20, 1971 * and shows a sight that is unlikely to be repeated in Halifax - namely a ship with a deck load of pulpwood.

Passing beneath the one year *old A. Murray MacKay Bridge, the Finland flag ship Margareta heads for Bedford Basin. (The research ships Dawson and Acadia are berthed at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in the background.)

Built in 1953 by Scheepwerf Gebroeders Pot, Bolnes, Netherlands, it was a 2605 gt, 3740 dwt ship, and was owned by Angfartygs Aktiebolaget Alfa from Mariehamm, Finland. It became the Sofia in 1977 and later the same year the Nikolaos G. and in 1981 it was renamed Ouranio Toxo. It was arrested in 1983 and foundered in June 1986 at its moorings off Tin Can Island, in Lagos, Nigeria.

 Scanadinavian ships often carried deck loads of Nova Scotia pulpwood - most of which usually arrived at the European destination. However there were many instances of ships experiencing huge lists after losing part of the deck load. The pulpwood, which was usually cut in winter, would be loaded in the late summer and early autumn when it had dried out and was lighter in weight. However that often meant sailing in less than ideal weather conditions.

Pulpwood cargo was not always a liability however. Its buoyancy was also credited with saving ships that might otherwise have sunk after collisions.

The John M. was one of those fortunate ships. It was impaled by the Bruarfoss off Lockeport, NS, and made it into Halifax September 18, 1980 even though a quantity of the cargo had washed out of the gaping hole. The remaining cargo was offloaded at Pier 24 and repair work was completed at Halifax Shipyards on November 10. It then reloaded the pulpwood and sailed on November 16. 

The John M. was built in 1970 by Lindenau in Kiel as the John M. Rehder and was a 3999 gt, 6333 dwt ship with three holds and five hatches. It was equipped with five 25 ton derricks and four 5 ton derricks. It took the shortened version of its name in 1979 and in 1983 became the Milas, in 1985 the Neapolis, and was broken up in Perama, Greece in December 1985,

Nowadays Nova Scotia trees are converted to chips or pellets and shipped to Europe and Asia below deck in humidity controlled conditions and are used as "hog fuel' (or bio mass if you prefer).

Now is the time to bring formal Seasons Greetings and to wish all readers a very Merry Christmas.

* Revision Due to a filing error, the date of the photo of the Margareta was incorrect. The photo was taken on September 20, 1975, making the bridge five years old (it opened on July 10, 1970.)


Friday, December 23, 2022

Seaspan Loncomilla and Greetings

 The container ship Seaspan Loncomilla made its second visit to Halifax on ZIM's ZCA service. It arrived over night last night and sailed this morning (Friday, December 23.) Its first call, on October 20 was in more pleasant weather conditions, and thus more conducive to photography.

 On October 20 the ship prepared to make its turn off the PSA Gateway Southend container terminal.

Today's departure into misty drizzle was in advance of a severe wind and rain storm moving in from the west.

 On December 23, the ship is just clear of the PSA terminal, outbound.

Seaspan Loncomilla is operated by Seaspan Ship Management, part of the large international ship financing company Seaspan Corporation that has a fleet of 129 owned container ships with 1.18 mn TEU capacity, and 61 ships under construction. 

The ship was built by Jiangsu New Yangzijiang in Jingjiang in 2009 as CSAV Loncomilla. Seaspan apparently financed the build and chartered the ship to the Chilean company CSAV (Compania Sudamericana de Vapores). It was named for a river in Chile, and when the charter had elapsed or was bought out, Seaspan made the simple rename in 2016. (HAPAG-Lloyd took over CSAV's container shipping business in 2014, and CSAV took an ownership position in H-L, joining with UASC.)

The 40,541 gt, 50,435 dwt ship has a capacity of 4256 TEU including a very high count of 698 reefers.

 The departure also marked the last scheduled international sailing from Halifax before the Christmas break. The Canadian ConRo Oceanex Sanderling is still in port with no tentative sailing time set. It would normally sail on Friday, but with the winds building the ship moved to anchor in Bedford Basin. The height of the storm is expected to be overnight and into tomorrow morning.

