Friday, April 19, 2024

Friday exodus

 Ships like to sail on Fridays, in part to avoid  possible overtime charges or weekend rates, but also because many cargo terminals operate Monday to Friday at the land gate, with no truck arrvials and departures processed on the weekends. 

It is therefore not unusual to see several ships sailing from Halifax on a Friday afternoon, but today (April 19) was still notable notable due to the number leaving in quick succession.

When I got to my favourite vantage point at Point Pleasant Patk shortly after 1800 hrs ADT, the Atlantic SaiI was out of sight, but I did just manage to catch the EF Ava well off in the distance, having left PSA Halifax's South End Container Terminal (SECT) about 20 minutes before.

EF Ava 18:26 hrs ADT

It is headed for Reykjavik on Eimskip's weekly Green Line service to / from Portland, ME.

At the same time the NYK Rigel was passing my position outbound on The Alliance's AL5 route to Port Everglades.

NYK Rigel 18:26 hrs ADT

No sooner had the NYK Rigel passed than the MSC Sines R got underway from the SECT for Sines, Portugal on the CANEX2 service from Montreal. The ship was here March 15 westbound en route to Montreal.

 

MSC Sines R 18:29 hrs ADT

In a break from commercial activity the next outbound was the CCGS Jean Goodwill on SAR patrol east.

CCGS Jean Goodwill 18:39 hrs ADT

Next along was the auto carrier Morning Lynn from Autoport en route to New York. It was following the usual Wallenius Wilhelmsen transatlantic port rotation of Bremerhaven, Goteborg, Zeebrugge, Southampton, Halifax.

 Morning Lynn 18:45 hrs ADT.
 
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 the Japanese car carriers). It is still a South Korean company, but is now jointly owned by Wallenius Wilhelmsen, American Roll-on-Roll-off Carriers (ARC) and United European Car Carriers.

The ship is also equipped with a larger than usual side ramp, mounted well aft. Newer ships have dispensed with side ramps as they are seldom used in most ports, and cannot be used in Autoport due to the narrow pier. 

Waiting patiently at Pier 42 for this parade to pass was the Silver Arctic the interim ship on TSMI's St-Pierre et Miquelon and Argentia, NL service. It was facing bow north, so had to turn off the dock before heading out to sea.

Silver Arctic 18:47 hrs ADT

The Silver Arctic is a six to eight week replacement while TMSI's CONRO ship the Nolhan Ava is on scheduled refit [see previous posts]. Despite having no RoRo capability, the Silver Arctic was carrying acouple of cargo vans which appear to be lashed to a 45 ft platform type container (with no walls or roof, but a heavy flat base.) It will require special sling arrangements to off-load, as a standard container spreader will not work.

Also sailing, but a little later in the evening, was Oceanex Sanderling after dark.

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BBC Rhonetal sails

 After the laborious process of loading several hunded (maybe as many as one thousand) sections of gas pipe, the BBC Rhonetal sailed today, April 19, for Moerdijk, Netherlands.

The pipe, according to the markings I could see, was manufactured in Japan and coated in Canada. The shipment was then transported to Halifax on railroad flat cars, usually with eleven pipes per car, (There were a few pipes of different diameter and length.) It took a hundred or more cars to transport the shipment. As mentioned previously the pipes were loaded aboard ship one at a time or in small bundles of two or three, using the ship's own cranes. Apparently the cargo filled the holds and a dozen or so pipes were secured on deck.

The BBC Rhonetal arrived in Halifax March 29 from Port Cartier, QC where it had off-loaded some wind turbine components. It had been waiting off Port Cartier for a time as fleet mate BBC Topaz was off-loading first. When it arrived in Halifax, there was BBC Topaz was occupying the berth and it had to wait at anchor until April 7 before it could begin to load the pipe.

 BBC Rhonetal was built in 2013 by Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering Co and is a general purpose type ship with full width hatches and box shaped holds. The 14,941 gt, 17,577 dwt ship carries three 80 tonne SWL cranes that can be combined in pairs for 150 tonne lifts. It is also rated for 1047 TEU (nominal) with 152 reefer plugs.

