Saturday, September 30, 2023


 It was a very busy day today (September 30) in the Port of Halifax, with ships at most berths. Dense fog early in the day had mostly burned off by mid-afternoon, but there was still a noticeable haze of forest fire smoke from western Canada.

There were four cruise ships- two arriving in the early morning; the familiar Jewel of the Seas and Silver Shadow; the Star Pride arriving at noon time and the Crystal Serenity in the early evening (it will stay over night).

The Star Pride is the former Seabourn Pride built in 1988 by Schichau Seebeck in Bremerhaven. Originally 9975 gt with a passenger capacity of 212 maximum and 164 crew, it was lengthened by Fincantieri, Palermo in 2021 with a new 25.6m mid-section and re-powered with four new engines and generators. The addition of 50 suites upped the passenger capacity to 312.

Star Pride at Pier 23 with the tug Dominion Rumbler and barge collecting waste.

Autoport had the SFL Composer with import Volkswagens loaded in Emden.

It is a 58,631 gt, 18,881 dwt ship with a capacity of 6500 CEU. Built in 2005 by Minami Nippon in Shitanoe, it was originally the Excellent Ace becoming Glovis Composer in 2012 and SFL Composer in 2020.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company had two ships in port - one for each container pier.

MSC Carmen on the Turkey-Greece service, westbound from Sines, arrived at PSA Fairview Cove.

Launched as the Buxcity it was delivered in 2008 by Daewoo-Mangalia as MSC Carmen. The 50,963 gt, 63,359 dwt ship has a capacity of 4884 TEU including 560 reefers.

MSC Esthi arrived at the Southend terminal, PSA Atlantic Hub, in the late afternoon from Baltimore on the eastbound leg of the Indusa service to India.

Built by Samsung, Geoje in 2006, it is a 108,930 gt, 132,035 dwt ship with a capacity of 9178 TEU including 700 reefers. Predictably eastbound ships are more lighly loaded and the MSC Esthi had topped off its deck load at four boxes high, and had a lot of empty space aft.

Tomorrow (October 1) will also be a busy day, with five cruise ships including the Queen Mary 2.


Friday, September 29, 2023

Some Chicken, some Hen

 I could not help but (badly) paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill's famous "Some Chicken - Some Neck" speech this afternoon (September 29)*. I was awaiting some ships (see previous post) at the very southernmost tip of the Halifax Peninsula in Point Pleasant Park.

Just off the tip there are some very jagged rocks that show at low water and are sometimes concealed at high water. Many boaters have met with grief by sailing too close to shore in the area. Because there are several rocks of varying size, all in a row, they have been named Hens and Chicks or Hen and Chickens Shoal. 

Despite appearances today they were not home to Hens, nor Chickens, but to a gathering of at least three seals. One, seen in profile did appear somewhat bird-like, but there was little doubt that they were not avians, but mammals, basking in some warm sun as seals are wont to do.

*Sir Winston uttered the phrase in the Canadian House of Commons on December 30, 1941, in response to a sneering jibe from the future Vichy France that Germany would invade Britain and "ring its neck like a chicken".



 The majority of ocean going ships that call in Halifax are either arriving from or emabarking on a transatlantic crossing. Some ships are in a transatlantic trade, but for others the Atlantic is just one leg of a much longer voyage or a "one of". Today (September 29) provided examples of all these.

At Imperial Oil the Libyan flag tanker Cartagena was unloading product from Antwerp. The ship arrived yesterday and on leaving here could go to any one of a number of ports, but it is a fairly frequent transatlantic trader.

The 29,341 gt, 46,923 dwt MidRange tanker was built by Hyundai Mipo in 2009. It carried the name Ocean Command very briefly in 2009 before taking its present name. It is part of the twenty-four ship General National Maritime Transport Company (GNMTC), the Libyan state owned tanker operator. Despite the current chaos in Libya, the ship still operates to a high standard, likely managed from one GNMTC's offshore offices, in Malta or Hong Kong.

