Sunday, July 31, 2022

More Autos

 Despite the world wide shortage of auto components, especially computer chips, new cars keep rolling in to Autoport. Today (July 31) it was Morning Lisa working for Wallenius Wilhelmsen's transatlantic service with another consignment from North Europe (Zeebrugge, Goteborg and Southampton).

The Morning Lisa dates from 2008 when it was delivered by Hyundai, Samho. A 68,701 gt, 28,084 dwt vessel, it has a capacity of 8,011 Car Equivalaent Units. The ship arrived at noon time yesterday (Saturday, July 30) and sailed late this afternoon (Sunday, July 31) for New York.


Friday, July 29, 2022

IT Infinity - off to Aberdeen

 The cable repair ship, former offshore support vessel, IT Infinity, sailed this afternoon, July 29, for Aberdeen, Scotland after a work period in Halifax.

The 4277 gt, 4867 dwt vessel arrived in Halifax July 18 [see Shipfax for that date ] from Florida and tied up at the IT International Telecom Marine Base at Pier 9B. 

While alongside it had a pair of gantries (blue and yellow structures in photo above) installed on deck, and presumably had other work done to equip the ship for cable repair.  

The IT Infinity is heading back to its previous home port of Aberdeen, and is due there August 9 according to AIS.


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Busy Day

 Today, July 28, was a busy day in the harbour with both civilian and military shipping activity. Among the arrivals were a US Coast Guard cutter and a Danish frigate.

USCGC Bear WMEC-901 is a Famous class, medium endurance cutter, based in Portsmouth, VA.

Sun angles and the tug Atlantic Willow conspired to prevent a clear view of  the arriving USCGC Bear.

The famous previous vessel after which it is named had a Halifax conneciton. The US Revenue cutter Bear was a "wooden wall" built in 1874 as a sail/steam sealer, that served in Alaska for many years.It then worked for Admiral Richard Byrd in Antarctica and for the US Navy in Greenland during World War II. After the war it was acquired by Shaw Steamships of Halifax for use as a sealer. In 1963 "Pop" Shaw sold the ship to a restauranteur from Philadephia. It departed Halifax March 16, 1963 in tow of (the first) Irving Birch but sank 90 miles south of Cape Sable after the tow line parted and the ship wallowed out of control.

The current USCGC Bear, fitted with sophisticated sidescan sonar, located the wreck in 2019 and it has since been confirmed and exensively mapped and photographed from an ROV in 2021. (Sea History Issue 178, Spring 2022 has more detailed information.) Since the wreck is in Canadian territorial waters discussions are underway between Canada and the US on how to protect it.

His Danish Majesty's Ship Triton F358 arrived in the early afternoon at HMC Dockyard.

The 3500 ton displacement vessel was launched in 1990 by Svendborg Shipyard and commissioned in  1991. It is a Thetis class frigate, one of four in the RDN, tasked with "maintenance of sovereignty, search and rescue, fishery inspection and support to local (mainly Greenlandic) authorities. The operation areas are normally Greenland and the Faroe Islands, but the vessels also operate near Iceland on transit between Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and near Denmark". [quoted from Wikipedia]
A third naval vessel movement involved the submarine HMCS Windsor which had been occupying the sound range anchorage below York Redoubt for the last day or two. This morning navy tugs Glenevis, Listerville and Merrickville assisted the sub in getting underway.
As the sub got underway, it was clear enough to see the containership One Hangzhou Bay  in an offshore anchorage.

There were two much larger ships in port today - both in the 140,000 gross tons range, and both in excess of 300 meters in overall length.

First in was the Royal Caribbean Cruises ship Adventure of the Seas with a calculated gross tonnage of  138,193 tons and an overall legth of 311 meters. To cater to its 3,807 passsengers and to operate the ship, there is a crew of 1,185. The ship was built by Kvaerner Masa in Turku, Finland and delivered in late 2001.

The topmost of the ship's fourteen decks tower over the Pier 21-22 buildings.

