Category Archives: Weekly News

Whale penis’ and Sea Monsters Unmasked – Weekly News Bits #9

there have been some site issues we are trying to work through with the host lately. thanks for your patience. expect some weirdness in the coming weeks. Also i know I’m a day late – i had minor surgery yesterday.


Container Consolidation
ZIM and the 2M Alliance (MSC & Maersk) have agreed to consolidate routes from Asia to the US East Coast. 2M Currently runs 5 routes, and ZIM 2. No word on what the changes will be, or how they will affect Halifax Traffic.

Lost Shipwreck
A shipwreck turned up in England in 2016, after she was partially exposed, buried in sand. it is now believed to be a Vessel called the AVON, built in Windsor NS in 1843.

Bail for Drug Smugglers
the 3 men arrested for attempting to import drugs in a sea chest of the Container ship Arcia were released on bail this week. The case is also now under a publication ban, so no further details will become public until after the trial concludes.


1.Sea Monsters

recently I came across a suggestion that old accounts of sea monster sightings were probably actually sightings of Whale Penis’. this led to an Article on Norwegian Sea Serpents which then led me to a book produced for the international fisheries exhibition, London in 1883 called Sea Monsters Unmasked(PDF).

This Week in the News.

July 18 1945 – the Naval Magazine Jetty in the Bedford Basin Explodes.

July 17 1749 – the First Liquor License is granted to The Double Eagle. Located on the north corner of Salter and Lower Water St. It is the spiritual Predecessor of the Modern Spilt Crow.

July 16 1947 – Tribal Destroyer HMCS Micmac collides with the SS Yarmouth of Halifax, Killing 10 and Injuring 15.
July 16 1915 – the US Navy Battleships USS Ohio, Missouri and Wisconsin transit the Panama Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific. When the US took over Canal Construction, the lock size was increased to accommodate the Warships.

Vote for Pedro and other Weekly News Bits #8

For latest port conditions, Including Weather,Wind, Tides, Arrivals and Departures be sure to visit the Port Report


0. Vote(Nominate) Pedro!

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1.More Container ports for NS.
Probably a bad idea says ACOA funded Study.

2. HMCS Sackville work period
The CBC reports that Sackvilles Work period is now going to run into next year – I suppose thats not surprising for a ship that was only built to last the war, and is now gong on 80 years old.

3.Stolen Car Exports
Stolen Cars are exported to africa in shipping containers, from the Ports of Montreal, Vancouver and Halifax. Montreal Police are not interested in investigating the thefts when suspicious car exports are reported by CBSA.

4.Naval Movements.
HMCS Moncton departed Halifax for a summer Great Lakes tour on July 9

5. Seakings get Paint Job – Head West.
Some Seaking’s have been identified and painted in their original paint scheme for museum use once retired. The helicopters are moving west, as 423 Squadron at shearwater is now only flying Cyclones.

6.Storm Movements
Offshore facilities have been evacuated, and Drill Rig West Aquarius has disconnected.


1. Tall Ships
The Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry Arrived in Lunenburg last weekend. She sailed Tuesday for For Boston.

2. Halterm from a crane.

Last week in History

July 12 1771 –  Lieutenant James Cook returned to England after his first voyage of exploration in the Pacific aboard Endeavour.

July 10 1970 – The MacKay Bridge opens to traffic.

July 8 1913 – CSS Acadia arrives in Halifax for the first time.
July 6 1943 – the tug Erg was rammed by a freighter and sank, with the loss of 19 lives. – She was Salvaged, and later re-sunk in the bedford basin.

Colregs reminder.

Buy a tall ship – or draw it with the flags in the right direction – Weekly News bits #7

For latest port conditions, Including Weather,Wind, Tides, Arrivals and Departures be sure to visit the Port Report


1.Ships Start in Australia.
Australia has chosen the BAE’s type 26 frigate as it next warship class. This ship is also a contender for the CSC.

2. Trade wars and Lobster.
Tariffs on US lobster to china will make the Canadian product more attractive.

3. Patrolling the wrong side of the border
US Boarder patrol has been inspecting Canadian vessels in Canadian waters on NB/Maine Border. We should park a frigate down there and tell USCBP to go away.

