Sunday, October 8, 2023

Post, post tropical storm

 The storm system that was Hurricane Philippe but gradually diminished in intensity as it worked its way north from the Caribbean, finally crossed Nova Scotia overnight Saturday - Sunday, October 7-8. It was a post tropical cyclone at that point with a few significant gusts, but mostly high winds and heavy rain. It appears to have had little effect on Halifax, except to disrupt some schedules and create some extra work in battening down. By late morning Sunday the rain had stopped, the wind died off and the skies were clear.

Even so, sea conditions outside the harbour were still sufficiently rough that pilotage operations were suspended during the day (October 8) until after 1800 hrs ADT. I did not venture out along the  coast to see the surf, but from town I could see large swells crashing onto the Maugher's Beach Lighthouse breakwater.

Conditions inside the harbour were quite decent in the morning, allowing the cruise ship Star Pride (see yesterday's post) to move from its anchorage in Bedford Basin to Pier 20. It did take the precaution of having the assistance of the tug Atlantic Oak. The ship tied up bows south - an unusual arrangement at Pier 20, but one which will allow the ship to sail directly to sea without having to turn.(Arriving cruise ships generally dock bows north.)

The large "Yokohama" type fenders, placed along the pier face during cruise season, should protect the ship if there is any residual swell in the harbour.

The other cruise ship in port, Seabourn Quest, seems to have made out all right at Pier 23 as did the heavy cargo carrier GPO Emerald which spent the night at Number One anchorage in the lower harbour. (It needed the extra room provided by that position in case it did drag. Equipped with all kinds of thrusters and DP (Dynamic Positioning), it could probably hold position.) Number One anchorage is normally reserved for short term use, so it seems likely that the GPO Emerald will move up the harbour later. Fleet mate GPO Sapphire has been anchored in Chedabucto Bay since mid-September when it went to shelter from post tropical cyclone Lee.  It also has a full load of monopiles to discharge.

 The crane ship Orion remained alongside at the IEL dock in Woodside last night, and seems to have completed loading as many monopiles as it can handle.

The only other commercial ship in the harbour over night - the Augusta Luna at pier 27 - was working today when I went by in mid-afternoon, off loading bagged nickel sulfides from Cuba. It is scheduled to sail mid-day tomorrow.

The pilot boat went out toward the pilot station at 1800 hrs to observe conditions and it was determined to be safe to disembark pilots. Star Pride, Seaborn Quest and Orion then all established sailing times between 1900 and 2000 hrs.



, 1900 hrs to 2000 hrs (regrettably after dark). Star Pride, Seaborn Quest and Oiron will all be sailing this evening.

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