Widespread power outages are expected which may prevent Shipfax from publishing again until after Christmas. If so I wish to thank readers for your support during the past year, and wish you a Merrry Christmas.


Thursday, December 22, 2022

More DFO woes - now its the Needler

 The federal government's Department of Fisheries and Oceans operates a variety of reseach vessels and the ships of the Canadian Coast Guard. After many years of what can only be called neglect in government budgets, a program was finally put in place to rejuvenate the DFO fleet, but not before several aging vessels reached what should have been end of life. Notable among these was the recently decommissioned CCGS Hudson, which was well past its expected retirement date when it broke down. (See December 19 post).

The CBC is now reporting another ship with problems, but which must soldier on for several more years service. CCGS Alfred Needler is a 925 gt fisheries research trawler, built in 1981 by Ferguson Industries Ltd in Pictou, NS. 

 According to the news report a generator that powers the trawl winch failed in November and forced the ship to return to St.John's. Because the vessel's research involves the accumulation of comparative data, it is important that the ship replicate its previous missions (fishing in the same place, with the same gear, at the same time of year, etc.,) Repairing the generator is thus essential to being able to complete the research program. Then on November 23 there was a failure on an air receiver tank fitting. (The ship starts its engine on compressed air). That may have been repaired quickly, but the work to get the ship back in full service will not be completed until February. The ship has been alongside at the Bedford Institute since December 18.

 The Alfred Needler was to be retired this month, but will now require a $4.1 mn Vessel Life Extension project to keep it in service. The other DFO research trawler, the Teleost, which was also to be retired, will be maintained as well in order to transfer the above noted comparative data programs to new ships.

All this is very strange since the National Shipbuilding Strategy has long since delivered all three of the planned new offshore fisheries research vessels. CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier was delivered in 2019 and the CCGS John Cabot in 2020. (The first of the three, CCGS Sir John Franklin was delivered in 2019 for service on the West Coast.) There should have been time to carry out the transitions from old to new ships, but there may have been issues with the new ships too, all of which were built by Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyard Co Ltd.


More twins - Franbo Lohas and Thorco Legacy

 After yesterday's meeting of Canada Steamship Lines sister ships in Bedford Basin, there was another twin meet up - also in Bedford Basin - today,  December 22. This time it was two multi-purpose 'tween deck general cargo ships.

Franbo Lohas has been in Halifax since since November 6. It was at Pier 9B from November 10-22, and made one brief "day trip" to sea for trials December 3. The rest of the time it has been at anchor in the Basin. As per previous posts, the ship was in Halifax in March 2022 to load fibreoptic cable racks and was reported in Vancouver. IT International Telecom had a major submarine cable project in British Columbia, and I am assuming the ship delivered cable there.

Today Franbo Lohas was joined at anchor by the Thorco Legacy a 13,110 gt, 16,966 dwt product of the same Honda Heavy Industries shipyard in Saiki, Japan. It is two years newer however and was completed in 2016, the last of nine sister ships all of which originally carried "L" names and were owned or chartered to Thorco Shipping A/S of Denmark. (Franbo Lohas was Thorco Lohas until 2021.) It carries the same 50 tonne SWL cranes and featues box shaped holds of the "open hatch" design.

Thorco, based in Copenhagen (and merged with Clipper Projects in 2013) operates about 70 ships- many on charter from other owners. Franbo, based in Taiwan operates a variety of ships, many of them bulk carriers. Thorco prefers to charter ships than to build up a fleet of owned ships, and can thus reduce long term commitments while meeting short term needs.

The two ships were anchored near each other and were not the only ships at anchor in Bedford Basin. Also arriving this morning after a brief trip to Boston [see December 16 post], was the icebreaking tug Polar Circle.


As Thorco Legacy (right) approaches anchorage positon number 9, it passes the Polar Circle and nears the Franbo Lohas (left - blue hull).

