Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hebron Sea - scrapped

1. Hebron Sea in its prime.

The tug/supplier Hebron Sea has been scrapped. Its Canadian register was closed June 5, 2012 and it arrived in Grenaa, Denmark on June 16 to be broken up by Fornaes ApS. I suspect the ship was briefly registered in some flag of convenience nation for the delivery trip.
Built in 1975 by BV Schps v/h H.H.Bodewes, Millingen a/d Rijn, Netherlands it was very similar to the large Smit-Lloyd fleet of anchor handling tug suppliers. It was fitted with Alpha diesels generating 8,480 bhp. Built for the George Wimpey company, a large British based international construction firm it was named Wimpey Seatiger and employed in the North Sea.

2. In the colours of Wimpey Marine, at pier 9c in Halifax.

It was then transferred to Wimpey Marine Canada Ltd and placed under the management of Wimpey Sable Marine, a Canadian partnership that seems to have consisted mostly of prominent lawyers.

3. At pier 28 in Halifax.

In 1987 the ship was sold to Zapata Offshore and renamed Tuna Service

In 1991 Secunda Marine acquired the ship and it arrived in Halifax again, renamed Hebron Sea. It was not used much over the first winter, but did manage a salvage job when it arrived Halifax March 14, 1992 towing the Yugoslavian ship Ulcinj with ice damage.
During the fall of 1992 it was sent to Pictou, NS for major modifications which included lengthening, widening and rebuilding the deck house. In May 1994 the ship was brought back to Halifax for completion, following what is understood to have been a dispute with Pictou Industries Ltd.

4. Hauled out on the slip at Pictou ready for conversion.
5. The hull has been cut and pulled apart, and shell plating removed on the after portion. The wheelhouse has also been removed for rebuilding.

In its new form it was 12 meters longer and tonnage was increased from 1356 gross to 1963 gross. Its working deck was also wider, and a transition section tapered into the old hull under the funnels.

6. After rebuild, there is new aft-facing bridge, and the wheelhouse has been repositioned, and accommodation added.

In 1996 the ship's registry was changed to Barbados and it worked internationally, stopping in Halifax in August 1996 en route Cape Town, via the US to Hull, UK.
In 1998 it returned to Canadian flag and following a refit went to work with the crane Saipem 7000 on  Sable gas. Since then it worked consistently in Nova Scotia, usually on the Sable gas projects.
In late 2010 the ship was laid up in Pictou following what was reported to be a blown engine.
Secunda Marine meanwhile had been through an ownership change to McDermott International then to knew private investors in 2011. With that change Hebron Sea was owned by 3260813 Nova Scotia Ltd, with Secunda Marine Canada LP as managers.

7. In original form as Hebron Sea (The hull is blue, but the colour has been lost in the negative.)
8. After conversion. Wheelhouse moved aft and raised and extended, and new accommodaiton added above deck house. Note also the extreme tumblehome below the funnels where the transition is made to the wider working deck.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sable Sea at Pier 9A times two