4.ROUTE Halifax Saint Pierre.

The results are in. the First across the line Honors went to Esprit de Corps IV – a VOR60 that was previously sailed by the Late Derek Hadfield as the Spirit of Adventure, and a previous race winner.

5. You can own your own Tall Ship.
The Caledonia is Still for sale. In 2012 the ask was 12 million. Her Creditors have now dropped the price to 1.5 million. Built in 1947, Caledonia was extensively refit in 2008, only to have her owners go bankrupt in 2010.


1. Historic USCG Lifeboat
CG36500 has been restored to working condition. the Boat and her crew took part in the rescue of the crew of the Pendelton in 1954, which broke apart during a storm. the story was the subject of the 2016 film The Finest Hours

2.Flag Direction on Full Rigged ships.
Sailor and Cartoonist Lucy Bellwood recently ran a twitter thread about the annoyance that is incorrect flag direction on Full rigged sailing vessels.

The Full explanation is available in this thread on Twitter need a Refresher on your sailing Rigs – See our Shipspotting 101 post.


This week in History

June 29 1799  – privateer Duke of Kent began her maiden voyage. she would go on to capture 8 French and Spanish ships.

June 30 1890 – the Halifax to Bermuda Cable is Completed.

July 2 1928 – Royal Navy Cruiser HMS Dauntless ran aground on Thrumcap Shoal

July 3 1970 – HMCS Bonaventure, Canada’s last aircraft carrier is decommissioned.

July 4 1843 – The first cargo of tea is delivered to Halifax, direct from China

I took this picture while sword fishing off Nova Scotia – weekly news bits #5

Issue #5 of the Weekly news bits. For latest port conditions, Including Weather,Wind, Tides, Arrivals and Departures be sure to visit the Port Report


1. Spills
Seadrill’s rig West Aquarius – working for BP spilled drilling fluids. it sounds like there was a leak in the riser. the fluids are said to be non toxic, and will sink to the sea floor.

2. CG Icebreakers for Davie.
Looks like Davie shipyard in PQ has sold the feds on another conversion. this time for Coast guard Ice Breakers. The ships were built for the offshore industry to work in Alaska, so should be well suited for the job. The Proposed ships are Tor Viking II, Balder Viking and Vidar Viking

Radio-Canada also released this piece, Where Montreal Based FedNav, over a year ago, offered to finance and build 3 icebreakers in Norway and lease them  to the government. They claim building in norway gets delivery in less then 2 years, and at half the cost of Canadian Yards. Fednav Operates a fleet of Bulkers and General Cargo Ships, and Operates Heavily in the arctic.

3. Halifax Shipyard Contract
Workers ratified the second attempt at a contract.

4. Drug Runner Followup.
3 Men from BC and Ontario were arrested with diving Gear in the case of the Arica. CBSA Reports that 150kg of cocaine were found in the ships sea chest. A sea chest is an indent in the hull where intakes for sea water are located. We first covered the story in News Bits #3 (Interesting Section)

5. Swordfishing off Nova Scotia

a few days ago a tweet appeared with the photo below, Captioned “Taken by Chris Holmes while swordfishing off the coast of Nova Scotia”

the obvious problem with the picture is that Killer Whales are not a species found off Nova Scotia’s coast. anyway, its become a thing, with various parodies appearing, so far the best is:



1. Scrapings.

Via Facebook, the former Newfoundland Shuttle Tanker Mattea was Beached for Scraping at Gadani Pakistan. she was a frequent caller in halifax when the refinery was in operation, shuttling product from the Hiberina and White Rose fields to refineries.

2. Yacht Racing Results

The first Finishers of the Route Halifax Saint Pierre Yacht race arrived in saint Pierre last night. The Canadian boat Esprit De Corps IV a VOR60 was first across the line at 21:34 yesterday. Second place, the French boat ST.PIERRE & MIQUELON – OAKCLIFF RACING a class 40, was second arriving about 3 hours later,

This week in History

June 24 1944 – HMCS Haida sinks U-971,  her only u-boat kill of the war

June 26 1959 – the Queen and Pres. Eisenhower open the St. Lawrence Seaway.

