Sunday, June 30, 2024

The Big Reveal

 On Friday June 28 the Minister of National Defence announced Canada's largest shipbuilding project since the Second World War. Irving Shipbuilding Inc will build fifteen destroyers for the Royal Canadian Navy over a 25 year construction period, employing 10,000 people. The actual ships will be built at Halifax Shipyard, but components will be sourced from across the country and abroad.

The current project estimate of $40 billion will of course balloon with inflation and all the other factors that effect the cost of shipbuilding. There is little doubt however that the economic boom that has been underway in Halifax for the past few years will only continue or even grow. (There have been and will be more government announcements about needed infrastructure expansion.)

When the government announced the new National Shipbuilding Strategy in 2010 it really meant a ground up reconstruction of the country's nearly defunct shipbuilding industry. The idea was to build a "sustainable, long-term shipbuilding plan" as opposed to the previous boom and bust cycle. [After the current RCN frigates were built in 1990s, there was so little other work for the Saint John shipyard that it was closed.] 

Halifax Shipyard was essentially demolished and rebuilt from scratch.

 As the new plan evolved Halifax Shipyard became the location for construction of "surface combatants" and Seaspan Shipyard in British Columbia the centre for "non-combatants". Both facilties had to be rebuilt and re-equipped to eventually build sophisticated naval vessels and so were contracted to build a variety of other government ships. Construction of these ships has provided valuable opportunities for worker training and the development of design, supply chain, and operational management skills.

Seaspan was contracted to build research ships before embarking on the two RCN fleet replenishment ships (AORs), called the Joint Support Ships (JSS) program.  The AORS are currently under construction, with delivery over the next few years.

Halifax Shipyard has built a series of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels for the RCN. The fifth of these was launched late last year and is fitting out now. The sixth ship is under construction. Two variants for the Canadian Coast Guard will follow. These two were added as a stop gap to ensure continuity and skill retention at the shipyard until the surface combatant project gets rolling.

At the announcement on Friday there was a ceremonial "test weld" conducted, but it will still be some time before actual construction starts. All the recent projects have included test work and mock-ups that have not formed part of the actual ships.


The big news on Friday was that the fifteen new ships will all be classed as destroyers. My recollection was that the program was initially conceived to replace the current RCN Halifax class frigates with twelve similar ships and to then build some upgrade / variants to become leaders or command ships.

HMCS Halifax as delivered.

The explanation for the change in nomenclature and size of ships, according to reliable sources, is that the nature of marine warfare has changed from anti-submarine to defence against aircraft and that all the ships will need to be command and control platforms. This will necessitate a larger ship to carry the radars and long range weapons (and power generation for them) - and will need to be an estimated 8,000 tonnes displacement.

As large ships with greater capabilities they will be able to take on the screening duties for aircraft carriers and amphibious assault groups and the scouting once conducted by cruisers

 [The above is a very sketchy outline of a much more complex topic. More detail is beyond the scope of this blog. I can suggest a much more informed description here: ]

In any event the new destroyers will be called the River class, with the first three ships to be named Fraser, Saint-Laurent and Mackenzie. The current schedule has the Fraser launched in "the 2030s" and commissioned in 2035. The first batch of nine ships is to be completed in the 2040s and the rest in the 2050s. 

The names of the ships will be selected from previous ships of the RCN which were also named for rivers. Some of those will have served in Second World War II and others were built during the "cold war" era. For example there have been two HMCS Frasers in the RCN. The first HMCS Fraser H48 was a former British destroyer HMS Crescent built in 1932 and serving with the RCN from 1936 to 1940. It sank in collision in 1940 with the loss of 47 lives.

The second HMCS Fraser DDE 233, later DDH 233, was commissioned in 1957 and decommissioned in 1994.

The second HMCS Fraser paying off in Halifax.

Fraser (ii) was laid up in Bridgewater, NS from 1997 to 2009 when it was towed back to Halifax and eventaully to Port Maitland, Ontario where it was broken up in 2011. For more see July 2009 Shipfax.

