Monthly Archives: December 2021

Sable Island Pt2 – West light

West light is reasonable walking distance to Main Station. At this point its primarily occupied by BIO scientists studying the islands seal population, and the house is Known as BIO House now.

the light still exists, though it was decommissioned in the early 2000’s

A Universal Carrier lies on the south beach at west light. this tracked vehicle was surplus from the war and was used to move boats and other equipment on the island.

remains of Quonset huts that were used to store equipment and supplies. these were made of steel and are rusting in the sand. some of the contents of the huts lay around the area, including this bucket from an excavator.

(below) collapsed supports for a tank farm. These and the quonset huts are located on the north beach behind West light.

A non directional beacon was installed to aid in aircraft navigation. It failed, and lies abandoned.

Next to West light is Aliant House. the island briefly had cell service, when Aliant installed cellular equipment in an attempt to service the nearby oil platforms. It didn’t work, and the equipment removed. The tower is still in use, providing trunked communications on the island.

Anchor in the Basin.

NYK Constellation to anchor in the basin to wait out weather after spending Saturday at Fairview cove. NYK Constellation was built in 2007, and is rated for 4888TEU. It currently operating on the Alliances AL5 service. AL5 serves Northern Europe, making stops in Halifax and Port Everglades Florida, before stopping in South America,passing through the panama canal, stopping in LA, Seattle, Vancouver, and Oakland. NYK Constellation is currently on the return leg, heading back to Southampton.

Hyundai Faith arrived Saturday and took to anchor to wait out weather before moving to the terminal this morning. the ship is serving on the Alliances EC5 service. the ship was built in 2008, and is rated for 8566TEU.

Update on large naval tugs

Today the feds gave an update on the Large Naval tug project. this project will see 4 new tugs commissioned to replace the current fleet of Glen Tugs currently in use. The tugs are being built by Ocean Industries, at their Isle-aux-Coudres, Quebec shipyard.

The first two tugs (Haro and Barkerville) are scheduled to be delivered by sealift to the RCN’s Maritime Forces Pacific in Esquimalt, British Columbia, in 2022. The other two (Canso and Stella Maris) will sail to Maritime Forces Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2023 and 2024.

The new tugs are named as follows.

  • Naval Large Tug #1 Haro – This name is taken from the Haro Strait, which connects the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca in British Columbia, and is frequently transited by Royal Canadian Navy vessels proceeding north from Esquimalt, the home of our Pacific Fleet. 
  • Naval Large Tug #2 Barkerville – This name is taken from the Second World War-era Ville-class tug of the same name, which capsized and sank at the entrance of Bedwell Harbour, British Columbia, on December 17, 1945, while towing His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Hespeler to its mooring. 
  • Naval Large Tug #3 Canso – This name is taken from the Canso Strait separating Nova Scotia from Cape Breton Island. This is a region that figures prominently in Canada’s formative history. It also reflects the Royal Canadian Navy’s past with HMCS Canso, a minesweeper that served in the Pacific and Atlantic during the Second World War, and was on hand at D-Day.
  • Naval Large Tug #4 Stella Maris – This name was selected in recognition of the valiant actions of the crew of the tug that came to the assistance of the French munitions ship, SS Mont-Blanc on December 6, 1917, in Halifax Harbour. The tug crew tried to fight a fire on board Mont-Blanc, and recognizing that they had insufficient water to quench the fire, selflessly attempted to tow the burning vessel away from shore. The tug was severely damaged and 19 personnel on board perished when Mont-Blanc then erupted in the disaster known as the Halifax Explosion.  

Container ships.

(Above)MSC Sandra at pier 42 (Below) ZIM Vancouver at pier 41. Both ships are being worked by a single crane unit

Atlantic Sky is in the outer anchorage, and will be bound for Fairview Cove Monday Morning. Fairview Cove was occupied Sunday by Humen Bridge, still in its K-Line Livery but sailing for ONE as part of the Alliance.

HMCS Montreal on the Synchrolift

HMCS Montreal on the sychrolift at the dockyard for maintenance. I understand that there is not currently a dry facility in Halifax capable of maintaining the new AOPS, nor the Type 26 CSC. The Navys future fleet will necessitate some upgrades at the dockyard, and Halifax Shipyard.

Halifax Shipyard of course was able to accommodate panamax vessels until it retired and sold the NovaDock, which is now in service at International ship repair in Tampa Florida. That dock was owned by the province, and leased to the yard, untill it was quietly transferred to the shipyard as part of ships start here. Halifax Shipyards then sold it, claiming it was in disrepair.

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