June 27 1813  – The American privateer Young Teazer met her end in Mahone Bay. Rather than surrender to the enemy, she was blown up by her crew – becoming a ghost ship

June 27 1918 – The Canadian hospital ship Llandovery Castle was sunk by German U Boat u-86. This war crime killed 234 Canadians, including all 14 nurses. there were 24 survivors


Self-Righting lifeboats and other flotsam – Weekly News bits #4

and now for the News…

For latest port conditions, Including Weather,Wind, Tides, Arrivals and Departures be sure to visit the Port Report


1. Shipbuilding Out West
Seaspan began construction on JSS #1

Unifor and Halifax Shipyard have reached a new tentative agreement, after the last one was rejected, triggering strike notice.  The longshoreman and the Port Employers have also reached a new 3 yr agreement.

3. Slavery
The Coast tells the story of the last African slave ship to the Americas, and her Nova Scotia Captain.

4. Sharks
they’re back…

Notable Movements

Fundy Pilot is in town filling in as the second pilot boat.

HMCS Oriole Sailed into Toronto for the first time in 69 years. she began her life as a yacht in Toronto. HMCS Moncton will be joining her on a Summer Great Lakes Tour.

HMCS Windsor returned to Port after NATO exercises in Europe.

Maersk Atlanta made a special stop at Halterm to deliver Empty refers.

Last week in History.

June 21 1749 – Edward Cornwallis shows up and founds Halifax.

June 18 1906 – British imperial Government properties in Halifax are handed over to the Dominion of Canada

June 15 1904 – The passenger liner General Slocum exploded and sank in the Hudson River, near NYC. Over 1,000 lives were lost in the disaster.

June 14 1917 – The British Admiralty approved the use of convoys of merchant ships as a precaution against U-boat attack.

Drug Runners and Other Weekly News Bits #3

its been a slow news week…


1. New Maersk Service

In May, Maersk announced a new MMX service to Montreal and Halifax. Yesterday they announced a new Southeast Asia service that will connect with MMX. Maersk Line’s AE6 service will connect ports Ningbo, Shanghai , Yantian ,and Maersk’s facility at Tanjung Pelapas, from which the AE6 sails non-stop to Algeciras Spain. From Algeciras cargo will be transferred to the MMX service to sail non-stop to Montreal, followed by Halifax.


COVE opened at the former Dartmouth Coast Guard Base.

3. Strike!
Halifax shipyard workers deliver 48hour strike notice after rejecting contract.

4. It doesn’t matter if your black or White.

the Lunenburg based Barque Picton Castle to repaint her hull white


Last weekend brought an extended stop for the Container Ship Aracia on the Maersk/CMA-CGM service. Word is the ship was detained by Border Services. Earlier in the week unmarked divers were spotted in the water off Halterm, and on arrival, the Aracia was boarded and searched, including and underwater hull survey by dominion diving. It was also noted while this was going on the RCMP dive team was working in the Harbour. The speculation is that the ship was going to be used to smuggle drugs on the underside of the hull from Canada to Europe. we can guess it was export, since the ship previously called in Montreal.

Running drugs on the bottom of boat hulls is not uncommon, and apparently sometimes successful. The sailing vessel Schwalb  was apparently running drugs when it arrived in Halifax, and subsequently abandoned. When crews went to remove pollutants after she went ashore, they discovered fittings on the hull suggesting the boat was rigged to smuggle drugs.

Last week in History

June 9 1944 – HMCS Haida and Huron, with 6 other allied ships, engaged and sunk 2 German destroyers.

June 11 1813 – Schooner Liverpool Packet is Captured by the US Privateer Thomas.

June 12 1912 – The last victim of the sinking of RMS Titanic, steward James McGrady, was buried at Fairview Cemetery

June 13 1984 – Halifax’s first tall ships event (Photos, more photos)


Weekly News Bits

Welcome to the Second Installment of the Weekly news bits.

The News

1.CSS Acadia

CBC News reported that the neglect of the CSS Acadia continues, with her below deck areas closed to the public due to mold. The province has a condition report on the ship, but recommendations are redacted. The Acadia turned 100 in 2013. One thing to note – I don’t recall Acadia being drydocked since 2008  – though she was turned at the pier at some point.