Shipfax cannot over emphasize the importance of this announcement to the Halifax region including the port. It will also be the subject of many posts over the coming years.


Saturday, June 29, 2024

Unusual Box Boat

 There was an unusual container ship in Halifax today, June 29, but it did not load or unload cargo.

The ship is called the MSC Sagitta III and under the new Mediterranean Shipping Company naming protocol, the Roman numeral "III" appended to the ship's name indicates a container capacity in the 3,000 TEU range. On line information rates it at 3426 TEU.

 The ship has been assigned to the Canada Gulf service out of Montreal, to the Bahamas and Mexico. However this appears to be its first voyage on the service and it was required to call in Halifax for Canadian Food Inspection Agency clearance. If the ship was in Asian waters recently it must be inspected for invasive moth species. Presumably it passed inspection, because it sailed for Montreal after a few hours at anchor.

The ship is a rare European built container ship. Dating from 2010 the 36,519 gt, 42,614 dwt vessel was built by Nordseewerke, Emden to the Thyssen C3X design. It was delivered as Frisia Brussel but immediately renamed Sagitta. It became MSC Sagitta III in 2021.

Its recent itinerary may be of interest. From April 23 to 25 it was in Mombassa, then called in Coega, Cape Town, and by May 30 had arrived in Antwerp. It then proceeded to the River Thames (unspecified location), Napoli, Livorno, Valencia, Sines and arrived in New York June 25.

It is due in Montreal July 5 and will sail for Freeport, Bahamas, Veracruz, Altamira and Progresso. Ships on the Canada Gulf service do not usually call in Halifax as they are small enough that they are not effected by St.Lawrence River draft restrictions. They do not need stop here to reduce draft inbound and can usually load fully in Montreal.


Friday, June 28, 2024

Friday - big rush

 The end of the work week is usually a busy time in the Port of Halifax as ships complete their work and time their departures to be at sea on weekends. However today Friday, June 28, was a little unusual as there were also several arrivals. 

One notable arrival was the CMA CGM Leo on the Ocean Alliance from Colombo (June 4) via the Cape of Good Hope. Ships of this line usually call in Halifax on Saturday, but the ship began working on arrival at Pier 41, PSA Halifax Atlantic Gateway. 

There was a stiff breeze so the ship took four tugs on arrival, with the Atlantic Larch far forward. (I suspect the ship had a faulty bow thruster). Atlantic Bear and Atlantic Beaver tethered aft and Atlantic Willow on the port side well forward. [Atlantic Larch is based in Saint John and considered to be the "outside tug" for work away from that port. It has exchanged places with the Halifax based Atlantic Fir for the past few weeks.]

CMA CGM Leo is a 131,332 gt, 131,236 dwt ship built in 2010 by Hyundai, Ulsan. It has a container capacity of 11,388 TEU. It is another of the largest type of container ship with the bridge aft. Many ships of its size have the bridge structure well forward.

Also at PSA Halifax Atlantic Gateway was the Vega Vela arriving yesterday from Valenica, Spain and sailing this afternoon for Mariel, Cuba for Melfi Marine Corp. It is a new ship to the route, and was previously reported in Tunisia.

Carrying the usual deck load of containers, the ship also had a truck with a stainless steel tanker body just forward of the superstructure, likely secured on a platform or flat rack container. The ship also loaded an unusual piece of unknown function. Spreaders and slings were used to hoist the unit aboard.

Vega Vela is a 9931 gt, 13,879 dwt ship with a container capacity of 1118 TEU. Most of the ships running to Cuba carry cargo cranes, but this ship does not. It was built in 2005 by Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing as Ulrike F and became TS Singapore in the same year, but reverted to Ulrike F in 2007. In 2012 it was renamed Paola and in 2015 E.R.Hobart. In 2019 it settled in as Vega Vela.

