Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tow In and Tow Out

There were two tows for Halifax today-one inbound and one outbound.
The first was the inbound tow of the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel HMCS Glace Bay from Shelburne by the tug CFAV Glenbrook. The ship is the second to be refitted under the current program for the Kingston class.
1. CFAV Glenbrook arrives with HMCS Glace Bay. The tow was shearing about considerably until they speed came off.

2. Glenbrook slows as they pass west of George's Island.

Glenbrook, although underpowered by today's standards at only 1750 bhp, is still quite capable of harbour berthing and short sea tows of light displacement vessels such as this. Note the miniature towing bridle arrangement at the ship's bow.

Tugfax has been reliably informed that the navy has carried out a feasibility study for the replacement of the Glen class tugs, but there has been no announcement yet on what may happen. A previous idea to privatise the HMC Dockyard tugs went nowhere.

The second event was the tow out of the barge Marmac 400 by the tug El Jaguar. This impressive tug had her EMDs humming smoothly when she left early this afternoon. She carries the usual open deck winch and strongback with spool typical of older US tugs. It makes for a very high tow wire over the after deck, but does allow crew members to work on deck beneath the wire as needed. Oddly it does not have an enclosed winch operator's house aft as do many tugs of this type.

1. El Jaguar's engines come up to speed as the tow gets underway.

2. The barge is carrying steel fabrications for the Vale/Inco nickel smelter in Long Harbour, NL. The tow stopped over in Halifax en route from the Gulf of Mexico as a large storm centre passed through the area.

See more on El Jaguar in the previous post.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

El Jaguar in Halifax

1. The way comes off the barge as El Jaguar slows at the Middle Ground area. The harbour tug Atlantic Oak will soon join the pair to assist into pier 25-26.

2. Quietly alongside, El Jaguar displays its classic lines.

3. Marmac 400 has a full deck load, but is not heavily laden.

4. El Jaguar Grande was getting a refit at Quality Shipyard in Houma, LA on April 19, 1996. Note the port anchor hawsepipe, which has since been removed.

The US tug El Jaguar arrived this morning with the barge Marmac 400 in tow. The barge is carrying another load of metal fabrications for the Long Harbour nickel smelter in Newfoundland. At 5,805 gross registered tons, the barge was built in 2001.

The tug was built in 1976 by Burton Construction & Shipbuilding in Port Arthur, TX as El Jaguar Grande for Twenty Grand Offshore. It is powered by two 16 cylinder GM EMDs totalling 3900 bhp. Now owned by Oregon Sealark LLC it is part of the Brusco fleet which has the contract to transport these components from the Gulf of Mexico to Newfoundland.

The tow experienced fierce headwinds on its trip north, and will likely take bunkers while in Halifax. Normally the tug would take bunkers at Argentia outbound from Long Harbour. McKeil Marine are agents.

This is the third of the Brusco tugs to call in Halifax this season.

See: Gulf Cajun, Febvruary 17 and 21.

See: Richard Brusco, February 24.

Another member of the fleet, Mary Brusco, has by passed Halifax.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Secunda has new owners

Burin Sea and Trinity Sea at pier 9 for winter refits (2012-01-13)

The former Secunda Marine Services of Dartmouth has new owners. Founded in Dartmouth, it was sold in 2007 to McDermott International, but has now been repatriated to Canadian ownership by Birch Hill Equity Partners LP of Toronto.

Renamed Secunda Canada LP, the company will own ten platform supply/anchor handling/ tug/ standby vessels. A further four ships were not in the deal and will remain with McDermott. McDermott is engaged in offshore construction and will keep Agile, Bold Endurance, Emerald Sea and Thebaud Sea. [the latter would qualify as a Jones Act vessel since it was built in the US.]

Each of the remaining Secunda vessels has been re-egistered from McDermott Canada Ltd to single ship Nova Scotia numbered companies. These are: Acadian Sea, Burin Sea, Hebron Sea, Mariner Sea, Panuke Sea, Sable Sea, Trinity Sea, Ryan Leet, Venture Sea, and Intrepid Sea. The first of these is not registered in Canada and the latter is an un-refitted former Russian supplier, lying at pier 9 C.

Press reports indicate that the company will concentrate on offshore Atlantic Canada, while previously, under McDermott, they operated world-wide.