Tuesday, 10 July 2018 09:21

518 EV Nautilus


The EV Nautilus is a research vessel currentlly based in Victoria, British Columbia.  The vessel is on a global mission of exploration, so it has no true home port.  The ship is operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust under the direction of Dr. Robert Ballard.  The Nautilus is equipped with a team of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) Hercules, and Argus, a multibeam mapping system, and mapping tools Diana and Echo.  All of these tools help the Ocean Exploration Trust conduct deep sea exploration of unknown parts of the ocean to a depth of 4000 meters.

Built:                 1967
Length:             64 m
Beam:               10.5 m
Speed:              10 knots
Complement:  17 crew, 31 science/mission


518 EV Nautilus Stern 518 EV Nautilus ROV 3


From July 5-21 2018, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Haida Nation, Oceana Canada, and Oceans Network Canada are embarking on an expedition to explore seamounts near the islands of Haida Gwaii in the northeast Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia.  The team will spend 16 days on board the EV Nautilus.  All known seamounts located in Canadian waters are found off the coast of BC and this expedition will survey three of them:  SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie, Dellwood and Explorer.  The EV Nautilus has a SeaTel satellite communication system and will be live streaming underwater images of their research and commenting live on what they see.  To hear them and ask your questions, click here to access the Nautilus Live Website.


Friday, 06 July 2018 12:24

517 lifeline


The M/V Lifeline operated by Mission Lifeline is a humanitarian vessel dedicated to saving all people in distress at sea from death by drowning. Efforts are focussed in the central Mediterranean where the number of deaths is the most concentrated in the world.  The Lifeline supports ongoing search and rescue (SAR) operations offshore Libya and cooperates with other SAR organizations to effectively rescue people from distress. The vessel and its captain are in the headlines following the its recent arrival of 233 rescued migrants to shore in Malta last week.   The vessel is charged with entering Maltese territorial waters illegally and without proper registration and a licence. The prosecuting officers are also requesting the court to order the confiscation of the ship.

Flag: Netherlands
GRT: 231
LOA: 32 m
Beam: 8 m
Built: 1968

517 lifeline2  517 lifeline3

The Lifeline's registration irregularities are in question as Dutch officials gave written confirmation that the vessel was not registered under the flag for the purpose of international law conventions. It was only registered as a pleasure yacht with a Dutch yacht club and gave it no right of nationality to the vessel.  In any event when the vessel was denied entry to the Maltese port, the Lifeline was obligated to take instructions from the Libyan authorities when they took over the rescue case. Confirmation is still pending from Libya.

Friday, 29 June 2018 14:54

515 uss shoup

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Shoup, arrives at the Vancouver Drydock Pier today.  The USS Shoup returned recently from Interpid Sentinel, an exercise designed to increase interoperability between the three participating nations - US, UK and France - to reduce response time by establishing a coordinated international maritime coalition to counter the complex challenges presented in the US 5th Fleet area of operations.

Built:       2000
Dwt:        9,200 tons
Beam:     20 m
Length:   155.30 m
Speed:    exceeds 30 knots
Crew:      310 officers and enlisted
Aircraft:   2 x MH-60R Sea Hawks

During the exercise, the ships conducted operations that branched into multiple warfare areas. The multinational trio was involved in an air defense exercise, a combined anti-submarine exercise, as well as a visit, board, search and seizure event.

515 shoup2 515 shoup3

USS Shoup provided assistance to South Korean naval forces after their recapture of the chemical tanker, Samho Jewelry, on 21 January 2011 in the Arabian Sea. The tanker's captain had been shot by pirates holding the vessel and a helicopter from Shoup was used to evacuate him in order for him to receive medical treatment for his injuries. 

515 shoup4

The ship is named for Medal of Honor recipient General David M. Shoup, the 22nd Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was selected as commandant by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and later served in the administration of John F. Kennedy. Shoup opposed the military escalation in response to events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs invasion, but his strongest opposition was to US involvement in South Vietnam. 

