One Month of Ship Traffic – Sept. 2020 traffic

Well, its time for an updated map. This version is based on data from the month of September 2020. Its available as a pdf download (31mb).

2020 brought alot more traffic to be mapped versus the previous 2 versions, based on increased adoption of AIS. The Navy’s tugs now show on AIS, and the new Jetty NJ is in use at the dockyard. COVE has traffic, and Dominion Diving vessels are visible coming out of Dartmouth Cove. The Irving Woodside oil dock is in use, and we have trips to Georges island.

(below left) Fishing vessels in Dartmouth Cove. (below right) Boats at Anchor in the North West Arm.

(below)Boats at the Dartmouth Yacht Club.

The 2020 Map was again made in QGIS, and this time made use of several open data sets. The land is based on the 2018 LIDAR 5m DEM (Digital Elevation Model) coloured to denote elevation. The city is made form the road center lines, coloured dark grey, and the Building Polygon’s, from the Building Outlines data coloured light grey.

The waters of the harbour were built with the CHS NONNA 10 data set. The GeoTiff’s were downloaded, merged into a single file, the colored to show depth. Vector contours were generated, and are visible as a subtle detail in the waters.

Otherwise, the same basic process was followed as outlined in my 2016 how its made post

Bathmetry of the Narrows.

Going Back In time
The first map was based on traffic in Nov 2011. COVE was still in use by the coast guard, so traffic is visible. the Ferries are absent, as they didn’t carry AIS in 2011. Imperial Oil is still seeing tanker traffic.

Traffic from Nov 2011.

The 2011 map was made in ESRI ArcGIS, and the basemap came from a web mapping service. For 2016, the map was made in QGIS, and the line whights were made finer, with a simpler outline of the harbour.

The traffic in August 2016 is quite different. the Ferries have left a clear Whale tale mark where they cross to Alderney and Woodside. COVE is not yet in regular use, and has limited traffic. There is much less traffic to Imperial oil.

2016 traffic.

Horizon Highway gets towed in

Photo Don D’Entremont

The Pure Car Truck Carrier Horizon Highway was towed into Halifax this morning by Siem Commander. The Horizon Highway tied up at Pier 9 with tug assistance.

Photo Don D’Entremont

The Horizon Highway Sailed from Southampton on the 9th, and looks to have lost power on the 15th, and drifted before regaining power, or being taken under town by another vessel on the 16th. It was suggested that the main engine was vapor locked.

the red area is the drift.

the Siem Commander sailed from Halifax the morning of the 19th.

This is yet another case of Laid up Secunda vessels providing emergency assistance. Venture Sea was recently dispatched to tow the Golden Opal, a bulk carrier that became disabled in the Davis Straight after departing the Baffinland mine in Mile inlet bound for Immingham, England. Both those ships are now in Nuuk Greenland.

Disasters at Sea is Back.

Nautical Mayday is back for Season 2 on the Discovery Channel.

Season 2 of Disasters at Sea Premiers Sunday Evening (Oct 18th). If you missed season 1, you can catch up for free right now on the Discovery Channel website. (or via the app) https://www.discovery.ca/Shows/Disasters-at-Sea

Season 2 of DISASTERS AT SEA starts with the 2006 sinking of B.C. passenger ferry Queen of the North, which struck an underwater ledge off Gil Island carrying 101 passengers – all but two of which were rescued by Gitga’at First Nation residents in Hartley Bay.

The Other 5 Episodes:

The Arctic Rose Mystery , Airing Oct. 25
The catastrophic loss of fishing vessel Arctic Rose is made more mysterious by the fact that only the captain had time to put on his survival suit. Searching for answers, investigators send an ROV to survey the sunken wreck and uncover an intriguing clue that ignites controversy among their own ranks.

Firefight, Airing Nov. 1
A routine ferry trip turns deadly when the MS Norman Atlantic burst into flames, trapping more than 400 passengers on board and killing more than 30 people. Why did a modern passenger ferry catch fire? And why did the evacuation go so wrong?

The Sinking of the Lady Mary, Airing Nov. 8
When a family-owned scallop vessel sinks in the middle of the night, even the lone survivor isn’t sure what happened. Investigators have two mysteries to solve: What sank the Lady Mary, and why did only one person live to tell the tale?

Storm Watch, Airing Nov. 15
The containership SS El Faro goes down just 20 miles from the eye of Hurricane Joaquin killing all 33 of the crew. With the shipwreck and all the evidence at the bottom of the sea, investigators must go to enormous lengths to recover the ship’s black box and find out what went wrong and why?

Death on the Staten Island Ferry, Airing Nov 22
A routine trip on New York’s Staten Island ferry turns deadly when the ship slams into a pier at high speed, killing 11 people and injuring dozens more.

DISASTERS AT SEA is produced in a purpose-built studio in Hamilton, Ont. and on-location throughout Canada and the U.S. The Producers provided a set tour, so you can get a sense of what goes into making the show.

The series, which recently wrapped post-production on Season 3, has been sold in more than 100 markets worldwide, including Eastern and Western Europe, as well as Australia.

