Friday, November 12, 2021

Salvor to the breakers

 McKeil Marine has been disposing of surplus tonnage in recent years, and the latest to go under the torch is Salvor, one of two similar former Moran tugs in the fleet. I covered the tug's history on this blog ten years ago, and there is little to add to: Salvor story

McKeil acquired the fleet mates Esther Moran (built 1963) and M.Moran (built 1961) in 2000, but they were not unknown to Halifax. Both were here in 1982 to tow out the El Paso Columbia with help from local tugs in the above photo. Esther Moran is on the starboard side (left in photo) with Point Vim while Point Vibert assists M.Moran on the port bow (right in photo) moving the ship under the Angus L. Macdonald bridge.

Esther Moran became Salvor in 2000 and it has recently been reported that it is being broken up in Port Maitland, ON. M.Moran was initially renamed Salvager but became Wilf Seymour in 2004. It has been paired with the barge Alouette Spirit for many years delivering aluminum ingots from Sept-Iles, QC to Great Lakes ports and returning down river with a variety of cargoes. It is still in full operation.


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Atlantic Elm - veteran at work

 It is hard to believe that the tug Atlantic Elm has reached the venerable age of  41 years, yet still does a a day's work tugging and towing. 

The tug spent the summer barging cargo in Chesterfield Inlet, off Hudson's Bay. The cargo was bound for Baker Lake, and it was lightered off ships anchored in deep water. The tug returned to its home port of Saint John on October 22 with the barge Atlantic Marlin. It was not long until it was underway again, making a run across the Bay of Fundy, possibly with a small ferry in tow.

Its most recent assignment was a tow from Shelburne, NS to Halifax, NS. The vessel in tow was the museum ship Acadia, built as a hydrographic research ship in 1913. Irving Shipbilding Inc completed some much needed hull work on the old ship and it was time to return to its static berth at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Atlantic Elm handed off the tow of Acadia to the harbour tug Atlantic Fir which brought the old ship alongside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic's pier on November 5.

Atlantic Elm was built in 1980 by Saint John Shipbuilding and Drydock to a Robert Allen Ltd design. The twin screw 3460 bhp, 44.5 tonne bollard pull tug was originally named Irving Elm but was renamed in 1996 as part of a fleet wide renaming program.

Irving Elm has travelled far and wide including some trips to the Great Lakes. It had a small "birdhouse" type elevated wheelhouse added, but I wonder how often it is used.

The split funnels provide some additional view aft over the enclosed winch house. The design of the tug closely follows that of the Jervis Crown / Seaspan Monarch built in 1977 for barge work on the Pacific coast, and also still in service.

Job completed, the tug returned to Saint John. Its fleet mate the even older Atlantic Beech, built in 1969, is also in Saint John having just returned November 3 from Chesterfield Inlet.



Friday, October 22, 2021

Atlantic Cedar - rare visitor

 Atlantic Towing Ltd provides harbour tug services in Saint John, NB and in Halifax. Tugs are sometimes reassigned between the ports, and it is always interesting to see one from Saint John come to Halifax. Atlantic Cedar arrived October 21 for for a special assignment at Irving Shipbuilding's Halifax Shipyard.

 Today the tug was standing by alongside the semi-submersible Boa Barge 37 as the latest Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel was rolled aboard using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). The barge is on long term charter to perform this function as the ships are no longer launched in the traditional way.

The barge will be moved to Bedford Basin where the ship will be floated off. That operation will likely be covered tomorrow on the companion blog Shipfax.

Atlantic Cedar was built by Irving Shipbuilding's Eastisle Shipyard in Georgetown, PE in 2005. It is a 5,000 bhp, 66 tonne bollard pull tug with FF1 fire fighting capability. It is a sister tug to the Halifax based Atlantic Oak and Atlantic Fir. They are among the 36 similar vessels built from 1995 to 2011 based on a Robert Allen Ltd design of azimuthing stern drive harbour tug.

Atlantic Cedar's normal duties involve standing by tankers offloading at the Canaport monobuoy off Saint John, NB, where they deliver crude oil to the Irving Oil refinery.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Siem Dorado

 The offshore construction vessel Siem Dorado sailed from Halifax today, October 21, giving "Dover" as its destination. My guess is Dover Strait, for orders.

The ship arrived in Halifax July 31, 2021 where it was modified by IT International Telecom for a cable lay project in Barbados, returning to Halifax October 8 where it was "unconverted". That work included re-installing a portion of the transom which had been removed for the cable work.