There have been several posts on this blog over the past few weeks on both ships.

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Thursday, April 18, 2024

This and That

 Halifax may now be noted as a container port (it exceeded 500,000 TEU again in 2023) but there are lots of other things happening in the port too, and today (April 18) was an example.

 The third cruise ship of the season arrived and it is another of the small "expedition" types. Viking Octantis is en route to a summer on the Great Lakes.

Built in 2021 it is a 30,114 gt ship with a capacity of 378 passengers in 189 staterooms. It is rated as a Polar 6 class and was designed specifically for Antarctic and Great Lakes cruising. Initial construction took place at the Tulcea, Romania yard of Vard (Fincantieri). The shell was then towed to the Søviknes Shipyard in Norway for finishing. After a day in Halifax the ship will head for Toronto, where it will be based until October 15.

 At Irving Oil's Woodside terminal their tanker Acadian was discharging product from the Saint John, NB refinery. It arrived last night and will be sailing late this afternoon.

The Canadian flag ship, is on long term charter from the Dutch Vroon (Iver Ships BV). Built in 2005 by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co Ltd in 2005, it is a 23,552 gt, 37,515 dwt product tanker. It operates from Saint John primarily to the Atlantic Canada ports of Halifax, Charlottetown and Saint John's NL, and occasionally to Montreal and Quebec City.

Arriving for its turn at the Irving Oil facility this morning was the tanker STI Hackney from Amsterdam.

Perhaps not surprisingly it is a product of the same prolific South Korean shipbuilder, Hyundai Mipo. Dating from 2014 it is a 24,230 gt, 38,734 dwt ship. Flying the Marshal Islands flag, it operates for Scorpio Tankers Inc.

Imperial Oil is also busy with the Algoberta in from Montreal with product and the Algoscotia waiting at Pier 27 25 to take its place to load for regional distribution.

Autoport is not be left out as another busy spot with imports arriving from two directions. The load of vans that arrived on April 15 on the Trica (see previous post) and were off loaded at PSA Fairview Cove are being transported to Autoport by truck (three or four at a time). My initial report of 200 vans has been revised to 350. That is a lot of truck trips!

Cars (and vans) arriving from overseas at Autoport are prepped including installation of some accessories and other equipment, and stored and shipped out by rail or truck on demand.

Today's arrival was a more conventional auto carrier, but with a twist. The ARC Honor is a United States flagged vessel reflagged and renamed February 2 in Incheon, Korea by American Roll On Roll Off Carriers (ARC).

Formerly the Tulane it was built in 2012 by Hyundai, Ulsan and is a 72,295 gt, 28,818 dwt LCTC (Large Car and Truck Carrier) with a capacity of 7,934 CEU. It was operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean, and has now been transferred to the United States subsidiary (but not yet re-painted in ARC colours). As a US flag ship it has preference for carrying government cargoes internationally. But as a non-Jones Act ship it cannot trade between US ports.

The ship has been in Halifax many times, and initially called wearing the old Wilhelmsen hull colour scheme.

 

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

USCG Sentinel class

 The United States Coast Guard is well along in the program to build a large number of Fast Response Cutters (FRC) called the Sentinel class. There are sixty-six vessels planned with fifty-four now completed and fifty-three in service (according to latest info). The 353 light ton displacement boats are based on a Damen 4708 design (nominally 47 meters long x 8 meters wide) but with modifications to suit USCG requirements.  These include an increase in speed from 23 knots to 28 knots, and the choice of armaments. (Damen is a large Netherlands based builder of tugs and other smaller craft, and licenses its designs to other builders around the world.)

The fiftieth member of the Sentinel class, USCGC William Chadwick WPC 1150, arrived in Halifax today, April 17, and tied up at the Tall Ships Quay. 

