Category Archives: sailing

The Age of Sail Returns

This week in the Herald I talk about NeoLine, the French firm that is proposing a new transatlantic service by sail powered RO-RO vessel. The Firm has a shipping commitment from Michelin, which would see this service call in Halifax starting in 2023.

Not to be out done, Wallenius Wilhelmsen plans a sail powered PCTC in 2025. The Orcelle Wind will carry 7000 cars at 11 knots under sail.

Cargo under sail happened in Halifax in 2019 in a very traditional manner with the arrival of the Cargo Schooner Avontuur with a load of coffee bound for Just Us.

Ship Tour Photos

Some recent additions to our ship tours collections, courtesy of our UK Trip. More Can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hfxshippingnews/collections/72157633267966243/

HMS Belfast is a Town-class light cruiser that was built for the Royal Navy in 1939. She severed until 1961, and became a museum ship in the 70’s.

Cutty Sark was built in 1869 for the Jock Willis Shipping Line, she was one of the last and fastest tea clippers to be built. with the Suez open in 1869, steam ships had an advantage, but she contained sailing in the wool trade, before becoming a sail training vessel.

Golden Hind is a replica of Francis Drakes ship that circumnavigated the world between 1577-1580. the replica was built in 1972, and can be sailed.

HMS Warrior from 1860 is a 40 gun frigate. Notable as the first RN armour-plated, iron-hulled warship, she also has a steam engine. from 1904 she served as a shore establishment, working as an oiler from 1927-1979.

HMS Victory was Nelsons flagship at Trafalgar.

HMS M33 is an M29-class monitor of the Royal Navy built in 1915. She saw active service in the Mediterranean during the First World War, and then served in other rolls until being sold in the as an attraction in 80’s.

Sailing Yacht Hetairos at Purdys Wharf.

Another proper Yacht tied up at Purdys Wharf on Tuesday. The Hetairos is 66.9m long, and the ketch rig was built with masts that reach the maximum air draft of the Panama Canal. The Yacht was built by Baltic Yachts in 2011, and can sleep 10 in 5 cabins.

More Photos, including Interior shots can be found at Charterworld.com

I originally set out to Photograph the Marie, but it had sailed before i arrived.

Activ in Lunenburg

Activ of London is a three masted top gallant schooner built in Denmark in 1951. the ship has been in Lunenburg since may, undergoing general maintenance and replacement of some of her rigging. the ship will be sailing for Svalbard Norway, where it will play a whaler in an upcoming film. Additional pieces to outfit the ship as a whaler, including boat davits were also added during the work period.

The ship serves as an expedition vessel,and besides film appearances is used to conduct oceans research. The ship was built as Mona, and was originally rigged as a ketch. Post war, Fuel and steel were in short supply, so a few years, it made sense to build small wooden freighters that could sail. Active had a load capacity of 211tons and was used to supply villages on the east coast of Greenland. she was converted to her current rig in 1975.

Boat Davits Added to convert her to a whale ship.
Up in the Rig.
Caulking the Hull to ensure watertightness

Breaking: Derek Hatfield’s VOR60 may be lost

JTFA just tweeted that 8 people were rescued from a sailboat early this morning off Lunenburg.

A quick check of marinetraffic.com appears to show the vessel Esprit De Corps IV aground off cross island. it stopped broadcasting AIS just after 6am this morning.

Esprit De Corps IV is the former Amver Sport 1, the VOR60 yacht that was owned by Derek Hatfield, as Spirit of Adventure. Hatfield died in 2016. the yacht was a frequent participant in the Route Halifax Saint Pierre and Marblehead races.

I have sent a message to Atlas Ocean racing for confirmation. – Updates to Follow.

UPDATE May 24:
Atlas Ocean Racing released a statement on Facebook yesterday:

At 4am AST on the 22nd of May, whilst returning from a season of racing in the Caribbean, SV Esprit de Corps IV was shipwrecked on Cross Island, NS.

20nm before Lunenburg, NS, her final port of destination, and under a very reduced set of sails, gale force winds complicated the manoeuvre of dousing the sails before entering the chanel leading to Lunenburg. The strong gusts and a loss of the ability to use the propeler led the boat to drift towards Cross Island where she ran aground. The crew prompted a PAN PAN to get the boat towed but later a water breech made the situation to upgrade to MAYDAY.

Maxime Grimard, skipper of the delivery of Esprit de Corps IV, acted in accordance with his safety in offshore sailing certifications and with the team’s safety procedures by protecting the crew first and foremost.

The 8 crew members of the sailboat wish to thank the Canadian Coast Guard and the crew of MV Salvage Monarch for their exemplary assistance in evacuating the crew. All members of the crew returned to land safe and sound.

After the crew, the team’s next priority became the recuperation of the vessel for environmental reasons and in order to salvage any equipment left. The team has set a protocol in motion to handle the recovery of any wasteful debris, in collaboration with Environmental Response of the Canadian Coast Guard.

Atlas Ocean Racing, Maxime Grimard, and Gilles Barbot (owner and official skipper of the boat), the insurance company and local experts, are actively seeking the most cost-efficient and practical solutions to recover what’s left of the boat as soon as possible.

We will keep you informed of the next steps in the recovery of the shipwreck. The goal is to return the boat ashore for inspection and evaluation of damage and potential repairs.

Thanks for your support,

Atlas Ocean Racing Team

They also posted that the yacht had been looted since it went aground, and before they could return to remove fuel.

image via Atlas Ocean Racing Facebook
image via Atlas Ocean Racing Facebook

UPDATE June 6:

Cargo Schooner Avontuur

The Schooner Avontuur arrived Tuesday, and works as a cargo ship. Originally from the Netherlands, it was in regular cargo service between 1920 and 2005. After working as a day sailer for a few years, in 2014 it became an ambassador for wind powered global trade. 

the ship had a very nautical entry to port over the noon hour, with the pilots guiding the ship into port via radio from the pilot station, before boarding just inbound of Maugers Beach. The ship tied up at pier 25.

Caledonia on the Move

After languishing for a number of years in Toronto, the Tall Ship Caledonia is on the move again, this time back east. The Ship was converted in 2008 by Canadian Sailing Expeditions as a cruise vessel, but the venture never really got off the ground, and the ship was re-possessed by Caterpillar Financial. the ship was moved to freshwater from Lunenburg in 2012.

It now appears that the ship has been acquired by Boston’s Navy Yard Hospitality, who will moor the ship in the former Boston Navy Yard. the ship will be used as a floating restaurant alongside – with permits in place until October. If successful, the venture may be Renewed.

Originally listed for sale for 12 million, the Caledonia can by yours now for $1.49 million US.

Ngoni Gets Towed in.

The British sailing yacht Ngoni was towed in by Captain Jim last night, and tied up at Purdy’s Wharf.From AIS Tracks, she was left Rhode Island, and apparently had an issue of Liscomb NS. She made her way to Halifax, and was towed into the harbour.

the name is from a lute like string instrument originating in West Africa

When I went by her today, someone was working on the radar.



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