CSL's Atlantic Erie is in winter lay-up in Halifax and will be returning to service later this month, probably picking up a cargo of gypsum for the U.S. eastern seaboard. There appeared to be workers on board on Friday, but the ship was quiet over the weekend.
The Algocatalyst is secured at Pier 22, where all the larger cruise ships tie up in the summer. She is waiting for a cargo from Imperial Oil for delivery to Port-Aux-Basques, Newfoundland. The cargo is not yet forthcoming so the ship waits.
Melissa Desgagnes remains at a remote wharf at Halifax Shipyard. There is no sign of work taking place on board.
Early Sunday the Algofax arrived at Imperial Oil for a cargo of petroleum products. She is usually very busy in the winter carrying gasoline or heating oil to various ports around the Maritimes.
Also due Sunday was the Stolt Aspiration, a sometime visitor to the Great Lakes.
A unique move occurred in the harbor on Saturday. A massive crane passed under Halifax's two bridges Saturday afternoon. The Zhen Hua 4, carrying a $15 million gantry crane, very gingerly moved through the Narrows and alongside the pier in Fairview Cove.
The ship carried the huge crane from Shanghai, China to Halifax, where it arrived several days ago to await favorable tides, wind and traffic in order to pass under the two bridges.
The ship took on ballast at low tide, taking the free board down to less than a three feet between water and deck.
The crane is "Post-Panamax because it can unload container ships too large to pass through the Panama Canal. It will be able to reach across 22 containers.
The ship has carried 4 of these cranes at one time and must present a bit of an interesting stability problem. While in transit the crane is close to vertical but to pass under the bridges in Halifax the crane had to be lowered to horizontal, which was quite a sight.
The ship moved at 2 or three knots for most of the journey but came to a halt before passing under the bridges to ensure there was enough clearance.
Survey teams had to verify the heights of the bridges and the crane's height above the water. As well, two people rode on top of the crane to verify clearance as it approached the first bridge.
As a precaution both bridges were temporarily closed during the passage. Also, this portion of the harbor was closed to all vessel traffic. The police had to shoo away one curious person in a cabin cruiser.
When the ship is ready to unload it will be ballasted to ensure the deck is level with the wharf, then the crane will be rolled off the ship and onto the shore on specially laid rails.
The crane is expected to be in operation in May and will be used with smaller ships until it is needed for Post Panamax ones.
The contract to manufacture, transport and install the crane calls for foreign workers to carry out the entire installation with no work being offered to Canadian workers despite the fact that the installation is on Canadian soil. This is the second crane delivered to Halifax under these conditions.
Zhen Hua 4 anchored in Halifax Harbor.
Crane in vertical position.
In the harbor after passing under the first bridge.
Technicians rode on top of the 157-foot crane to align a laser level to make sure it would clear the bridges.
Atlantic Erie at its lay-up dock.
Reported by: Paul Beesley