On sailing this evening, the ship made an impressive sight even though there were no nearby objects to give a sense of scale.

The other large ship was the late afternoon arriving CMA CGM T. Roosevelt arriving directly from Colombo, Sri Lanka.

 Tugs alongside are usually a nuisance to photographers, but the ship is so huge, they hardly matter. The stern tug is "putting on the brakes."
The truly large ship of 140,872 gt, 148,992 dwt and 366.96 m overall length, has a capacity of 14,414 TEU. It was built in 2017 by Hyundai, Ulsan, and is one of six sister ships operating for the Ocean Alliance of CMA CGM, COSCO, Evegreen and OOCL from Asia to North America via the Suez Canal. CMA CGM acquired Neptune Orient Lines, owners of American President Lines, in 2016. They have retained the presidential naming scheme and still operate a US branch now called APL with US flag ships.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

MSC Ins and Outs [revised due to gremlins]

 It was a quick change at PSA Atlantic Hub today with the departure of one MSC ship followed within an hour or so by another MSC arrival.

MSC Rossella arrived over night and tied up in the early hours of this morning July 27, one month after its previous arrival. On that visit it did not dock, but anchored for Canadian Food Inspection Agency clearance en route from Europe to Montreal. It was the ship's first visit to Canada after earlier calls in the Far East, and had to be inspected for LDA moth larva before proceeding further into Canadian waters. See my post of June 27

Since that brief visit the ship has been to Montreal, Sines, Portugal and Valenica, Spain, and is now en route back to Montreal. It presumably off loaded some cargo to reduce draft for the St.Lawrence River.


On departure the ship showed lots of empty deck space aft - perhaps to make room to load empties in Montreal. As noted in the previous post, the 3398 TEU capacity ship dates from 1993 when it was launched by Samsung Koje as Hansa Europe. Delivered as Ville de Carina, it became MSC Rossella in 1997. The relativley small size of 27,398 gt, 43,603 dwt makes the ship suitable for St.Lawrence River routes such as CANEX1.

Pier 42 was not vacant for long as the inbound MSC Santhya tied up for noon, arriving from Montreal on the CANEX 2 service. While the ship was approaching the pilot station, it projected an interesting optical phenomenon, "reflecting" an elongated version of its hull:

These sights are not uncommon, and can be seen off Halifax when the right conditions of very hot air and cool water prevail.

The ship eventually loomed into view in the normal form - not a mirage.

MSC Santhya is also an older ship, built in 1991 by Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack, as Vladivostok. In 1991 it became DSR Senator and in 2000 Baykal Senator. It took its present name in 2004. A 37,021 gt, 46,600 dwt ship,it has a capacity of 3007 TEU (including 100 reefers) but was far from that capacity on arrival today. It will top up with some more containers before sailing on to Spain and Italy.

[Gremlins attacked the first version of this post, which has now been revised.]


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Violet Ace for Autoport

 Mitsui O.S.K. Lines of Japan, operates an auto carrier fleet of more than 110 ships (according to their website), called Auto Carrier Express, but usually abbreviated to MOL ACE. They maintain numerous routes in Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe and the Americas, independently of other carriers.

Today's (July 26) arrival at Autoport was one of the "smaller" ships in the fleet, the Violet Ace.

Built in 2011 by the Ha Long Shipbuilding Co in Ha Long, Vietnam, it is a 49,708 gt, 13,370 dwt vessel with a capacity of 5,000 CEU. The ships we are used to seeing at Autoport these days usually have a capacity in the 7,000 to 8,000 CEU range. The Ha Long company has recently partnered with the Damen Group of the Netherlands, but has been a state owned enterprise since 1976.

The ship is not actually owned by MOL but is chartered from Ray Car Carriers, the Israeli owned, Isle of Man based auto carrier arm of the Ungar family. Their ships are managed by Stamco Ship Management, a Greek company that manages Ray ships for all the major auto carrier fleets. Ray Car Carriers uses predominantly Bulgarian crews.