PSA Fairview Cove worked a first time caller for ZIM Atlantic Container Service (ZCA) - the Tongala. A 2004 product of the Samsung Koje (now Geoje) shipyard it is a 40,030 gt, 50,828 dwt ship with a capacity of 4253 TEU including 400 reefers. It has had seven previous names, begining with P+O Nedlloyd Caribbean, then 2005: Maersk Deva, 2006: Vancouver Express, 2007: Maersk Deva, 2009: Bunga Raya Tujuh, 2010: Deva, 2018: ANL Tongala, and since 2021: Tongala.

A thin haze of forest fire smoke from western Canada has been lingering over the region, filtering photographs, particularly in low sun. (Time of photo: 1906 hrs, sunset was 1857 hrs ADT)

The ship seems to have worked through several of the major container lines, and joined ZIM on charter from Danaos earlier this year. It sailed on the ZCA service from Haifa September 7 and called in Mersin, Izmir, Piraeus, Genoa, and Barcelona en route to Halifax. It is now en route for New York, Norfolk, and Savannah before heading back across the Atlantic.

The other PSA operated terminal, PSA Atlantic Gateway had the "record holder" CMA CGM Marco Polo on the Columbus JAX service operating for the Ocean Alliance of CMA CGM, Evergreen, OOCL and COSCO. It is generally agreed that it is the largest container ship to call in Halifax (and any Canadian port, and several US east coast ports). A 176,546 gt, 187,625 dwt, ship, built in 2012, it has a container capacity of 16,020 TEU. Its sister ships from Daewoo, Okpo, CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt, CMA CGM Magellan and CMA CGM Jules Verne have nearly the same dimensions, tonnages and capacity, but are smaller "by inches". 

 With no other traffic, the ship came in via the main channel. Although it appears to be well loaded on deck, it was not drawing as much water as it might, judging by the amount of red boot topping showing at the waterline. The outbound Zaandam (see previous post) took its time getting away from Pier 20, allowing the CMA CGM Marco Polo to turn off the dock and back in alongside Pier 41-42.

The ship sailed from China, and Port Klang, Malaysia, passing via the Suez Canal to Tanger Med and on to Halifax. It will leave here for New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, then back to Asia where it will also do a transpacific leg to Los Angles and Oakland.


Last Call for the Zaandam

As the 2023 cruise season reaches its peak in September - October it is unusual to see a ship make its last call in Halifax as early as September 29. Holland-America's Zaandam is the exception as it arrived today. Not only is this the ship's last visit of this season, it is also likely its last visit of any season. 

I hear that the ship, the most frequent caller in 2023 now with 19 visits, will be replaced in 2024 by a sister ship the Volendam which will transfer from the west coast  and Alaska market. That ship, although one year older - it was built in 1999 - has virtually the same passenger capacity of 1432 and a crew size ranging from 615 to 647. Fincantieri, Margerha built the ships, and two more sisters, Amsterdam and Rotterdam - all of which have called here from time to time. Holland America has always prided itself in fine looking ships, and these are no exception. They have also remained popular without resorting to garish graphics and overwrought theme park and mid-way features.

Zaandam began calling in Halifax April 29, 2019 and has been a regular ever since.

 Holland-America Line celebrated its 150th anniversary this year. The Zaandam and fleet mate Zuiderdam hosted celebration events during their calls in Halifax.

Next year's caller, the Volendam, was the last of Holland America's ships to be refitted for shore power connection which it used in Vancouver for the first time on September 27. Many ports, including Halifax, have shore power available (and some make the connection mandatory). It means that ships do not have to use their engines to generate power for the large non-propulsion related "hotel load" while in port. 

Using shore power reduces air pollution in the immediate area of the ship, but in the case of Nova Scotia, which still generates the vast majority of its of power from burning coal and gas, it merely moves the problem elsewhere. The added load of a small town (or two or three) every day during cruise season to Nova Scotia's power generation load for the benefit of a few tourists seems perverse to me. I predict a day of reckoning for the cruise industry within a very few years.

So far however protests in Europe have not dampened the demand for cruises, and Halifax continues to have near record or record years for total visitors.

In 2019 the Zaandam replaced the Maasdam another good looking Italian built ship, coming from Fincantieri Monfalcone in 1993. It was a 55,451 gt vessel with a capacity of 1258 passengers and 580 crew.

