Sunday, 7 July 2019

July 3, 2019. Still working through the ice.

All photos courtesy of and © Environnement et Changement climatique Canada

To see an enlarged photo, Click on it.

Escorting ships in fog through ice is a difficult task.  Finding the easiest and safest route through the ice is challenging.  Yes, radar helps, but it's not as good as the Mark I Eyeball.  It's also hard to find the ridges (Windrows on the Great Lakes).  In the Arctic these can be significant size and hardness and can stop an icebreaker dead in its track.  That means the cargo ship following must do all in its power to stop or avoid a collision with the icebreaker.
 Several views of the Kivalliq W in the ice.


Fairly close escort.  The icebreakers will frequently work within 20 metres of a ship to free it from the ice.  Both the Captain and the Quartermaster (wheelsman) must be good.

Above:  The road ahead.
Below:  CCGS Terry Fox.  Canada's 2nd most powerful icebreaker.  
As Canadians will know, Terry Fox the person, was an heroic figure.  With an artificial leg he ran a marathon a day, aiming to cross the country (Canada), to raise money for cancer research.  That's a 5,300 mile run.  Sadly, he only got halfway across before succumbing to his cancer.  More on Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope, Click Here.
 Below:  This geological feature is called the President's Chair.
I have no idea why or what president it refers to.

Friday, 5 July 2019

July 2, 2019. CCGS Des Groseilliers escorting MT Kivalliq W in Frobisher Bay


All photos courtesy of and © Environnement et Changement climatique Canada

Below:  Tanker Kivalliq W following the DesGroseilliers through the ice.  This is July 2, just below the Arctic circle.
Kivalliq W is operated by Coastal Shipping of Lewisporte, Newfoundland, Canada.
More on Coastal Shipping:  Click Here.
Kivalliq W
Beam:  21m;  Depth:  11m;  Draft:  8.5m
Length:  145.3m
IMO:  9187409;  MMSI:  316003980
Gross Tonnage:  8882;  Summer Deadweight:  13670t
Built:  2004 Dayang Shipbuilding, Yangzhou, China
Flag:  Canada

Above:  Heavy ice.
Below:  View of ice from helicopter.  Top right is rotor blade.

Kivalliq W
Net Tonnage:  4617;  Displacement Lightship:  4941t;  Displacement Summer:  18611t
Ballast:  5857t;  Bunker:  607t;
Crude capacity:  100,115 bbl;  Liquid oil:  16,300cubic metres;
Cargo Pumps:  14 at 330 m3/hr
Above & Below:  From the helicopter.  In order to determine the best route through ice, and to map ice conditions, helicopters are used.  Crew of the helo while in flight is Pilot and Ice Service Specialist (in my day known as The Ice Pick).  There is also an aircraft engineer on the ship who services the aircraft.  The Ice Pick will make a detailed map of ice conditions while airborne.  This information is used by the Captain to determine the best route to follow.  The information is also sent to Canadian Ice Services for inclusion in daily ice charts that are promulgated to anyone interested, and are available on the web.
For more on Ice Forecasts and Observations, Click Here.
Below:  Example of an ice chart.  Red is bad, blue is water.  About 1/3 from the bottom on the left is Frobisher Bay with the city of Iqaluit near the head of the bay.
At the bottom of the chart is a legend that shows concentration in colours.  For example, orange is 7-8/10.  This means the area shown in orange has between 70% and 80% ice cover.

Above:  A rather large floe of rotten ice.
More views from the helicopter.

Rather stark country.  Not suitable for farming.
Below:  An easier area of ice.
Kivalliq W
Engine Bore:  420 mm;  Engine Stroke:  420 mm
Engine:  Hudong Heavy Machinery 6S42MC
Cylinders:  6
Power:  5490 kW
Propellor:  1 Controllable Pitch
Fuel oil:  607 m3 of marine diesel

Thursday, 4 July 2019

June 22, 2019, CCGS / NGCC Des Groseilliers departs Quebec City for the Arctic

CCGS / NGCC Des Groseilliers departs the Canadian Coast Guard base in Quebec City bound for the Canadian Arctic.
All photos courtesy and © of Environnement et Changement climatique Canada
Each summer the Canadian Coast Guard sends its fleet of icebreakers to the Arctic to support shipping, carry out scientific research, engage in Search & Rescue and any other tasks that may be assigned.
CCGS Des Groseilliers was initially designated as a 1200 class icebreaker.  It is named after Medard Chouart des Groseilliers, a close associate of Pierre-Esprit Radisson.  Both men were involved in explorations west of the Great Lakes and in the founding of the Hudson's Bay Company. The ship entered service in 1982.
Above:  Canadian Coast Guard Bell 429 approaching the flight deck of the Des Groseiliers.
Below:  Tanker Limerick Spirit, one of the many ships seen daily on the St Lawrence river.