 

There are obvious similarities to the Canadian Coast Guard's Hero class patrol vessels, which are also based on a Damen design but of a smaller version, the 4207  class (42 meters by 7 meters). There have been complaints about the sea-keeping capability of the Canadian boats in rough weather, but the USCG boats seem to perform better. 

Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport LA is the builder of the Sentinels and delivered this one on August 4, 2022. It was commissioned November 10, 2022 and is based in Boston, although it arrived today from Portland, ME.

As the boat approached the dock it had fenders rigged on the port side, but just as it began to swing about to come alongside the crew hastily moved the fenders to the starboard side, foiling my attempt to get a "clean" photo.

 In another similarity with the Canadian Coast Guard boats, the US boats are named for heroes, but in their case, of the USCG or previous agencies such as the Life-Saving Service (which was merged into the USCG in 1915.). This cutter is named for William Chadwick, keeper of the Green Island Lifeboat Station in New Jersey. He received the Congressional Gold Lifesaving Medal for the rescue of the crew of the schooner George Taulane in 1880.

[For more on the man William Chadwick, see  the artice in this link: Maritime Executive or at:

 https://maritime-executive.com/editorials/william-chadwick-and-the-fight-to-save-the-crew-of-the-george-taulane

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Thank you Volkswagen

 As part of its efforts to establish green credentials Volkswagen AG has added new generation autocarriers to its fleet of chartered vessels. The first two of the series have already visited Halifax, the Emden and the Wolfsburg, named, respectively, for the locations of VW's primary export facility and its major manufacturing centre.

Today's (April 16) return visit was from the Emden, a 69,470 gt, 19,243 dwt Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) delivered late last year by Guangzhou Shipyard International. The 7,000 CEU capacity vessel is powered by a MAN ME-GI dual fuel main engine. (MAN, formerly Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg is a VW company).

On sailing this evening for Davisville, RI, the ship exhibited a "Powered by LNG" slogan along with owner SFL Corporation's logo. (Publicly traded SFL is a creature of shipping magnate John Frederiksen along with Frontline Tankers, Golden Ocean, MOWI and other shipping and petroleum related interests.) 

The banner did not state that it is dual fuel - burning LNG only some of the time, and regular fuel oil the rest of the time.

Once the ship had rounded Ives Knoll outbound, it exhibited its true colours. Perhaps the alternative fuel to LNG is really coal?

Clearly the ship has a faulty exhaust gas scrubber system if it is emitting that amount of particulate. Exhasut gas scrubbers are supposed to clean the ship's exhaust by removing SO2, NO2 and particles, thus allowing the ship to use higher sulfur fuel, which is otherwise banned from use by international treaty. (Scrubbers aren't necessarily the answer either as some systems flush pollutants into the sea.) 

Volkswagen's reputation is not helped by this kind of display either. It is interesting to note however that Volkswagen's name does not appear anywhere on the ship.

The use of LNG - which is still a fossil fuel, no matter what the hype - can only be considered as a stop gap until cleaner and less polluting fuels such as hydrogen become viable. So bragging about the use of LNG seems a bit perverse, especially when it isn't used all the time.



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MSC Alyssa - back again

 The MSC Alyssa arrived back in Halifax today, April 16, from Montreal on its way back to Europe on Mediterranean Shipping Company's CANEX 2 service. It was here April 7, 2024 from Europe on the westbound leg.

On that previous visit the ship's deck was loaded to various heights and had very few boxes stowed aft. It also appeared to have fairly light draft, so may only have offloaded some empties or express cargo here. This time it was uniformly loaded, three boxes high, for its entire length.

(Above) Previous visit, April 7, 2024.

(above) Today, April 16.

Normally ships on CANEX2 and other St.Lawrence River services stop in Halifax inbound to reduce draft. Outbound ships, once here in salt water, and beyond any other draft restriction on the St.Lawrence, can load to greater draft for ocean crossing. 

This time the MSC Alyssa maxed out its load in Montreal, but still has lots of capacity for salt water and deep water, and so will take on additional tiers of containers here before heading for Sines, Portugal.