 After it stopped calling in Halifax it was sold in 2020 to a company called Seajets and renamed Aegean Myth but was laid up and never sailed for them. In 2022 a new operator Compagnie Française de Croisières (CFT) purchased the ship. They sent it off to Damen's shipyard in Brest for a major makeover starting in October 2022. The ship emerged in June  of this year, with passenger capacity reduced to 1000 and a crew of 560. It was to spend this summer cruising between Le Havre and the British Isles and Belgium then moving to the Mediterranean for this coming winter. It is due to go to the Caribbean and South America next year. The ship will be catering to French travellers.

That Maasdam was the second HAL ship of the line to visit Halifax. In the days of transatlantic passenger travel a 1952 version brought many immigrants to Canada through Pier 21.

Built by Wilton-Fijenoord in the Netherlands in 1952, the ship is shown arriving in Halifax with the assistance of Foundation Maritime tugs in the late 1950s or early 1960s. (Not my photo)

From 1968 to 1988, renamed Stefan Batory,  it continued in service for Polish Ocean Lines, but that is another story.

The Stefan Batory ex Maasdam on the St.Lawrence River - familiar territory for HAL ships in the passenger liner and cruise eras.

When the Zaandam sails this afternoon (the pilot is ordered for 1530) there will likely be a prolonged whistle salute from the ship. A customary end of season thank you for the port's hospitality, the salute is one of the nicer seagoing traditions.


September 29, 2023.


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Update, CSL Flexvik ex Ale

 The newly named CSL Flexvik formerly the Ale and before that the Raba is showing even more signs of progress today (September 27.) Repairs to its grounding damage (mostly below the waterline) including replacement of the tail shaft and controllable pitch propellor hub and prop blades appears to be completed. Its rudder has now been moved nearer to the ship, although there is still work to be done on it before it is re-hung.

Looking well above the waterline, crew members were repainting the funnel with the traditional CSL black, white and red colours.

Those colours date back to well before the founding of Canada Steamship Lines. They were used by the Montreal owned Allen Line (the Montreal Ocean Steamship Company) on its earliest steamships in the mid 1800s. The Allen's domestic shipping operation, the Canadian Navigation Company, also used the same colours and carried them into the Richelieu  +  Ontario Navigation Company formed in an 1875 merger with the Richelieu Navigation Company. Canada Steamship Lines was formed in 1913 in a giant merger of  several other shipping companies, including R+O, and it adopted the black / white / red funnel marking.

The current CSL Group continues the tradition, with a minor twist. Its offshore operations, such as CSL Europe - owner of the CSL Flexvik - use the colours in the conventional way (as bands on the sides of the funnels - but not necesarily on the after side.) Canadian flagged ships of Canada Steamship Lines have used a modified form of the bands since the late 1990s.

The (now scrapped) Atlantic Erie shows the then new pattern, with the black and white bands sloping down parallel to the trailing edge of the funnels. ( Even twin, side by side, funnels received the treatment on both sides.)

From the time of coal burning steamers, a black cap was a way of concealing the build up of soot on a funnel. Once diesel engines became the norm there was still some black sooty residue, often trailing down the after side of the funnel. so "cranking" the black cap downwards may have been a practical solution.

My 1959 photo of CSL's Elgin, taken in the Beauharnois Lock of the St.Lawrence Seaway in its first year of operation, shows (regrettably not in colour) that the coal burners carried a much wider black cap in proportion to the height of the funnel. Even so the white band became sooty.

It was on CSL's long gone "white ships" of the St.Lawrence and Saguenay River cruises that the bright red really stood out, giving an elegant touch. Even as late as 1965 when the ships were retired, there were still those who could remember the R+O and even the Allen Line.



Monday, September 25, 2023

Cruise Triple Header

 Today, September 25, saw three cruise ships arriving in the Port of Halifax. Far from a rare event nowadays, this is only one of at least fourteen days this season when there will be three cruise ships in port at the same time. 

 In alphabetical order (A to Z!) it was Aurora, Crystal Serenity and Zuiderdam landing about 4500 passengers and however many crew members that could wangle shore leave. From right to left (north to south) in the photo it was Zuiderdam at Pier 20-21, Aurora at Pier 21-22, and Crystal Serenity at Pier 27.

