Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Slow boat to Montreal MSC Leandra V

 A ship that called in Halifax last week, en route to Montreal has not arrived there yet. Ironically, once (and maybe still), the fastest containership in the world, it is still more or less en route after five days.


MSC Leandra V arrived in Halifax January 4 to reduce its draft to transit the St.Lawrence River. [I gave the ship's particulars in the January 4 post, including its 30 knot designed cruising speed.] When it sailed late that evening it gave the unusual destination of Sept-Iles, QC. That port is primarily known for handling huge quantities of iron ore but not containers. 

On arrival in Sept-Iles yesterday (January 8) it anchored in the large bay and on the port's website was shown to be in for "réparations". What those repairs might have been and why they could not have been accomplished in Halifax is not known. [One possible explanation is that ships at anchor in Halifax must have engines in operating order. If not, they must have tug(s) along side. Also anchorages are at a premium in Halifax .]

The ship sailed from Sept-Iles January 8 and picked up its pilot off Escoumins. After proceeding up river just less than 100 miles it came about and sailed back down river to the Rasades anchorage off the Escoumins pilot station. 

Thanks to a social media post, I learned that the ship is now awaiting a suitable tide to proceed upstream. The ship's air draft is such that it needs a low tide to clear the Quebec Bridges. The clearance under those bridges is 151 feet at high water. However the tidal range at Quebec at this time of the year is 10 to 15 feet, so timing will be critical. [The ship would not be able clear the Halifax bridges no matter the state of the tide. The generally accepted clearance number is 154 feet with a tidal range of four to eight feet.]


Not only is the ship's superstructure very tall, it had to sacrifice a bay of container capacity to install the free standing exhaust gas scrubber tower.

As noted from my photos of the ship's arrival here, it has a very high superstructure. Combined with the reduced (water) draft, its air draft is apparently very close to the maximum allowable under those bridges. With the number of ships in the MSC fleet, surely they could find one that would not have to contend with this issue.


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