Built in 2001 by Hyundai, Busan, MSC Alyssa is registered at 43,575 gt, 61,487 dwt with a capacity of 4340 TEU, including 150 reefers. 

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Monday, April 15, 2024

Unusual RoRo - the Trica

 RoRo services in the port of Halifax tend to be quite predictable with auto carriers calling at Autoport to deliver import cars and some RoRo cargoes (and sometimes to load exports cars) or at Pier 9C to off load non-auto cargo such as large trucks and mining, forestry and farm machinery. Atlantic Container Line's weekly service also brings in RoRo cargo of all sorts - some self-propelled and some on trailers and Maffeis.

Today, April 15, saw an unusual RoRo delivery on an unusual ship. The cargo was a large number (I hear 200) vans, which were landed at PSA Fairview Cove.  The vans were mostly white, but there were some blue and some red, so it appears that they were for general distribution rather than part of a single customer order. It will be interesting to see how they will be forwarded from Fairvew Cove, since they would normally be serviced and stored then sent by rail if landed at Autoport.

That the vans were delivered to PSA Fairview Cove may have more to do with the ship than with the cargo. There is a major demand for auto carriers, particularly in Asia and with re-routings caused by the hostilities in the Red Sea shippers are looking for supplementary tonnage. Today's ship normally finds itself in the Baltic, so it is certainly well off its usual trade lanes, and would likely not be a first choice for the shipper of cars. However the vans are considerably higher than cars so would have to be loaded on an autocarrier with some moveable decks.

Trica is one of eleven similar ships operated by the Finnish company Transfennica. Founded in 1976 to operate between Finland, Estonia, Poland, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and England, the company has been part of the Dutch Spliethoff group since 2002. (The ship wears the Spliethoff funnel mark and has the unusual Spliethoff type cutwater bow.) The Trica and fleet mates are identified as "Spliethoff class" ships.

Trica was built in 2007 by Szczecinska Nowa in Poland and is a 28,389 gt, 17,499 dwt high ice class combination container and RoRo ship with a capacity of 640 TEU and with 2,963 lane meters for RoRo (about 500 CEU). but more usually carries truck trailers. With an operating speed of 22 knots it normally works scheduled fixed day routes year round.

The ship docked at PSA Fairview Cove because it has a fixed stern ramp, whereas Autoport can only off load ships with a stern ramp skewed to starboard or a slewing ramp which can be adjusted to suit the facilites (for example the Oceanex Sanderling.) Trica's ramp is mounted such that it must work  perpendicular to a berth. PSA Fairivew Cove has a ramp facility that is suited for inline ramps.

The large one piece "tailgate" type ramp covers three loading bays, presumably aligned with ramps to serve the main top deck, which is partially open, and the holds. When closed the ramp serves as a full width gate.

The ship's accommodation and bridge structure is located so as to provide container loading space on a short open after deck with fixed cellular frames and lashing bridges for forty foot containers.

I cannot say if it actually unloaded any containers during its stay in Halifax - it seems unlikely. The ship arrived from and sailed for the port of Vlissingen (Flushing), in the Netherlands, and was very likely a "spot charter" for a single trip with the vans. (It may have been available due to widespread "political strikes" in the Baltic countries that have disrupted Transfennica's usual schedules and routes.)

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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Torm of another colour

 I like to see tankers from the Danish company Torm A/S because of their unique livery - a colour scheme of black hull, burnt orange superstructure with the company name and flag emblazoned on the hull. I was surprised however when I saw the Torm India with a white superstructure. The ship arrived on April 12 at Irving Oil's Woodside terminal from Amsterdam, but I did not actually lay eyes on it until it sailed for Saint John, NB today, April 14. Due to the persistent fog and rain over the last few days it wasn't visible from the Halifax side of the harbour until this morning.

The tugs Atlantic Oak and Atlantic Bear ease the ship away from the pier.

The explanation for the non-typical colours may be because the ship was not built for Torm, and has not needed repainting since it was acquired.