Zuiderdam is a weekly caller and has been noted here before (see September 7) and my last photo of it was on September 21 (no need for another today). It contributed 1960 passengers to today's visitor count.

  Aurora contributed 1870 passengers.

Built by Meyerwerft, Papenburg in 2000 it is a 76,152 gt vessel with a maximum passenger capacity of 1950 with 850 crew. It is one of the best looking ships afloat and so may be forgiven the stylised union flag on the bow.

Stuffed into the semi-construction zone of Pier 27 (passengers had to be bused in and out for safety), Crystal Serenity, was the smallest of today's visitors.

Built in 2002 at Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St-Nazaire, the ship is still listed at 68,870 gt despite several redesigns and refurbishments. When previous owners failed last year the ship was sold at auction to Abercrombie + Kent and sent to Trieste for a major do over. Its passenger capacity was reduced from 1040 to 740 giving the largest amount of space per passenger of any cruise ship.

That the ship had to be relegated to the construction zone adjacent to Pier 31 should be a major embarassment, and points out the need for more cruise ship space in the port. As current expansion plans to the South End Container Terminal unfold, there will be no access to Pier 27-28 and 30-31. Some ships (if they want to call in Halifax at all) will need to anchor and send passengers ashore in tenders. 

A cruise terminal on the Dartmouth side of the harbour has been proposed, but that is surely a last resort, despite the shortage of waterfront space in Halifax. One of the attractive features of Halifax is that it is a walkable city, with museums, art gallery, heritage sites, casino and harbour board walk nearby the cruise terminal. Dartmouth (sorry to say) is somewhat short on the charm scale and has few amentities to offer vistors. Granted many visitors sign up for bus or taxi tours and do not actually set foot in Halifax except to line up, Dartmouth is still some distance away from most attractions.


Two CSLers - times two

 Canada Steamship Lines is a large Canadain shipping company part of the even larger CSL Group which has shipping interests in Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas/Caribbean. The Canadian flagged Canada Steamship Lines fleet of 18 ships is focused on the Great Lakes / St.Lawrence trade, but some ships can be seen in Halifax loading gypsum for Canadian ports. On Saturday September 23, the Baie St Paul, a Trillium class self-unloader, of Seawaymax size, arrived and went directly to Gold Bond Gypsum's dock on Bedford Basin. It sailed early Sunday morning (September 24). 

(File photo 2022-12-21)

 The Baie St Paul was built in 2012 by Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin and is a 24,430 gt, 37,690 dwt ship. It came to Canada under its own power, but with considerable temporary reinforcement for the expected conditions during its Pacific Ocean crossing. That reinforcing was removed upon entering into service in Canada, but later, new reinforcing was added allowing the ship to make short sea voyages to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. 

Due to current low water levels in the St.Lawrence Seaway system the Baie St Paul likely loaded far less than total capacity.

Meanwhile a CSL America's ship, Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin also arrived on the 23rd. It went to anchor in Bedford Basin to await its turn. The Americans and Caribbean operation claims twenty ships (including those of Algoma Central Corp that operate in the CSL serl-unloader pool.)

It is also a Trillium class ship, but of the ocean going variety, also built at the same Chengxi Shipyard and also in 2012, coming in at 43,691 gt, 71,406 dwt. It operates in eastern North America under the Bahamas flag, in the sand / aggregates, phosphates and coal trades. Recent port calls are typical: Port Manatee, FL (September 5-6, likely to load phosphates), New Orleans (September 8-9), Romeville, Louisiana [population 99] (September 9-10), Rio Haina, Dominican Republic (September 15-17).

Due to its size the ship cannot take a full load at the Gold Bond Gysum dock in Bedford Basin, but would still have a significant cargo when it sailed for Baltimore today (September 25). At 9.9 meters draft the ship has a deadweight of about 45,000 tonnes (displacement of 60,000 tonnes).

