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HMCS Preserver to be Paid Off Oct 21

HMCS Preserver will be paid off in a ceremony on Friday, October 21, 2016. It was announced back in may that the ship would be paid off by the end of the year. She has been used as an alongside Fuel depot for the past year.

The date for the Paying off Ceremony was reveled in today’s Halifax council agenda as a request for a flypast.

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Anchor from HMCS Niobe Uncovered



An anchor, believed to have belonged to His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS)Niobe, has been unearthed at HMC Dockyard in Halifax. HMCS Niobe was the first Canadian warship to enter Canada’s territorial waters, on October 21, 1910, a landmark event in the beginnings of the Naval Service of Canada.

As fate would have it, the discovery of the roughly 900-kilo (2000-pound) anchor was made just days before the commemoration of Niobe Day, which will from now on, be celebrated annually by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on the 21st day of October. An excavation crew working at HMC Dockyard recovered an anchor and chain buried beneath a demolition site on the morning of October 14. The anchor has been inspected, assessed against relevant documents and photographs, and is now believed to be that of HMCS Niobe.

The anchor was unearthed at former Jetty 4, where Building D-19, a Second World War dockside warehouse and one of the first structures at HMC Dockyard, once stood and is now being demolished.

The position of the anchor speaks to a particular time and function. The direction of the chain links is consistent with the position of the Niobe’s bow when employed as a depot ship and the size is consistent with an estimated size of the links of the Niobe’s anchor in a post-Halifax Explosion photo. 
While a list of stores left behind by the Royal Navy is not available, no vessels in the newly formed Royal Canadian Navy were large enough for this size anchor except for the Niobe, or possibly the Rainbow (based in Esquimalt, BC). Additionally there would have been no other use for a heavy chain and anchor at the discovery site, except to permanently moor a large vessel such as Niobe.

After she was paid off, Niobe functioned as a depot ship from July, 1915 until 1920 moored in Halifax Harbour. The Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917, pulled the ship’s concrete embedded anchor from the harbour floor and dragged the ship. Once re-secured to Jetty 4, additional anchors were put in place including one to the shore from the stem and one from the stern. The anchor that has been discovered is believed to be one of these three bow anchors that were used to keep Niobe in place

The dimensions of the roughly 900-kilo (2000-pound) anchor are, 4 metres (13 feet) from crown to head, 4.1 metres (13.5 feet) across the stock, and 3.35 metres (11 feet) from bill to bill of the flukes. Additionally, each link of the anchor’s chain is 51 centimetres (20 inches) by 28 centimetres (11 inches) and weighs approximately 34 kilos (75 pounds)
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HMCS Athabaskan Tow Report Released.

You Can find our Full Coverage of the HMCS Athabaskan Tow Here

The Canadian Press was able to get the May 2013 report into the tow issues with HMCS Athabaskan. I have not seen the report, so the info below is from the CP Piece. The report, obtained under access-to-information law, says the punctures require 18 square metres of steel to be replaced. Another 711 square metres of the ship needs fresh hull coating because the broken lines rubbed against the vessel, while rails, stanchions and a smashed sonar operator compartment window also have to be replaced, the report says.

the repairs would cost approximately $2 million.

The report says the Defence Department was invoiced about $546,000 by Atlantic Towing to complete the tow from Sydney, N.S., to Halifax, on top of the $707,000 the department has been billed for the initial leg of the journey by original Contract winner Group Ocean.

Investigators say the Ocean Delta,one of the two tugboats involved in the operation suddenly lost power in the Gulf of St. Lawrence between Sept-Iles, Que., and the Magdalen Islands on the morning of Dec. 26 when an air leak caused the clutch to disengage. The tug then spins around, striking the navy ship along one side while its fenders “burst as a result of the force exerted on them during the collision,” the report says.

On the 28ththe tow to Halifax resumed. Then, over a course of hours, four lines snap while the ship is about 10 kilometres off the rocky coast of Scatarie Island. The report says winds did not exceed 45 kilometres per hour and waves were between one to two metres at the time.

The first tow line snapped at 10 p.m. A search and rescue helicopter was deployed by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre to bring personnel onto the drifting ship to secure a new line, which was done early on the morning of Dec. 29.

That tow line snapped about five hours later, and then a mooring line was used to continue the tow. But that line also broke a few hours later, and another mooring line was attached.

On Dec. 30 at about 3:40 a.m., that line broke. A third mooring line was then attached to HMCS Athabaskan to return it to Sydney.

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Navy Cuts to CFAV Vessels

The Navy recently cut service on firebird to normal Business hours, monday to friday. It was also Announced by the CBC that CFAV Quest had the remainder of her sailing days cut for this fiscal year.

The cancelation of the FireBird evenings and weekends is really not a major issue. Atlantic Oak, and Atlantic Willow, are both equipped for firefighting – in fact – Firebirds days were numbered anyway, and the large tug replacement project specified the new tugs to replace the Glen class had to include fire capability. I am also only aware of her being used once in recent memory – back in 2008.

