CN makes offer to buy Halterm

CN Rail’s CEO told the financial post on Wednesday that it made an offer to buy Halterm from Macquarie Infrastructure. Macquarie Infrastructure bought the terminal in 2007 for 173 million.

CN wants to tern Halterm into the Prince Rupert of the east coast, and attempt to lure traffic from New York. CN’s rail network reaches extensively into the US, and has port access in the Gulf of Mexico.

this is the best possible terminal operator for halifax, is they want to fill their trains, and have the ability to market the terminal and lure new customers here.

Warship design flaws and other news #28

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1. This week in the Herald

I talk about the sunken Norwegian frigate, and its implications for the CSC

2. More CSC Flaws?
Post media is reporting that DND has concerns about the type 26 potentially having power and propulsion problems due to similarities with the British type 45 – which has issues.

3. Raising the sunken frigate
Naval today has an illustrated guide to warship salvage. – or How they will raise the Sunken Norwegian Frigate. In typical European fashion, they will use a large crane.

4. Private SAR Helicopters?
Private SAR helicopters are a possibility – and frankly a good idea to augment CAF service.


1.Shipspotting in Vancouver.
I love this infographic for the Port of Vancouver. BTW, our shipspotting 101 series goes into way more detail on various types of ships that call in Halifax.


Dec 4, 1933 – Leading Seaman John Pully from HMCS SAGUENAY is buried at sea following his death on 30 November 1933 from leukemia. His burial off Halifax is considered the RCN’s first burial at sea.

Dec 3, 1969 – During HMCS BONAVENTURE’s final cruise, 2 sailors died when they entered an AVGAS tank that was not fully vented, 2 sailors that attempted to save their shipmates were also killed.

Dec 2, 2000 – HMCS VICTORIA (ex HMS UNSEEN), is commissions into the RCN as 1st of four Victoria class submarines

Nov 30, 1835 – Mark Twain, was born in Florida, MI. He worked as a pilot on Mississippi steamboats before becoming a writer. Mark Twain is a pen name, taken from a command used while sounding the river with a lead line.

Nov 28,1787 – Bligh departs spithead on his fateful voyage abroad the bounty.

The case for some contract SAR services

RCAF Cormorant – AKA the EH-101. used for SAR Services in Canada.

Today’s Herald features a piece by Andrea Gunn about the possibility of civilian contractors filling gaps in SAR service. One of those gaps is the short summer season in the arctic.

To date, the government has resisted stationing a helicopter in the arctic during the summer shipping season. They have claimed that this would be removing resources from other areas, and their simply isn’t the need for it in the north.

Cougar S-92 lowering a SAR Tech. Cougar Photo.

Given the relatively short summer season, Helicopter SAR services could be provided on a contract basis. Cougar Helicopters, who fly out of Halifax and St. John’s are able to provide contract all weather rescue services using S-92 Helicopters – the civilian version of the Air Force’s new Cyclone Helicopters. Cougar Helicopters offers this service commercially now, and regularly practices off Halifax.

RCAF Cyclone – the military version of the S-92

Nunatsiaq news reported that the much vaunted deep water Naval Station at Nanivsk, announced under the Harper Government, and has been slow to materialize – Construction started in 2015, and is due to be completed next summer. The port will serve as a re supply base for navy and Coast guard vessels.  It would be a logical place to station Sar Assets.

The case of the grounding of the Akademik Ioffe shows how vitally important it, and SAR helicopter service is to the arctic. Two Helicopters were dispatched from central Canada, but had long flight times, and required fuel stops. Two other cases show how helicopters are needed in the Arctic

On August 29th, 2 men were rescued after their 11m sailboat “Anahita” became trapped in ice and sunk in the Bellot Straight. The Men were found on a ice flow, with warm clothes, food and water, and a life raft. They were rescued by the coast guard icebreaker Henry Larsen’s helicopter, after the closest ship was delayed due to ice.

Two Inuit hunters were also rescued by the Louis St Laurent helicopter after a polar bear attack.  A 2009 senate report identified increasing numbers of pleasure craft in the arctic as a source of significant risk, along with foreign vessels unsuitable for arctic travel transiting Canadian waters.

Given the constrained supply of SAR Resources in existing areas – contract services should be considered.

Onyx Arrow at Pier 9

the PCTC Onyx Arrow tied up at pier 9 over the weekend, after discharging cargo at Autoport. Since the ramps were not lowered, the ship wasen’t there to handle cargo and likely has a mechanical issue. I have been told the ship has an issue with its CO2 fire suppression system.

Many ships have CO2 fire systems in their engineering spaces. Essentially, if a fire is detected, the space is isolated, then CO2 is released into the space, lowering the percentage of oxygen in the air, starving the fire.

Maersk Niteroi – 2 service calls in one stop

Maersk Niteroi made an appearance on the Maersk weekly Call on Sunday

The ship Arrived as the final Stop of  the Montreal Mediterranean Express – the service began in July, but is quietly ending, whit no more trips being scheduled after December. The ship sailed for Bremerhaven, and will make stops in Antwerp and Rotterdam, making the return trip from Montreal as the Eastbound CAE service (With Halifax as the second call on that route). after this trip,  Maersk Niteroi will go into northern European service.

Maersk appears to be cycling some ships around, so  schedule slots seem to be filled by random vessels for a trip or two. Another new vessel will be calling next week – but more on that next week.

Maersk Niteroi was built in 2009, and is rated at 2592 TEU.


Polar Prince and Leeway Odyssey return from Northern Cable Survey

the Polar Prince returned to Halifax over the weekend and tied up at Pier 9. She departed in July, and was joined in Hudson Bay by the Leeway Odyssey. Both ships were conducting a seabed survey for the installation of and undersea cable to server several northern communities.

The plan  will lay undersea fiber optic cable from Chisasibi north to Kuujjuaraapik, Umiujaq, Inukjuak and Puvirnituq, to have the network in operation by 2020.

the Leeway Odyssey returned to Halifax earlier in the week. Both ships are former Coast Guard Vessels, that have gone on have extended lives in the private sector. the Polar Prince is the only commercially owned icebreaker in Canada.

For More on the Arctic Fiber Network, See:

Nuvitik Fibre Networks

Brett Ruskin’s secret life as Gumby, and other news #27

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this week in the Herald, I talk about the quiet end to Maersk lines short lived MMX Service, Congestion problems in the uk caused in part by software, the shelved merger of Horizon Maritime and their new ship, plus some other updates.

4000TEU Boats are getting scrapped at a fast rate – with 52 heading for the heap in the last 30 days.


Kracken Robotics, produced imagery of 2 sunken submarines and a ship off Rhode Island to bolster work for their protection.

4.North Korea’s hidden Ships
from the Wall Street Journal – how North Korea uses a fleet of ships to fund the regime.

5.Brett Ruskin gets wet

CBC Reporter goes through sea survival training.


1.cats getting in the way.


Nov 27, 1770 – Horatio Nelson entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman in HMS Raisonnable.

Nov 25, 1944 – HMCS Shawinigan was torpedoed in the Cabot Strait. 90 lost

Nov 23, 1809 – Famed pirate Edward Jordan hanged at Freshwater Bridge, in Point Pleasant Park. His skeleton remained hanging for years after

Nov 22, 1718 – Captain Edward Teach, AKA ‘Blackbeard’ is killed by Lt. Maynard, R.N. off the coast of Virginia.

Nov 22, 1957 – the first ship passes through the Iroquois Lock at Cornwall, as the new St Lawrence Seaway opens for traffic

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