 On its way outbound the Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin passed one of the most recent additions to the CSL Europe fleet. The newly reanmed CSL Flexvik is under repair at Pier 9C having just acquired a new tail shaft, controllable pitch propellor hub and new propellor blades just last week.The former Ale ex Raba (then under previous owners) ran aground and damaged rudder and prop a year ago. [see previous posts] CSL Europe acquired the ship early this year and began the repair process.

CSL Europe operates 19 ships, most in the cement trade, but also has six self-unloaders. This ship, as a once frequent Seaway / Lakes caller in the "steel and general-in /grain-out" trade may be the start of a new area of operation for CSL. If so it would be in direct competition with former partner Fednav, and several well known European operators.


Sunday, September 24, 2023

MSC Roma

 The Mediterranean Shipping Company's INDUSA service (Northwest India to the USA East Coast) is one of four regularly scheduled routes that call in the Port of Halifax. Another two services that run to Montreal often stop in Halifax to adjust draft to and from the St.Lawrence River.

Today (September 25) brought a first time caller on the INDUSA route, the MSC Roma. The Samsung Geoje shipyard delivered the ship in 2006 and it is listed at 107,849 gt, 110,633 dwt with a capacity of 9,178 TEU (including 700 reefers.)

Ships on the INDUSA run have varied in size from 6700 TEU to 9400 TEU, but most have been in the 8000 to 8500 TEU range. However few ships have remained on the run for long, so we have seen quite a variety.
On this eastbound voyage from Savannah and Baltimore,  the ship is giving its destination as Iskenderun, Turkey. That may be due to "crew indifference" or it is unscheduled as the MSC published schedule shows its next regular call to be King Abdullah port then Mumbai, Nava Sheva and Colombo before heading back west.

With a capacity of just under 10,000 TEU the ship is not an "Ultra" size vessel. That size is often the cut off for single superstructure aft. Some ships of this size and most larger ships have the split superstructure with bridge and accommodation well forward.

Viking Trader

 I frequently look back through my photographic index and log books to see what I was doing thirty or forty or even fify years ago (and yes - or more!) So on today's date, September 24  in 1983, I know exactly what I was doing - taking pictures of a ship named Viking Trader. Here is its story...

A RoRo service between Halifax and Newfoundland was operated by Fednav carrying new cars and truck trailers, with some of the truck trailers carrying containers. As the amount of traffic increased they had two ships on the route, then in 1980 they introduced a single larger ship. 


Goya refueling from Imperial Dartmouth at Autoport.

To replace the two smaller RoRos, Fednav acquired a ship with a unique history. Construction of the ship began in Korneuburg, Austria, well up the Danube from the Black Sea. In order for the ship to reach the sea, it was built in two components, the hull to bulwark height as one unit and the accommodation block as another unit.  The latter was built on a barge and in 1976 the two were to be towed down the Danube to Galati, Romania where they were to be joined. Due to water levels on the Danube, both parts ran aground, but not before knocking down a bridge. High water levels than trapped the barge carrying the superstructure for six months until water levels decreased and there was sufficient clearance under the bridge.

Once assembled, the ship was towed all the way round through the Mediterranean to Werft Nobiskrug in Rendsburg (on the Kiel Canal) for completion in 1977. While at that yard the opportunity was taken to lengthen the ship nearly 90 feet (27.1 meters) from its original overall length of 384 ft (117 meters) to 473 ft (144.1 meters). It emerged with a grt of 3809 as Stena Tender but was sold on completion to McAndrews + Co Ltd and placed on P+O’s Pandoro service between Fleetwood, England and Larne, Ireland. The ship was renamed Goya for this operation. [McAndrews had operated ships between England and Spain since the 1850s and used Spanish names for their ships.]

In 1980 Fednav acquired the ship through its Canadian flag subsidiary Seaforth Fednav, which normally was involved in offshore supply work. On arrival in Canada in January 1980, the ship entered service as Goya, before being renamed Federal Nova.

Federal Nova gets underway from Autoport.
Its presence on the Newfoundland run was short lived, because another ship became available. The legendary Cavallo, which could also carry containers, became available in 1981 and Federal Nova was reassigned. In 1981 it became Caribbean Sky still for Seaforth Fednav, then was sold becoming: 81: Manaure VII, 83: Oyster Bay, 83: Viking Trader for Townsend Thoresen. It called in at Halifax under that name in September 1983, presumably on a repositioning voyage from the Caribbean back to Europe.

