Layla

An odd vessel tied up at Pier 9 recently. Layla is a small cargo ship and features two 3mt derricks. the ship also looks to have a cable handling roller on the bow.

Layla is one of three ships belonging to South African firm Mertech Marine, which specializes in recovering and recycling sub sea cable. Founded in 1998, Mertech claims to have recover 75,000km of disused subsea cable.

Layla was built in 1975 in the Netherlands, and was rebuilt in 2008. The ship is 65m long, and is powered by a Caterpillar 3512 engine producing 749KW of power.

USS Oscar Austin for Port Visit

USS Oscar Austin put in for a Port visit this morning tieing up at the dockyard jetty NB next to the Casino. The ship is the 29th Arligh Burke class destroyer, and the first of the Flight IIA variant. She was commissioned in August 2000.

USS Oscar Austin is homeported in Norfolk. ship was named after Pfc. Oscar P. Austin, U.S. Marine Corps, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War.

the ship visited St John’s last week.

RRS Discovery

The Royal Research Ship Discovery put into BIO over the weekend. The research vessel is operated by the Natural Environment Research Council, or NERC. the ship is the Third Discovery, the first being 1901 built ship that Robert Falcon Scott used on his antarctic expeditions.

The ship is likely at BIO to complete some science that would have previously used the Hudson. BIO has chartered British ships in the past, with RRS James Cook calling on a couple of occasions.

This RRS Discovery was completed in 2013.

The Dawn of a New Age of Sail?

I first covered the coming Age of Sail in 2021 in the Herald. The Oracel Wind is now looking at 2027, but construction contracts were signed for the NeoLiner earlier this year.

Beluga Skysails now sails as Onego Duesto, and was in Halifax delivering a load of rail for CN in November 2020. sadly i don’t have a photo of the ship.

Hudson Towed for Scrap

The CCGS Hudson, will be towed from Pier 9 this evening, bound for sheet harbour where she will be recycled. The pilot order is tentatively for 1700.

The ship suffered a motor winding failure, and sailed into Halifax in January 2022 for the Last time. The ship was sold for scrap, with the recycling contract going to RJ MacIsaac Construction. Prep work has been done at pier 9 over the last number of months, while waiting for the Holiday Island recycling to finish.

(Above) Hudson, and Atlantic Fir just prior to departure.

Halifax Gets a Fleet Week

Yesterday it was announced that the first Halifax Fleet week would be taking place Sept 7-10, coinciding with the biannual Cutlass Fury Exercise.

The week will feature a number of ships open to the public on Friday and Saturday Including an AOPS, HMCS Margaret Brooke as well as Naval vessels from the US (USS Porter and USS James E. Williams both Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers), UK, France and Germany.

The event will end on Sunday at noon with a Parade out to sea to mark the start of the Exercise.

More Details can be found at hfxfleetweek.ca

** why does the fleet week logo use a Battle Ship?
UPDATE: I spotted this Amazing Fleet week patch on IG. so much better.

Arc Gloria for Port Visit

The ARC Gloria, Barque of the Colombian Navy arrived for a Port visit Sunday. The ship is currently anchored in the harbour, and will be moving to Tall Ships Quay behind NSP on the morning of the 15th. The ship will be open to the public 9am-10pm. ARC Gloria is currently scheduled to sail at 17:00 on the 18th.

The ship is on a tour to celebrate the bicentennial of the Colombia Navy. It was last in Halifax in 2016.

Built to a Blohm &Voss Design, she is a modern version of the Gorch Fock. The original Gorch Fock was built in 1933, and was taken as war reparations from Germany. Her sisters include NRP Sagres, USCG Eagle, and Mircea. The German Navy built a new Gorch Fock in 1958. the 1933 ship is now a museum in Germany.

Arc Gloria is the Oldest of the Modern Set of 4, Having been built in 1968  at the Astilleros Celaya S.A. shipyard in Bilbao. Her contemporaries Include Cuauhtémoc (1982 Mexico) , Guayas (1977 Ecuador) and Simon Bolivar (1980 Venezuela)

The ship was open to the public most nights until 10 PM, with traditional Colombian music playing. The above photo was taken just after 9pm, and the ship was still busy.

Terminal Shifts

The beginning of August saw two notable terminal shifts take place. Both ZIM and Oceanex, who have called at the South End Atlantic Hub terminal, have now moved to Fairview Cove.

ZIM’s Atlantic service (ZCA) operates with 12 Panamax vessels, which can be easily accommodated at Fairview cove. ZIMs Canada Feeder Express (CFX) service serves Kingston -New York – Halifax – Kingston with 2 smaller vessels, Contship Leo and Contship Art.

Oceanex sails to Newfoundland, and takes a fair amount of truck trailers. those trucks will no long have to traverse downtown to reach the terminal.

Curiously, Nolhan Ava, which had been calling at Fairview Cove, has moved back to the South End terminal

FS Garonne and USCGC Forward

The dockyard saw two visiting vessels this week. The FS Garonne is the 4th and Final Loire Class BSAM vessel. They are designed to support divers and submarines, and also server a towing and supply role. the first vessel of the class, FS Rhone also visited halifax in 2018

the second visitor is USCGC Forward. the ship is a famous class cutter, commissioned in 1990. Homeported in Portsmouth VA, the type is a frequent visitor to Halifax, though the Forwards first visit (since 2008)

Both Vessels are likly taking part in Op Nannook, the Canadian forces annual arctic exercises. HMCS Harry DeWolf was noticed earlier at the ammunition jetty. FS Garonne Moved to anchor in the Bedford Basin, and is scheduled to sail Wednesday morning, with USCGC Forward.

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