Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Oasis that should be a mirage, and a lake

 The mega cruise ship Oasis of the Seas made a return visit to Halifax today (May 31), making a late morning arrival. The ship was here in June last year for the first time, and drew crowds then. It drew crowds this time too, but at least one of the favoured vantage points was closed to the public. 

There is a light haze of forest fire smoke in the sky as the Oasis of the Seas enters port today.

Point Pleasant Park, a 75 Hectare/185 Acre woodland on the extreme south end of the Halifax peninsula has a clear view out to the sea. Its forest floor is kept in a natural state (except for obvious dangers) and is littered with branches, deadfalls and leaves and is presently tinder dry. Its canopy is contiguous with densely populated neighbourhoods and due to the high fire hazard has been closed to the public, as have many municipal nature parks and all forests in the Province.

The Halifax area is densely treed and a large forest fire in the northwestern metropolitan suburb has resulted in the evacuation of more than 16,000 people and the destruction of hundreds of houses and many businesses. Another larger fire in the southwest of the Province is also out of control.

The wisdom of inviting cruise passengers to come to Halifax while there is a public emergency, and smoke inhalation hazard has to be questioned. The average cruise passenger demographic coincides with those who have been warned to stay indoors due to smoke exposure. Fire and emergency services are concentrating on the fire and do not need a sudden populaton increase of 6,000 people and the attendant risks.

When the Oasis of the Seas was delivered by STX Europe, Turku, Finland in 2009 it was the largest such ship in the world. It is now fourth largest as other ships in its class have been deemed to be minutely larger. After some cabins were added in 2019 it was re-calculated at 226,838 gross tons. Its maximum occupancy is now 6,699 with a crew of 2,181. It was the first cruise ship to exceed the 6,000 passenger capacity. [Some troop ships in World War II carried more than 12,000.]

When the Oasis of the Seas was in Saint John, NB, yesterday, May 30, it was reported to have had 5,931 passengers on board. In my opinion they should have stayed there and given them a second day ashore or just put to sea for the day.

A less distinguished ship arrived at Gold Bond Gypsum this morning. The Lake Pearl is classed as  a bulk carrier and its owners refer to it as a "Semi-Open Hatch Box Shaped Geared Bulk Carrier".   That mouthful simply means that its holds are squared off in shape and the hatches are the full width of the holds. "Geared" means that it is capable of loading or unloading its own cargo with its own cranes.


Built in 2010 by Oshima Shipbuilding in Saikai, Japan, as Ocean Prosperity it is a 29,841 gt, 51,687 dwt vessel fitted with four 30 tonne SWL cranes and carries its own grabs. In 2017 it was renamed CL Boy and in became Lake Pearl in 2019. It is a member of the 50 plus ship fleet of SMT Shipping, based in Poland.

 Both ships appear no worse for the wear unlike the cruise ship Carnival Sunshine which suffered considerable internal damage in a storm last Friday May 26- Saturday May 27 off the Carolinas. Oasis of the Seas was en route from the Bahamas to New York and Ocean Pearl from Charleston to Halifax at the time, so must have been in the same area.


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Another Box and Pax day

 May 31 was another day for containers (boxes) and passengers (pax) in the Port of Halifax.

The ultra size container ships ONE Blue Jay (see yesterday) sailed and its sister ship ONE Hawk arrived. Timing was such that both ships were not visible at the same time from my position on shore. Both ships used the main channel unexpectedly, since these large ships usually take the deeper western channel.

ONE Blue Jay outbound for New York.

 ONE Hawk inbound from Norfolk.

The ONE Hawk is returning eastbound on the EC5 service of THE Alliance.

On the much smaller size range Melfi Marine's X-Press Irazu arrived from Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia and Lisbon en route to Mariel, Cuba.

 The X-Press Irazu at Pier 42 with two of PSA's cranes at work.

The ship dates from 2007 when it was built by Guangzhou Wenchang Shipyard Co Ltd. At 18,480 gt, 23,716 dwt, it has a capacity of 1732 TEU including 379 reefers. It also carries a pair of 45 tonne capacity cranes. It has been on the Melfi service since January 2021 and has been the only ship on that run since May of that year.