Viking Trader backs out from  a berth on the Halifax side of the harbor.

Underway for sea, the ship's stern ramp is visible, as is an unusual catwalk on the port side above the open car deck.

In 1998 the ship was renamed European Navigator.After its sale to Arab Bridge Maritime and Salam International Transport + Trading Co Ltd, in 2003, the ship worked in Egyptian waters as Black Iris. In 2012 it was sold to the mysterious Oceandro Large Yacht Builders of Suez, Egpyt (perhaps in default of repair bills) and renamed Black Horses.
On January 10, 2014 it arrived at the scrap yard in Al-Adabiya, Egypt.
The weekly container and RoRo service between Halifax and St.John's is now operated by Oceanex with the veteran Oceanex Sanderling. They also operate a two ship container and RoRo servoce between Montreal and St.John's.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Blue for ZIM

Some shipping companies have distinctive colour schemes (Maersk comes to mind immediately) but others are satisfied with serviceable black and white. ZIM is certainly one of the latter, so it was a bit of a surprise to see a blue hulled ZIM ship arriving today on the ZCA (ZIM Container Atlantic) service. Aptly named ZIM Atlantic, the ship carries an attractive medium blue hull and white superstructure, with what appears to be the start of a ZIM funnel marking (less the stars).

 This is not the harbinger of things to come however, but is a carry over of colours from the ship's last operators. Even that was not the ship's original hull colour, as photos on the internet show it with a red hull.

The ship was built in 2009 by Hyundai Heavy Indsutry Co Ltd in Ulsan as the CPO Richmond for the Claus-Peter Offen company of Hamburg, however it was delivered with the name Cap Harvey for charter to Hamburg-Süd and carried that company's traditional red hull paint.

In 2017 the ship moved to CMB NV ownership (Cie Maritime Belge) and managed by their wholly owned subsidiary Bocimar.  It then acquired the current blue paint and was renamed Heron Hunter

 In late 2021 or early 2022 ownership changed again, this time to direct ownership by ZIM with Hammonia Reederei of Hamburg, as managers. (Hammonia manages several other ZIM ships too.) The renaming to ZIM Atlantic was effective January 1, 2022.

The ship is due for class renewal next May, so is likely to be repainted then in ZIM black.


Friday, September 22, 2023

CMA CGM Cochin

 An unusual ship arrived today (September 22) on the CMA CGM led Columbus JAX service. The CMA CGM Cochin is much smaller than the usual ships on the service and it did not call at all of the usual ports. Other than its name it does not carry any of the usual CMA CGM identifiers.

Jiangsu Yangzi Xinfu Shipbuilding in Jingjiang built the 113,509 gt, 119,180 dwt ship in 2018. Rated at 10,000 TEU, it has about 75% of the rated capacity of the usual ships on the route, which are the largest ships to call in Halifax. (CMA CGM Mexico which was here on Monday - a few days late due to weather - is rated at 15,000 TEU).

The joint service, operated by the Ocean Alliance of CMA CGM, China Ocean Shipping Co (COSCO), Evergreen and OOCL, usually calls in 18 ports and requires 21 ships to maintain its weekly service, with a 147 day rotation of ships. The route is from the North American west coast, via China, Vietnam, Malaysia  (Singapore eastbound) and Colombo via Suez to the North American east coast. This ship however sailed directly from Port Klang to Halifax, with no stop in Colombo but with a one day layover in the Suez anchorages. This suggests to me that it may be on the route to pick up extra cargo due to seasonal demand.

Also unusual is the lack of CMA CGM markings. The funnel (which is concealed from view by the scrubber housing) has no CMA CGM insignia and the usual "CMA CGM" banner is missing from the hull. The ship, which has been on charter to CMA CGM since new, is owned and managed by Seaspan Ship Management. These charters are usually ten years or so, which would justify painting CMA CGM identifiers. I note that the ship was drydocked in May / June of this year, and on line photos show the CMA CGM banner and red arrows in May 2023, so these were apparently painted over in June.


