Sunday, September 11, 2016

Maersk Nexus

The supplier Maersk Nexus has been working out of Halifax for the last few weeks,. Since Maersk Supply Service Canada's base is in Newfoundland Maersk suppliers are here rarely.

Today it took on fuel at pier 9 from the Wilson pipeline and when completed, backed up to pier 9c. Yesterday it loaded bulk cargo from Shaw resources trucks, indicating to me that it is supporting drilling, and thus must be working for Shell.

One of a pair built by Asenav in Chile, it and its sister Maersk Nomad are 10,445 bhp PSVs of the Ulstein UT 745 CDL class. It was delivered in 2010.

Before moving back to pier 9c, Maersk Nexus waited for the arrival of Skandi Flora which is supporting Shell's drilling program in the Shelburne Basin. Managed by Mathers, it and Breaux Tide, operated by Atlantic Towing, are working under coasting licenses as foreign ships. The licenses have now been extended for another year as Shell is about to start a second exploratory well.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Halifax Tugger has a new job

More or less picking up where I left off :

The small tug Halifax Tugger has been seen for past few days working on new job, handling the refuse scow for cruise ships. It has apparently taken over from Gulf Spray which has remained idle. Halifax Tugger works in a push mode, whereas the classic Gulf Spray used the more unwieldy tow line.

With companion Harbour Runner, which is used in docking the barge, Halifax Tugger works its way to its Pier 9A base to offload refuse from a cruise ship.

Halifax Tugger previously was kept very busy working with the barges used in replacing the Macdonald bridge deck, but those barges have returned to Quebec.

Halifax Tugger (background, left), Captain Jim (middle) and Belle-D. (foreground) with the barge Halcrane carrying a new bridge deck section.

The barges, Océan Abyss and Halcrane were picked up by Océan Echo II in August and towed in tandem up the St.Lawrence. They were met off Ile-aux-Coudres by another Groupe Océan tug, Océan Yvan Desgagnés and towed on individually to Quebec City.

Océan Echo II with its tow trudging up the St.Lawrence against the tide, doing about 3 knots.

Halifax Tugger dates from 2011 when it was built as Cercle Poliare by GFFM Leclerc at Ile-aux-Coudres, QC. The twin screw, 520 bhp 30 footer was used by Leclerc in their rental business, to assist with northern supply lighterage and construction activity until 2015 when RMI Marine acquired the tug and gave it a new name. As a vessel of less than 15 tons the names are unofficial, and it is registered by number.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Taking a break

Tugfax and Shipfax will be taking a summer break. There will be no regular posts until September, and then there may be a format change.

Gulf Spray prepares to take some scows in tow  this morning and head from pier 9 to pier 22 to relieve the cruise ship Queen Mary 2 of some of its accumulated waste.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Atlantic Cedar in , Svitzer Montreal out, Erie and Ontario too, and another still here.

Atlantic Towing Ltd has brought in the Atlantic Cedar for harbour work, joining the Atlantic Oak and Atlantic Willow. It replaces Atlantic Fir which has gone to Pictou, NS for a towing job.  Built in 2005 it is a sister to the Fir and the Oak, rated at 66 tonnes bollard pull, 5,050 bhp with a towing winch and stern roller and fully equipped for firefighting.

 Atlantic Cedar in the Narrows awaiting the bulker CSL Métis.

Traditionally Atlantic Towing Ltd named its inland /river tugs after coniferous trees and salt water tugs after deciduous. Since discontinuing Saint John River work, the company now makes no distinction in naming. 

 Atlantic Willow rewinds her winch while waiting for Maersk Palermo to depart Halterm this afternoon. After the ship released the tug it was sent a head to chase an un-heeding catamaran sailing vessel that was in the channel.

 Atlantic Oak has beenereleased by the Maersk Palermo and heads back to base as the fog rolls in (again).

