Category Archives: site news

2014 in Review

2014 was an eventful year at the port of Halifax.

The Fednav Ice Breaking Bulk Carrier Nunavik Stopped briefly on her delivery Voyage. CSL Tacoma, Another new build Bulker also made Several stops this year. BP ran a seismic Survey program over the summer, with familiar and some new vessels working out of Halifax. The Bluenose II finally sailed, though only for a trial. Pier 9c was finished, and went into service, With Onego St.Peterburg being the first vessel to tie up.


HMCS Fredericton was the first FELEX vessel to Deploy, sailing on Dec 30th. She will replace HMCS Toronto. The Tug Firebird was Declared Surplus. HMCS Preserver and HMCS Iroquois were announced that they would be decommissioned, having reached the ends of their serviceable lives.

Once again 2014 was a good year for port visits to the Dockyard. The French made Multiple stops in Halifax in 2014. FS Misteral and FS La Fayette took place in amphibious landing exercise Lion Mistral with the Canadian Army. Fulmar spent a week in July for the start of the Route Halifax Saint Pierre Yacht Race ,and the Survey Vessel FS Laplace, which had completed surveying Saint Pierre.

The end of July brought the NATO SNMG-1 for a visit. The Fleet consisted of  FGS Niedersachsen, TCG Kemalreis, USS Leyte Gulf, USNS Medgar Evers and USS Anzio. The US Coast Gurad was also a Frequent visitor, with USCGC Escanaba visiting in August, USCGC Morro bay in June, and USCGC Tahoma and Campbell stopping in in March.

Rounding out the Visits were The Danish Destroyer  HDMS Nils Jules visited in December, and The Submarine USS New Mexico Tied up at Shearwater in March, and the German Supplier FGS Bonn in Febuary


See our post on Nautical Disasters. 2014 was an eventful year. The tanker AlgoNova caught fire, and Laura 1 was also bumped by the Icebreaker CCGS Henry Larsen, and put in for repairs. In February Asian Emperor  Rolled and destroyed Machinery.  this resulted in our most viewed post ever as Car forums linked to our post, as panicked people awaiting delivery of their new car on the ship tried to figure out if their vehicle was damaged. In March  the tug gulf spray got crushed, and the bulker John 1 went aground off Newfoundland. She was rescued by the tug Ryan Leat. A Container of radioactive material also shut down the Fairview Cove terminal after it fell into the hold of a ship.  In December the Tanker Australian Spirit Lost her rudder, and needed to be towed into port.

Shipyard News.

The 9 Hero Class Vessels for the Coastguard were completed, with #9 Launching in may. With Completion of that program, the Old assembly hall was torn down. The FELEX program continued on, With the First 2 vessels becoming operational.

Shipyard Construction Progressed with the new Assembly building reaching near completion, and the new overhead cranes being installed.



There was much Ferry News in 2014. The New harbour Ferry Christopher Stannix Was delivered, New Ferry was ordered, and is under construction for delivery next year. The province tendered for a new Boat for Grand Passage, and the New Digby-Saint John Ferry, Currently known as Canada2014 arrived in Canada.
and a

The Lego Maersk Tripple E

It has been at least 20 years since I last found Lego under the Christmas tree. I am pleased to report that the giddy excitement that happens when you are handed a wrapped box with that tell tale rattle of plastic bricks is still present.


This Lego kit is consistently sold out. at 1518 Pieces, there is at least 6 hours of build time no including sticking all the containers. (Above)Ship Built Minus Container stacks. (Below) Finished per kit instructions. I used a more random stack pattern on the containers, and did not fully load the vessel.
Having finished building the kit, I decided to see what i could create. By moving the superstructre back just forward of the funnels, i was able to turn the ship into a Post-Panamax Configuration.

The superstructure contains bulkheads within the hull. I left those where they were, and was able to fill one of the below deck hods with containers. this allowed for dispaly with an empty Cell.

The other experiment i tried was replacing some of the Maersk coloured bricks with regular lego bricks.  this worked, though i wasn’t pleased with the look fully. I note that someone is selling aftermarket non Maersk brand Container markings on ebay – By Extension, if a normal container is a 8 bump brick, 20′ containers could be done with 4 bump bricks…


This blog started in 2008, a month or 2 after I moved to Halifax from Ottawa.
I attended remembrance day ceremonies at the Monument, I have taken numerous tours of Parliament; heck we used to park behind the library on weekends when we went downtown for something.  I know yesterdays crime scene well.

The whole thing unfolded in a very calm Canadian way. People were calm, and followed instructions. A Mountie got his man, and Parliament sat today, Honoring one hero’s actions and another’s loss.

we feel anger when we loose a soldier in a training accident – its needless. Its tragic and noble when we loose one operating over seas – they knew the risks and went anyway. I don’t have words for loosing a soldier standing watch over a monument to those who fell for our freedom.