Friday, 22 June 2018 17:10

514 claquarius2

A vessel that will be commonly seen in the Port of Vancouver these days is the M/T CL Aquarius operated by Canship Ugland Ltd, based in St. John's N.L. The CL Aquarius is a Canadian flagged tanker, fully manned by Canadian crew, state of art vessel with integrated bridge control, twin engine, bow thruster, radar gauges, ESD’s and many smart safety features. The vessel is double hulled IMO II type chemical carrier construction

Flag:      Canada
Builder:  Turkter Shipyard, Istanbul, Turkey
Built:       2007
Class:     Oil/Chemical Tanker
Length:   90.5m
Breadth: 14.6m
DWT:      3569 tons
GRT:       2999 tons

514 claqurius1

Canship Ugland is a ship management and crewing company operating and managing a modern fleet of DP shuttle tankers, tugs, bulk carrier, pilot boats and product tankers. In addition, they provide crew management services to other vessel owners and operators. Canship Ugland is looking to compile a labor pool of crewmembers in the local Vancouver, BC area, which can fill temporary requirements of a few days or weeks duration on short notice. The vessel is a Canadian flag tanker on a long term charter and are currently recruiting officers and engineers.

Friday, 15 June 2018 09:21

514 spiritofthewild1

Incat Crowther has launched the Spirit of the Wild, a spectacular new tour vessel for Gordon River Cruises, and the first in Australia to operate in the heart of the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area with Silent Drive.

Built by:  Richardson Devine Marine
LOA:      33.3 m
Beam:   9 m
Depth:  3.25m
Construction Marine grade aluminium

514 spiritofthewild3 514 spiritofthewild4 514 spiritofthewild2

The Spirit of the Wild, catamaran passenger ferry exhibits excellent noise and vibration characteristics, even in Boost mode.  While touring the Gordon River, Silent Drive mode is engaged and all the main engines are shut down and the vessel runs on electric power.  Engine ventilation systems and the engine room have been addressed with a fully-engineered acoustic insulation system. Attention was paid to fittings and door openings, with seals and bushes used extensively to stop rattles and gaps. In Silent Drive mode, the experience is eerily quiet, with seats returning sound level readings as low as 45dbA.  In open water, the vessel will use Boost mode from the hybrid system, which matches motor speed to engine speed to seamlessly add electric power. In this mode, the vessel operates at 25 knots.

The vessel layout is designed around optimal viewing. Every seat on the vessel was considered in the design to provide exceptional vistas.

Friday, 08 June 2018 09:29

513 theodore1

Theodore Too arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick yesterday where he will be available for daily family and public harbour tours throughout the summer. The Theodore Too was commissioned by Cochran Entertainment, Inc in 2000 and is modelled after the popular children's television show, Theodore Tugboat, which aired on CBC in Canada, and PBS in the USA from 1993 until 2001.  

Built by     Snyder's Shipyard, Dayspring, Nova Scotia
Year          2000
Tonnage   105 mt
Length      20 m
Beam        6.7 m
Draft         2.21 m
Propulsion   400 hp

513 theodore2 513 theodore4

The boat was designed by Fred Allen and naval architect Marius Lengkeek of Lengkeek Vessel Engineering and the hull and wheelhouse are made entirely of wood, with a fibreglass hat and smokestack. It has a 'face' on the funnel, with large realistic hydraulic eyes which are no longer operational.The boat displays a number of prop details such as winches and towing bitts inspired from real tugs but operates as a tour boat, not a real tugboat.

When Theodore Too was launched the ocean-going tug carried out a 50-city tour down the eastern seaboard to Tampa Bay and back through the Great Lakes to Chicago.  Now the Theodore Too is the Ambassador of the US National Safe Boating Council and mascot to the US Coast Guard, participating in several tall ship events. Theodore Too has a full-time three-person crew and generally operates from the Cable Wharf in downtown Halifax. 