Irving Oil stocks up

 Over the last few days Irving Oil has had three tankers in quick succession at its Woodside terminal.

On Wednesday, September 20 it was the company tanker Acadian. (It arrived late Tuesday and anchored until Wednesday morning, when it went alongside.)  Meanwhile the Harbour Progress arrived Wednesday and anchored awaiting its turn. (The arriving autocarrier Morning Claire is in the background in this photo taken September 20):

A chemical tanker of 13,239 gt, 19,175 dwt, Harbour Progress was built in 2010 by the Yangfan Group in Zhoushan. Although built as Harbour Progress it was delivered as Nordtank Charcot but soon reverted back to Harbour Progress

The ship arrived from New York, but had previously been in Argentia, NL August 19, then went to Montreal (August 23), entered the St.Lawrence Seaway the next day and returned to Montreal August 27. It spent from September 3 to 17 in New York (some of that time was likely sitting out Hurricane Lee.) 

It moved from anchor to the Woodside terminal on Thursday September 21 and departed in the early hours of this morning (September 22) again for Montreal. It is likely carrying some special chemical components used in blending fuel.

On Thursday, September 21 another tanker, the Torm Cavatina*, arrived from Amsterdam and anchored offshore until the Harbour Progress sailed.

The ship is a MidRange type of 27,061 gt, 46,067dwt, built in 2010 by Brodotrogir in Trogir, Croatia. Launched as Siteam Ranger, it was delivered as Cavatina and renamed Team Cavatina in 2020. The ship was acquired by the Danish company Torm A/S in 2021, and is registered under the Danish International Register.

The Torm funnel marking was applied, but so far the ship has not acquired the unique burnt orange colour superstructure that identifies Torm tankers. The ship's colours are therefore still the same as previous owners Team Tankers International [previously Eitzen Chemical ASA] a longstanding Norwegian / Danish and Singapore (Siteam) tanker owner / operator.

In the photo, some of the mooring arrangements for Irving's Woodside terminal are visible. Both head and tail lines are run to mooring buoys and a line boat is needed when ships arrive and depart. Dominion Diving provides this service, including the skilled hands, who are usually trained divers.

[ * "Cavatina" is a slow operatic song, sometimes modified as a piano tune for early learners.]


Thursday, September 21, 2023

Another three cruise ship day

 September 20 and September 21 were both "three cruise ship days" in the Port of Halifax. Today, the 21st, it was Zuiderdam (at Pier 20), Emerald Princess (at Pier 22) and Viking Octantis (at Pier 23.

The two big ships took up pretty much the entire length of the seawall, as they disembarked passengers on the shore side, and waste materials to attendant craft of the water side.

The much smaller Viking Octantis was tucked around the corner at Pier 23...

... where the crew could atttend to some maintenance activities on their boat and launchway through their "hatch back" and side doors.


More boxes for ONE

 Ocean Network Express ships of the Bird class are now regular callers in Halifax. Today (September 21) saw two of the ships in port - although not at the same time. The ONE Blue Jay, which arrived early yesterday morning sailed mid-afternoon today for Port Said, Egypt on the eastbound leg of its EC5 route for THE Alliance.

It was just about hull down on the horizon (from my position) when the ONE Wren arrived at the pilot station from Colombo (via Suez) on the westbound leg. I could not manage both ships in the same photo as I was too close to sea level. 


I did note that both ships were well loaded, with ONE Wren carrying containers up to eight high on deck. The ship was built by Japan Marine United in Kure in 2018 as NYK Wren. When it was renamed in 2021 its gross tonnage was revised from 144,285 to 146,409 tons.  Deadweight tonnage remained the same at 13,335 tonnes as did container capacity of 14,026 TEU.

When ONE Wren arrived in Halifax on June 11, 2023 (also westbound) it was only loaded to four containers high, and so it was possible to see some of the ship's superstructure:


The lead up to Christmas is usually the busiest time of year for imports from Asia, which would explain the considerable difference in beck load and hull draft between June 11 and September 21.