PSA Halifax's Atlantic Gateway also worked the Nolhan Ava which vacated Pier 41 and sailed for St-Pierre et Miquelon as CMA CGM Leo  arrived.

PSA Fairvew Cove was also active with ZIM Iberia arriving early a.m. and sailing for New York late afternoon.The ship is a regular on the ZCA service from the Mediterranean.

While it was outbound the ZIM feeder ship Contship Art was inbound.

It will pick up containers dropped off from ZIM Iberia and take them to ZIM's hub port of  Kingston, Jamaica for Caribbean desintations. It appears to be returning empties to Halifax.

PSA Fairview Cove also had the Oceanex Sanderling on its weekly run to St.John's, NL


And yes that is the Mi Cabana of Tiki Tours motoring alongside, thatched roof and all, lending a tropical touch to the scene. This is the boat's second season of operation. See my opinion from last year: July 29, 2023.

Once the Sanderling was clear the arriving Atlantic Sail took its place at the Fairvew Cove west berth RoRo ramp. (No photo of the ACL this time.)

Autoport was not to be left out as it had the SFL Conductor from Emden with a load of Volkswagen products.

 Find out more from my March 29, 2023 post. Its charter to VW has been extended to the fourth quarter of 2026.

SFL Conductor carries a side ramp. It would be interesting to know when the ship uses this ramp. Many newer auto carriers don't have side ramps at all, so it is likely that very few ports use them. Autoport cannot accommodate side ramps as they would project over the opposite side of the jetty.




Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Pyxis Theta - clear view

 Yesterday's foggy view of the tanker Pyxis Vega was a bit of a disappointment, but today's (June 26) sighting more than made up for it.The ship arrived on June 24 from Antwerp for Imperial Oil. When it finished unloading it moved at noon time today to Pier 9C.

It is not unusual for tankers to move to commercial piers as the Imperial Oil jetties are not accessible by vehicles, and thus not suitable for many kinds of repairs. Hot work may also be prohibited. Pier 9C is fully accessible from shore and cranes and other vehicles can drive right up to the ship.

What was a little unusual about today's move was that the tugs Atlantic Larch and Atlantic Beaver turned the ship in the Narrows off Tuft's Cove / Pier 9A to back in to Pier 9B . Most large ships, such as autocarriers go through to Bedford Basin, where there is lots of room to turn, then come back to Pier 9C.

Another oddity was the sort of two tone paint on the ship's hull. Although it is rare these days for ships' crews to paint the hull, that has apparently occurred, as the paint on the foreward part of the ship is roller applied, - and not too neatly. The remainder looks more like a shipyard spray paint job, but of older vintage.

What is puzzling is that the anti-fouling paint also appears to be of two different generations. Normally that kind of paint is only applied during drydocking as this may have been, since it extends below the waterline, but why it should have been interrupted aft of  midships would likely make an interesting story.

As reported yesterday the Pyxis Theta is a 30,159gt, 51,462 dwt LR tanker built by SPP Shipbuilding Co in Tongyeong, South Korea, in 2013.



Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Mists of Time

 A clear view from the Halifax waterfront was obstructed from time to time as fog drifted in and out during the day today, June 25.

Interestingly the fog formed a backdrop to the shore at Imperial Oil giving a somewhat clearer view of the tanker Pyxis Theta unloading at Imperial Oil dock number 3.

 With the George's Island lsnding stage standing out in the foreground and Imperial Oil's disused crude oil dock number 5 silhouetted at the left, the fog blotted out the background and much of the ship's hull.

The Pyxis Theta is a 30,159gt, 51,462 dwt LR tanker built by SPP Shipbuilding Co in Tongyeong in 2013. It arrived from Antwerp yesterday, June 24.

There was a somewhat clearer view of Irving Oil's Woodside dock, and the tanker East Coast which arrived from Saint John this morning, June 25.

Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan delivered the ship in 2005 as Nor'Easter. As such it operated under Marshall Islands flag delivering Irving Oil products to US ports. In 2014 it was brought under Canadian flag and renamed. It is a 23,552 gt, 37,515 dwt ship and operates from Saint John to supply eastern Canada ports such as Charlottetown and St.John's. However it has also been to Portland, ME twice this month. 

(The Imperial  Oil tank in the photo is on the adjacent property. Irving Oil's tanks are farther inshore to the left.)

Also sailing off into the fog banks was the cable ship Ile de Molène - see yesterday's post. Even though there were periodic tendrils of fog, sometimes concealing the ship's waterline, it was possible to see the deckhouse that was installed when it was converted for cable laying and repair.


As usual when cable ships sail they have undisclosed destinations or vague descriptions such as this one did: "North Atlantic Ocean". It is headed southwesterly on AIS.


Monday, June 24, 2024

The Line Up

 Today, Monday ,June 24 saw several familiar faces as far as shipping goes, with some a new comer too. Since most are well known I will skip the details here, but the ship's names will form links to previous posts.

The first arrival was the bi-weekly caller Tropic Hope for Tropical Shipping at Pier 42. It was followed soon after by the auto carrier Lake Taupo at Autoport.

 As with previous calls the Lake Taupo is eastbound from Veracruz, Mexico to Emden, Germany for Volkswagen.

There were two cruise ships today, the regular Volendam  is en route from Boston and Bar Harbour to Sydney, NS and on to the St.Lawrence.

 The other cruiser was the Viking Mars on its first call. Built by Fincantieri, Ancona in 2022 the 47,842 gt ship has 464 cabins for up to 930 passengers with 456 crew. It boasts a child-free experience (no one under 18 is allowed) with no amusement park type features. It is en route from New York for l'Anse aux Meadows, Greenland and Iceland.


Outbound this evening the Viking Saturn meets the Kawartha Spirit returning from a tour of the Northwest Arm.

Like its sister ship Viking Star that was here June 22 it is a very fine looking ship (by current standards). 

Another container ship arrival today was the EM Kea eastbound on the CMA CGM / Maersk transatlantic service from Montreal to Bremerhaven.

 Built in 2007 by Stocznia Sczecinska Nowa, in Poland, it is a 35,874 gt, 41,850 dwt ship with a capacity of 3108 TEU. Built as Cap Norte it was renamed Cape Egmont in 2012 and became EM Kea in 2015, the same year it joined this rotation. 

Another arrival was the tanker Pyxis Theta from Antwerp for Imperial Oil. No photo was possible so I will try again tomorrow.

Odd man out of the mix was the non-commercial vessel HMCS Harry DeWolf AOPV 430 returning to port after some naval activity.

 Name ship of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship program it was built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc at Halifax Shipyard and commissioned June 26, 2011. Numerous arctic programs are planned for this year, and the ship is likely to be heading north fairly soon.



Sunday, June 23, 2024

Cable ship Ile de Molène

 Fog and mist shrouded the arrival of the cable ship Ile Molène this morning June 23. The ship tied up at Pier 9B where it became more visible before heavy rain set in.

Now a state of the art cable laying and maintenance vessel, it dates from 2006 when it was built by Yantai Raffles Shipyard in Yantai China as a North Sea offshore standby and rescue vessel. Named Caledonian Vision it operated for a BP subsidiary called Vector Offshore carrying a number of fast rescue craft that could be deployed rapidly if needed.

In 2021 it was sold and renamed GSP Phoenix by GSP Offshore, but later in the same year it was re-sold to current owner ASN Marine.

ASN Marine is an arm of Alcatel Submarine Networks based in Paris, which in turn is owned by the Finnish company Nokia. Alcatel had the ship reconfigured for cable laying, repair, post-lay inspection, burial and pre-lay grapnel runs. An enclosed workshop house was built on deck and the hull outfitted with 450 cubic meters of cable stowage space. The ship is under the management of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs SAS, a major French shipping and trading house.