Friday, 01 June 2018 08:18

 512 smqingdao1
                                                           Photo: Rick Etkin Productions – Vancouver

On May 28th the containership M/V SM Qingdao made it inaugural visit to Fraser Surrey Docks as the first North American stop under its new Pacific Northwest Service (PNS) launched on May 17th. The CEO of SM Line, Chil-bong Kim, and other delegates attended the vessel’s arrival and welcome ceremony hosted by Fraser Surrey Docks and Westward Shipping Ltd. The SM Qingdao is one of six 4,300 TEU vessels on the weekly PNS.

Built: 2010
Capacity: 4,360 TEU
DWT: 52,326
Gross tonnage: 40,741
Flag: Liberia
Ex-Name: APL Riyadh

512 smqingdao2  512 smqingdao3
SM Qingdao Ship Photos: Rick Etkin Productions – Vancouver

SM Line was Incorporated in December 2016 as part of the SM Group along with Korea Line Corporation and Korea Shipping Corporation.  The company acquired the Asia-US tradelane assets of bankrupt Hanjin in early January for $23M and this was followed by the purchase of 11 Hanjin ships, at fire-sale prices and two key Hanjin terminals in Gwangyang and Incheon, South Korea. After gaining approval by the Federal Maritime Commission in April 2017, SM Line commenced a one-loop Asia to US west coast service, deploying five 6,600 TEU vessels.

Friday, 25 May 2018 11:49

511 Kirkeholmen2


The oil/chemical tanker, Kirkeholmen, has been a regular sight in the Port of Vancouver and Indian Arm Anchorages over the past two years.  The ship carries petroleum products from the US refineries just south of the border in Anacortes to keep our fuel-thirsty lower mainland well supplied.  Fully loaded the Kirkeholmen can safely carry approximately 110,000 barrels of gasoline which is enough to full up the gas tanks of about 350,000 automobiles.

Built: 2010
LOA: 144.22m
Beam: 23.03m
DWT: 17,136

511 Kirkeholmen4  511 Kirkeholmen6

The Kirkeholmen is managed by Norbulk Shipping, whose present fleet consists of; bulk carriers, chemical and oil tankers, container ships, gas carriers and reefer ships. Since it's formation in 1982 Norbulk Shipping has continued to expand its ship management operations. Ship owner clients located across the globe now include, public listed companies, private family controlled shipping interests and government shipping enterprises. Ship management remains the core business of the group and the company maintains full compliance with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Norbulk Shipping was one of the first ship companies to obtain certification of Quality Management systems in 1994.

The name Kirkeholmen, along with other ships in the fleet such as the Fruholmen and Brentholmen are all named after Norwegian Islands.

Ship of the Week contributed by Ben Vanderberghe of Westward Shipping Ltd.


Friday, 18 May 2018 08:34

510 bliss1

In her inaugural transatlantic voyage from Germany to the Pacific Northwest, the Norwegian Bliss marked a major milestone and she is now the largest passenger ship to transit the Panama Canal since its expansion in 2016.  The Norwegian Bliss will arrive at her homeport in Seattle for the Alaskan cruise season on May 30th, where she will have her official christening ceremony, and then embark on a three-day exhibition cruise, that includes her first stop in Victoria on June 1st.  From June 2nd, Norwegian Bliss will start her seven-day voyages from Seattle to Alaska with featured calls in KetchikanJuneauSkagway and Victoria

April 21, 2018
Built by: Meyer Wefts in Papenburg, Germany
Length overall: 333.5 m / 1,094 ft
Max Beam: 41.5 m / 136 ft
Tonnage: 168,028 GT / 11,700 DWT
Passengers Capacity: 4,004
Crew: 1,716
Staterooms: 2,043
Cruise speed: 23.2 knots
Engines: Diesel Electric


510 bliss4  510 bliss3

The Norwegian Bliss is the sixteenth ship in Norwegian Cruise Lines fleet and has a number of unique features including a private area called The Haven that encompasses 80 luxurious suites and a two-story Horizon Louge for these guests' exclusive use.  For the young at heart, there is a two-level 1,000-foot long electric car race track with cars reaching up to 30 miles per hour, an open-air laser tag arena and two multi-storey waterslides.

