Friday, November 10, 2023

Jessica B - odd ducks at Fairview Cove

Unusual ship calls are nothing rare in Halifax, so it may be unfair to call then "Odd Ducks" and perhaps a less unflattering term can be found:

 Rare Brid 1

  The two PSA container terminals in Halifax host numerous container ships over the course of a year, and also the ConRos (combination container and RoRo ships) of Atlantic Container Line and Oceanex and TSMI - see below). Almost all of those ships are on regularly scheduled service routes. Every once in a while it also sees a conventional cargo ship with a special or project cargo. Today, November 10, there was one such caller.

The Jessica B arrived off Halifax November 8 from ports in Turkey and Ceuta, Spain. It remained at anchor until this morning, then made its way in to port, docking at PSA Fairview Cove

The Jessica B dates from 2003 when it was built by Shanghai Shipyard as the Pochard for charter to Canada Forest Navigation. Canfornav is a large operator of bulk/general cargo ships trading into the Great Lakes, carrying all sorts of cargo, not just forest products. Most of their forty some ships are named for species of ducks, many of which are not native to our shores. However Pochard was almost immediately renamed Panarea (for a Greek Island) on delivery and carried that name until 2014 when it became Pochard S

The 22,734 gt, 37,384 dwt ship is classed as a bulk carrier and is equipped with four 35 tonne capacity cargo cranes and was a built to convenient size for the St.Lawrence Seaway. On this voyage however it is carrying containers on deck, prominently labelled  "TCCL". Some of the containers appear non-standard and may be tankers.

Some shippers grew frustrated by port delays in the last year or so, and chartered bulk carriers and general cargo ships to carry containers even though they are not entirely suitable due to the requirements for lashing and special rigging to secure the boxes in the hold or on deck. That does not appear to be the case here, but rather it more likely represents a large shipment from a single shipper that would be too large to accommodate on any regular liner service. Such "project cargoes" can also be directed to destinations where no regular connecitons exist.

Rare Bird 2

The small ConRo Nolhan Ava which operates for TSMI between Halifax, Argentia and St-Pierre et Miquelon had to adjust its berthing arrangements this week due to the arrival of the new cranes at PSA Atlantic Hub (South End Container Terminal). The transport ship Zhen Hua 23 is occupying berth 41 in order to land the cranes in position (see November 6 post). That effectively blocks the RoRo ramp that the Nolhan Ava uses. 

The ship first went to Pier 30 and seems to have used the RoRo ramp there. But this evening after Oceanex Sanderling sails, the Nolhan Ava will move to occupy its berth at Fairview Cove. 

The two new red and white painted cranes are for Halifax (the green ones are for Sines, Portugal) and are painted that colour because they are in the area of low flying aircraft. Orginally in the flight path from the Shearwater base but now due to the proximity of the alternate landing pad for the Life Flight helicopter. The air ambulance service has landing platforms on the roofs of two of the Halifax hospitals, but if they are out of service, the alternative pad next to the container terminal can be used, and patients are then transported by road to the hospital.

As part of the crane upgrade project the tallest of the five existing cranes will be moved to a postion next to the new cranes. 

The disparity in heights of the cranes is evident in this May 5, 2023 photo with Nohan Ava at Pier 42.


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