Based in Curaçao, the ship is available for cable repair in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific America west coast. It works under the Atlantic Private Maintenance Agreement, a co-operative arrangement among member cable companies to ensure rapid response to emergencies. Alcatel has a network of 750,000 and 800,000 km of optical undersea cable world wide and deploys a seven ship fleet world wide.

Whether by coincidence or not the cargo ship Franbo Logic is at anchor in Bedford Basin.

 It arrived off Halifax May 29, and moved in to Pier 9B on June 6. It was then fitted with cable storage racks and moved out to the Basin June 15. It is not unusual for ships to stand by in the Basin for extended periods before heading to Portsmouth, NH (Newington) to load fibre optic cable. The cable racks are fairly light and do not add much to the ship's unladen draft, so it is riding high at anchor.

The Franbo Logic is a 13,110 gt, 16,969 dwt ship built in 2016 by Honda Heavy Industry Ltd in Saiki, Japan as Thorco Logic. It carries two 50 tonne cranes and has a container capacity of 160 TEU. It was renamed in 2021 and is one of several Thorco and Franbo ships that have been fitted out in Halifax to carry cable. 


Saturday, June 22, 2024

Big and Small

 A brand new big container ship and a small general cargo ship bracketed the port today, June 22, with an auto carrier and a cruise ship forming the middle of the sandwich.

The CMA CGM Cedrus was delivered in January by the Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Ltd as the first of six ships of the same design. It is a 154,598gt, 150,047 dwt ship with a nominal capacity of 15,254 TEU, although this is reduced to 10,100 TEU if all are loaded to 14 tonnes. There are also 1800 reefer points.

The ship featues the usual "island" bridge configuration of larger container ships with the bridge and accommodation well forward (directly above the letter "M" in the photo) and engines aft. It also has lashing bridges on deck to reduce the likelihood of losing containers overside.

On sailing this afternoon the ship took the western channel with two tethered tug escorts aft and one tug on the port side well forward.

 Oh and did I mention that the ship is LNG powered? CMA CGM is loosing no opportunity to promote the fact that the ship (and its five following sister ships) use LNG as fuel. They store the LNG in 14,000 cubic meter tanks, which gives the ships a long range as refueling locations are still few and far between.

Autoport hosted a familiar carrier the Morning Concert which arrived yesterday and sailed this afternoon. Built in 2006 by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea the 57,415 gt, 21,279 dwt ship has a capacity of 6,645 cars. Although owned by EUKOR, it is managed by Wilhelmsen Lines Car Carriers. EUKOR (EUrope KOrea) Car Carriers, is owned 20% by Hyundai and Kia, 40% by Wilhelm Wilhelmsen (Norway) and 40% by Wallenius Lines (Sweden).

And on the Halifax side at Pier 22 it was the return of the Viking Star. With a "modest" passenger capacity of 930 with 602 crew, the 47,842 gt ship was built in 2015 by Fincantieri, Merghera, Italy and called in Halifax for the first time October 10, 2016. It is certainly one of the cleaner looking, and to my mind more elegant, of the newer ships. It also caters only to adults (no one under 18) and has no novelty features.

The two smaller ships sailed before the CMA CGM Cedrus got underway, giving the large ship lots of room.

The other ship that bracketed the port today arrived at Pier 9C this morning from Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Douwe-S flies the flag of the Netherlands and a "company" flag carrying the word Zuzama which does not seem to tally with the managers of record, Steenstra Shipping, nor owners Douwe-S Motorschip BV.

Built in 2011 by Zhejiang Shipbuilding and Repair in Wenling, China, it is a gearless general cargo ship of 2862 gt, 4114 dwt. It does carry a traveling gantry to lift and stack the hatch covers. It appears to be ice rated as it has a sharp cut away bow below the water line and a very large ice knife aft.

As noted in my June 3, 2024 post, the aircraft component manufacturer Spirit Aerosystems has begun to charter ships to ferry major components to Halifax due to heavy demand, possibly from Boeing. Atlantic Container Line previously carried the cargo as RoRo and still does carry some other materials for Airbus, but I am told they could not guarantee space for the larger fuselages. I am being a bit vague about this as I cannot verify it in detail.