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co Ltd built the ship in 2010 as a typical 29,141 gt, 46,838 dwt MidRange chemical and product tnaker. It was originally named Atlantic Queen for a Hong Kong company and operated under a variety of managers until Torm purchased the ship in 2020. Although they applied the company funnel marks and hull banners, they did not see the need to repaint the entire superstructure.

The ship is not due for another drydocking until 2025, so perhaps if they still own the ship at that time they may repaint the superstructure. 

When painted in the company colours, Torm ships stand out from the rest. There have been many Torm ships in Halifax over the years, including the occasion in June 2016 when Torm Mary and Torm Madison were both in port at the same time. In those days some ships had the hull banner, but not those two.

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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Neither snow nor rain...(again)

 I have often referred to the US Postal Service's motto here when weather makes it difficult for shipping in the harbour (and for me to keep track of it.)

The last couple of days, April 12 and 13, have seen heavy rain and high wind (but fortunately no snow) and dense fog. Pilotage operations have been suspended for various periods due to swells and surges and several arrivals and departures have been delayed.

As for operations in the harbour, unless winds are extremely high, the container piers* can still work cargo. (There is a maximum wind speed for safe operation of the cranes.) Containers are largely impervious to rain, so if the ship can make it into port, it can be loaded and unloaded.

Today's (April 13) arrival for the ZCA service ZIM Container Atlantic, the Navios Indigo, managed to reach port before the latest pilotage suspension. The ship started calling for ZIM last year. See my post for October 27, 2023

Lingering fog was considerably thinner over Bedford Basin where the ship was tied up at the Fairview Cove west berth*.

 At Pier 9C* the BBC Rhonetal continued to load gas pipe despite the rain.

The ship was using its own cranes to load, and appears to have been working two or even three holds at one time, but has closed most of the hatches. There are hundreds of pipes left to load, so the ship will be here for some time yet. They are often loaded in bundles of two or three, depending on how they are to be organized and secured below deck.

Some ships were able to sail, one being the Fairwind Legion which departed long term anchorage in Bedford Basin for Portsmouth, New Hampshire to load submarine cable. It has been in port since February 28.

[April 3 photo]

See my post of February 28 for details on the ship. A sister ship Nord Logos has been waiting offshore and is due tomorrow, probably to load cable racks. 

* Footnote on Terminolgy

The Port of Halifax does not use  standard terminology to designate some of its facilities - see subsequent post for my exposition on this topic.

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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Rockpiper

 The aptly named Rockpiper made a brief (eight hour) visit to Halifax today April 11, en route to Sheet Harbour, NS.

 The ship functions as a pipe burying vessel, by the accurate placement of aggregate on the sea bottom. The material is used as a bedding and a covering for pipelines, transmission lines, wind turbine pilings, communication cables or as ballasting for offshore installations. It does its work by means of a 700 mm (2.29 feet)  diameter flexible "fall pipe" and can discharge at a rate up to 2,000 tonnes per hour. It can also side dump if needed.

Using dynamic positioning, controlling the ship's six thrusters with the aid of satellite navigation, the ship can place material in precise locations in 700 meters of water (which can be extended to 1,500 meters (4926 feet)).

Built in 2012 by Keppel Singmarine, it is a 30,601 gt, 27,367 dwt ship which can carry 24,000 tonnes of aggregate (or 15,500 m3). Depending on the nature of the project, it can carry up to 60 persons.

This will be the ship's second visit to Sheet Harbour - it was there March 28-29 - when it presumably loaded aggregate material. Now operated by the Port of Sheet Harbour Agency a QSL [Quebec Stevedoring Ltd] company, Sheet Harbour has extensive bulk material handling facilities and large storage areas.

Although Sheet Harbour is a non-compulsary port for pilotage, ships sometimes embark a pilot off Halifax, and sometimes a tug from Halifax or from Point Tupper will go to assist ships.


 Rockpiper's owner is Royal Boskalis Westminster, the huge Dutch dredging and marine construction company, operating world wide. In 2022 they opened their United States headquarters in Providence, RI, (Boskalis Offshore Contracting LLC) as a strategic location for their work on several offshore wind farm projects for Ørsted - Eversource. The ship's last port of call was Providence, and it will be returning to that area with its latest cargo.