 Not to be left out, PSA Fairview Cove had the NYK Demeter in from Antwerp on THE Alliance's AL5 service. It is another of the Daedalus class of 4922 TEU ships favoured on the route.

The ship sailed late this afternoon for Port Everglades.

Autoport had a ship today too, SIEM Cicero. With its swooping white upper hull paint over red lower hull, the ship looks very odd from astern. The graphic designer seems to have achieved the disruptive effect of wartime ship camouflage by making the bow look like the stern:

Siem Cicero outbound.(It is traveling left to right, and away from the camera)

SIEM Cicero took the western channnel outbound, leaving the main channel to the inbound ONE Hawk with its attendant tugs.

Siem Cicero is a regular since first arriving in Halifax July 21, 2017 on its maiden voyage. Built by Uljanik in Pula, Croatia, the 56,677 gt, 17,416 dwt ship has a capacity of about 7,000 RT. It has a 100 tonne capacity stern ramp and a 15 tonne capacity side ramp.

On the passenger side it was the Island Princess back again for its only scheduled visit of the 2023 season.

The ship is en route from Alaska to England via Iceland. It sailed from Port Everglades May 26 and is due in Reykjavik June 5 then Falmouth June 11 and Southampton June 12. The ship is offering cruises in northern Europe for the rest of the year.

Chantier de l'Atlantique, St-Nazaire, France, delivered the ship to Princess Cruise Line in 2003. It is a 92,822 gt ship with a capacity for 2214 passengers (double occupancy) with 900 crew.


If today's photos appear a bit hazy, there is a reason.

 The duty pilot boat Capt E.T.Rogers outbound passing Pier 20 with a hazy looking Dartmouth waterfront in the background.

A large and out of control forest fire in suburban Halifax is responsible for thin smoke over the city. About 16,000 people have been evacuated and more than 200 houses have been damaged or destroyed by the fire. The wind along the waterfront was onshore for most of the day today, so the air was relatively fresh, but that could change.

A second larger fire between Shelburne and Yarmouth, which is also out of control, could also effect air quality over a large area depending on wind direction. As no significant rain is forecast for several days, there is no relief in sight.

Depending on wind direction in the coming days, I may be staying indoors as recommended. 


Monday, May 29, 2023

ONE Blue Jay

 The third of the Ocean Network Express "Bird" class ships arrived today, May 29, on THE Alliance's EC5 service. ONE Blue Jay is sailing directly from Colombo via Suez.

It is an NYK Line ship, built as NYK Blue Jay and renamed in 2019. Like its sister ships ONE Stork (in Halifax April 26) and ONE Hawk (May 10) it docked at Pier 41, PSA Halifax Atlantic Hub. All three ships were built by Japan Marine United at the Kure shipyard, and have a capacity of 14,026 TEU. Tonnages may vary slightly between ships of this class, but are usually 145,251 gt, 139,335 dwt,

ONE Blue Jay is the first ship in the series of fifteen ships and it was built in 2016 (the last was built in 2019).

As expected the ship employed three tugs: Atlantic Bear with a line astern, Atlantic Oak forward and Atlantic Fir aft, and used the western, deep water, channel on its way in.

In the coming weeks four more of the ships of this class are expected and some may be calling on the eastbound return leg, such as ONE Hawk due again tomorrow.


Sunday, May 28, 2023

Orion departing

 The offshore installation ship Orion sailed this afternoon (May 27) on its first trip to the Vineyard Wind project site. While in Halifax the ship loaded the monopile and transition pieces for six offshore wind towers, which it will install off the Massachusetts coast.

 The tower sections arrived from Spain on the heavy lift ship GPO Grace which remains in port. The Orion used its 5,000 tonne capacity crane to transfer the tower pieces to the Orion while alongside the IEL pier in Woodside, but the crane was in the lowered nested position when the ship sailed.