A mobile crane from J.D.Irving was set up at Pier 9C to offload the ship's cargo.

If all of the above is not enough, there was some interesting tug activity at the IEL dock in Dartmouth, which is covered in today's Tugfax post.


Friday, June 21, 2024

Themis - scare

 The Wallenius Wilhelmsen auto carrier Themis has been an on again off again caller in Halifax since it was new. Built in 2016 by Hyundai Samho, it is a 75,223 gt, 23,786 dwt ship with a capacity of 8,000 cars. It also has a 350 tonne capacity stern ramp for RoRo cargo and no side ramp.

On its first call in Halifax the ship wore the red/orange hull colour of Wilhelm Wilhelmsen. It was later repainted in the colour scheme adopted by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean, long after Wilhelmsen and Wallenius Lines joined forces in 1999. 

On the ship's last visit October 5, 2023, it called as usual at Autoport and moved to Pier 9C to offload RoRo, turning in Bedford Basin to come alongside starboard side to the pier.

Yesterday, June 20, the ship followed the same routine, but according to a social media report it may have had some steering issues while moving through the lower harbour approaching the Macdonald bridge en route to Pier 9C. I did not see any of this, but the ship had two tugs alongside, so presumably was able to regain control.

While alongside at Pier 9C it off loaded some RoRo cargo but remained alongside over night and completed unloading, then departed this afternoon, June 21.

Lowering its ramp at Pier 9C in the evening of June 20, before off loading its RoRo cargo.



Thursday, June 20, 2024

TMSI Ltd back at full strength

 With the arrival today, June 20, of the Container / RoRo ship Nolhan Ava TMSI Ltd is back at full strength. The company operates a network of trucking, warehousing, intermodal and shipping that is based on the sea service from Halifax to St-Pierre et Miquelon and Argentia, Newfoundland.


The Canadian flag Nohana Ava is the vital link in the chain and it has been in refit in Setubal, Portugal since April. While the ship was away its place has been taken by the Norwegian flagged Silver Arctic a smaller ship, lacking RoRo capability. It was acquired for a short term charter, starting on its sailing from Halifax April 5. The Canadian goverment issued a coasting license, which was expected to run for six to eight weeks, but the refit has been much longer than originally anticipated, so the ship has been kept on until today.

Silver Arctic arrived this morning from St-Pierre, presumably for the last time and tied up at Pier 42. Although it is not a RoRo ship some RoRo type cargo was carried on container platforms. (The French islands import automobiles from France for instance.)

Nolhan Ava arrived mid-morning from Argentia, and tied up at Pier 41, at the RoRo ramp. Its normal sailing day is Friday, so it will presumably work the usual domestic (Canada to Canada) cargo as well as interchange cargo from international shipping lines that call in Halifax by sea or with intermodal cargo that arrives by train. TMSI has it own trucking operation that shuttles containers stuffed at its Halifax warehouse and from other locations in the region. It also moves containers between PSA Fairview Cove and PSA Halifax Atlantic Gateway.

Nolhana Ava (4758 gt, 4850 dwt) was built by Santieural Naval Constanta SA in Romania in 2000 to operate between Halifax and St-Pierre et Miquelon starting in 2001 under the name Shamrock. It was reassigned in 2004 due to financial issues with the owner. It then worked in the Caribbean until its return to Halifax in 2015 as Nolhanava (one word) for new owners SPMI. The ship went to China in 2016 for installation of a ceramic membrane exhaust gas scrubber system. It was brought into Canadian registry in 2018 as Nolhan Ava (two words) and Argentia was added to its route. 


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Louis S. St-Laurent - does arrive

 Yesterday's June 18 post speculated on why the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent appeared to sail away from Halifax after coming within thirty or forty miles of port. It now appears that all the berths at the BIO (Bedford Institute of Oceanography) were occupied yesterday and the ship was just idling offshore until space became available to tie up.

