CP Buys Central Maine and Quebec Railway.

CP announced today that it purchased the Central Maine and Quebec Railway. What makes this buy so weird, is that the track once belonged to CP.

in 1994, CP sold off all its trackage east of Montreal. those assets were owned by Iron Road, which want bankrupt. the Montreal Maine and Atlantic was formed out of a portion of those assets, itself went bankrupt in 2014 after the Lac Megantic disaster.

Other assets in the area were sold to Irving, and operate as the NBSR. CP maintained rights over those lines until 1993.

since CP is re-acquiring the track, it will now have direct access to Saint John. this suggests they have business. Oil by Rail is certainly a possibility, however that has already been occurring form North Dakota. Alberta oil is to heavy to be processed by the saint john refinery, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to load crude tankers with Alberta oil on a second leg voyage. is that play big enough? good question.

what if MSC shipping were to pull out of Montreal – even Partially? MSC currently calls on Montreal and Saint John. Montreal is out of the way, and delays in recent years due to ice, and North Atlantic Right Whale speed reductions likely cause grief to the MSC Schedule. A suitable rail partner could get the containers inland just as fast, and save days of sailing.

Saint John terminal operator DP World is already listing connections to CP via the NBSR on its website, previously that connection was only possible via PanAm Railways, into New York state.

Harry DeWolf Trials

the Future HMCS Harry DeWolf is scheduled for builders trials in the basin Friday the 22nd. the ship is scheduled for trials outside the harbour Saturday the 23rd.

the dates were pushed back a day due to weather.

AOPS #2 is scheduled to move to pier 7 today at 4pm.

coming off the dock
out into the stream
turn around.
Rotation finished, under own power.
Off Pier 9
Under the Mackay, Passing BIO

The New AIS Setup.

I tweeted the above photo of my new setup, and it seemed to be quite popular, so i thought i would post an explanation of the setup.

All vessels over 350grt are required to transmit an ais signal (automatic identification system) over VHF. I have a 8′ VHF antenna mounted on my house connected to an SR-161 AIS receiver. The AIS receiver converts the VHF signal to an NMEA sentence. The NMEA sentence is sent to an old laptop running ShipPlotter which takes the NMEA data, logs it, displays it on screen, and sends the update to marinetraffic.com. (I operate station 347)

the 3 monitor setup is accomplished by running 3 instances of ShipPlotter. The first (the basin display) is a remote session to the PC that is connected to the AIS Receiver. its set to send data to the machine running the 3 monitors, and runs 2 instances of ShipPlotter. those 2 instances listen for output from the first on their own ports. then it was just a matter of adding the proper charts, and choosing the desired zoom level.

A big benefit to the 3 displays is that i now have a clearer view of traffic, and the ships render to scale. for clarity sake, i set the charts to be 75% transparent in ShipPlotter, which preserves readability, but makes the screen less cluttered.

having logged data let me do things like make maps after the fact. I have posted 2 revisions of the traffic map, the full view, and some closeups, as well as a how to post covering how i built it.

Weeklyish News #40

this feature seems to come and go. its see if we can maintain a long run of this.

News

1.Women Running Ships.
Charlene Munden is Captain of the Laker Tim S. Dool. The F/V Nellie Row out of Lunenburg sails with an all female crew.

2. Labour
Quebec/PEI Ferry operator sued by Seafarers union over temporary foreign workers.

3. CG needs ships
lack of vessels is a problem for the CG. a Fall survey was canceled after the ship used in the spring was unsuitable, Plus there are no functioning buoy tenders on the East coast due to refits and work periods.

4.Ghost ship
the Lubov Orlova appears again in this CBC Long Read.

History

Nov 18 1942: HMCS GODERICH is damaged in collision with the tanker Iocoma, in Halifax harbour, requiring three weeks of repairs.

Nov 16 1857: PO William Hall earns Victoria Cross while serving in HMS SHANNON at Relief of Lucknow, India. He is 1st Candian, Black and Nova Scotian Sailor to be awarded the VC.

Nov 15 1991: HMCS ALGONQUIN, while undergoing post-TRUMP tilting/incline trials at Halifax, takes on water and lists to 25 degrees on her port side.