1. Sable Sea was new to Secunda in June 2002.

The supplier Sable Sea has been in refit at pier 9 and pier 9A for some months. Word on the waterfront is that the ship is for sale, but there does seem to be some work going on. Since completion of much of the work on the Deep Panuke offshore gas project the ship has not been needed and apparently no further work can be found for it.
The ship has a long history with Halifax, going back almost to the time the ship was new.
It was built in 1977 by Hermann Surken  GmbH&Co KG of Papenburg, Germany, as Kreuzturm [translates as Cross Tower] for the offshore arm of the venerable German shipping company DDG Hansa. It was built as a supply vessel only, with no towing capability, and was commonly called a pipe carrier, since it could carry lengths of drill pipe on deck, but also could carry other forms of deck cargo and had tankage for wet and dry cargoes such as drilling mud, cement, potable water, etc.,
DDG Hansa's offshore unit called VTG marketed its offshore vessels through OSA (Offshore Supply Association) of the UK, and I assume the ship was used in the North Sea for the first few years, but it was working in Canada by 1980.
It began to operate for Crosbie Offshore Services, although VTG remained the owners. When Crosbie failed (1982), the OSA set up a Canadian subsidiary and the ship continued to work in Canada. At about the same time DDG Hansa itself failed (1981). But OSA continued to operate it.
In 1985, along with the CCG cable ship John Cabot it assisted in the recovery of debris from the Air India bombing over the Irish Sea, recovering debris from 2000 m of water using an unmanned submersible.
The ship was sold in 2000 to BOA Ltd, a Norwegian company and they owned it until 2002, giving it the name Boa Carrier , although it did also carry the name ADC Carrier for a time in 2000.
Secunda Marine acquired the ship in 2002 and it became Sable Sea. It worked also overseas under the Barbados flag from 2004 until it returned to Canadian flag in 2005.
For a much more detailed history see; in German, but it can be translated by Google [if you translate it, the ship's name will appear as Cross Tower] .
It was part of the fleet in 2007 when J. Ray McDermott acquired Secunda. Earlier this year when Secunda was purchased from McDermott, the ship remained in the fleet, but has been idle for most of the time.
2. As Kreuzturm tied up at the Woodside dock in Dartmouth in 1980.
3. Sailing outbound for the Narrows in St.John's NL in 1983.
4. This morning at pier 9A. Note the removal of the lifeboat and installation of a fast rescue craft.

For more particulars on the ship, see Secunda Marine's new web site:

With the Sable Island area's importance to offshore oil and gas, it is little wonder that the name "Sable" appears in Secunda's fleet list more than once.
In fact there have been three Sable Seas in Secunda's fleet.
The first was the former Balder Baffin, built in 1980 by Marystown Shipyards, in Newfoundland. Secunda owned the ship only briefly, from 1987 to 1988. It too was a supplier, with no towing capability. Interestingly it was pressed into service in 1987 to cover the supply route from Rimouski to the lower North Shore of the Gulf of St.Lawrence until completion of the conversion of fleet mate Tartan Sea to Nordik Express.
5. Same pier, same name, different ship. The 1988 version.
6. As built, it was the Balder Baffin.

After its short time with Secunda, the ship was sold and became Marinous in 1989 and Toisa Mariner in 1990. It worked as diving support vessel and with a remotely operated underwater vehicle. It was then sold, becoming Bluestone Topaz in 1998. It was converted to a geotechnical drilling ship, working out of Singapore from 2009.
7. At the time of its sale and before conversion to a drill ship, it was anchored in Singapore.
It has not been reported lately, so it may have been removed from service.

Neftegaz 29 aka Intrepid Sea - update

1. Dumpsters on the dock and an anchor on the brow of the pier.

Although there are few outward signs yet, scrapping has begun on the supplier Intrepid Sea ex Sable Sea, Neftegaz 29.
It has been eleven months since the supplier was moved from its long term layup at the Burnside pier to pier 9. At the time I speculated that this would be the end - see:
On May 4, 2012 the ship's registry was closed, and for some time now there have been dumpsters alongside. It appears that Dartmouth Metals is doing the work. They have scrapped many ships over the years, but this is the first one to be scrapped within the confines of Halifax Harbour for some time.
They will not be able to finish the work at pier 9, since the hull will have to be beached, and it will certainly become unstable well before that, and unsafe to work adjacent to a main navigation channel.
I will update this as work progresses.
As a footnote the ship is now known as N-29, but this is strictly informal as it is no longer registered. Its previous name, Intrepid Sea, never appeared anywhere on the ship, and is perhaps too closely associated with its former owners, Secunda Marine Services.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Atlantic Willow

1. Atlantic Willow returns from engine trials Friday. It is one of the few Atlantic Towing tugs not registered in Saint John.

Atlantic Willow conducted engine trials Friday afternoon. This may mean that she had been undergoing some repairs that kept her out of service, and would explain the presence in Halifax of Atlantic Fir (see older post).

2. Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Fir alongside the dock in Woodside.

