Shipfax has been "off the air" for the past week due to a trip to Quebec. Several Halifax related (and some unrelated) news from that area:
1. Svanøy In Service
The former Norwegian ferry Svanøy which called in Halifax April 12 on its delivery trip from Europe, has now entered service between St-Joseph-de-la-Rive and Ile-aux-Coudres. After its stop in Halifax it went on to Pictou for additional work. Now the ship sports "prongs" on each side, which are in fact fenders on extension arms, which allow the ship to align with the slipways at the two terminals.
Because the ferry is so much narrower than the other ferries in the STQ fleet it needs to be held off the pier face to fir the ramps.
These fenders may work in fine weather, but I wonder how they will work in rough conditions. The ship is apparently a temporary solution, perhpas for this year only, as other ferries in the fleet are rebuilt.
I was at St-Joseph-de-la-Rive on July 8, to see the ship, supposedly on a "familiarization" trial. However it was in fact carrying cars and passengers. The ship made a rough landing with its bow visor still in the down position. The visor struck the tail of the shoreside landing ramp and then as the visor was opened, it scraped the tail of the ramp, removing some paint and leaving some scars. There was also damage to a handrail on the ramp which was "squeezed" during the impact. (With the visor down the helmsman cannot see the loading ramp, and relies on crew members calling out distances on hand held radio.).
Scraping the paint.
On subsequent trips the ship raised its visor before docking - which is standard procedure on other visor equipped ferries.
2. C.T.M.A Vacançier - no service
For the third season in a row the cruise vessel C.T.M.A. Vacançier is not sailing on its customary weekly run between Montreal and the Magdalen Islands, A familiar sight (and sound) on the River since 2002, the 49 year old ship could not be configured to cope with the isolation requirements of COVID-19 and has been laid up in Georgetown, PE. Although it has a maintenance crew on board, it is unlikely to ever return to service. It has a major class survey coming up in 2023, which will be "make or break" time.
Operators C.T.M.A. are planning for a replacement since the ship provided a valuable tourist link to the islands, but they will need provincial government assistance.
Built by J.J.Sietas in Nueunfelde in 1973 as a RoRo ferry, it carried the name Aurella to 1982 when it became Saint Patrick II. Then in 1998: Egnati II, 00: Ville de Sete, 00: Egnati II, 00: City of Cork. Since entering service for CTMA its thrumming Stork Werkspoor main engines were a regular Thursday morning event at my perch on the St.Lawrence as it made its way upbound. They could be heard well in advance of the ship hoving into view, giving time to get in posiiton for a photo (of which I have many).
3. STI Battery
A tanker that was in Halifax July 2 to July 3 for CFIA inspection made its way to Quebec City and I caught sight of it on July 7 as it sailed for Montreal.
STI Battery arrived in Montreal later the same day and sailed July 11 for Falmouth, UK.
4. Baie St.Paul
It is always interesting to see ships coming from Halifax while in Quebec, and one that is a familiar sight in both places is the CSL self-unloading bulk carrier Baie St.Paul. It passed my vanatage point on July 10, upbound with a load of fresh Nova Scotia gypsum, loaded in Dartmouth July 5-7, and destined for Côte-Sainte-Catherine, QC. I did not add to my photo inventory, since I have numerous photos of the ship already, such as this one from March 22.
Another ship that is toting up the years of service - but with no replacement on the horizon yet, is the Trans St-Laurent, which has been sailing on the Rivière-du-Loup - St-Siméon run since 1963. Again I did not take a new photo, since I have so many.
The ferry was purpose built for the route, to operate on a seasonal basis (April to early January), but there is pressure for year round service, and a possible terminal shift to Cacouna. The ship is the last to wear the Clarke funnel mark, as Clarke till holds the contract to operate the service for a few more years. However with a major survey due next year, time may be running out.
6. Euronav and Frontline
A common sight on the lower St.Lawrence for many years will be changing within the next few months. The Belgain-owned, Bermuda-based Euronav has been delivering crude oil to the Valero refinery in St-Romauld, (Lévis) opposite Quebec City for many years. Ships such as the 2018, Hyundai Samho-built Cap Port Arthur (82,099 gt, 156,049 dwt) are regulars. On this trip it was inbound from Ingleside, TX on July 8. (It was outbound again on July 10 for Corpus Christi.)
Cyprus-based Frontline Tankers controlled by John Frederiksen, from Norway, has taken over Euronav from the founding Saverys family. (Both companies are publicly traded, so there were also many shareholders involved too, and it was the respective company's boards of directors that made the deal.) Euronav's 74 tankers will be folded into Frontline, making a 146 tanker fleet. The merged company will be called Frontline, will be incorporated in Cyprus, be publicly traded on several exchanges and the Euronav name will disappear. The "new" Frontline will be controlled 55% by Euronav shareholders and 45% by Frontline shareholders.
It seems unlikely that the ships will all be renamed, but that has not been revealed yet. Certainly the well known "Euronav" hull banner will be painted over after the deal is finalized by year end.