As with the cargo ships, the purpose for Polar Circle's presence in Halifax is not known. Why it should sail to Boston only to take on bunkers is also a mystery.


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Gypsum and a New Name


Gypsum has been leaving Halifax at a great rate over the last few days - possibly to build stockpiles over Christmas. Whatever the reason, there have been three ship loads since Monday (December 19).

Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin took less than a full load on Monday, as it sailed for US BUH. This is its second trip to Halifax this month. On the previous call, December 4-5, it loaded for Savannah, GA and Wilmington, NC. The 43,691 gt 71,406 dwt ship was built in 2012 by Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China. It is one of five Trillium class ocean going self-unloaders working in the CSL Americas pool.

As it nears it tenth year in service, it completed its second five-year class renewal survey in October before moving back from European waters to North America. That survey would have included drydocking, which was an opportunity for new hull paint. Draft marks and bulkhead locations still looked fresh as the ship cleared the MacKay bridge for sea.

Mid-day Tuesday December 20 the Canadian flag self-unloading bulker Baie St. Paul arrived from Quebec City and docked at Gold Bond gypsum. It is one of four Trillium class Seawaymax self-unloaders built for CSL's domestic fleet. Dating from 2012 the 24,430 gt, was also built by Chengxi, Jiangyin. Originally intended for restricted Seaway and Gulf use (29,650 dwt at Seaway 26'-6" draft) it was strengthened for short sea work and can load to 35,564 dwt (mid-summer, 30'-3" fresh water draft).However dwt tonnnage is generally recorded at 34,490 tonnes.

This morning (Wednesday, December 21) it completed loading and sailed once again for Côte-Ste-Catherine, QC. (Its last visit December 2-5 was to the same destination.)

Meanwhile its sister ship Thunder Bay (same dimensions and specs, but built in 2013) had arrived later December 20 and anchored in the lower harbour. This morning Thunder Bay got underway and cleared the Narrows first (with the tug Atlantic Bear alongside.)

The ships then arranged a port-to-port meet in Bedford Basin as the loaded Baie St. Paul made for the Narrows.

Getting both ships in the same photo is a rare opportunity - not to be missed.

 Unlike the newly painted Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin the Canadian ships are scuffed up from constantly working through the Seaway locks. There is no chance (and no point) in trying to keep paint on the hull as it could be worn off before drying.

New Name

I am batting somewhat less than .500 on predictions recently - but stats can be misleading! I was correct in reporting in my last post that the tanker Alkaios would be renamed Madelyn Grace.  I was incorrect (partly) that weather would prevent painting. This morning I noted the new name has been painted on the bow (somewhat less than expertly - but I'm no expert).

 My prediction that the handover to new owners would take up to a week was way off. The ship sailed late this afternoon for Rotterdam. (I was correct in assuming that the large "Capital" banners and other logos and funnel marks would have to remain to another time and another place before repainting.)

Although the ship was still carrying the name Alkaios when it arrived in Halifax September 18, it was officially renamed before tying up at Pier 25, December 19, and perhaps even before arriving here.


Monday, December 19, 2022

Tankers x 4 and begining of the end

 PART 1 (There is a Part 2 - scroll Way down)

It was a day (December 19) for tanker activity in Halifax after several days of delays due to high winds:

Tanker 1

The handsome Alkaios arrived last evening from New York (and Carteret NJ) and anchored in Bedford Basin. Unusual for a tanker arriving in Halifax, the ship is quite obviously in ballast.

Built in 2016 by Samsung Ningbo in Ningbo, China it is an ECO MidRange design of 29,770 gt, 50,137 dwt. (A very low ratio of gt to dwt, indicating an efficient use of space.) Owners are listed as Hercules Product Carrier SA, and the ship's name derives from one of many characters in Greek mythology.

This morning the ship moved through the Narrows to the lower harbour.

It was then met by tugs and eased into Pier 25 - a most unusual berth for a tanker.

