This week in the Herald

This week I talk about HNS Cargoes, and the response to incidents involving them. Oil Spills are a big concern, but are often simple to deal with – and there are pre-existing plans and resources.

Halifax had its own incident involving HNS Cargo in 2014, when a container loaded with a toxic and radioactive substance fell. you can read the Original post on the Damaged Container as well as a follow up of the container in the Hold, and after removal.

A Bonus, I was Quoted extensively in this Canadian Press Piece on the Yantain Express

Most Popular Posts

With the Yantain Express fire being on the verge of taking the second place spot for most popular post i thought it was worth mentioning the real second most popular post. Since moving the Site off Blogger, the Popular posts widget was reset. The 5th most popular post on the current site is more popular then all but the most popular post from the old host.

Asian Emperor DamagedFeb 17, 2014, 7788
Radioactive leak at Fairview CoveMar 13, 2014, 3142
John 1 aground off NewfoundlandMar 15, 2014, 2957
FS Monge – Rocket Tracking ShipOct 5, 2015, 2077
HMCS Iroquois to be Paid off May 1Mar 24, 2015, 1850

The Asian emperor was a car-carrier that had some cargo break free off halifax, and get trashed as it rolled about the hold. the ship was also carrying a number of custom order BMW’s which the owners were tracking online, and following the progress of the ship.

when it was delayed, they started posting in Car forums, and i started receiving anxious emails from people wondering if their car had survived.

International Fleet Renewal at Algoma

m/v Alice Oldendorff heading for National Gypsum

Algoma today announced the signing of a agreement to acquire the interest held by Oldendorff Carriers in the CSL International Pool including the three vessels owned by Oldendorff operating in the Pool. As a result of the transaction, Algoma’s interest in the Pool will increase to approximately 40%.

The Pool consists of 18 self-unloading vessels ranging from handy-sized to panamax and provides shipping services along the coasts of the Americas and in the Caribbean. Pool vessels frequently carry gypsum from Halifax to the US. Algoma currently owns five vessels operating in the Pool. As a result of this transaction, Algoma will acquire the handy-sized m/v Alice Oldendorff, and the m/v Harmen Oldendorff and the m/v Sophie Oldendorff, both of which are panamax vessels, for US$100 million. The deal is expected to close late in the second quarter of 2019. 

On the 17th Algoma stated they expect to fund the transaction principally from the proceeds of the refund guarantees from the cancellation of four Croatian shipbuilding contracts. the next Day they announced they had received a full refund of all installment payments made in connection with the now-cancelled shipbuilding contracts with Uljanik d.d. and 3Maj Shipyard of Croatia.

Algoma entered into five shipbuilding contracts with 3Maj Shipyard, an operating unit of Uljanik d.d of Croatia. After considerable delay, the first of the five vessels was delivered in 2018; however, Algoma cancelled the remaining four contracts as the shipyard’s financial difficulties led to the shipyard being unable to put forward a plan that would lead to completion of the remaining hulls. Demands for installment refunds were made in December 2018 and the banks have now remitted a total of CAD$115 million in full settlement of the claims.

Algoma also extended the expiry dates on three existing option contracts held with Yangzijiang Shipyard in China (YZJ) until later in 2019. These options to build Equinox Class self-unloaders or gearless bulkers at attractive prices, were to expire at the end of December.

Algoma contracted for the building of two Equinox Class seawaymax self-unloaders by YZJ in 2015 and subsequently enlisted the support of the shipyard to complete two of the partially built Nantong Mingde hulls, which Algoma acquired from that bankrupt shipyard. Three of the four ships have been delivered. The final Nantong Mingde hull, the Algoma Conveyor, is scheduled for delivery in February and is expected to be in service for the 2019 navigation season.

Moving poles and other Weekly News #34


1.No Offshore Oil
BP is giving up Half its NS Exploration licenses. Earlier this year shell returned them all. this suggests very limited returns in Nova Scotia’s Offshore. the CNSOPB recently listed 2 parcels off sable island for bid. these are neighbors to the Sable Gas and Deep Panuke projects which recently shutdown.

chart 4202 Halifax Harbour Pt.Pleasant to Bedford Basin.

2.Magnetic Pole
the Magnetic north pole – the point at which all compasses actually point is moving alot faster all of a sudden, and is leading to problems with Charts. The movement is known as variation, and is typically x degrees per year.

3.misdeclared Cargo
Maersk will begin spot checking contents of containers at some ports in a bid to weed out mis declared cargo. HNS Cargo can be misdecalered through oversight, or in a bid by shippers to save money.

4.This week in the Herald

this week in the Herald, I talk about places of refuge. The Yantain Express has requested a place of refuge (Halifax) from the Government of Canada.


1.this is pretty.
What markings on ships mean. this is interesting, and beautifully photographed.

2.Wheel of..
Clear seas assembled this wheel of maritime law.

3.Old ship voyages
a dataset of old voyages has been compiled form old ships logs.


Jan 16, 1917 – Canadian government hydrographic survey ship Acadia transferred to RCN. HMCS ACADIA carries out anti-submarine patrols off Nova Scotia & Gulf of St. Lawrence during First World War.

Jan 12 1876 – Jack London, author of countless tales of bravery and adventure, including The Sea Wolf, was born in San Francisco.

Jan 10 1919 – the great molasses flood in Boston kills 21 when a tank ruptures. Apparently the adage “slower then Molasses in January” isn’t true.

Jan 9 1806 – Funeral for Horatio Nelson, who was killed at Trafalgar. His body was preserved in a Cask of rum, which led to rum being referred to as a Drop of Nelsons Blood

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.

Hans and other Weekly News #33


UK tech site the register sent a reporter on a cruise on the royal navy survey ship Enterprise.

2. Your 240 Short.
The Container ship MSC Zoe lost 240 containers over the side in heavy weather.

Montreal longshoreman voted 99.5% in favour of striking. the vote is merely symbolic, as they are under mediation until the end of February, and the vote is only valid for 60 days. Another vote would need to be held.

In other Montreal news – the port is limited by geography.


5. its Ours!
Hans Island Dispute to be sorted out by Task Force.

the brits plan to launch an expedition to Antarctica to find Shackleton’s ship endurance.



Jan 9, 1978 – A severe storm strikes the east coast, causing a great deal of destruction and coastal flooding from Virginia to Nova Scotia.
Jan 8, 1943 – The first tanker convoy from Trinidad to North America was attacked by a U-boat Wolf Pack. seven of the nine tankers were sunk.

Cinnamon at Pier 9

The Bulk Carrier Cinnamon tied up at pier 9 last night, forcing Thorco Liva to anchor in the basin. the ship arrived from Becancour Quebec, and will likely be taking on bunkers from trucks.

UPDATE: yep, the ship took bunkers from trucks, and is scheduled to sail the afternoon of the 10th.

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