When in the upright position the crane boom could be seen from miles away, but there were also closer views from the Halifax side of the harbour (below) and from the ferries (above and previous posts).

The Woodside pier is a convenient staging point for the project, but there are activities in other areas as well. Another Canadian connection is in Bayside, NB where the ship Flintstone loads gravel to deliver to the Vineyard site to form a filter layer. The ship places the 1 inch to 3 inch diameter stone on the bottom using a fallpipe, precisely positioned using DP2. (dynamic positioning with satellite navigation interfeace)

More turbine components arrived May 24 in New Bedford, MA where the local ILA members have gone on strike. They are refusing to unload the heavy lift ship UHL Felicity until they receive guarantees of permanent work. The components were to be staged in New Bedford, joined and barged out to the tower sites which are roughly 15 miles south of Martha's Vineyard.

The Vineyard wind project is to consist of 62 turbines, some of which are to be operational by the end of the year. Another part of the project is the offshore substation, a 3,200 ton platform supported by 4 piles and a sitting on a 2,000 ton jacket. It is now en route from Denmark on another heavy lift ship.


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Picture Perfect and Imperfect

 In today's world of digital photography taking pictures is nearly idiot proof - unless of course you forget to check the setting and forget to check the image immediately after taking the picture. That happened earlier today (May 27) when I spent hours driving to the other side of the harbour via Bedford (one bridge was closed for repairs and the other was backed up for miles) and back by the same route. 

It was only when I was back home and downloaded the pictures that I discovered the setting error. I salvaged what I could by fine tuning, but the result is far a from ideal way of noting the first arrival in Halifax of the container ship CMA CGM Pride

Delivered in October of 2022 by Hyundai Ulsan Samho it is a 150,783 gt, 160,194 dwt ship. Various sources claim its capacity at 15,264 TEU (nominal) / 10,370 TEU (@14 tonnes) and 1,000 reefer plugs (CMA CGM lists the capacity at 14,806 TEU nominal).

Barely visible in the photo is the proclamation that the ship is LNG Powered - as if to underline the point - in three places on each side of the ship. Whether that is the reason for exceptionally high funnel is a question I can't answer.

While in Dartmouth I was able (using a different camera, with the correct settings) to get some other images, including the articulated tug / barge Leo A. McArthur / John J. Carrick . The duo arrived May 25 from Hamilton, ON with a cargo of asphalt for McAsphalt's depot in Eastern Passage. 

I was interested to see the mooring arrangement (at low tide) which helps (?) to secure the pair at the jetty. They will be sailing again this evening returning to the Great Lakes.

Also in Dartmouth, work is progressing on the transfer and assembly of the wind farm towers from the heavy lift ship GPO Grace to the installation ship Orion.

 The Orion is due to sail tomorrow for Massachusetts to begin the installation process.

And finally conditions for photography were ideal in the early evening, and with the proper settings on the camera, pictures of the arriving tanker MRC Beliz turned out well.

Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan built the ship in 2007 as NCC Sudair for National Chemical Carriers Co of Saudi Arabia. Fitted with polymer lined tanks and equipped to carry 22 different parcels of cargo, it is a 29,575 gt, 46,012 dwt ship. In September of last year the ship was acquired and renamed by MRC Dentzcili Turizm, part of the Mercan Holding family group.

Unusually, the ship is arriving from Galveston, TX for Irving Oil. Irving Oil rarely brings in product that is not from their own refinery in Saint John, NB or from storage in Amsterdam.


Friday, May 26, 2023

Morning Lynn, EM Kea

 Autoport hosted the auto carrier Morning Lynn today (May 26) on the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Europe / North America route. It called in Bremerhaven, Goteborg, Zebrugge and Southampton en route to Halifax and sailed this afternoon for Manzanillo, Panama.