Atlantic Willow was built in 1998, to be used at Point Tupper, NS (hence the registration in Port Hawksbury) It is one of the "first generation" East Isle-built tugs, with 4,000 bhp engines. It has no towing winch, and has been based in Halifax almost steadily since ATL took over tug operations in Halifax harbour.
Atlantic Fir, built in 2005 has the 5,000 bhp engines and other "second generaiton" modifications based on operational experience. Note the side doors in the wheelhouse, bumper on the stem, different fire fighting monitors, etc., It is fitted with a towing winch. It is not normally based in Halifax.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Safely delivered

The German tug Centaurus arrived in Aliaga, Turkey today after towing the retired Great Laker DON (ex Gordon C. Leitch) from Montreal. This is the second successful tow this year. Both were accomplished with well found tugs and experienced crews.
Last year's disaster with the Miner (ex Canadian Miner) which is still aground on a beach in Cape Breton, and yet to be removed, could have been avoided. I am told that the neither the tug nor the crew were suitable for the job.
Centaurus which is operated by Harms Offshore AHT (part of the Ulrich Harms group) was built in 2009, has 8,078 bhp and is fully oufitted for offshore work, including anchor handling. It has a bollard pull of 104 tonnes.
1. Not the North Sea, but the St. Lawrence River on August 12. Centaurus battles wind , seas and tide upbound off St-Joseph-de-la-Rive.

2. She was using a lot of power (and it sounded wonderful) but she was rolling uncomfortably in the swell. 

Regrettably I did not get a photo of her towing the ship due to thick fog.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Atlantic Fir - four tugs for Atlantic Towing

Atlantic Fir arrived in Halifax last night from Port Hawksbury, making four tugs in port for Atlantic Towing. Built in 2005, she is a 5,050 bhp ASD tug, very similar to Atlantic Oak built in 2004. She was put to work this morning docking the autocarrier Seven Seas Highway with Atlantic Larch.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Quebec Tug News - all good

A sister to Océan Serge Genois built in 2010 is under construction, with a bigger tug to follow.

Groupe Océan seems to be going from strength to strength as it continues to build its fleet. With the recent completion of the dredge Océan Traverse Nord at its Industrie Océan shipyard, work is well underway on another 24m  4,000 bhp fire fighting tug at a cost of $10.6 mn to be delivered in December.
Work will then start on a large 34m 8,000 bhp tug at a cost of $24mn. It will be the first in a series called the TunDRA 100 class. It will be an ice class, escort and sea-going tug, built to work in the North. It will have two Ulstein (Rolls Royce) azimuthing stern thrusters.
Océan has worked in the north for many years, and in mid-August Océan Delta, assisted in freeing the grounded Vega Sagittarius near Nuuk, Greenland.

Despite many new tugs in recent years, such as Océan Keith Rusby (right) Océan still has many noble veterans in its fleet. The 1969 Océan Echo II and the 1973 Océan Charlie are still providing excellent service, largely in fresh water. 

Despite the huge newbuilding program in recent years, Océan still has many veterans in its fleet, and seems to find new work for its new tugs rather than just building replacements for its old ones. The company has its own shipyard and a new maintenance facility in Quebec City, and keeps its boats in tip top condition.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Molly M 1 completes marathon tow

As reported earlier the veteran tug Molly M 1  (ex Point Vigour, Foundation Vigour) was engaged to tow a barge to Nunavut.  The 1962 built tug, now operated by Nadro Marine, had the barge S/VM 86 and a cargo of crane repair material and equipment to tow from the Welland Canal area to Iqaluit.
On August 28 the tug was on its return leg, passing St-Joseph-de-la-RIve. QC when I managed to catch some photos just at sunset.
The tug and tow passed up the St.Lawrence Seaway August 30 and returned safely to base.
A remarkable feat for a 50 year old, single screw, 1,000 bhp tug!
Molly M 1 pulling for all she's worth against a very strong falling tide. 
Tug and tow.
The barge has a cargo of Mammoet crane components and repair parts and equipment, and a small work boat/ landing craft.