Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Taking Shelter

 With a major Nor'easter storm on its way from New England to Nova Scotia, several container ships are remaining in the Port of Halifax, rather than risking conditions at sea, particulary in the Gulf of Maine. Container ships are vulnerable to loss of containers in severe storms, so the ships are taking a wise precaution of staying put. 

Also memories are still fresh, despite the passage of thirty years, of the loss of the Gold Bond Conveyor in just such a storm. Sailing out of Halifax for Tampa, FL with a load of gypsum, the ship went down with all thirty-three crew members on March 15, 1993.

The rare scene in Bedford Basin was two MSC ships at anchor.

 The Rockingham railyard was not the only place to see MSC containers.

MSC Rossella arrived from Montreal March 10 and moved out to anchor March 11 (see also Shipfax of March 11.) Headed for Italy and Spain on MSC's Canada Express 2 service, the ship would have to cross the storm's path while crossing the Atlantic.

It was joined at anchor by MSC Brianna which arrived yesterday March 13 from Sines, Portugal on the Canada Express 1 service, en route to Montreal. Rather than cross the storm's track somewhere in the Gulf of St.Lawrence, the ship opted to move out to anchor.  It now appears on tomorrow's (March 15) pilotage assignments to be moving to PSA Fairview Cove, instead of PSA Atlantic Gateway, to complete "decanting" of cargo to meet St.Lawrence draft restriction.

 Anchoring in the lower harbour was Eimskip's Vivienne Sheri D. which also arrived yesterday (March 13) from Iceland en route to Portland, ME. It moved out to anchor yesterday afternoon.(pictured today)

Today's arrival at the PSA Gateway, the Tropical Lissette spent the day at the pier, then in the late afternoon moved out to anchor in the lower harbour. It would not be safe to remain alongside the exposed pier face, due to swells, during a major storm.

It is scheduled to move back to the pier tomorrow to continue loading, before heading south.

 The non-container ship arrival today was the Canadian flag cement carrier NACC Argonaut from Setubal, Portugal.

The 9255 gt, 13,977 dwt sahip was built in 2003 by Kyokuyo Shipyard Corp ii  Chofu, Japan as Arklow Wave. It was acquired in 2016 by NACC Shipping Canada Ltd (the initials stand for Nova Algoma Cement Carriers) and initially renamed NACC Toronto but that was changed to the current name in 2018, presumably to honour the Canadain Football League team the Toronto Argonauts.

The ship sailed from Corner Brook, NL January 11, arriving in Setubal January 22. The mild weather in Portugal allows for painting and other work that would not be possible in Canada at this time of year. (Not to mention the few Canadian ship repair yards). On completion of the work, the ship sailed from Setubal February 19. It has apparently been creeping across the Atlantic at slow speed (perhaps on a southerly route.)

It tied up at Pier 25, I am assuming to await the opening of the St.Lawrence Seaway on March 23. 

The Gold Bond Conveyor's history has been give here before, see: September 14, 2014.


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