The ship was built in 2009 by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industry Co Ltd and is registered at 68,701 gt, 28,092 dwt with a capacity of 8,011 CEU. Eukor is the former car carrier divison of Hyundai Merchant Marine acquired by Wallenius Wilhelmsen to gain control of Korean auto exports (and fend off thew Japanese car carriers). It is still a South Korean company, but is now jointly owned by Wallenius Wilhelmsen, American Roll-on-Roll-off Carriers (ARRC) and United European Car Carriers. Ships of Eukor and ARRC are integrated into Wallenius Wilhelmsen trade routes and can often be seen in Halifax.

EM Kea arrived from Montreal on the jointly operated CMA CGM, Maersk St-Laurent 1 route to Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Antwerp.The ship has been on the route since 2015, and is a regular in Halifax on the weekly service. (Halifax is an optional port, so ships do not always call here every week). Oddly there were two ships this week, with CMA CGM Louga in port yesterday.

EM Kea was built in 2007  by Stocznia Szczecinska Nowa in Poland and measures 35,824 gt, 41,859 dwt with a capacity of 3108 (or 3091) TEU with 500 reefer plugs.

The roster of ships on the St-Laurent 1 service is flux with yesterday's visitor being dropped in favour of CMA CGM Paranagua a 2005 near sister of the EM Kea, but equipped with a pair of 45 tonne SWL cranes. It is expected to call in Halifax in early August. Vistula Maersk and Volga Maersk are expected to remain on the roster with Vayenga Maersk also possibly reassigned (It appears to be in drydock in Setubal.)

CMA CGM Louga was well concealed yesterday when it was tied up at mid-berth Pier 41-42. It has onlty been on the St-Laurent 1 service for a short time, making its first call in Halifax March 15. It also called April 21. CMA CGM Louga was built by Jinhai Heavy Industry Co in Daishan, China in 2018. It is a 29,316 gt, 34,694 dwt ship with a capacity variously quoted as 2462 TEU or 2487 TEU including 747 reefer plugs. It is a Baltic 1A ice class vessel.

The ship sailed in daylight April 21, but on its last call in Halifax it sailed at 0330hrs this morning May 26.


Thursday, May 25, 2023

Liberty of the Seas - biggest yet

 The Liberty of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship to call in Halifax so far this season. At the time it was built in 2007 it was considered to be the world's largest cruise ship, and shared the title with two sister ships, Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas. It has been long since superceded and is now ranked 31st largest. (How about that for a commentary on the growth of cruise ships?).(Royal Caribbean also holds the top eight spots with the 236,857 gt Wonder of the Seas in first place with 6,988 maximum total passengers - 5,734 at double occupancy).

Built by Aker, Turku, Finland, Liberty of the Seas comes in at 155,889 gt. With 18 total decks (fifteeen for passengers) it has a capacity of 3,798 (double occupancy) and 4,960 maximum. There is an average crew size of 1300, but may have 1360 on occasion. (Guess who gets the lowest decks).

On the soon to be unveiled Shipfax Uglometer scale it rates reasonably well, despite the amusement park on the upper deck aft. It is just a tad too long for my likes, but otherwise is more than average attractive.


Warnow Master - new for ZIM

 ZIM Integrated Services Ltd operates two container services through Halifax: ZCA - ZIM Container Atlantic, and CFZ - Canada Feeder Express. The latter runs to the Kingston, Jamaica hub via New York and coordinates with other regional services.

Today, May 25 marks the first arrival in Halifax of the Warnow Master on the CFZ run. The Warnow Master was previously employed on ZIM's Caribbean Gulf Express, running from Mobile and Houston to Kingston.

Built in 2009 by Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding Co Ltd in Zhoushan it has a capacity of 1496 TEU, including 276 reefers. The 17,068 gt, 21,146 dwt ship will call in Halifax every second Thursday.

Warnow Master replaces the AS Felicia which has been on the CFZ since April 3, 2018. A slightly smaller ship of 15,375 gt, 18,291 dwt, it has a capacity of 1296 TEU including 390 reefers, it also carries two cranes. Coincidentally it was built at the same shipyard, but in 2006. Launched as Medocean it was delivered as EWL Caribbean and renamed APL Managua in 2007, Medocean in 2014 and  AS Felicia in 2015.