2. Incidents

the french cable ship Ile de Aix leaked oil into the harbour and was detained by transport canada. the Sheen on the water was first noticed by a Halifax Transit ferry Captain

The Chem Norma Was freed after running aground off Morrisburg Ont. You will never guess what she became stuck on.

3. Navy Movements

HMCS Shawinigan sailed on June 1st for the Caribbean.

HMCS Ville De Quebec will Replace HMCS St. Johns in the Med in July. This is a noteworthy deployment as Ville de Quebec will carry the first deployed operational Cyclone Air Detachment, with HMCS St. Johns returning with the last deployed Seaking.

4. Bar Harbor Coming Back?

Bay Ferries is debating moving the Yarmouth ferry from Portland to Bar Harbor. Rather then alternating destinations, the service would exclusively serve Bar Harbor.


G-Captain brings us photos of ship breaking in Alang India.

Last week in history

June 1 1813 – HMS Shannon defeats USS Chesapeake off Boston, bringing the US ship to Halifax as a prize. The battle brought the line “Don’t Give up the Ship” – which the Boston Globe had something to say about.

June 3 1942 – The Battle of Midway Turns the War in the Pacific in the Allies Favor.

June 4 1977 – Canada Proclaims the 200 nautical mile EEZ.

June 6  1813 – HMS Shannon sails into Halifax with the Chesapeake

June 6 1944 – D-Day. The Allied invasion of Europe in the second World War.


The Return of Weekly News Bits

from 2008 to 2010 I ran posts with weekly news summaries. I stopped for some reason, but have been inspired by Halifax Re-tails and the 5 year anniversary of their weekly summaries – So today marks the first Thursday installment  covering the various happenings that didn’t warrant a post of their own.

I’m open to Suggestions for a better name then Weekly News Bits.

The News

The Chemical Tanker MT Chem Norma ran aground after a steering failure in the Saint Lawrence near Morrisburg Ont. on the 29th. There is no pollution, and tugs are on scene. The best coverage of this incident is being provided by SeawayNNY and PrescottAnchor on twitter.

On Wednesday, a 53′ container was knocked overboard from the Oceanex Sanderling into the water during cargo operations at pier 41.

The RCN sail training ship HMCS Oriole (above) is now assigned to Marlant. She was previously based in BC, came east last year for canada 150 events, and underwent a refit in Lunenburg over the winter. She is now bound for a Great lakes tour.

Boat builder ABCO, Also of Lunenburg will be building Aluminum landing craft for the new AOPS under construction at the Halifax Shipyard. (below)

In other shipbuilding news, The feds signed a contract with Vancouver’s Seaspan to begin construction on up to 52 of the blocks that will make of the 2 ships. the construction will begin in advance, to fill a lull between coast guard vessels.

US Navy Submarine USS Toledo spent the past weekend in  Shearwater for the memorial day weekend. the US navy traditionally sends a vessel every memorial day weekend for a ceremony at the graves of US Servicemen who died as POWs and are buried on Deadmans island in the NW Arm. USS Toledo was previously here for NATO Exercises in September 2016.

With the 1 year anniversary of the loss of the SorcaCBC Reports on a legal battle between the ships owner and its insurer Llyods.

With Summer around the corner, I’ts a good time to link to Mario Vittone’s Article Drowning Doesnt look like drowning this is an important read if you hang out near the water. If you plan on operating a vessel this summer, you may need a Pleasure craft operator Card. Good news, you can get it online. We did a Full Post – So You Want to be a Captain, which covers the requirements to operate various vessels.


This Week in History

May 30 1950 – RCMP Schooner St. Roch arrives in Halifax, completing the first Circumnavigation of North America.

May 29 1914 – CP Liner Empress of Ireland collides with Storstad near Rimouski, sinking in 14 minutes

May 28 1782 – US Privateer Jack is defeated by HMS Observer after a 90 minute engagement off Sambro Island Light

May 26 1941 – the Royal navy sinks the German battleship Bismark.

May 24 1941 – the German battleship  Bismark sinks HMS Hood


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