When the CCGS Sir William Alexander sailed there was room to dock and so the Louis S. St-Laurent entered port this morning, June 19, and came alongside.

It appears that the refit at Chantier Davie involved re-coating the underwater portion of the ship's hull only up to the waterline, but not the remainder. I wonder if the crew will go overside for some touchups.

Nice job Davie - what you can see of it.

With CCGS Jean Goodwill and CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier alongside at BIO there was just room for the Louie to tie up.


Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Louis S. St-Laurent - Comes Close [see Update]

 Having completed its latest refit at Chantier Davie Canada Inc in Lévis, QC a few days ago, the icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent is en route to its home base of St.John's, NL to prepare for another season in the far north.

Canada's largest icebraker was originally based in Halifax and had numerous refits here, including the extensive rebuild 1988 - 1993 when it was re-engined and received a new longer bow. Halifax no longer has drydocking availability due to naval refit commitments, and Davie is now the ship's caregiver.

March 4, 1970 the one year old ship is squeezed into the Graving Dock at Halifax Shipyard. That dock is now in perpetual use for naval refits.

 After the major rebuild, ths ship displays a new bow, new cargo handling gear and a crane replacing its landing craft gantry amongst numerous other mods. It had lost the white bulwarks some time before.

In the early 2000s its home base was transferred to Newfoundland (supposedly Argentia) for political reasons, and so it was a bit of a surprise when it was observed via satellite signal making a "right turn" at Cape North yesterday and heading for Halifax. 

This afternoon, June 18, about forty miles short of Halifax, the ship reversed course and set off for Newfoundland. I am assuming the diversion to the Halifax area was to board a helicopter. In any event the ship will not be seen here this time round. 

Its notable "Manhatttan crease on the starboard side. aft of midships gangway, is a reminder of its arctic history. That history in ice extended even to Halifax when drift ice packed into Halifax harbour in April 1987 and "The Louie" was called in to make a path for shipping. The memorable channel clearing for the Atlantic Cartier won't soon beforgotten.

The CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent in its original configuration off Ives Knoll after loosening up the drift ice for the Atlantic Cartier to sail.
It turns out that the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent may jusat have been waiting for a clear berth, and was just loitering of Halifax until Wednesday June 19 . See new post for June 15.


Monday, June 17, 2024

Leave taking

 Early this evening, June 17, three ships departed Halifax in short order.

First off was the MOL Experience sailing from PSA Fairview Cove on THE Alliance's AL5 service North Europe / North America from Antwerp to Port Everglades.

 Built in 2007 by Hyundai Ulsan, it is a 54,098 gt, 62,953 dwt ship with a capacity of 4803 TEU including 330 reefers. MOL ships are usually very tidy looking, but there are long rust streaks on the hull from deck drains that tell a tale of hard use.

Next along was the cruise ship Island Princess out of New York for Boston. This is the ship's second call this year. The first call was June 6 when it sailed for Boston, Norfolk, Charleston and New York.

Dating from 2003 when it was delivered by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, the 91,627 gt ship has a capacity of 2,214 passengers (double occupancy) and 900 crew.

Last off was the large size container ship CMA CGM Cassiopeia sailing for New York on the OCEAN Alliance route from Asia (via the Cape of Good Hope) and Tanger Med, Morocco. The ship departed PSA Halifax Atlantic Gateway Pier 41 and by port regulation took two tethered stern escort tugs. The ship must be about maximum size for a single superstructure. Even some smaller ships have the bridge structure well forward to improve visibility, and separated from the machinery space well aft.

A 131,332 gt, 128,550 dwt ship with a capacity of 11,200 TEU, it was built in 2011 by Hyundai Ulsan. Once well underway and outside the pilotage zone, the ship diverted to offshore anchorage where it rendez-voused with the launch Halmar. There could be any number of reasons for this meet up, but as yet I have no details.