A big wind and snow storm moved across the Atlantic provinces yesterday, January 14, through today and extending into tomorrow for northern areas. Interprovincial ferry services were cancelled and the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island was closed to all traffic. These legendary "nor'easters" are to be avoided if possible, and some ships sought sheltered anchorages and others skipped scheduled port calls altogether.
Waiting it out 1
Oceanex sent its ship Oceanex Avalon to anchor in Halifax last night rather than heading out to sea for St.John's.
The Oceanex Avalon in anchorage number one, just off the PSA Halifax terminal.
The ship has been temporarily assigned to the Halifax / St.John's route for alternate weeks while Oceanex Sanderling is in refit in Amsterdam. Fleet mate Oceanex Connaigra is sharing the duties, leaving Montreal with only one ship per week to St.John's during the month long refit period.
The Oceanex Avalon is now scheduled to sail this evening.
The ship may also be staying in port during foul weather because it is hatchless over most of its cargo space. It only has number one hatch covered. The rest of the hold is open to the elements and perhaps there are restrictions on when it can sail.
Waiting it out 2
Anchored in Bedford Basin, the bulk carrier Tanja also appears to be waiting out the bad weather as it heads south. Its last port was Grande Anse on the Saguenay River and it appears to be in ballast.
Tanja was built in 2016 by AVIC Dingheng in Yangzhou, China. It is a 19,104 gt, 27,674 dwt ship with box shaped holds and double skin, equipped with three 30 tonne cranes. It is also fitted to carry kaolin clay in slurry form and has a large slop tank near mid-ships.
Kaolin is used in paper making which explains its vists to Point Tupper, Quebec City, Grande Anse and other ports with nearby paper mills.
The ship had to call for a pilot this morning to re-anchor as it was dragging in high winds. Note the "bar taught" anchor line. Maximum winds speeds in excess of 65 kph(40 mph) and a maximum gust of 89 kph (55 mph) were recorded in the harbour today. Temperatures were in the - 12C (+10 F) range.
Waiting it out 3
The ConRo Nolhan Ava remained at Fairview Cove rather than sailing on its usual Friday departure for Argentia, NL and St-Pierre et Miquelon. It is a small ship and sailing in very bad weather risks damage to ship or cargo.
File photo from June 24, 2016. The ship carries a range of containers, trailers and RoRO.
Skips and misses
I noticed the ConRo ship Atlantic Sky by passing Halifax today en route from Liverpool, UK to New York. The ship did not appear on the Port's schedule for today, so this appears to have have been a planned "skip" - it is due back on the eastbound leg January 22.
Another odd movement is MSC Lucy which arrived in Halifax January 13 and sailed early in the morning of January 14. Since then it was seen idling in the Gulf of Maine in a position roughly on a line between Bar Harbor, ME and Yarmouth, NS. It is now heading back toward Halifax and is due tomorrow January16. The ship is on MSC's Indus 2 service from North India via the Mediterranean.