Friday, December 16, 2022

Red and Green

 The colours red and green are usually associated with Christmas, so I guess it was appropriate that red ships and green ships dominated harbour activities today with Christmas just over a week away.

Among the red ships was the CCGS Cape Roger arriving from its normal St.John's, Newfoundland base of operations. With the annual southwest Nova Scotia lobster fishing season in full swing, the Coast Guard was seriously under strength for active all weather ships. In fact the only large vessel in service in the area has been the CCGS Jean Goodwill which has been on duty most of the time since early in the month when the fishery opened. (Lobstering is an inshore fishery and boats are small. CCG lifeboats in Sambro, Clarks Harbour, Wesport have been on duty too and often sail in poor weather.)

Built in 1977 by Ferguson Industries Ltd in Pictou, NS, the Cape Roger is a dedicated Search and Rescue and Fisheries Patrol vessel with some pollution response capability. It was originally equipped with a helicopter hangar and flight deck but both have since been removed. (It does have a helicopter winching system.) Both Cape Roger and near sister Cygnus under went Vessel Life Extensions (VLE) in the past year at Newdock in St.John's. The original contract for the work totaled $20.7 mn for the two ships and was to take five months each. Cape Roger's was from May to October 2021 and Cygnus from November 2021 to April 2022.

As Cape Roger was arriving this morning it had to loaf around in Bedford Basin for a few minutes until its berth at the Bedford Institute was freed up. That allowed a look at both sides of the ship, and its new articulated knuckle boom crane (starboard quarter) installed during the VLE.

The berth to be vacated was occupied by CCGS Jean Goodwill which returned from its most recent SAR patrol on Tuesday, December 13 (see post) - perhaps for crew change.

Berths are at a premium at the BIO. The CCGS Kopit Hopson 1752 (left) has been redelivered to the CCG after its VLE but has not yet returned to service. The now decommissioned Hudson (right) is soon to be moved out to another pier somewhere else in the harbour.

As part of its conversion from icebreaking offshore supply tug, the Jean Goodwill was fitted with a padded stern notch which will allow towing in ice should the need arise. Widely used in the Baltic (hence the term Baltic stern notch) the method is new to the CCG.

A red ship that has been in Halifax since October 7 finally sailed today (without acquiring a Canadian white stripe.)

The Norwegian-owned, Cyprus flagged, icebreaking tug supplier had been working in the Russian eastern arctic until its owners pulled out. The ship sailed via the Bering Strait and Panama Canal stopping in New York en route to Halifax. 

The vessel was available for charter and there was speculation that the Canadian Coast Guard might be interested in it as a temporary replacement for the CCGS Terry Fox which is scheduled for VLE next year and is currently undergoing repairs to fire damage. However the Polar Circle sailed today giving Boston as it destination. There has also been speculation that the USCG might be in need of its capabilities. That is a big guess in my opinion as Jones Act waivers and non-US flag ships are not exactly popular in the US right now.

Now for some green. The Canadian Forest Navigation (CANFORNAV) charter Sunda (see previous post December 12) sailed today with a full load of soybeans for Ghent, Belgium. 

The ship completed topping up its cargo several days ago but remained in port likely due to weather conditions on its proposed route. When the ship arrived from Johnstown, ON (via the Cabot Strait) it had built up a lot of frozen spray - some of which was still clinging to the ship's anchors earlier today.

And finally in the red and green theme, two Halifax regulars Oceanex Sanderling (red) and Nolhan Ava (green) are both in port on their typical weekly container and RoRo services. Oceanex Sanderling is due to sail for St.John's this evening. Nolhan Ava will likely leave for Argentia and St-Pierre tomorrow.

Red Footnote (or maybe more like orange):

 A ship that was in Halifax on June 10, 2022 [see for details] and again December 7 made the news on December 14. The autocarier San Martin which had arrived in Halifax from Emden, sailed on December 7 for Houston. It anchored in the Galveston Fairway on December 14 and called on the US Coast Guard for a medical evacuation of the ship's master. A helicopter and medic air lifted the captain to hospital in Galveston where the prognosis was favourable.



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