Category Archives: Uncategorized

CCGS Edward Cornwallis renamed

Though the federal government has yet to publicly announce the new name for the CCGS Edward Cornwallis which is currently undergoing refit at Shelburne ship repair, they have updated the Canadian Vessel Registry with it.

CCGS Edward Cornwallis is now registered as CCGS Kopit Hopson 1752.

The name is a reference to the 2 signatories of the 1752 Peace and friendship treaty between the Mi’kmaq people and the British which was signed By Chief Kopit, and Cornwallis’ successor as Governor of Nova Scotia, Peregrine Thomas Hopson in November 1752.

Last March I devoted a post and a herald column to advocating for the ship to be renamed post refit.

Container ship blocks Suez

The 20000TEU Ever Given lost power and wedged itself into the bank of the Suez Canal, blocking traffic in both directions. The Suez Canal saves about 12 days sailing time around Africa, so right now shipping lines are likely trying to decide if its better to wait or divert, knowing their schedules are now going to be thrown out of whack by the closure.

There look to be about 8 tugs on scene, and there is an excavator digging sand at the bow. Below is a photo and narrative for a crew member on the US Flagged Maersk Denver.

Several Halifax Services including the Oceans Alliance (CMA-CGM) and The Alliance (Hapag-Lloyd) rely on routing through the SUEZ Canal

UPDATE – ships managers are claiming all machinery was in working order, so the reason for the grounding is unclear. The ship is still stuck

Learn CPR.

For those who follow on Twitter, yesterday, after the province announced that every school would be equipped with an AED, I asked if we taught CPR in schools. – We Don’t.

I first learned CPR in Grade 8, back in 1994, in school. We should, its a life skill. Its also important if we want to improve outcomes for patients who suffer sudden cardiac arrest.

Bystander CPR is Critical. If you see someone collapse, and call 911, it will take at least 5 minutes for help to arrive.

The chances of survival decrease by 10% for every minute without CPR. This Video can teach you to do effective CPR in about 2 minutes.

You – probably have a few questions:

Q: is that it?
yes it is. Studies have shown that rapid CPR is essential to improving survive ability of cardiac events. get the blood flowing again as fast as you can.

Q: what about breaths?
not that important. there is still quite a bit of oxygen in the blood, but it needs to circulate. Plus, breaths are gross – they subject you to communicable diseases, and people having cpr done to them tend to throw up.

Lifeboats BC Bound

CCGS Cadboro Bay (above) is loaded aboard the Atlantic Condor while CCGS Florencia Bay (below) waits her turn. Both vessels were delivered to Halifax from their builders, for delivery by ship to the West Coast.

Atlantic Towing won the job using its recently unemployed Platform supply vessel Atlantic Condor. Atlantic towing also has a contract for 2 emergency towing vessels on the west coast, so its unclear if thier western expansion has found work for the PSV, or if its simply a freight trip.

The New Mackay Bridge

Buried in HHB’s submission to the UARB for a toll increase, is the options study for rehabbing the Mackay Bridge. The Study comes to the conclusion that a new bridge is probably the best way forward, to be in service fro 2040.

when it was built, the McKay was built more lightly then a modern bridge would be. this means it flexes more, and is prone to more wear. it also means rehabing the bridge is going to me more difficult then doing the MacDonald bridge.

The preferred alignment for the new bridge is the blue line, which leads to a 500m suspended span between the towers. there is more land and space available to the north of the bridge, and alignment 3 (in green) would require demolition of houses in Halifax. the red option is for a 800m cable stay bridge that goes clear across bio.

The new bridge is would feature 2 traffic lanes in each direction, with a third transit priority lane, and Active transportation lanes on both sides of the bridge. The new bridge deck would be 10m (~30′) higher then the current deck for ship clearance and to accommodate 100 year sea level change.

above is the 500m centre span cable stay bridge. It is considered to be the most economical option, and features concrete H towers. it would be similar to the current bridge footprint, just to the north.

below is the 800m centre span bridge. the towers for this bridge are both located on land and the bridge clears BIO by 65m.

below is the tower comparison for the 800m centre span bridge compared to the current towers.

This bridge also looks the best. Please build this one.

the study also covered replacement suspension bridges, and options for rehabilitating and twining the current bridge.

Big Changes to the SeaPort farmers Market

The Port Authority announced big changes the Seaport Farmers Market today. Going forward, it will be a primarily outdoor market on weekends, moving into Pier 22 on weekends in the winter (presumably when that space is unneeded for the cruise vendors) the Outdoor market will be covered, and renderings show it to be located in the parking lots at Pier 20.

The current Building at pier 20 will be renamed The PIER which is short for Port Innovation, Engagement and Research. It will be renovated to add leased storefront space for retail and restaurant, and the rest will become a living lab for the Transportation industry.

The PIER will become an innovation center for local companies connected to shipping and transportation, supply chain and logistics, and Maritime policy development to conduct meetings and collaborate.

The transition will take place beginning Mid March.

Last and First of 20/21

Oceanex Sanderling was the last vessel to Depart Halifax on the 31st. The car carrier Siem Aristotle took to the outer anchorage the evening of the 31st, but is currently scheduled to be the second vessel to enter the harbour tomorrow morning, After the Atlantic Sea.

New years day saw 2 departures, The CCGS Geliget sailed from BIO for the bay of Fundy on the first, and HMCS Halifax Deployed on Op Reassurance.