Outbound rounding Ives Knoll, the ship puffs some black smoke from its funnel, that has an unusual lattice work cap structure.

Violet Ace arrived from Emden and is bound for Houston, a distinctly different route than other auto carrier lines that usually call in Davisville, RI or New York.


Monday, July 25, 2022

Romulus and Remus

 The twin sons of Mars and Rhea Silvia, in Roman legend, were raised by a wolf and had a falling out over where to build a new city. Romulus (or his friends) slew Remus and founded Rome on the Palatine hill and became king. Roman astronomers gave the brothers' names to "twin" stars that we can see near Orion. These Gemini twins were known by the Greeks as Castor and Pollux.

When Hyundai Samho built twelve Daedalus class ships for NYK Line, they were each given names from the constellations.  NYK Remus the ninth ship, was delivered in 2009, and NYK Romulus the eleventh, in 2010. Calculated at 55,487 gt, they were rated at 4922 TEU including 330 reefers. The NYK Remus measures 65,981 dwt and is registered in Panama. NYK Romulus is 65,883 dwt and flies the Singapore flag.

Both ships are assigned to THE Alliance's AL5 North Europe to North America service and it was inevitable that they would cross paths at some point. That happened today, July 25 as NYK Remus sailed from PSA Fairview Cove for Southampton on its eastbound leg and NYK Romulus arrived from Antwerp, westbound.

 NYK Romulus preparing to turn off the berth as it arrives in Bedford Basin this morning.

NYK Remus making up its tugs, ready to let go.

The two ships met off the berth at Fairview Cove, with NYK Remus neatly slipping out for sea as NYK Romulus was backing in to take its place.

 The outbound (eastbound) ship looks slightly less laden, which would be expected as the balance of trade these days is for imports. The NYK Remus was carrying a less than a full deck load as it cleared the MacKay bridge, but had lots of empties, stacked up aft.

Although the three big Japanese container lines, K-Line, MOL and NYK, formed the Ocean Network Express (ONE) joint venture in 2016 to fight off competition from the larger lines, they have have been slow to rebrand their ships and fold them into the ONE stable. One reason may be that most of the ships are chartered from other owners, and the cost of renaming and repainting would not be born voluntarily. So far it is mostly new ships that have been painted in ONE's magenta hull clour.


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Return of the Rhone

 The French naval vessel Rhône paid a return visit to Halifax this morning - emerging from thick fog as it approached Jetty 3 in HMC Dockyard. 

Built in 2017 by Kership, Concarneau and commissioned in 2018, the ship made its first visit to Halifax November 13, 2018.

Rhône is designated A603, and classed in French terminology as BSAH, "batiment de soutien et d'assistance hauturier" [meaning offshore support and assistance] indicating its multi-functional role as a deep sea towing and rescue tug. It is also equipped to deal with port work, carrying a 300m pollution barrier, supporting twelve divers and transporting weapons and ammunition. 

Its was designed to be able to tow nuclear submarines in case of major damage, and to retrieve the towed arrays when they enter port. It was designed to tow a nuke at 5 knots in sea state 7 (9 meter seas). Itis a member of the Loire class of twin screw vessels with 80 tonne bollard pull, from 7200 bhp main engines. They carry equipment for dynamic positioning DP1 and firefighting FiFi-1.

The vessel is based in St-Pierre et Miquelon and carries out sovereignty patrols and stands by for search and rescue and other duties, including disaster relief and courtesy calls such as this.


Saturday, July 23, 2022

Vistula Maersk

 The joint Maersk / CMA CGM North Atlantic service changed three of its ships in the spring of this year, and the "new" ships are now regular callers. I am sure I will have many opportunities for pictures, and in ideal conditions, but so far the ships are still novelties and I like to get pictures when ever I can.