In September it was announced that operators Capital Ship Management (part of the Evangelos Marinakis shipping group) had sold the ship and sister vessel Archon to Tufton Oceanic for $73 mn. The ship has now been placed under the management of Zeaborn Ship Management Tanker with a three to five year fixed rate charter to Trafigura. 

The visit to Pier 25 is to carry out handover activities. The actual transaction was to have taken effect in November. Part of the handover will include a change of name to Madelyn Grace. Registry will  change from Liberia to the Marshall Islands. Weather here is not suitable for painting over the large "Capital" billboards and flag motifs - that will have to wait until the ship reaches a warmer and dryer climate. I assume that there will be a complete crew change too, so it may be some time (perhaps after Christmas) before the ship sails.

Tanker 2

Algoscotia is a Canadian flag coastal tanker and it also arrived last night. It anchored in the lower harbour, and is scheduled to move to Imperial Oil as soon as the berth is clear.

The ship is returning from Sydney, NS and CornerBrook, NL where it delivered some product loaded in Halifax last week. Built in 2004 by Jiangnan Shipyard (Group)'s Qiuxin Shipyard in China, it is a 13,352 gt, 18,610 dwt ship and carries LR Ice Class 1A.

Tanker 3

An unusual tanker, with an unusual name arrived last night after it was weather delayed from its expected arrival of December 16. The Amigo is an asphalt / bitumen tanker built in 2012 by 3 Maj Brodogradiliste, Rijeka, Croatia. The 10,866 gt, 14,911 dwt ship was originally named Palanca Luanda and took its present name in 2018. It is now operated by Puma Energy Supply and Trading and arrived from Baltimore. (Prior to that it was in Saint John, NB December 3-4.)

The ship was due to sail for Montreal at mid-day, and did get underway from anchorage. However it came about in the Middle Ground area and returned to number one anchorage. I can only describe this as very unusual and likely in response to some kind of emergency. A larger ship could not have made such a tight turn. The ship is now scheduled to sail overnight.

Tanker 4

The Sea Caelum arrived Friday December 14 and also anchored until Saturday when it moved in alongside Imperial Oil dock 3. The ship will be offloading product from Antwerp, a common source for Imperial Oil's local needs.

The ship is named for a faint constellation in the southern sky - and its photo is also faint thanks to today's light mist. (The name comes from the Latin for "sky" or "heaven" and the 'c' is pronounced as an 's' according to all-knowing Wikipedia.)

A MidRange tanker of 30,946 gt, 45,999 dwt, it was built as British Mariner in 2016 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan. It became Maersk Caelum in 2020 and was renamed again earlier this year. It is operated by the Singapore based Synergy Marine Group's Copenhagen office. (Synergy manages 265 ships of all kinds.) When built for British Petroleum, it was name ship for a class of specialist tankers that could carry a variety of clean and dirty fuels and even crude oil of needed. A sister ship, British Sailor called here for Irving Oil in December 2017 and June 2018.

Part 2

Begining of the End

As posted previously the now-decommisioned Hudson was moved today from the Bedford Institute to Pier 9C where the demolition process is to begin. The ship had no power of its own, and a scatch crew of deck hands retrieved the mooring lines without the help of winches.

As the tugs Atlantic Willow (bow) and Atlantic Fir (stern) moved the ship away from the berth there was an eerie farewell whistle salute - probably from the CCGS Alfred Needler and a barely audible peep from the CCGS G.Peddle S.C.

Ugly scuff marks on the hull show where the ship has been ranging up against the dock since returning to Halifax January 24, 2022. The ship was retired unexpectedly earlier this year after a propulsion motor fault in November 2021. That forced the ship to cancel scientific work and to return to St.John's where it was determined that repairs were not warranted. Unlike its ceremonial return in January, today's "cold move" was made without fanfare. After unspecified work is carried out at Pier 9C the Hudson will be towed to Sheet Harbour where it will be cut up by R.J.MacIsaac Construction Ltd. See Shipfax post of November 30.



Friday, December 16, 2022

Red and Green

 The colours red and green are usually associated with Christmas, so I guess it was appropriate that red ships and green ships dominated harbour activities today with Christmas just over a week away.

