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.

CITT says BC Towing Contract review required.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has responded to a complaint by Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services, recommending a review of a key performance requirement in the process to procure two emergency towing vessels for the protection of Canada’s West Coast.

As a bid participant, Heiltsuk Horizon – a partnership of majority partner Heiltsuk Nation of Bella Bella, British Columbia and Horizon Maritime Services Limited, registered a complaint last August that the winning supplier did not meet important safety requirements of the tender process.

I wrote about the issues with the towing contract in this Chronicle Herald Piece when the Atlantic Towing vessels headed west. Heiltsuk Horizon has not publicly disclosed the vessels they bid on the project, though based on other charters they were likely tidewater tugs.

In a letter to Heiltsuk Horizon, the Tribunal recommends the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada reevaluate the “bollard pull” (towing power) of the vessels in all bids received and also awards Heiltsuk Horizon costs incurred in submitting the complaint.

“The contract was awarded in the absence of the required proof that the vessels met the mandated towing power,” said Chief Operating Officer Steven Widmeyer, Horizon Maritime Services Limited.  “We hope this recommendation leads to a reconsideration of our Heiltsuk Horizon vessels, which are in accordance with recommendations of the 2018 Emergency Towing Vessel Needs Assessment by the Clear Seas Center for Responsible Marine Shipping.”

The CITT letter recommends no further expenditures be made on the awarded contract until a review is complete and also lays out potential actions to be taken post-review, including cancellation of the existing contract.

The Heiltsuk Nation, currently in reconciliation discussions with Canada, teamed up with Horizon Maritime to form Heiltsuk Horizon, following the devastating Nathan E. Stewart oil spill in its territory in October 2016.

A break bulk kind of day.

today brought two quick stops for break bulk Cargo. break bulk is the term for large cargos that need to be handled individually – Typically machinery or Assemblies. (Above) The CIL Pride tied up this morning at Fairview cove, for a cargo move of some sort. (Below) the DANZIGERGRACHT arrvied last night, and discharged 3 wind turbine blades at Pier 9 this morning. Both ships are scheduled to sail this afternoon

the Thorco Liva (Above) is back, having previously worked on a cable project. It may be here to discharge the cable tanks from her holds. Note the ship is now branded Thorco Projects, as opposed to Thorco Shipping.

Not pictured is the Onego Rio, which tied up yesterday at Pier 27 with a load of rail for CN.

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