AS Felicia's last call in Halifax was on May 7

Due to various circumstances no decent photo seems likely on Warnow Master's first visit - maybe next time...


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Busy, Busy - REVISED

 Perhaps as the Tuesday following the Victoria Day long weekend, today, May 23, was little busier than usual in the port of Halifax.

There were ships at both container piers, with MSC Sandra docking at Fairview Cove on the Turkey-Greece service. (Ships on this route usually dock at the other terminal, but it was also busy).


Built in 2000 by Hanjin Heavy Industry + Construction Co Ltd in Busan, it is a 43,575 gt, 61,468 dwt  ship with a capacity of 4340 TEU including 150 reefers.

On sailing for Boston late this afternoon, the ship passed a sister ship (not just a fleet mate) at Pier 42.

MSC Alyssa was built at the same shipyard, but in 2001, and has the same gross tonnage and container capacity. Its deadweight tonnage is recorded as 61,487 however.  The ship is en route from Montreal on the Canada Express 2 service and is topping up to ocean draft before sailing this evening for Spain and Italy.

 Also at the southend terminal, but at Pier 41 was the APL California. It sailed late this afternoon for Suez after working its way up the usual US east coast ports of Norfolk, Charleston, and Savannah. The ship appears to be on a non-standard route from Asia. It passed Suez westbound on April 29.

Judging by the containers on deck it appears to be sailing for THE Alliance. As with all APL (for American President Line, owned by CMA CGM) ships it was built for transPacific work and has a large lashing frame at the stern to protect against following seas. The ship has also been retro-fitted with an exhaust gas scrubber system, in a huge enclosed structure. An entire bay of container capacity appears to have been sacrificed for the scrubber tower.

REVISION: I was asleep at the switch on this one, as the APL California is the second ship to call on CMA CGM's India service, operating jointly with COSCO and Hapag-Lloyd. The first call  was APL Southampton on May 14.

One general cargo ship arrived this afternoon. The Augusta Luna, a regular caller for Nirint Lines from Cuba, with some bagged nickel sulfides cargo.  A versatile ship of 12,772 gt, 17,370 dwt, Augusta Luna has a capacity of 903 TEU (nominal) including 60 reefers. It also carries two 150 tonne and one 80 tonne cranes. Built in 2011 by the Xinshun Shipyard Group in Yueqing, China, it started life as Rickmers Yokohama. In 2015 it became Lolland and Augusta Luna in 2019.

Nirint currently has six ships running between Europe and Cuba, with the Gotland and  Eagle II as the other regular callers in Halifax.

Tankers were not to be left out of the equation. As per yesterday's post the STI Pimlico moved from anchor to Irving Oil Woodside early in the morning on departure of the Acadian. At Imperial Oil it was the Navig8 Success arriving from Antwerp with a cargo of refined product.

A 30,075 gt, 50,571 dwt ship it was built in 2009 by SPP Plant + Shipbuilding Co in Sacheon, South Korea. Navig8 Group claims to be the largest independant tanker pool and commercial management company. They have 140 ships under management of which they own 50. If the ship is scrubber equipped it appears to have been well integrated into the ship's superstructure.

As the ship made its way toward the number 3 dock, Imperial's "tank farm" formed a backdrop.

Also appearing in Halifax again this week was the cruise ship Zaandam on its regular itinerary, en route to Sydney and onwards to Montreal.

Despite (or perhps because of) its age - it was delivered by Fincantieri Marghera in 2000 - the ship has a certain elegance of line. It is also free of the added "amenities" of newer  and gaudier ships. Its 1432 passengers and 615 crew perhaps do not travel in, or pay for, extreme luxury, but the 61,396 gt ship provides reliable service.


Monday, May 22, 2023

Tanker Time

Halifax once had two oil refineries on its shores, Imperial Oil and Texaco Canada, but both have long since closed. Imperial (owned by Exxon Mobil) ceased refining in 2013 and uses only one of its three docks to receive and distribute refined products. The company continues to use its multitude of tanks for storage, It also receives product by rail and has a large truck loading facility which is used for regional distribution, including to other companies.

