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.
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.
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.