YM Mandate develops Hull Crack, leaks fuel

The YM Mandate, which sailed from Fairview Cove this past Friday arrived in New Jersey with a Cracked hull and leaking bunker fuel today.

Oil boom has been placed around the vessel, and fuel from the affected tank, which has 462,297 gallon capacity, is being transferred to other tanks onboard the ship.

USCG Release:

Coast Guard, partner agencies responding to container vessel fuel oil leak in Bayonne, New Jersey
New York — A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Gallagher Marine Systems, is responding to a report of a container vessel leaking fuel oil at the Global Container Terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey, Tuesday.

The National Response Center contacted Coast Guard Sector New York watchstanders, Monday, reporting a sheen near the vessel YM Mandate.

A Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) New York boat crew in the area reported a small crack in the ship’s hull which was leaking fuel oil. Coast Guard investigators confirmed the leak.

YM Mandate activated its Coast Guard-approved vessel response plan by making notifications and activating response resources.  

Oil containment boom and absorbent pads have been deployed around the YM Mandate and contracted skimming vessels have been working to remove oil from the water. All leaking product is currently contained within the boom and skimmer system. Internal transfer of fuel oil from the affected tank is also being conducted.

The affected tank has a capacity of 462,297 gallons. The amount of fuel oil leaked is not known at this time.

The end of the ECTug Wharves

The former Foundation maritime wharves, now known as ECTug (short for Eastern Canada Towing and Salvage) which was what foundation maritime became when spun off from Foundation Co. (now AECON). ECTUG is now Svizter Canada.

Halifax has a history of Sea Stories, Men Left Halifax to fight in multiple wars, Privateers returned with their captured prizes. The stories that came out of Foundation Maritime were so immense, they filled 2 volumes by Farley Mowat; Grey Seas Under, and The Serpents Coil.

Foundation Maritime grew out of the Foundation Company of Canada, which was a construction firm who owned barges and dredges for constructing Harbour works. They needed a Tug, and found the Laid up ex HMS Frisky, renamed Gustavo Ipland, in Hamburg Germany. They purchased her, and Named her Foundation Franklin in 1930.

Having a tug, eventually led to it being chartered for salvage work, and Foundation Maritime was born. As the years went on, many additional tugs were purchased and chartered, and the business expanded to include terminal operations, towing and salvage. Foundation Maritime shrewdly perusing Business and ships in distress.

For much of its early years, even finding a ship in distress was a problem. Modern electronic navigation systems were not invented yet, and ships were guided by the stars. in a storm, or cloud cover, it could be days before you could confirm your position. This is also the case with the distressed vessel being sought. their position was days old, and may not have even been correct to begin with. if you could reach them on the radio, it might have been possible to RF Direction find them,Though during the wars, this was a asking to be sunk by a uboat.

The Foundation Company of Canada Still exists today as the construction firm AECON. Foundation Maritime Sold its tugs in 1973, Leading to the formation of Eastern Canada Towing and Salvage (EcTug). the tugs retained their names, however Point was substituted for Foundation in their names. ECTug was then acquired, and eventually became Svitzer Canada.

In 2010 they signed a MOU with Atlantic towing, With Atlantic Towing taking over Halifax operations, and Svitzer working Port Hawksbury/ Straight of Canso area. Svitzer last used the wharf in 2015, and Sold the property to Develop Nova Scotia last year.

More recently, the Atlantic Piliots Authority has made use of the wharves.

The foundation Maritime wharves still stand, at the foot of Salter St. for a few more days, to be replaced by a single new wharf to support marina operations.

Largest Container Ship to Call in Canada

Take that west coast ports.

This morning, the largest containerized cargo vessel to call at a Canadian port arrived at the Port of Halifax. The CMA CGM Brazil, 366 metres length, 51 metres beam and 15,072 TEU capacity, berthed at PSA Halifax at approximately 12:00 a.m. ADT.

Placed on end, it would be the third tallest structure in Canada, after the CN Tower, and the INCO Superstack in Sudbury. The ship entered service in in May of this year, and is likely on its first trip.

COSCO Himalayas, at 14,200teu called at Prince Rupert in 2017 and held the previous record for largest ship to call in Canada

The CMA CGM Brazil sails on the weekly Columbus JAX service, from South Asia to the East Coast of America. With a terminal area of 32 ha, a quay length of 1,045m and a depth of 16.5m, PSA Halifax is the only port in Eastern Canada that can accommodate ultra-class vessels.

This inaugural call of the CMA CGM Brazil comes shortly after the arrival of Eastern Canada’s largest ship-to-shore super post-Panamax crane in July 2020, bringing the total number of SPPX cranes at PSA Halifax to five. The Halifax Port Authority is in the final stage of completion of a deep-water berth extension which will bring the total quay length to 800 meters to meet the growing deployment of Ultra Class Container Vessels.

the ship is currently scheduled to sail at 11:30. this may change however.

UPDATE: Firm Pilot order for 13:30.