Getting under way this evening Svitzer Montreal headed off to its new home port. The former Svitzer Caucedo was built in 2004 as Caucedo for Remolcadores Dominicanos by East Isle Shipyard, builders of all the above Atlantic Towing tugs. It is rated at 5072 bhp and has no towing winch..
Svitzer Montreal is about to disappear into the fog as it departs outbound for Montreal.

The tug arrived in Halifax in late May, underwent an in-water refit and was renamed June 10. The tug joins Svitzer Cartier in Montreal and will cover that port when Svitzer Njal and Svitzer Nerthus head north to Baffinland for the summer.

The pair of Great Lakes Towing Company tugs, Erie and Ontario sailed early yesterday morning. They must have been away from the dock at first light, because by the time I was aware of their departure, they were well offshore. [See previous post of June 27]

Despite published reports that the tug was demolished the old Craig Trans is still very much in existence. Granted it has been sold twice for demolition, but it has not budged from the dock in Wright's Cove, Burnside.

(July 1, 2016 photo)
[Looking across Bedford Basin, the Rockingham rail yard stretches along the western shore.]

Monday, June 27, 2016

Erie and Ontario - unplanned visit

Two tugs made an unplanned visit to Halifax today for medical assistance. En route from the US east coast to the Great Lakes, the Erie had the Ontario in tow when they diverted from their planned route.

 The tow line is shortened up as the pair make their way inbound in choppy seas and a stiff breeze.

Both tugs were bought last year by The Great Lakes Towing Company of Cleveland, OH after lengthy careers with the US Navy and McAllister Towing and Transportation of New York.

All Erie's hands are on deck to walk the tow line forward.

Erie was built in 1971 by Petersen Builders of Sturgeon Bay WI as YTB 810, Anoka and was based in Norfolk, VA. In 2001 McAllister bought the tug and renamed it Missy McAllister. 

Ontario has no crew aboard and still wears McAllister colours, although the grey bow fenders are remnants of navy days.

Ontario dates from 1964 when it was built by Mobile Ship Repair in Mobile AB as YTB-770 Dahloega and was also based in Norfolk until 2001. Under McAllister ownership it was renamed  Jeffrey K. McAllister.

 The two were brought together quite nicely without tangling their house mounted high fenders, another naval artifact.

Both tugs are of the large Natick class single screw ship berthing tugs. Erie is rated at 2,400 bhp and Ontario at 2,000 bhp. The engines are likely Fairbanks Morse.
Underway again, the pair headed for pier 27.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Point Vim - another visit

One of my old favourites,  Point Vim (ex Foundation Vim) put in another brief appearance in Halifax and sailed today. It first went to pier 9B with the barge NT 1032 where it loaded some steel frames.

 Looking very ship shape at pier 9B yesterday.

It then moved around the corner to the Fairview Cove container terminal and loaded a large transformer on a multi-wheel dolly. The steel frames it loaded yesterday will be part of a ramp structure to unload the dolly.

It got away smartly from Fairview Cove this afternoon in bright sunshine, but once into the lower harbour was soon engulfed in dense fog.

Making very good speed entering the Narrows in a stiff head wind.

No smoke and a nice Fairbanks Morse engine sound.

The ABB transformer on its transporter dolly with ramp gear stowed aft.

Of interest, former sister tug Molly M.1 (ex Point Vigour, Foundation Vigour) is downbound on the St.Lawrence with another barge, another multi-wheel dolly and a truck tractor. I suppose the two tugs will rendez-vous somewhere, and have a reunion. (Davis Shipping, operator of Point Vim, and Nadro, operators of Molly M.1 often work together for McKeil Marine).

The twins were built in 1962 and spent many years working together in Halifax harbour. I miss them.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Boston Tugs - Part 3

To round up the photos of my Boston visit, it is time to take a look at some of the smaller tugs and workboats around the harbour, plus some other sightings.

Boston Towing and Transportation operates some smaller boats for line handling and other chores. As usual with smaller craft, there is a shortage of data.