The Texaco facility in Eastern Passage, through a variety of mergers, passed through Gulf Canada before closing in 1997. The 475 acres of land including 33 acres water lots had by then been acquired by Ultramar which is now Valero. The storage and distribution facility ceased operation in 2017. Most of the tanks have been removed and a land remediation process is now underway. Some shore side tanks and dock, have been retained, although they are not in use, and the remaining area will be sold for redevelopment.

The other petroleum related facilities in Halifax include Irving Oil's Woodside terminal dock and large storage and distribution site. It also imports product by rail, including propane, and distributes by truck. Irving Oil brings in refined product by tanker from its Saint John, NB refinery and from Europe.

A smaller distribution centre, built by Petrofina, is now operated by Wilson Fuels. Located in the Richmond area in the north end of Halifax, it is chiefly served by truck. However it does have a pipeline to Pier 9, which is rarely used. The company operates service stations and distributes home heating oil.

Two companies that are involved in road building have asphalt receiving facilities on the shores of Halifax harbour. McAsphalt Industries, of the Miller McAsphalt Group, uses the former Dook's dock in Eastern Passage, adjacent to Autoport. It is connected to storage tanks by a heated pipeline. Since 2018 the company has been owned by Colas Canada, which in turn is owned in France.

The Municipal Group has, among its many interests, a large road building operation. It owns General Liquids Canada which receives, processes, stores and distributes asphalt. It uses the Cherubini dock in Eisner's Cove to receive the asphalt and pipes it to storage tanks adjacent to the Imperial Oil refinery. It has a second facility well inland in Waverly which is served by rail. Whether product is moved from the Eisner's Cove facility by rail to Waverly is not known to me.

McAsphalt Marine Transportation has its own tanker barges which supply both McAsphalt and General Liquids. They also have a combination bitumen / asphalt tank ship on order in China for delivery later this year.

All of the above leads to today's (May 22) tanker activity in Halifax harbour.

The coastal tanker Algonova which arrived Friday May 19, indirectly from Sarnia, ON, unloaded fresh product at Imperial Oil and on Saturday May 20 moved to number 2 anchorage  - just off the Imperial Oil docks at the entrance to Eastern Passage.

The number two anchorage is rarely used and then only by smaller ships and for short term. Last night, Sunday, May 21, the ship moved to Pier 9C.

This morning there was a pumper truck on the dock offloading something, possibly slops. The truck carries 'Green for Life' logos, so the material may be going for recycling or incineration.

Sunday Morning May 21 one of Algoma's recently acquired ships, the Algotitan, arrived at Imperial Oil from Sarnia. The former Chantaco arrived in Halifax December 30, 2022 where it was brought under Canadian registry as of January 11, 2023, with the new name Algotitan. It entered service at the end of January and after some coastal voyages, was reported upbound in the St.Lawrence Seaway March 25 for Sarnia. It made one trip down to Sorel April 1-4 then returned to Sarnia and Nanticoke. On this trip it was reported clearing the Seaway April 18. It sailed this afternoon heading back to Sarnia.

 As the Algotitan departs, the auto carrier Morning Calypso , in the background ,is preparing to get underway from Autoport. The remaining Valero tanks appear between the two ships.

So far the tanker's funnel has been repainted in Algoma colours, but the "bear" medallion has yet to appear.

The Irving Oil Woodside terminal received the company tanker Acadian from Saint John early this morning (see recent posts with pictures - the ship was also here last week).

Due to the angle of view, most of the background tanks belong to Irving Oil's next door neighbour Imperial Oil. The checkerboard topped tank is part of the CFB Shearwater military base, and is close to their aircraft runways and heliport.

 With the Woodside dock occupied, the tanker STI Pimlico, also destined for Irving Oil, arrived mid morning and went to anchor.

The ship is arriving from Amsterdam with more product. Irving Oil imports specific product from  Amsterdam storage facilities on a regular basis.