Today July 23, it was the second visit of Vistula Maersk en route from Montreal back to Europe. I did not get an "underway" photo on its first visit one month ago. See Shipfax June 23 so I made a point of being on hand for this arrival.

The tug Atlantic Willow is about to come alongside as the ship approaches. A second tug, Atlantic Oak has already made up on the starboard side.

The 34,882 gt, 40,000 dwt ship was built in 2018 by COSCO (Zhoushan) Shipyard Co in Zhoushan, China and has a capacity of 3600 TEU including 600 reefers. Built for Baltic feeder service, it is an ice class vessel and became available when world events altered trade routes in the region.

As the ship approaches the southend terminal, the tugs are in position to turn the ship to berth starboard side to the pier.

The sister ship Vayenga Maersk and the CMA CGM Montreal join the EM Kea on the weekly service. CMA CGM calls the service "St-Laurent 1" and Maersk calls it "CAE" (Canada Atlantic Express). Port rotation is Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Montreal, Halifax and back to Bremerhaven. Halifax tends to be an optional port, depending on weather and demand, but the ships manage to keep up the weekly Saturday arrivals very consistently.


Friday, July 22, 2022

AOPS 3 Max Bernays

 AOPS 3, the third Arctic Offshore Patrol vessel, the future HMCS Max Bernays, left Irving Shipbuilding Inc's Halifax Shipyard for the first time today, July 22, for sea trials. Initially it went to Bedford Basin for compass swing and other adjustments, then headed for sea.

The fog was still thick as the ship got underway.

As it approached the MacKay bridge, the tug Atlantic Fir peeled off and returned to base, and the fog had dissipated enough for a clear view.The tug Atlantic Willow followed, in case it was needed, but with a slack line.

The extended sea trials may take several days.


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

More Heavy Weights

 The size of ships on various routes continues to increase as shipping lines cope with demand and backlogs. In some cases lines are going outside their own stable of ships with charters, but other lines are able to move ships around as needed.

THE Alliance continues to call on charters from outside its member group (HAPAG-Lloyd, Hyundai, ONE, Yang Ming) to find tonnage. Conti Contessa, owned and operated by Conti-Lines Group of Belgium, arrived again today July 20 on the EC5 service. This not its first call on this route, so it would seem to be on a longer term charter.

The 90,449 gt, 107,055 dwt ship was built in 2006 by Samsung Shipbuilding + Heavy Industry Co Ltd, Koje, and has a capacity of 8084 TEU, including 700 reefers.It carried the name ITAL Contessa until 2019.

Due to its size, the ship called on three tugs (one on each side, and a tethered escort astern) as it made its way inbound to PSA Fairview Cove.

The ship is at nearly the limit for the size of ship that can reach Fairview Cove.


The Southend container terminal PSA Atlantic Hub, also handled a large ship today, but it it is well shy of the largest that can be accommodated. CMA CGM La Pérouse is a 151,446 gt, 165,422 dwt, 13,880 TEU (including 800 reefers) ship, built in 2010 by Daewoo Shipbuilding + Marine Engineering Co Ltd, Okpo.

The Southend facility can handle ships of greater than 15,000 TEU - the largest ships currently calling at North American ports. Although there are now ships with 23,000 TEU capacity, ships of 20,000 TEU+ will only be running from Asia to Europe for the foreseable future.

With Pier 41 occupied, the Oceanex Sanderling moved from Autoport to Pier 36 this afternoon. For now, the ship can use the Pier 36 RoRo ramp, but that will not be the case for much longer as work to fill in the basin between Piers A-1 and B will soon be underway.

The sail excursion boat J.Farwell makes it way inbound under power, as Oceanex Sanderling crosses from Autoport to Pier 36.

The Oceanex Sanderling will be taking on RoRo cargo at Pier 36, but will have to move to Pier 41 or 42 so that cranes can load containers before the ship sails on Friday (July 22.)


Monday, July 18, 2022

Some New Names, Some Familiar

 There were some "new to Halifax" arrivals today, July 18 and some familiar returns.