The Sailboat Merlin, based at the Armdale Yacht Club, looks to have gone for a cruise in the NW Arm, taking advantage of the Sun and above zero temperatures.

How to produce a Nautical Chart.

This post is going to describe a process to create a nautical chart. It will be done using Open Data, and QGIS 3.14 and is intended to be suitable for general interest audiences, as well as GIS Professionals.

Chart of Halifax Harbour by James Cook.

nautical chart production begins with a Survey. In times past, surveyors would go out in a small boat and take soundings with a lead line. those soundings would be located via triangulation to survey monuments located on land, themselves accurately positioned by use of a sextant. the problem with this method however is that lead lines can only tell you the depth of the single spot. multiple soundings will give you a good idea of the general depth, of an area, but can miss isolated rocks and other hazards. Modern Chart production begins with Multi-beam Sonar scan.


Multibeam sonar results are then rendered into a GeoTiff. A geoTiff is basically an image file that is geographically referenced, and each pixel contains height (or in this case depth) data. in this case we will make use of the CHS Nonna-10 data set. This data set is “non-navigational”, in that it is not considered reliable enough to use for navigation, but is suitable for our exercise.

the ray greyscale NONNA-10 Data.

NONNA-10 data comes in individual tiles. once the tiles are loaded, we can perform a raster merge function to join them into a single file. Then change the render type to Singleband Pseudocolor, and apply a suitable color ramp. I chose a ramp that would give a blue highlight around the coast line, and white for waters 20m and deeper.

Next I Ran a Raster Extraction Contour, and set the Interval between contour lines to 5.00, to generate 5m contour lines.

to get spot depths, i created a new point shape file, creating a bunch of points. those points then get used in the Sample raster values tool, which pulled the depth value from the raster file and generated a new point layer. We set the transparency of the points on that layer to 0, making them invisible, and then applied a labels with the depth. Our Values came back with a – sign in front, so we used the equasion editor for the source set to replace(rvalue_1, ‘-‘,”)

Land Features

Terrestrial Features were derived from the StatsCan boundary files and the Marine facilities and inland lakes from the Nova Scotia Topographic Database – Water Features Shapefile. Halifax open data has a street centerline layers that can be used to populate terrestrial areas. the center lines were adjusted so only the major streets were symbolized, all with a dark grey symbology.

the open data portal also includes a building outline layer and buildings over 6 stories were symbolized. unfortunately a number of buildings lack floor data, so significant ones will need to be edited to add values so they display – theses are mostly features such as the grain elevator, Emera Building, and various transit sheds at the port.

the National Rail Network was also used to all railway tracks.

Nautical Features

Nautical features are generated from a number of sources.

The list of Lights Buoys and Fog signals was converted into a point shape file, and then each type of buoy symbolized used the appropriate symbol from chart #1. The table includes the features name, code, position, characteristics and type.

the symbols are literally svg files taken form chart#1, and and then the individual buoy expanded. The Symbols are assigned based on the values in Field 7, and the features labeled with the light characteristics (field_6) and code (Field_3)

The anchorage data was provided by an open data set of Canadian anchorages. The inner anchorages are symbolized as above, and the outer Anchorage area was defined as a hollow polygon with a dashed line. The warning data was contained in the data set.

Traffic separation scheme in the approaches.

The traffic separation Scheme came from open data Vessel Traffic Routes. The traffic lanes in the outer approaches were edited to conform with CHS Charting practice, and to improve Appearance. The scheme also included data for Ranges, and the ferry track which were cleaned up and simplified.

Ferry Track, and Harbour inner range.

VTS Call in points were generated by creating a csv file of all the points taken from VTS Zone Regulations which define the Call in Points, then running the Points to path tool to connect them.

building the callinpoint shapefile.

The Call in Points were then symbolized with a line, and the a label applied, using the SVG Callin point symbol as a background for the Label. Placement was arranged to centre the point number in the centre, and have the symbol span the line.

Call in points 7 (Ives Knoll) and 8 (Indian point)

Producing the Chart

With all the elements digitized, its time to produce the actual chart. In this case we will produce Chart 4202 – Halifax Harbour Point Pleasant to Bedford Basin.

CHS Chart 4202

to Produce the chart, we create a new print layout, i called mine Chart 4202. i edited the page size to be Arch E paper, which is 36×48. add the map box, and the chart will render. Nautical charts are typically 1:10000 scale, so i set the scale to 10000, then adjusted placement so that the inner harbour is covered.

Then we need to change the projection to Mercator. to do so we adjusted the CRS to NAD83 CSRSv6 MTM zone 6

to get the border we want, we add two grids. the first is the standard 1minute interval using a value of 0.016660. we offset by X =20 and y=3 to get the grid to line up to even numbers. The second grid is a frame only, with the X and Y interval set to 0.001666666667 to give us 10ths of a minute. Both grids were done with the Zebra Nautical style. both grids use the WGS84 CRS.

The inset Chart of the South end terminals is created much the same way – its simply a second map window sitting on the first.

from here we can add a couple of compass roses. these are svg images, with the inner getting rotated and set to the correct position.

then all that’s left is the title block, and any additional notes you want to add.

the finished chart

Please note that for the sake of time, not all details were rendered in the chart at this time (Some buoys are not symbolized, not all depths are present. title block is mostly blank, etc.)

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