Built in 2014 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, the STI Pimlico is a handysize tanker of 24,320 gt, 38,734 dwt. It is operated by Scorpio Tankers Inc (a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded company it is headquartered in Monaco), which currently has 113 tankers in its fleet. Most are scrubber equipped. 

A ship's full width enclosed bridge usually indicates that it is fitted for winter navigation. The ship is rated Ice class 1A under Det Norske Veritas classification.

 The STI Pimlico's funnel mark includes a stylised Scorpion tail crossing the letter "S". STI was founded in 2009 by Emanuale A. Lauro and is a separate outgrowth of Scorpio Ship Management founded in New York in 1976 by Lauro's grandfather Glauco Lolli-Ghetti.


Morning Calypso - tidy ship

 Maintaining the appearance of a ship may not be at the top of the shipowner's ToDo list, but deterioration of the steel hull can be delayed by the quality of the paint coating, both above and below the water line. "Rust Buckets", as they were once called, are rare these days. Quantities of surface rust are visible on many ships, particularly in the spring after the rigours of winter, but that is  normal and not of particular concern. Ship's crews are rarely sent over side to scrape and paint anymore (they do work on the superstructure however when conditions allow).

Hull painting is usually done during regular drydockings, where old paint is removed by high pressure water or abrasive blasting. (Silica sand is an inhalation hazard so is rarely used.) The raw steel can then be primed and new paint is applied to a properly prepared surface to ensure good adhesion.

All of the above serves to explain why this morning (May 22) the auto carrier Morning Calypso looks so neat and tidy.

Built in 2013 by Imabari Zosen, Marugame, it is a 59,580 gt, 18,713 dwt ship with a capacity of 6142   CEU. The ship was delivered March 30, 2013 and its classification society, NKK, conducted its ten year survey in March of this year. That exercise would have involved drydocking, and no doubt provided an opportunity for repainting. 

Tracing the ship's movements over the past few months reveals that it was in Hiroshima, Japan March 25-27 and Nakanoseki March 27-28, then proceeded via the Suez Canal April 19, to Barcelona April 24-25, Antwerp May 2-3, Portbury May 5, Goteborg May 9, Zeebrugge May 11-13 and Southampton May 14-15.

Despite its EUKOR label, the ship is not carrying Korean cars, but has European cars on board and is on Wallenius Wilhelmsen's usual transatlantic service.


Sunday, May 21, 2023

Fog and Drizzle

 The fog and drizzle season is upon us (usually May and June). Today, May 21, is an example of what we may expect for the next few weeks as warm air meets cold seas. Although visibility may be reduced at times,it is usually not enough to cause delays to ship schedules. Among the more predictable schedules is THE Alliance's AL5 - Atlantic Loop, which operates from North Europe to both the east and west coasts of North and Central America via the Panama Canal.

There are twelve ships on the rotation, of which eight are NYK's Daedalus class, such as today's caller  NYK Rigel.

The NYK Rigel makes its way beneath the A. Murray MacKay bridge en route to PSA Fairview Cove. The tug Atlantic Cedar is alongside and Atlantic Fir has the long escort wire astern. 

(Atlantic Cedar is visiting Halifax again as the bigger tugs Atlantic Beaver and Atlantic Bear are needed in Saint John for the LNG tanker SM Bluebird due May 24.)

The NYK Rigel is typical of its class at 55,534 gt, 66,051 dwt with a capacity of 4922 TEU including 330 reefer plugs. It was built by Hyundai, Samho in 2009.

Why are the letters THE capitalized in the name of this shipping Alliance ? (CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Yang Ming) As usual the shipping world loves acronyms and abbreviations, and THE is supposed to stand for Transport High Efficiency.

A harder question to answer is why the AL5 is called the Atlantic Loop. European ports are (in order) Southampton, Le Havre, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp. The first North American port is Halifax, followed by Port Everglades, Cartagena, Panama, Los Angeles / Long Beach,  Oakland, Tacoma and Vancouver. The return eastbound leg is then Oakland, LA/LB, Panama, Caucedo Dominican Republic, Halifax and Southampton. Saint John has recently been inserted in the eastbound, return leg.