 New 1

An early morning arrival was the IT Infinity, an offshore support vessel re-purposed for cable work for IT International Telecom. It tied up at the company's marine base at Pier 9A where workers were at the ready with a crane and other gear to fit the ship out.

It was built in 2008 by Aker Tulcea in Turkey (and likely completed at Brattvaag, Norway) to a ST-216L CD platform supplier design. The diesel electric vessel is ice strengthened. Named Volstad Princess it operated under Tidewater Management until 2017 when it became Standard Princess, managed  by Fletcher Supply Vessels Ltd of Aberdeen, Scotland. IT International Telecom seems to have acquired and renamed the ship late last year. However on arrival this morning it was still wearing a "Fletcher" logo.

At some point since 2019, when it was working out of Aberdeen, posssibly for Equinor, it acquired a 75 tonne SWL deck crane, mounted well aft.

It reportedly sailed from Aberdeen May 29, arriving in Cape Canaveral June 15. It left there June 19, but was back in port July 10 to 13 when it sailed for Halifax. The ship is currently flying the flag of Barbados.

New 2

Another arrival for Canadian Food Inpection Agency (CFIA) inspection put in this evening and anchored in the short term anchorage #1 in the lower harbour. The Liberian flag Marianna is en route from Itaqui (Sao Louis), Brazil with a cargo of bauxite or alumina for a port in Quebec. The ship must be declared clear of LDA moth larva by the CFIA before it is allowed to proceed to a Canadian port where the invasive species of moth could harm the coniferous forests. 


Built in 2010 by IHI Marine, Yokohama, it is a 31,532 gt, 55,753 dwt ship fitted with four 35 tonne SWL cranes and is equipped with four grabs.

Familiar 1

With Marianna occupying anchorage #1 the following inbound vessel passed west of George's Island, giving spectators a closeup treat. Perhaps many did not realize that the Atlantic Sky is one of five sister ships maintaining a weekly container and RoRo service for Atlantic Container Line (ACL).

 Peaking out from astern of the ship was its tethered escort, the tug Atlantic Oak, ready to provide braking and steering assistance as the ship made its way toward the PSA Fairview Cove terminal in Bedford Basin.

(The use of the pre-fix name "Atlantic" for the two vessels is coincidental - there is no connection between the Grimaldi owned Atlantic Container Line and the Irving owned Atlantic Towing Ltd.)

Familiar 2 (3,  and 4)

Tied up for the night at the Bishop's Landing area docks, were the three herring seiners that have been fishing out of Halifax for the past few weeks. They fish at night, unload their catch in the morning and rest up during the day,before putting out to sea again in the evening. However this evening they appear to be staying in port.

The largest of the three, Lady Melissa, arrived this morning (and despite appearances did not have a naval escort) and off loaded its catch at Pier 9.

 The Morning Star arrived a little later and also unloaded at Pier 9, pumping its catch into a waiting tank truck. 

It then launched its bug boat (seine skiff) and moved along the pier to land its seine net for repair.

The third boat, Fundy Monarch (the former Dual Venture of 2014), seems to have tied up without unloading, so presumably had no catch. It also eluded my lens.


Sunday, July 17, 2022

MSC Maeva

 Another first time caller arrived today July 17 on MSC's Indus 2 service from North India via the Med and Sines, Portugal.

Hanjin Heavy Industry + Construction in Busan, South Korea built the MSC Maeva in 2005. The 89,954 gt, 105,007 dwt ship is rated at 8089 TEU including 550 reefers. It anchored first so that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency could examine the ship for LDA moth larva. It was apparently given clearance to berth and it moved in to Pier 42 in the late morning.

Due to the sun angle to best view was from the Dartmouth side of the harbour (above, with PSA Halifax Atlantic Hub terminal the background). Seen from the Halifax side, the ship was in shadow.


MSC must be finding lots of cargo out of India because the ship was well down on its marks, showing a draft of 14.5 meters (47.57 ft) on AIS.


