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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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Changes coming to naval flags

May 2 at 7pm, the RCN will unveil significant changes to the flags flower by Canadian naval vessels.

Given this week commemorates the 70th anniversary of the battle of the Atlantic, and the RCN recently returned to the royal prefix, and officers epiletes got the executive curl back, the changes are likely a throwback to past Canadian naval history.

If I had to hazard a guess the RCN will be returning to a navy specific jack, without the forces emblem

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Upgrades to two of Port of Halifax’s IT Systems.

The Government of Canada has contributed funding towards the integrated port logistics system and the air gap system. The total cost of these two Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is estimated at $660,000, with the federal government contributing up to $330,000 under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program. In addition, the Port of Halifax is providing $330,000 towards the completion of these projects.

With larger ships accessing the port, there is a need to continuously monitor vessel clearances under each of the harbour bridges. The upgrading and enhancing of the bridge air gap system will enable the port to identify exactly the ship clearance.

Port operators and shippers will have confidence in the ability of ships to transit beneath the bridge, preventing delays in accessing and leaving the port. These investments will ultimately help reduce levels of emissions and fuel usage and ensure the safety of the bridges and will also result in increased efficiency and safety for port users.

Currently The Largest Hapag Lloyd vessels have lowerable, or offset masts to constrain their Air drafts. Clearance can be as tight as 2 meters – about the height of an average door.

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