Whats in the Bag

A recent trend has been Whats in the Bag Posts, Where Various bloggers post what they carry in their Laptop Bags. Since I occasionally like to pull back the covers and reveal the inner workings of Halifax Shipping News, I Thought it was time for a “Whats in the Bag Post”

The Bag itself is a Lowepro LP36416 Event Messenger 250. This bag is awesome. its not particularly large or cumbersome, but it holds everything I need it too, and it has a laptop slot. Like all Lowpro Products, it has excellent build quality. I have had this one for over a year, and it still looks new after daily use.

Items In the Bag:
Standard Horizon HX851 – VHF Radio. Allows me to keep tabs on marine traffic. via Halifax Traffic ch 12,14, 16.

Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2MP Digital SLR Camera  – My Primary Camera, This one is a beast, and the  body is very worn. I Have long since retired the Kit 18-55 lens that came with it. I also added the Vertical grip.

Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Lens  – the Sigma 18-200 is a great range for shipspotting, as you can accommodate vessels far away and upclose. I used to carry the kit 18-55 lens and a 55-200 lens, but this one covers the full range, so iI dont need to worry about switching glass.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens – this prime lens mostly gets used in low light situations. For fast glass, its very afforadable, and Canon Fans Love it. The shot below was taken with this lens

The Small Bag Holds Cactus Wireless flash triggers, Assorted cables and Chargers and CF Card reader. Since I Carry this Bag on A Daily Basis, Some items are not directly related to the blog. The Laptop of Choice is either a Apple MacBook Pro 13.3-Inch Laptop (Personal) or a Toshiba Portege Z930 (Work)

I also carry a SOG EOD Powerlock Multi tool, MAGLITE AA Mini Flashlight ,and Spyderco Rescue 79mm Knife

Not Pictured are the iPad, and iPhone, which are my primary tweeting platforms.

2013 in review

2013 was a good year. we had the most readers yet, and set records for page views in a month and a single day.

In Incidents – the year began in an eventful manor. January brought the tow issues with HMCS Athabaskan. The Tug Craig Trans was abandoned in Halifax,  The Lubov Orlova also broke her tow, and is presumed sunk.

At Halifax Shipyard, The Hero Class program continued, with launched. the FELEX refits continued, and the AOPS Design Contracts were signed. the Joint Support Ship design was chosen and the ships named. The Expansion Also continued, with new piers, and Parking grarage, and the removal of older assembly buildings.
several vessels being

In Service news, March brought the announcement of the New G6 Service. November brought a signed Yarmouth ferry deal

April brought the french warship FS Aquitaine. the year was light in ship visits, with a few USCGnorthlandSeneca, Morrow Bay, and Eagle) Visits early in the year. The german Navy research vessel FGS Planet visited, as did the JMSDF training Squadron, and Royal Navy Survey Vessel HMS Scott. the sole US Navy visitor was USS Nicholas, likely due to the American Budget situation

Several new ships joined the Canadian Fleet – Scunda Bought Scotia Sea, Degagnes bought Bella Degagnes, and Atlantic towing Bought Atlantic Merlin for 2014 Delivery.  HRM also Bought a New Ferry for april 2014 Delivery. Oceanex took delivery of the Connaigra.

New Cranes Arrived at Halterm in August. The Dartmouth Refinery Shutdown, and Converted to a terminal in the fall, after a June announcement. The CSS Acadia turned 100, and Shell spent the sumer looking for offshore oil

2012 the year in review

Goodbye 2012

2012 was an interesting year. 180000 people read in 2012 – more then ever before, and growth was steadly climbing from month to month. We also had the 320 posts this year – almost one a day, and picked up Telonix as our first sponsor.

In Ship Building news, The APA recived its new Pilot Boat. The First 3 Hero Class midshore patrol vessels were launched for the Coast Guard. HRM Decided to build a 4th Ferry, and the 3 existing ones got AIS. The Bluenose was launched, and Oceanex, Fedanav, and ACL all ordered new ships.

Halifax saw a variety of interesting Visiting naval  Ships, including USCG Dependable, Tahoma, JuniperReliance and Spencer; Royal Navy HMS Scott, HMS Protector, US Navy ships USS Laboon, USS Fort WorthUSS De Wert and USS Hurricane; Plan Zenghe, HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl, The German vessels FGS Emden, FGS Hessen, FGS Frankfurt am Main; HDMS Esbern Snare; USNS GrappleFrench Naval Tug Malabar

Breakdowns – Atlantic Cartier with engine troubles, Renate Shulte with a hole in her bow from a loose anchor, Stuttgart Express with a bunker leak.

We commemorated the Titanic 100th anniversary, tall ships, afl went bankrupt and the ship was sold by the court. Pier 9 expansion was well under way and the  Pier 42 Expansion was completed; first disney cruise; and the Scotia Dock II sold for scrap.

there are many more notable events that I missed.
Lets bring on 2013, it should be interesting.

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