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Odd Day

 It is an odd day when there are no commercial arrivals in the Port of Halifax. Today, July 16, was one such day. The only arrival was the patrol vessel CCGS Constable Carrière.

Normally based in Quebec, the vessel was showing no AIS signal when it arrived this afternoon, so I don't know where it was coming from. The boat is used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and its movements are not publicized. It docked at the Tall Ships Quay - not at BIO.

There were no commercial arrivals but there was a commercial departure and a commercial move. The departure was the Atlantic Star which arrived last night and sailed this afternoon for Liverpool, UK.


The ship threaded its way through numerous pleasure craft, and there were lots of spectators on the waterfront as the tourist season is at its peak.

The autocarrier Treasurecompleted offloading its non-car cargo at Pier 9C. (See yesterday's post for comparison of the number of units on the dock.)

Along with crated machinery, truck cranes, forestry and road construction equipment was the usual fleet of bright yellow JCBs of various sizes and types. 

Late in the afternoon the Treasure shifted (also through pleasure craft traffic) to Autoport to offload automobiles.

The pleasure craft included sail and motor boats, and there were harbour ferries, tour boats (watch for a future post on that topic) and Harbour Hopper 3.


Friday, July 15, 2022

Friday Roundup

 There were also several civilian ship movements in Halifax on July 15.

First was the arrival of the Netherlands flag Donaugracht for Fairview Cove. It is unusual to see ships of the Spliethoff fleet in Halifax in summer. The company has a regular container service from Europe, to the Great Lakes, but its ships will come to Halifax in the winter off season. Other ships of the fleet load forest products (usually paper) or aluminum at St.Lawrence River ports, and there is also their yacht and boat delivery service, which has called here from time to time. I was not up early enough to see if it had a deck load when it arrived today. On departure for Charleston its deck appeared largely clear, so I don't know if it loaded or unloaded cargo.

Built in 2009 by Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, it is a 13,706 gt, 17,967 dwt general cargo ship fitted with three cranes - one each of 55 tonnes, 90 tonnes and 120 tonnes (although they all look the same to me.)

The ice class ship has the usual pontoon type moveable tween decks, box shaped holds with ventilation and dehumidification. It can also carry up to 1,062 TEU containers.

The ship sailed from Singapore June 6 and callled in Laem Chabang, Thailand June 8-11, transitted the Suez Canal June 29-30 and stopped in the Gibraltar west anchorage July 6 (perhaps for bunkers or stores).

Next in was the elderly autocarrier Treasure which went to Pier 9C to unload RoRo (non car) cargo.

Built in 1999 by Hashihama Zosen in Tadotsu it was originally named HUAL Carolita but in 2000 became HUAL Treasure. In 2000 Leif Höegh acquired Ugland's 50% of HUAL (Höegh-Ugland Auto Liners) and in 2005 renamed the company Höegh Autoliners and the ship became Höegh Treasure in 2006. They sold the ship to current owners and it was renamed in 2014.

It is a 58,684 gt, 21,199 dwt ship with a capacity of 5,718 Car Equivalent Units. It will move to Autoport tomorrow to unload cars. The ship is apparently on a spot charter for Wallenius Wilhelmsen's SVC1 transatlantic service - possibly to cover for ships in maintenance. Its last ports of call were Bremerhaven, Zeebrugge and Southampton.

Imperial Oil's berth number 3 was not vacant long today, as Algosea sailed at 1130 hrs, and its place was taken by the Largo Excellence, which had been waiting offshore. Shipfax was asleep at the switch and did not get a picture of the ship until after it was tied up.

Another in the endless stream of MidRange tankers, the 29,416 gt, 50,118 dwt ship dates from 2017 when it was delivered by Hyundai-Vinashin in Ninh Hoa, Vietnam as EcoSeven. It was renamed Steanweco Elegance soon after and in 2020 assumed its current name. Its last port was Antwerp.