Thanks to United State cabotage laws, (commonly called the Jones Act) internationally registered ships cannot trade between US ports. However this ship (which is flagged in Cyprus) can carry Canadian aggregate to the United States and unload the material, without penalty. 

Other Canadian ports are benefiting from that situation as staging and assembly ports for wind farm projects in the US offshore. Halifax's IEL dock in Woodside was used as the staging area last year for the Vineyard wind project, but that activity has now moved to Sydney, NS where the large coal pier laydown area is ideal for the work. Now renamed Atlantic Canada Bulk Terminals, it is using its 500m long pier and 40HA of land for material handling of various sorts. There are currently 15 monopiles on site for the Vineyard project. Argentia, NL is also in the picture with Boskalis and Mammoet assembling monopiles there.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Early Cruise Contrast

 The Port of Halifax welcomed its first cruise ship of the season on April 6 with the arrival of MSC Poesia. The ship went on to Sydney and Charlottetown and is now en route to Quebec City. Its passage took it through the best area to see the April 8 solar eclipse.

Its visit was a very early start to a season that usually peaks in September and October. The ship's arrival and departure times were not conducive to photography, so this photo from its first visit in 2010 will have to do.


The ship was built in 2008 at the Aker yard  in St-Nazaire, France, and measures 93,330 gross tons and can accommodate up to 3,605 passengers, and a crew of 1027. Its one of four ships of her class in the MSC Cruises fleet. 
 
By contrast the second cruise ship arrival of the season, on April 10, was the Viking Polaris. A Polar 6 class expedition type luxury cruise ship of 30,114 gt its passenger capacity is 378, with  256 crew, although small by cruise ship standards, it one of the larger cruise ships to visit Antarctic waters.
 
It pulled into Pier 23 and while alongside it launched several of its Zodiacs, possibly for training.
 

The workboat Tidal Runner also attended with a scow likely to take off refuse.
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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

ZIM feeder, Melfi and Autoport

 ZIM

 A new ship on ZIM's CGX feeder service arrived and sailed today for Kingston, Jamaica. This is a little unusual as another of ZIM's CGX feeders was in port yesterday.

Today's visitor was the Seamaster a 23,239 gt, 24,129 dwt ship built in 2013 by SPP Shipbuilding Co in Sacheon, South Korea.

The ship has a capacity of 1756 TEU with  very high count of 350 reefer plugs. It also has three 40 tonne capacity cranes, one of which serves the after deck.

Yesterday's caller the Contship Leo has been a regular caller since 2021.[see yesterday's post]. It also sailed for Kingston. Contship Leo was built in 2008 by China Commerce Group Kouan Shipbuilding as Vega Saturn. It became CFS Paceno in 2016 and took on its current name in 2020. The 9957 gt, 13,803 dwt ship has a container capacity of 1118 TEU had carries two 45 tonne cranes.

 Melfi

Melfi Marine Corp, running Melfi Lines from Spain to Cuba,  has been using the BF Fortaleza since late last year. As reported in my November 28, 2023 post: BF Fortaleza was built by the famed, but now defunct, J.J.Sietas shipyard in Nuenfeld, Germany in 1996. It was launched as Partnership but renamed Yvette on delivery. It became Partnership again from 2003 to 2004 then City of Lisbon until 2005, Carla until 2009 and WEC Rubens until 2011.  The 6362 gt, 7202 dwt ship has a capacity of 700 TEU, and unusual for Melfi, it is gearless.

The ship also has a large section of the hull open to the elements with no hatch cover. This was a design developed by Sietas, as reported in my January 28 post of this year. At that time I did not have a clear photo of this feature. Today, April 9, I did get a better picture.

 
The protective dam between hold number one (which does have hatches) and the open hold is clearly visible. There are high bulwarks around the open section. The step down secton aft of the open hold marks the engine room below deck,but with container stacking over.