Saturday, May 20, 2023

CMA CGM G. Washington

 It was another ultra size ship at PSA Halifax today, May 20, on the OCEAN Alliance's weekly Asia-North America service. All ships on the service are provided by CMA CGM and today's was a repeat caller, CMA CGM G. Washington.

The ship was built by Hyundai, Ulsan in 2017 and is recorded at 140,872 gt, 148,992 dwt with a capacity of 14,414 TEU including 1400 reefer points.

The OCEAN Alliance was formed in 2016 by CMA CGM with China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), OOCL and Evergreen. Although each of the members has its own operating code for the service, it has generally been identified by CMA CGM's title as the Columbus JAX. Ships sailing from Asia used to arrive in Halifax non-stop from Colombo, but have recently added Tanger Med, Morocco (the largest port in Africa) as a convenient hub port for western Europe and western Africa cargo via shuttle. It requires 22 ships to maintain the weekly service calling in 18 ports on a 147 day rotation.

As far as I can determine the OCEAN Alliance has renewed its membership to 2027.


More MSC

 Following up on the May 19 post, MSC will still reach the 5 million TEU tally in the next few weeks, but perhaps not exactly as predicted. A recent report has one of its ships, MSC Pilar arriving at the Alang anchorages on May 20 (local time), in preparaiton for being beached and scrapped.

Well known on the St.Lawrence and in Halifax, it saw service in Canadian waters of and on for more than thirty years.

Built in 1990 by Odense Steel Shipyard in Denmark it started life as the Magleby Maersk. (The shipyard was owned by Maersk at the time). It was considered to be a large ship at 52,181 gt, 60,350 dwt and had a capacity of 4437 TEU including 500 reefers. It began calling in Halifax on Maersk's stand alone service when new and was a regular until at least 1997.

It was renamed Magleby for a time in 2010, then became MSC Pilar in 2011 and joined the Canada Express 2 service from Italy and Spain to Montreal. Starting in 2022 it began to call in Halifax to top up or decant cargo due to St.Lawrence River draft restrictions.

 The ship was in Halifax October 18, 2022.

MSC has grown from a 1 million TEU fleet in 2007 and is expected to level off at about 6 million in 2024 to 6.75 million in 2025 as new ships will be balanced somewhat by older ships going to scrap.  Ships of less than 6,000 TEU are the likely candidates for the scrapyards.


Friday, May 19, 2023

MSC Santa Maria decants

 The MSC Santa Maria arrived in Halifax this morning May 19 to off load some cargo to meet St.Lawrence River draft restrictions. The ship is on MSC's CANEX1 service from the Mediterranean and Sines, Portugal for Montreal.

When it sailed from PSA Halifax early this evening it appeared to have reduced its draft substantially.

With part of its bulbous bow and part of its rudder visible, and container stacks no more than three high, the ship was in very light condition. Once it reaches the fresh water of the Upper St.Lawrence that may not be quite so obvious.

The MSC Santa Maria was built in 2005 by Hyundai, Ulsan, measuring 54,809 gt, 67,273 dwt and with a capacity of 5047 TEU including 550 reefers.

The ship has been renamed no fewer than six times. Starting out as P+O Nedlloyd Dover it was immediately renamed Maersk Durham then became in 2010: Cap Stephens; 2012: Santa Philippa; 2015: Nansen Strait; 2017: CSL Santa Maria and in 2022: MSC Santa Maria.

And yes MSC has a MSC Nina F but no MSC Pinta.

It was reported this week that the Mediterranean Shipping Company, MSC,  with 753 ships rated at 4,926,720 TEU will pass the 5 million TEU mark in the next two weeks as two new ships are delivered. MSC has doubled its fleet in 8 1/2 years and has purchased 306 ships since August 2020. It is expected to exceed 6 million TEU capacity in 2024.

To put things in perspective the entire global container fleet had a capacity of 5 million TEU in the year 2000.