 Brian dates from 1956 and is a 40 footer built by Gladding Hearn as Dave White for Perini Corp. Boston Fuel Transportation acquired the boat and renamed it Eastern Point II. When Reinauer took control in 1985 it became Brian. [Eastern Towboat's Heidi pictured in Part 2 has a similar history]

Murray, also dates from 1956, and is listed as belonging to Chelsea Fuel Transportation Inc., which is part of Reinauer / BTT.

C.White Marine Inc of Danvers, MA operates the pusher Merit, built in 2000. I was fortunate to get the 25 footer both pushing and free running.

It is always great to see a tug with a flying bridge.

I spotted a couple of  very basic pusher craft too:

Bumper is operated by Harbor Fuels LLC and dates from 2012.

A similar craft is the Mantis built in 1965 and operated by Burnham Associates. [See Aegean Sea and Natick in Part 2]. It has a deck mounted package propulsion unit - possibly a M+T Harbormaster. 

There are also a few Offshore Supply Vessels working around Boston, although most have taken on second lives.

The traditional Gulf of Mexico mud boat J.W.Powell started life in 1965 at American Marine Corp in New Orleans as State Point.  Fitted with a pair of 12 cyl Cats its 3,060 bhp soon made it obsolete as an anchor handling tug/supplier. It fell in to the drug trade and after capture by the USCG it entered into government research service after 1984 as Polaris,  then on charter work after 2001 when SDI-Brooks Inc acquired the boat and renamed it J.W.Powell. It now appears to be awaiting an assignment for current owners CAJ LLC. 

A pair of sleek suppliers built by Raymond + Associates of Bayou Le Batre, AL belong to Boston Harbour Cruises. However they tend to the company's commercial division working in marine construction and supporting the Northeast Gateway offshore natural gas terminal among other duties.

Warren Jr. was built in 2013, 

and Scarlett Isabella in 2009.

Sea Hunter is now a deep water salvage and recovery vessel, operating the unmanned sub DSH-1. It was built in 1978 by Halter Marine of Lockport, LA as Florence A for Oil+Gas Rental Services Inc. Its was equipped with a pair of reconditioned V-16 GM EMD engines built originally in 1956. In 1994 it joined the Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc [HOSS] fleet as  H.O.S. Gallant Fox, and in 1996 as HOSS was merged into Tidewater it was renamed Gallant Fox. Sea Hunters LP acquired the vessel in 2008 and it has since engaged in cargo recovery at depths up to 1,000 ft of water.

As I reported in the June 12 post, I spotted the articulated tug barge combo Coho / Penn No.81 in Boston on May 27 and again in Saint John May 29. There was another Kirby combo in Boston , Weddell Sea and DBL 63.

 The tug was built in 2007 by Seaboats Inc of Fall River, MA for Tugs Unlimited of Portsmouth, RI as Scott C. Powered by a pair of Cats for 4500 bhp, the tug has a conventional wheelhouse and an elevated one.

In 2011 K-Sea Operating Partners LLC acquired the tug, but in turn K-Sea was acquired by Kirby, and the tug became the Weddell Sea.

No report on Boston would be complete without mentioning the Boston Fire Department's Marine Division.
Pride of that fleet is "Marine 1", John S. Damrell, a 70 foot aluminum high speed craft, built in 2011 by MetalCraft Marine of Kingston, ON. The fireboat specialists outfitted the boat with 12,000 gpm at 450 feet pumping capacity and Hamilton water jets for a 40 knot top speed.

Also alongside Burrough's Wharf  are BFD's Marine 2, an Armstrong aluminum catamaran commissioned this year, with 500 gpm /40 gal AR-AFFF and  Marine 3, the 30ft Ribcraft dive boat Capt. John Kenney.

John S. Damrell replaced the veteran Firefighter, built in 1972 with 6,000 gpm pumping capacity.

Digging deep into the files I find Firefighter putting on a show in 1988.