The sister-ship, CCGS Pierre Radisson, is currently at the shipyard in Port Weller, Ontario; just above Lock 1 of the Welland Canal.  Both the Des Gros and the Radisson have been to the Great Lakes to assist with spring breakout and ship escorts.
IMO:  8006385
Name:  Des Groseilliers
MMSI:  316072000
Type:  Icebreaker
Gross Tonnage:  6098 t
Summer DWT:  2919 t
Build:  1982 at Port Weller shipyard, St Catharines, ON
Flag:  Canada
Port of Registry:  Ottawa
Radio Call Sign:  CGDX
Length:  98 m (322 ft);  Beam:  20 m (65 ft);  Draft:  7.5 m (24.5 ft)
Ice Class:  Arctic Class 3

Propulsion:  Diesel Electric
17,580 shaft horsepower (13,110 kW) and six generators creating 11.1 megawatts sustained, 
powering two motors that, when driving the shafts, create 13,600 shp (10,100 kW).

Speed:  16.5 kt
Range:  30,600 nautical miles
Endurance:  108 days
Lots more about CCGS Des Groseilliers, Click Here.

Below:  Unlike many other coast guard aviation units around the world, the primary role of the Canadian Coast Guard's helicopters isn't search & rescue (SAR) - that role falls to the Royal Canadian Air Force.  CCG helicopters can, and do, assist with SAR taskings if called upon, but they primarily serve to ensure the safety of marine traffic, largely through the construction and maintenance of navigational and communication aids that are only accessible by air.

Additional responsibilities include the support of Coast Guard icebreakers in the form of aerial reconnaissance, environmental response, supporting ongoing scientific research projects.

More about CCG helicopters, Click Here.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Start of our cruise on the ship Star Breeze. Bridgetown, Barbados. April 14, 2019.

This was a repositioning cruise from Barbados to Portugal.  Each season the cruise companies move their ships to a location that better appeals to clientele.  In this case, leaving the Caribbean for Europe because the Carib is just way too hot in the summer.

Naturally, there will be photos of ships in this episode.

Above:  Loading our baggage.  It's not all ours, of course. This was a secure Customs area, from which I was evicted for taking this photo.
Below:  Inside the cruise ship terminal were a number of retail outlets, including this one.  
Harley Davidson on the island of Barbados.  Who knew?

Above:  This bus took us to the ship, although it was only 200 metres away
Marella Explorer of TUI cruise line.  Previously the Galaxy with Celebrity cruises.  Launched in 1996.  In 2008 she was transferred to the fleet of TUI Cruises, a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Cairbbean Cruises Ltd.  Royal Caribbean owns Celebrity Cruises.

Length:  861 feet
76,998 Gross tons;  6,500 Deadweight tons
1,924 passengers.  aka self-loading cargo

Above:  Star Breeze and others.
Above & below:  Local pilot boats.
The previous time we were in Barbados we met a man who was a local ship's pilot.  At one point I asked him where he received his initial marine training.  "Some little school in Canada that you've never heard of.", said he.  "Try me.",  said I.  "A little school in Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island.  The Canadian Coast Guard College.", he responded.  "Oh.  I went there, too."  Many years ago the College offered training to students from Caribbean nations, and this man was one of their students.

Harbour tugs.


Above:  Louise taking a photo of me with her new toy.
Below:  Signal station.

A few views of the Star Breeze.
212 total passengers.  
The ship was mostly empty - only about 60 passengers.
Repositioning cruises are an inexpensive, peaceful way to cross the ocean.
None of those cramped airplane seats.  And, real food!
Above:  Taking on groceries and other consumables and fuel during its short port stop.
This ship will be taken out of service later this year and sent to drydock to be lengthened.

Hmm.
Below:  Time-lapse of the Star Breeze departing Bridgetown, Barbados.

Above:  Star Wars fighting machine or crane for moving containers onto and off ships.
What did you expect?