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.)


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