Autoport

Spring is usually a busy time for automobile imports, and this year has been no exception. Despite a five week strike (which ended last week) the facility has been handling large numbers of cars, and a small amount of RoRo machinery. (Ships with large amounts of non-auto RoRo go to Pier 9C.)

The Morning Lady arrived today from Southampton on the usual Wallenius Wilhelmsen transatlantic route. The ship's recent itineray includes a departure from Shangai February 8, then, presumably via the Cape of Good Hope, arriving Zeebrugge March 18, Bremerhaven March 23, Goteborg March 28 and Southampton March 30.

It is a large ship of 70,853 gt, 27,343 dwt with a capacity of 8100 CEU. It was built in 2010 by Hyundai Ulsan. Overall length is 232.4 m (762.47 ft) which is well within the limits of the Panama Canal (289.56m / 965 ft).


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Monday, April 8, 2024

The curse of the pylons

 Trying to get a clear photo of a ship, free from background obstructions can be a little tricky. The Narrows between Halifax lower harbour and Bedford Basin presents more than enough of these challenges.

The Nova Scotia Power Corporation has its local electricity generating station at Tuft's Cove on the Dartmouth side of the Narrows, between the two bridges. Its three smoke stacks (it originally had one then added stacks as it expanded) feature prominently  in many of my photos - the trick is not to make them look like the ship's smoke stacks.

In yesterday's (April 7) photo of the BBC Rhonetal at Pier 9C, I managed to squeeze the ship in between some light standards with a bit of an overlap with the stacks.

The power that is generated at the station (by burning natrual gas and sometimes oil) is distributed by high voltage transmission lines, some of which cross the Narrows near the MacKay bridge. The pylons that carry the lines are invariably in the background of my pictures.

As the costal tanker Algoscotia turned in the Narrows to tie up at Pier 9C today (April 8) one of the pylons appeared the background. The ship will be receiving some maintenace at Pier 9C and I believe it may be going to Europe soon for installation of the new ballast water treatment system. It is fully loaded so will likely be headed to its usual destintations of Sydney, Corner Brook and sometimes as far as Sept-Iles, QC.

Only smaller ships can fit between the pylons (photographically) as they pass beneath the MacKay bridge. Today's transit of the Contship Leo on ZIM's CGX feeder service just fit.

There are black balls installed on the transmission lines to make the lines visible to aircraft.

 There are times however when you just have to take the picture no matter what:

...three extra funnels on the autcarrier Morning Peace at Pier 9C and a red and white extra signal mast atop the bridge of the NYK Meteor and another one protruding from a container on deck.

Since I make it a policy never to "photoshop" my pictures (except to crop them and straighten the horizon) I get what I get.

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Sunday, April 7, 2024

MSC Alyssa Makes a Splash

 Arriving today, April 7, on the Mediterranean Shipping Company's Canada Express 2 route from Sines, Portugal for Montreal, the MSC Alyssa faced a brisk headwind. The camera flattens the waves, and so does the wind, but the texture of the water is an indicator that it was very breezy.

The tugs Atlantic Beaver and Atlantic Oak met the ship inside Mauger's Beach and prepared to make up foreward and aft (respectively).

Despite several attempts the heaving line from the ship's bow kept blowing away and the deck hands on the Atlantic Beaver were getting soaked and perhaps dangerously so. 


 Fortunately Azimuthing Stern Drive tugs can work well going astern so the tug master peeled away and turned to come alongside stern first. This provided a bit of a lee for the tug's deck hands to make up their winch line to the ship's heaving line, but not before the tug was inundated with spray. (The winch is on the foredeck).

The Atlantic Beaver's after deck, which is much lower than the bow, took a lot of water. 

With the quantity of water streaming from the clearing ports there may have been more than a foot on deck.

 The white arrow on the ship's hull indicates a safe pushing point for the tug. The light heaving line can be seen draped over the ship's name.

Eventually the connection was made and the ship berthed successfully at Pier 42. (The flock of eider ducks were disinterested spectators.)

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