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Largest Container Ship yet

Port of Halifax photo via twitter.

Today brought the arrival of the CMA-CGM Libra, the largest container ship to call in halifax to date. She is Rated at 11,388TEU. Built in 2010, and flagged in Malta, the ship is calling on the Columbus loop service.

The Largest container ship to cal in Cnada so far, was the COSCO Himalayas, which tied up at the Prince Rupert Fairview Terminal November 14-19/2017. that ship is rated for 14,500 Teu

2018 in review

2018 saw turn 10 years old. I also began writing a weekly column in the Chronicle Herald in early September.


The navy’s interim supply vessel NRU Astrix arrived in Halifax for the first time, and after workups, sailed for the Pacific.

HMCS Athabaskan was consigned to the scrapers in January, and was towed from the Port for the last time on March 29th

HMCS Oriole During the 2017 Tall Ships Event.

HMCS Oriole was reassigned to Marlant, after a winter refit in Esquimalt . HMCS Sackville spent the summer undergoing extensive restoration work at he dockyard, and returned to the water in the fall.

Visiting Ships, USS Little rock, after wintering in Montreal due to ice, HDMS Ejnar Mikkelcson, USCGS Mobile Bay, USCGC Legare, Submarine USS Toledo, RFA TideSpring, USS Hue City, USCGC Katmai Bay, French submarine FS Amethyste, USS Wichita, USS Sioux City, BASH Rhone, USCGC Abbie Burgess , USS Arliegh Burke


The March 18 call of APL Salalah at Halterm set the current record for largest containership to call on Halifax at 10,798TEU

The port began expansion of pier 42, to accommodate two ultra class ships at the same time. Equipment upgrades also continued at Halterm with the arrival of 3 new RTG’s

In a bid to Cut costs, ZIM Started a New Canada Florida Express service, and stopped calling in halifax on the ZCP Service. The ZCA Service remained unchanged, while ZCI service began being marketed by The Alliance as AL7, after they canceled the Halifax call of their competing AL6 service.

Maersk added a New weekly Med/Montreal Express (MMX) Serivce with a call in Halifax with its first call in early august. Halifax was dropped from the service in November. 

Other Commercial

Grimaldi Named a new Car Carrier Grande Halifax. Grimalidi group is the parent of ACL, one of the port of Halifax’s first container customers. 

Dominon diving purchased dominion warrior, a workboat

Leeway marine added the leeway Striker to their fleet.

The final New Dartmouth Ferry, the Rita Joe was delivered in October. the Vincent Colman was delivered in January, and entered service in February.

Norwegian bliss made a stop in Halifax April 30th on her maiden voyage, heading to spend the summer cruising Alaska. Fram was the first Cruise ship of the season, arriving 8 days earlier on April 22nd  

Theodore Too summers in Saint John. Then broke down on his return to Halifax. 

Ocearch came and tagged sharks.

CSS Acadia had funding announced for its restoration, which will take place in 2019. 


The Boa Barge 37 arrived to facilitate launching of the AOPS at the shipyard at the end of April. The first ship received its final coat of paint in August, was launched in September, and  was named HMCS Harry DeWolf in a Ceremony at the shipyard. AOPS #2, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke, had the Center and stern megablocks rolled out and joined at the end of September, and the keel laying ceremony for AOPS #3, the future HMCS Max Bernays was held December 5th. The feds also announced they were going ahead with a 6th AOPS, after splitting the Halifax Class Maintenance contract between Halifax shipyard and Davie. 

Davie completed the conversion of the former Vidar Viking, into the Medium Icebreaker CCGS Captain Molly Kool.

the Coast Guard began taking delivery of its new Bay Class lifeboats.


The CCGS Corporal McLearn MMV was damaged after someone cut the cables securing the cradle the vessel was sitting on at the CAE Shipyard in Sambro Head, causing it to become partially submerged. 

In June 3 men were arrested with diving gear after drugs were found in a sea chest of the container ship Aracia. The ship was operated by CMA-CGM on the the maersk CAE service.

the Akademik Ioffe ran aground in the arctic.

The Norwigan Frigate, KNM Helge Ingstad sunk after a collision with a tanker. The Norwegian accident investigation board’s interim report suggest the hull has a design or construction flaw, which caused the loss of the ship.

In July a dump truck operator was killed, after his truck ended up in the harbour at the infill site next to Fairview cove.

In August, the Tufts cove power plant spilled bunker C oil into the harbour. The cleanup took months. 

Planes, Trains..

Halifax saw 2 derailments in 2018. the first in Rockingham yard saw a number of cars go off the end of a track. the second, at the south end terminals, saw 2 cars damaged as they split a turnoff.

A Skycube 747 crashed at the end of the runway at YHZ after overshooting on landing. there were minor injuries. the plane was scraped onsite.

4 Rescued from Sailboat

RCN Photo via JTFA twitter

4 British men were rescued from a disabled sailboat last night, 250 nautical miles off Halifax. The 4 were hoisted off the sailboat, and flown to Halifax. The 45′ boat was in 21′ seas, with a 50knot wind (75KM/h) and looks to have  a shredded Jib sail, and lost steering control.

The vessel is the Makena  and was bound for Toronto, via the Canary Islands with an apparently professional delivery crew aboard. The owner had recently purchased the boat.

I have been told that the crew were under prepared, and lacked survival suits. Certainly others have questioned the wisdom of being in a sailboat, in the North Atlantic, In December. If the plan was to make Toronto, they would have encountered ice in the St. Lawrence river, and the pending closure of the locks above Montreal at the end of the Month.

CCGS Cape Roger, HMCS Summerside, HMCS Glace Bay, A USCG Aircraft and a vessel of Opportunity all responded.

CSS Acadia finally getting repairs.

Today the province announced repair work on the CSS Acadia. From the Release:

The Provencal Government is making repairs to the only vessel still afloat to have survived the Halifax Explosion, the historic CSS Acadia.

The CSS Acadia is a national historic site that is permanently moored at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax. The 105-year-old steel-hulled ship also served in the Royal Canadian Navy during both World Wars.

Restoration work that is necessary to preserve the CSS Acadia will include repair of the deck and sub-deck and drydocking the vessel to repair the hull, electrical systems and ballast tank.

No word on the cost estimate, or who will be doing the work. I believe the only available facility in Nova Scotia able to accommodate the Acadia would be shelburne ship repair.

No tender notice has yet been posted, nor has a time line for the work.

Onyx Arrow at Pier 9

the PCTC Onyx Arrow tied up at pier 9 over the weekend, after discharging cargo at Autoport. Since the ramps were not lowered, the ship wasen’t there to handle cargo and likely has a mechanical issue. I have been told the ship has an issue with its CO2 fire suppression system.

Many ships have CO2 fire systems in their engineering spaces. Essentially, if a fire is detected, the space is isolated, then CO2 is released into the space, lowering the percentage of oxygen in the air, starving the fire.

Insignia – the saddest cruise call of the year.

The Cruise ship insignia arrived yesterday from Saint John. Due to Weather, they were unable to board a pilot to enter the harbour until 7:30 last night, several hours after they were scheduled to sail. The ship required bunkers, so it waited out the weather watch, tied up at pier 24, and fueled from the Algoma Dartmouth, finally sailing at 0300 this morning.

the Port of Sydney announced last night that the ship would be skipping the call there today, and is now sailing direct for Quebec.

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