Among the red ships was the CCGS Cape Roger arriving from its normal St.John's, Newfoundland base of operations. With the annual southwest Nova Scotia lobster fishing season in full swing, the Coast Guard was seriously under strength for active all weather ships. In fact the only large vessel in service in the area has been the CCGS Jean Goodwill which has been on duty most of the time since early in the month when the fishery opened. (Lobstering is an inshore fishery and boats are small. CCG lifeboats in Sambro, Clarks Harbour, Wesport have been on duty too and often sail in poor weather.)

Built in 1977 by Ferguson Industries Ltd in Pictou, NS, the Cape Roger is a dedicated Search and Rescue and Fisheries Patrol vessel with some pollution response capability. It was originally equipped with a helicopter hangar and flight deck but both have since been removed. (It does have a helicopter winching system.) Both Cape Roger and near sister Cygnus under went Vessel Life Extensions (VLE) in the past year at Newdock in St.John's. The original contract for the work totaled $20.7 mn for the two ships and was to take five months each. Cape Roger's was from May to October 2021 and Cygnus from November 2021 to April 2022.

As Cape Roger was arriving this morning it had to loaf around in Bedford Basin for a few minutes until its berth at the Bedford Institute was freed up. That allowed a look at both sides of the ship, and its new articulated knuckle boom crane (starboard quarter) installed during the VLE.

The berth to be vacated was occupied by CCGS Jean Goodwill which returned from its most recent SAR patrol on Tuesday, December 13 (see post) - perhaps for crew change.

Berths are at a premium at the BIO. The CCGS Kopit Hopson 1752 (left) has been redelivered to the CCG after its VLE but has not yet returned to service. The now decommissioned Hudson (right) is soon to be moved out to another pier somewhere else in the harbour.

As part of its conversion from icebreaking offshore supply tug, the Jean Goodwill was fitted with a padded stern notch which will allow towing in ice should the need arise. Widely used in the Baltic (hence the term Baltic stern notch) the method is new to the CCG.

A red ship that has been in Halifax since October 7 finally sailed today (without acquiring a Canadian white stripe.)

The Norwegian-owned, Cyprus flagged, icebreaking tug supplier had been working in the Russian eastern arctic until its owners pulled out. The ship sailed via the Bering Strait and Panama Canal stopping in New York en route to Halifax. 

The vessel was available for charter and there was speculation that the Canadian Coast Guard might be interested in it as a temporary replacement for the CCGS Terry Fox which is scheduled for VLE next year and is currently undergoing repairs to fire damage. However the Polar Circle sailed today giving Boston as it destination. There has also been speculation that the USCG might be in need of its capabilities. That is a big guess in my opinion as Jones Act waivers and non-US flag ships are not exactly popular in the US right now.

Now for some green. The Canadian Forest Navigation (CANFORNAV) charter Sunda (see previous post December 12) sailed today with a full load of soybeans for Ghent, Belgium. 

The ship completed topping up its cargo several days ago but remained in port likely due to weather conditions on its proposed route. When the ship arrived from Johnstown, ON (via the Cabot Strait) it had built up a lot of frozen spray - some of which was still clinging to the ship's anchors earlier today.

And finally in the red and green theme, two Halifax regulars Oceanex Sanderling (red) and Nolhan Ava (green) are both in port on their typical weekly container and RoRo services. Oceanex Sanderling is due to sail for St.John's this evening. Nolhan Ava will likely leave for Argentia and St-Pierre tomorrow.

Red Footnote (or maybe more like orange):

 A ship that was in Halifax on June 10, 2022 [see for details] and again December 7 made the news on December 14. The autocarier San Martin which had arrived in Halifax from Emden, sailed on December 7 for Houston. It anchored in the Galveston Fairway on December 14 and called on the US Coast Guard for a medical evacuation of the ship's master. A helicopter and medic air lifted the captain to hospital in Galveston where the prognosis was favourable.