Built in 2009 by Kleven Ulsteinvik in Norway, it is a 4869 gt, 4257 dwt vessel, equipped with the usual variety of thrusters. Coupled with a diesel electric propulsion system, it has a high grade dynamic positioning capability. It is also equipped with a 100 tonne capacity, heave compensating crane, equipment to support an ROV including a moon pool, not to mention the obvious helicopter landing platform.Owner Siem Offshore AS is the parent company of Secunda Canada LP, but this ship appears to be directed by the parent company. It was built as Siem Dorado but carried the names Adams Vision 2010-2013, Siem Stork 2013-2015 and Siem N-Sea 2015-2019. 


Monday, October 18, 2021

Roseway - veteran tug soldiers on

 The little tug Roseway despite its many years of service is in almost daily use for Dominion Diving in Halifax harbour. This morning I caught sight of it while en route to one of its regular assignments, as line boat for the Irving Oil jetty in Woodside. That is one of two regular docks where line boats are needed (the other is Autoport). A third dock at Nova Scotia Power in Tuft's Cove rarely sees ships anymore since the plant is now normally gas fired.

Roseway passes the IEL pier in Dartmouth, site of one of the tug's rare embarrassing moments. It sank at the dock December 23, 1991 but was immediately raised, repaired and returned to service better than ever. The two screw tugs has engines totaling 300 bhp. Their sound is distinctive and they can be heard across the harbour when it is hard to see the tug.

I have referenced the tug many times over the years on this blog, so here are some posts from the past: Roseway

Roseway dates from 1960 when it was built by Steel and Engine Products Ltd in Liverpool, NS (then owned by K.C.Irving) for the Department of Public Works. It was paired with a small dredge and dump scow and put to work in small harbours, chiefly in Nova Scotia. The tug's name comes from the community of Roseway on the western shore of Shelburne harbour, and Cape Roseway on McNutt's Island at the entrance to Shelburne harbour, site of the second oldest lighthouse in Nova Scotia, built in 1788.

Just about 40 years ago I caught Roseway and its dredge D.P.W.No.16 and a dump scow in Eastern Passage.


I don't have many pictures of cars that I have owned, but that is my 1977 Volvo on the pier in middle of the photo. One of the dredge spuds blocks a view of the spire of St.Andrews Roman Catholic Church, immediately behind the car.


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Maersk Clipper for cable work

 There are only a few ships built exclusively for the installation and repair of subsea cables. However offshore support vessels can often be pressed into service for specific jobs. This particularly so now that tug/suppliers are readily available due to lack of offshore work.

IT Telecom, based at Pier 9A in Halifax has used offshore vessels many times and has a portable, containerized fibreoptic cable splicing unit that can be loaded on supply boat's deck. Other equipment including what I call a slide, can be fitted over the stern to retrieve and re-lay the cable.

Other conversion work may be needed for more complex jobs that require use of a ROV. That is the case for the offshore construciotn support vessel Horizon Enabler Siem Dorado which has recently returned from cable work in Barbados. Conversion work included removal of a portion of the ship's transom bulwark. That section has now been reinstalled and the ship can return to it owners.

Now another offshore vessel has arrived to be adapted for cable work. Maersk Clipper, built in 2013 in Chile is an anchor handling tug supplier. Its twin MaK engines produce 15,000 hp and deliver 180 tonnes bollard pull.

The ship will be fitted with the containerized cable splicing shop and other gear to retrieve and repair cable.

Maersk Clipper is a versatile vessel. It recently towed the broken down tanker Dorset Spirit out of Come by Chance, NL heading for repairs in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It handed over the tow to the Maersk Lifter somewhere offshore.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tug Zeus and Barges - Part 2

 The tug Zeus sailed this afternoon (September 28), towing the barges Witte 3301 and Witte 3302. The tug and tow arrived in Halifax September 24 en route from Erie, PA to Newark NJ. [See previous post]. With the assistance of the harbour tug Atlantic Fir the departure was a nice bit of work.

Atlantic Fir moved the barge Witte 3301 outboard of the Witte 3302 and the pair were lashed together until they were well off the dock.

The master of the Zeus is operating the tug from the after control station on the boat deck. Once well clear of Pier 9B and out in the Narrows, the Witte 3302 is cast off and allowed to follow in astern of the Witte 3301.

Each barge has its own separate tow line from the winch on the Zeus. I do not envy the winch man in the light drizzle, but I do admire the skills required to pay out the line while handling the tug by screw/throttles only.

Within a very short distance the tow was nicely formed up and Atlantic Fir retrieved the deckhand from from the Witte 3301. Once clear of the Narrows and the lower harbour the tow will be lengthened out for ocean towing.