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Silver Cloud

 Halifax is typically a way point for cruise ships on their way to or from a home port. Occasioanlly Halifax is the "terminal" port where a cruise starts or ends. That was the case today, September 20, when the Silver Cloud arrived at the end of a twelve day cruise from Iceland and Greenland.

One of three cruise ships in port today, Silver Cloud at Pier 23 joined Mein Schiff 6 (background) at Pier 22 and Silver Shadow (out of the frame) at Pier 21.

 Sailing from Reykjavik September 8 the ship called in seven different locations in Greenland before heading on to St.Anthony, Newfoundland (September 16), St-Pierre et Miquelon (September 18) and Louisbourg, NS (September 19.) After disembarking passengers left the ships in Halifax today the crew made the ship ready for a new contingent to board in the afternoon. It then embarked on an 11 day jaunt to Fort Lauderdale, with the first stop in Bar Harbor. After that the ship will move around the Caribbean before heading to South America in time to start its next Antarctic trip from Chile on November 20.

Built in 1994 by Cantiere Navale Visentini in Porto Viro, near Venice, the ship was extensively rebuilt in 2012 and again in 2017 when it was upgraded to ice class. Now registered at 16,927 gt, it has 196 cabins and can carry a maximum of 296 to 302 passengers, but that is reduced to 200 for polar cruises. Tbe crew then ranges in size from 217 to 222. Operator Silver Seas Cruises, (since 2020) is the luxury cruise brand of Royal Caribbean.

When the ship completed its last Antarctic season in March 2023, it headed for Cape Town, then made its way to Mahé (Seychelles), Muscat, Jeddah, Athens, Lisbon, Dublin, and Reykjavik, arriving June 25. It then started is summer season of six trips in Greenland waters.


CSL Flexvik - new name for the ALE

 A ship which appeared to have been languishing in Halifax for many months has been the scene of considerable activity during the past weeks, and I noted today that it now has a new name on the bow.

The ship arrived in Halifax in January 2023 in tow with propellor and rudder damage after grounding in Long Pond, Newfoundland on September 14, 2022. The ship was carrying the unusual name of Ale and was under Norwegian ownership. In early October 2022 the tugs Atlantic Fir and Atlantic Larch towed the ship to the Verreault Shipyard in Méchins, QC for survey and temporary repairs and the Italian tug Kamarina was sent from Europe to tow it to Portugal for permanent repairs. 

Some difficulties encountered with getting the ship away from Méchins (it may have made contact with other ships in the shipyard, but did not run aground as wrongly reported here) and a parted tow line in the Gulf of St.Lawrence, resulted in the tug and tow diverting to Halifax, arriving January 3 of this year.

Instead of restoring the towing set up, the tug returned to Europe February 15. By mid-March it was reported that the ship had been sold to CSL Europe, one of the overseas subsidiaries of Canada Steamship Lines. Still the ship remained alongside, with a maintenance crew on board, but no sign of other activity until September 3 when it appears that the propellor was removed using air bags for flotation support.

In August workers set up tent shelters nearby on Pier 9C and fabricated a cofferdam structure which was placed around the stern of the ship, surrounded by floats, to facilitate work below the water line.

Yesterday I noted the arrival of a new tail shaft with controllable pitch hub. Built by ZAMECH Marine in Poland. (Although the ship was built in China, it was Polish owned until 2021.)

A complex piece of machinery, it contains a hydraulic system connected through the shaft and a servo-motor in the hub to alter the pitch of the propellor blades for forward, feathering or reverse.

Today I noted the ship's new name had been painted on the bow.

CSL Flexvik, as it is now named, was built in 2012 by Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering Co as the Raba for Polska Zegluga Morska (known as Polsteam) and was sold in 2021 and renamed Ale by Oslo Venture Pte Ltd. It is a 13,579 gt, 17.074 dwt general cargo / bulker with three 30 tonne SWL cranes. It was built for the Great Lakes grain trade, and in 2022 made one trip to the Lakehead in May. Then in August it had completed a ten year survey and refit, so was in prime condition when it went ground.

I suppose if the tail shaft replacement and rudder re-instal goes well, the ship may have time to make it to the Great Lakes for the annual grain rush before the winter closure of the St.Lawrence Seaway.