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 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.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Tug Zeus and barges

 The tug Zeus arrived in Halifax today, September 24, towing two barges on a long trip. They are en route from the barge builder's yard in Erie, PA to the owner's home port of Newark, NJ.

The tug is an interesting one, as it was built as far back as 1974 and is still serving its original owners, as the first tug in the fleet. Dann Marine Towing LLC of Chesapeake City, MD now has a fleet of more than twenty tugs and a number and variety of barges. The Zeus is a twin screw tug with a pair of Caterpillar engines delivering 2250 hp. According to the owner's website the tug was built by Bobbin Fabricators of Harvey, LA (other records say Houma Welders Inc of Houma LA.) It has an elevated wheelhouse raising the height of eye for the helmsman from 38 ft to 55 ft above the waterline.

The two open hopper barges, named Witte 3301 and Witte 3302 grossing 1360 gt were built by Donjon Marine in Erie, PA for the yard's parent company, based in Hillside, NJ. Starting as a marine salvage contractor, Donjon is also involved in dredging and metal recycling in addition to operating the large shipyard in Erie. The company's founder, J. Arnold Witte is the dean of the American salvage industry. In fact the shipyard has recently completed building an inland rivers type pusher tug named  J.Arnold Witte

On arrival of Halifax the tug Zeus handed off one of the barges, Witte 3302, to the tug Atlantic Fir for docking at Pier 9B. Zeus then came alongside the Witte 3301 and docked it at Pier 9B. I understand that tug and tows  will remain in port until the tropical storms Odette and Peter have passed offshore.

As a sort of footnote, it is interesting that the two barges were brought down through the St.Lawrence Seaway separately. Zeus handled the Witte 3301 and the McKeil tug Molly M 1 handled the Witte 3302. The Molly M 1 is the former Halifax based tug Point Vigour ex Foundation Vigour built in 1962. It passed off its tow at the Escoumins pilot station and Zeus then towed both barges.

In 1979 Point Vigour, a single screw tug of 1,000 bhp, with sister tug Point Viking were the prime harbour tugs in Halifax harbour.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Island Champion in transit

 The Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) Island Champion made a short stay at anchor in Halifax, NS September 14-15. The Bahamas flag vessel is en route from Montrose, Scotland to Norfolk, US.

Built in 2007 by Aker Braila, completed by Aker Brevik to a UT776E design, it is a 4,382 gt vessel of 4,100 dwt. With the usual capability to carry liquids, cement, and barite it can also carry pipe on deck and its fitted for oil recovery, standby and is rated FFII (firefighting) and DP2 (dynamic positioning).
Its reason for stopping in Halifax is not known.