Saturday, March 4, 2023

Meet starboard to starboard

 When ships "meet" they usually do so "port to port" following the rules of the road agreed upon by seafarers for centuries. However they may also meet starboard to starboard by mutual agreement. That is much easier when the two ships can communicate verbally, and in a common language.

Such was the case today March 4, when the inbound MSC Melissa met the outbound Atlantic Sky just off the south end of PSA Halifax's Pier C. The pilots on the two ships had agreed on the meet by VHF radio and carefully adjusted their speeds to coordinate the passing.

The Atlantic Sky is eastbound for Liverpool, UK and has hardly any containers on deck - a sure sign of a sagging economy. 

MSC Melissa is not new to Halifax - it was here previously on July 13, 2021 for Canadian Food Inspection Agency clearance en route from New York to Montreal. This time it is eastbound on MSC's Indusa service from US East Coast ports to Saudi Arabia, India and Sri Lanka.

Built for MSC in 2002  by Hyundai, Ulsan, the 73,819 gt, 85,786 dwt vessel has a capacity of 6730 TEU including 400 reefers. 

 With the tugs Atlantic Fir forward and Altantic Beaver aft the MSC Melissa made its way in to Pier 42. Heavy snow fall (about 30 cm, close to a foot) March 2-3 has been cleared away at the terminal, so should not cause delays.


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