Quest Supports the work of the Defence Research Establishment. It is likely that Quest will continue to be funded, though out of research budgets of DRDC and not operational budgets of the Navy. DRDC is getting a new building at the French cable Wharf in Dartmouth, and their research activities have expanded in recent years, so it seems unlikely they would be left without a vessel. Given there are only 2 months left in the fiscal year, the number of sailing days cut is probably minimal.

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Bunkering Situation Resolved – Algoma Dartmouth to Remain

Algoma Central Corporation has entered into an agreement with Sterling Fuels Limited to continue marine fuel delivery services using its bunkering vessel, Algoma Dartmouth, in the Port of Halifax and surrounding area. This new arrangement will be effective upon the expiry of current agreements for fuel delivery services on January 18, 2014.

Algoma brought the Algoma Dartmouth to Halifax harbour in 2009 to provide marine delivery services within the Harbour for marine fuels produced at the Dartmouth Refinery. With the closure of this refinery in September, 2013, the existing source of supply for marine bunker and intermediate marine fuel blends ended.

Marine fuel customers will continue to see the same Algoma team on the Algoma Dartmouth. “This vessel and crew have a distinguished track record in their performance and service since 2009. We are very pleased to keep this team together to continue to meet the Halifax area marine fuelling requirements,” said Mr. Smith.

From Sterling Fuels Release – it would appear that they are charting the vessel and the crew from Algoma. A Sterling sister company already operates the McAsphalt dock in Eastern passage near Autoport, so presumably Sterling will be importing fuel to a tank there. Sterling is also related to the Miller Group, who provide road construction and waste disposal services in HRM.

Sterling is a Bunkering provider in the Great Lakes region.

UPDATE: Apparently the McAshpalt owned Tug/barge combo Victorious / John J.Carrick are on their way to Halifax with bunker product from Quebec.

UPDATE: Victorious / John J.Carrickare due on the 23rd to the McAshphalt Dock in Eastern Passage. If Algoma Dartmouth ties up there, we will know the plan.

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Crane Update

The Chronicle Herald is reporting:

The arrival Friday afternoon of a couple of enormous $10-million cranes at Halterm Container Terminal Ltd., in Halifax, is expected to create quite a spectacle for harbour watchers.
“It certainly is not the sort of thing you see every day,” Bob Sharp, with Inchcape Shipping Services in Dartmouth, said Wednesday.
“The process will unfold slowly with the ship carrying the cranes initially anchoring off McNab’s Island. I think people should be able to get a good look at them beginning around 1:00 p.m. from Point Pleasant Park,” Sharp said.
Inchcape Shipping is the local agent for the specially designed delivery ship that departed Shanghai with the fully assembled cranes welded to its deck at the beginning of July.

We will update specific times as they are known

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HMCS Summerside to deploy to Arctic

HMCS Summerside departed today from Halifax, N.S. for Canada’s arctic, where she will be joined later in August by HMCS Shawinigan. This deployment is a part of a 39-day mission north of the 60th parallel, marking the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) longest uninterrupted arctic naval presence in recent years.

During the deployment, HMCS Summerside and HMCS Shawiniganwill participate in Operations QIMMIQ and NANOOK, conducting surveillance and presence activities, as well as joint training scenarios, showcasing Canadian Armed Forces assistance to civil emergency management and law enforcement agencies during threats to public safety.

Operation NANOOK, the most widely recognized of all the northern deployments, and Operation QIMMIQ, a year-round persistent surveillance and presence operation, are directed by Canadian Joint Operations Command. Other yearly Northern deployments include the springtime Operation NUNALIVUT in the high Arctic and the summertime Operation NUNAKPUT in the western Arctic .

“The deployment of maritime coastal defence vessels in Canada’s northern waters serves as an example of how our Navy demonstrates sovereignty in the North and, when authorized, assist other government departments in enforcing national and international law,” said Vice Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the RCN. “The experience will also help us prepare the stage for more extensive operations in the ice, to be conducted in the future by our Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, by ironing out some of the logistical and operating challenges generated by the sheer distances, remoteness, and generally harsher environmental conditions in the North.”

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The New Cranes Have Shipped!

A Quick Scan of marine traffic indicates that the ZhenHua 19 Departed Shanghai within the last few days. Today the Port Authory Tweeted the Above picture of Halifax’s new Super Post Pananmax Cranes. The vessel gave its destination as Panama, who are liekly the purchasers of the Dark blue Equipment seen in the phot.

A coasting Licence Application was made to Move the Old Crane at the end of pier 42 to Pier 36 with a target date of July 15. We should expect the ZhenHua 19 to Arrive in mid July, as she is too large to pass through the Panama Canal, and must go around the Cape Horn.  Cape of Good Hope, since her Panamianian destination is Christobal, which is on the Atlantic side.

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Halterm for Sale?

I Have received unconfirmed reports that Halterm Inc, Operator of the South End container terminal is in Financial Difficulty and has put it self up for sale.

A potential purchaser (Specualtion on my part) could Creres Corp, Operators of the Fairview Cove Terminal. Halterm itself is registered a Privately Held Partnership, so its possible one of the partners may buy it out.

More details as they become known.

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