Friday, March 10, 2023

The Polish Connection

 Poland has had a long time shipping connection with Canada and Halifax specifically. During World War II, the "Pride of the Polish fleet", the passenger ship Batory transported the UK's gold reserves to Montreal, acted as an evacuee ship from Dunkirk, then a mercy transport of children to Australia. It called in Halifax many times as a troop ship, then as a passenger ship post war when Poland fell under communist control. It was even drydocked in the graving dock at Halifax Shipyards. A second and later Polish passenger ship, the Stefan Batory (ex Maasdam of 1952) was a regular on the St.Lawrence, and one of the last transatlantic passenger liners when it was retired in 1988.

 The Polish fishing fleet were regular callers in Halifax during the 1960s and 1970s - at least until the declaration of the 200 mile limit and the cod moratorium. Their factory trawlers were state of the art.

 The Wlocznik was a stern trawler / factory ship.

From the 1980s the French Polish Shipping Company ships were regular callers in Halifax with their four large ConRos. See their story in Shipfax May 9, 2012

Kazimierz Pulaski an impressive Polish ConRo of the 1980s.

Over the years a number of Polish Ocean Line bulk cariers and cargo ships have called in Halifax too, and many Polish built ships have been seen here. Even the beleagured Ale, still docked at Pier 9B (see many previous posts) was the Polish Ocean Lines' Raba until 2021.

In recent years however the Polish connection has dwindled, and the only regular visitors are not actually Polish ships at all, but are ships carrying Polish made steel rail for the Canadian National Railway. Polish built ships are rare too, except for members of the Ray Car Carriers (STAMCO Ship Management) fleet, which call occasionally.

Today, March 10, the neatly kept Morning Courier moved from Autoport to Pier 9C to discharge RoRo cargo. The ship arrived yesterday on the usual Wallenius Wilhelmsen route from Rotterdam, Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Goteborg and Zeebrugge (February 21-23.) Although carrying the Eukor banner (Europe/ Korea - a Wallenius Wilhlensen company) it is owned by Ray Car Carriers with technical management by their STAMCO subsidiary.

Built in 2005 by Gdynia Stocznia, the 57,692 gt, 21,053 ship has a capacity of 6658 cars.

As usual wuth such moves, the ship transited the Narrows and turned in Bedford Basin before returning to the Narrows and berthing starboard side to at Pier 9C.  That gave a good look at the ship from both sides and the stern.

North bound in the Narrows.

In Bedford Basin, preparing to turn. The tug Atlantic Beaver is made up to a hull bollard well aft for maximum leverage. It is working stern forward to stay clear of the ship's stern overhang.

Making the turn. Tug Atlantic Oak works the bow and Atlantic Beaver the stern.

South bound heading for the Narrows.

Arriving later in the day, was the Onego Deusto has a cargo of rails loaded in Szczecin February 12-22.

The ship's hull was built by Vahali S+M, Belgrade, Serbia and completed by Volharding at Foxhol, Netherlands. The 6312 gt, 9832 dwt ship was originally named Beluga Skysails until 2011 when it became BBC Skysails and was equipped with an experimental kite / sail mounted forward. Onego took over operation of the ship and renamed it in 2019 and by the time the ship arrived in Halifax in 2020 (see Shipfax 2020-11-28 ) the kite was no longer used. Nevertheless the "jib boom" structure remains at the bow.

A multi-purpose, open hatch  single deck / tween deck type ship with pontoon hatch covers and box shaped holds it mounts a pair of 40 tonne SWL cranes that can work in combination.

This is the second ship with rails in as many weeks, with the previous ship Onego Bayou taking from February 21 to March 5 to unload. CN must be planning major rail renewal projects this summer, and so is stocking up.


No comments:

Post a Comment