510 bliss2

Norwegian Bliss is the third ship in the Breakaway Plus-class and is the 16th ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) fleet.  The ship has been fitted with the ABB Azipod XO electrical propulsion system, which includes an electric-drive motor housed inside a submerged pod and exhaust gas scrubbers, reducing sulphur emissions by 99%.  NCL will introduce an additional new "Breakaway Plus" Class cruise ship in 2019 and has four additional ships on order for delivery beginning in 2022, with an option to introduce two more ships in 2026 and 2027.

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 10:11

509 HMNZS Te Kaha1

Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship (HMNZS) Te Kaha arrived at Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards in March, Seaspan having been awarded a “Frigate Systems Upgrade Project” as a subcontractor for Lockheed Martin on the Royal New Zealand Navy’s ANZAC Class frigates. The project includes upgrades to the surveillance, combat and self-defence capabilities and to replace current outdated technologies. Once upgrades are complete, work on sister ship HMNZS Te Mana will begin sometime in 2019. The project represents a rare opportunity for a Canadian shipyard to demonstrate the capability to competitively upgrade non-Canadian naval vessels similar to the “Modernization and Mid-Life Upgrades” to the 12 Canadian Halifax Class frigates, five of which were completed by Seaspan Shipyards.

Built by Tenix Defence Systems, Melbourne, Australia
Commissioned in 1997
LOA 118m
Beam 15m
Propulsion 1 x General Electric LM2500+ gas turbine providing 30,000 hp (22.5mW)
2 × MTU 12V1163 TB83 diesel engines providing 8,840 hp (6.5 mW)
Speed 27 knots
Complement 25 officers & 150 ratings
1 x Kaman Super Seasprite helicopter

509 HMNZS Te Kaha2 508 Great Intl3

Lockheed Martin Canada, which won the contract to upgrade the vessels in April 2014, is New Zealand’s prime system integrator, responsible for the supply of the combat system upgrade on both ships as well as a new shore-based trainer. This includes the combat system integration of new weapons and sensors, as well as ship design and installation. The new Combat Management System (CMS) is based on Lockheed Martin Canada’s CMS 330. The upgrade cost for the two frigates is $639 million.

In 2015, HMNZS Te Kaha sailed from New Zealand to Gallipoli, ahead of the 100th Anniversary of the landings there during World War I. Thereafter she sailed for the Gulf of Oman where she was assigned to anti-piracy patrols. In 2017, the ship's deployment in the western Pacific was extended to provide support to the U.S. 7th Fleet after the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the container ship ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan. The impact resulted in the loss of seven seamen and caused extensive damage to the destroyer.

The UK’s Royal Navy provided early security for the colony of New Zealand, but in 1846, the settlers bought their first gun boat and which proved to be the fledgling beginning of a home-grown defence force, Before the formal establishment of a navy, the people of New Zealand paid for the building of the battlecruiser HMS New Zealand which served with distinction in the battle of Jutland in 1916. The New Zealand navy went on to make a major contribution to the Allied cause in World War II and the Korean War.

In the early 1980’s, the New Zealand relationship with the United States deteriorated over the issue of nuclear-powered ship visits and the access of nuclear weapons to New Zealand. In addition, New Zealand dispatched RNZN vessels to monitor environmental damage caused by French nuclear testing in the Pacific. Tension was further raised with the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior operated by Greenpeace in Auckland harbour 1985. The sinking was eventually admitted by the French government after the two French agents responsible were detained by NZ police.

The Maori name Te Kaha translates to 'fighting prowess' or 'strength'

Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.