Nov 15 1987: The freighter Hosanna I registered in Honduras sinks without a trace off Cape Race Newfoundland. All the crew of 33 are lost.

Nov 13 1942: USS Juneau was sunk in the Pacific. All five brothers of the Sullivan family, Waterloo, Iowa were killed.

Nov 12 1912: The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men are found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

Problems At One Ocean.

This week in the Herald, I outline the likely cause of one oceans troubles, and some of their shoddy practices. I have spoken with several former crew, and others associated with OOE, and pretty much everyone is willing to talk.

One of the crew members I spoke with indicated that auctions were held on board ship to raise money for various Non-governmental organizations. She suggested It was an open secret that the NGO’s were not receiving the funds. This story was also corroborated by another crew member told me that one of the signature items available for onboard auction was a Nautical Chart of the Voyage, marked with ship’s positions and course, and then decorated with images of area wildlife. These charts typically sold in the $2000-4000usd range, and 10-12 were produced on various cruises. 

I spoke with Ron Naveen, the president of Oceanites. The organization has for the past 25 years conducted a Antarctic penguin survey, and had researchers travel aboard One Ocean ships. Ron indicated that One Ocean had been a good partner in supporting their work, and had raised money for the organization, however One Ocean was always slow to pass on funds raised, and is currently 2 years behind in remitting funds raised. 

Naveen believes the losses to Oceanites are in the 6 figures, both from funds raised but not delivered,  and from future fundraising conducted by other organizations on OOE Cruises. He has also had to find other companies to facilitate the work they do. 

John Geiger, the CEO of The Royal Canadian Geographic Society also indicated they had suffered losses, but were unable to detail what they were or the amounts as the organizations board had yet to be briefed. The Society granted the use of the RCGS honorific to OOE’s ship Resolute, in recognition of OOE’s stong support of research in polar regions. 

According to its website, OOE started the One Ocean Foundation in 2017 “to house the growing financial contributions from both passengers and One Ocean Expeditions.”  

 the One Ocean Foundation is a registered Charity in Richmond Hill Ont. Its CRA Filings list three trustees, William J Trotter , Emily R Trotter , and James D Trotter. The foundation shares an address with Wm. J. Trotter & Associates, an accounting firm. BEDI Management, which was also identified as one oceans accounting firm is also located at that address. BEDI management also showed up on credit card statements when down payments were made. 

Information posted on CRA’s website show the foundation received 25,000 in revenue in 2018  – Grieger told me transfers to their organization, when they occurred,  were in the $30-40,000 range, which suggests that the foundation was at best only receiving a portion of the funds raised. 

November 11th

The Brooding Soldier

This week, haligonians will collect up their trash and take it to the curb. It’s such a normal activity, we think nothing of it, and no one really notices the trash piled at the end of the driveway waiting collection. 

Last year in Belgium, 250000kg of unexploded ordnance was dug up by farmers and construction workers just going on with their normal lives. When people find it, they stack it on the side of the road, and call the army to collect it. Since the end of the first world war, its munitions have killed over 300 people.

Tyne-Cot Cemetery in Belgium. there are 8000 Canadians here.

the remnants of war are common, and normal, just like taking out the trash.

Today the battlefields of Belgium are pastoral. There is little sign of the destruction that the war caused – though its there if you know to look. The town of Ypres in Belgium looks hundreds of years old, though the date on the oldest building is 1922. though the town stayed in Allied hands throughout the war, it was obliterated.

When you visit vimy ridge, the monument is striking. But so is the landscape. The ground is pockmarked with shell holes, one connecting with another, no spot untouched. If you ski, and know what a field of mougles look like – that’s Vimy ridge, though grassy, and now dotted with trees. Fences and signs warning of unexploded shells keep you on the roads. 

this is where in flanders fields was written.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders Fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders Fields.

Major John McCrae, a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery, in the midst of the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium, in May 1915. He died of pneumonia at Wimereux, France on January 28, 1918.

AOPS #2 Moves to the Basin

Approaching pier 9

AOPS #2 has been moved to the basin. The launch will occur tomorrow morning, with the barge beginning to submerge at 4am. Shipyard staff are scheduled to board the ship at 2:45 to check tanks, and valves for leaks as the ship is lowered into the water.

under the Mackay
in the basin
anchoring in the basin.
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