Sunday, 14 January 2018

MV Asterix

Federal Fleet's MV Asterix, the new interim Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) on charter to the Royal Canadian Navy, has been busy getting ready for service. Initially berthed at the Halifax Seaport after her arrival in Halifax, Asterix was moved to Richmond Terminal in the harbour narrows to ride out heavy weather, before moving to the Dockyard last week.

MV Asterix alongside in HMC Dockyard.
Berthed across the Jetty from HMCS TORONTO, refueling hoses were run across between the two ships as a test run. Some of the refueling hoses are shown above suspended from the kingposts on the starboard side.

Asterix and TORONTO opposite each other across Jetty NB, before the refueling gear was tested.
Presumably the test run was a success, as by January 11th, Asterix was taking on fuel from Algoma Dartmouth.

Algoma Dartmouth filling Asterix's tanks on Thursday morning.

To my eye, Asterix looked to be riding lower in the water on Thursday afternoon.

Asterix on Thursday morning.

Asterix on Thursday afternoon.
Late Thursday evening, Asterix departed Halifax and as of Friday morning she was off the coast in the company of HMCS TORONTO, presumably for at-sea replenishment training.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

2017 Photography Retrospective

From flybys of First World War aircraft to spending the night within the Fortress of Louisbourg, I found there were many unique experiences to photograph this year. Here are some of my favourite images from the year.

I'm always a sucker for water-related imagery, and this flowing water over a weir in Shubie Park is like a magnet for me.

I remember that even when visiting as a child, the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park peacocks had the run of the place, and things don't seem to have changed much. 

The Black Market on Grafton Street has an interesting store front, but I never bothered to stop and take a picture until there were tall snow banks in front of it.


On the same stretch of Grafton Street, I have been photographing this tree though various seasons over the last few years. I usually look for the contrast of green leaves against the red brick, but the snow caked on the branches worked just as well.

Same tree, different season. I prefer the light green leaves of spring to the darker green of summer.

My infrequent trips to Ottawa provide the occasional change in scenery. Shooting through airplane windows is a bit of a crap shoot, but sometimes it is well worth the reduced leg room in the window seat of a Dash-8.

The new Discovery Centre is full of interesting architecture.

Heck, even the HVAC systems at the Discovery Centre are interesting.

It has been a few years since our last visit, but the kids greatly enjoyed our visit to the Oaklawn Park Zoo (as did their Dad).

Bridge? What bridge?

Oh, that bridge!

I am always focusing in on fine details of the yachts that visit Halifax, and 2017 was no different.

Yacht waterline reflections feature prominently as well, of course.

Bluenose II may not count as a yacht, but whatever - I still dig the waterline reflection.

Calm water on Halifax Harbour can provide interesting reflections, like this one of Purdy's Wharf. In this case, I flipped the image, and it reminds me of smoke leaving a series of smoke stacks.

A chopstick on the assembly bench.

Ferry Foam 1. The morning sun illuminates the foam and spray at the front of the Halifax Transit ferries.

Ferry Foam 2. I have a hard time getting these shots just right - the shutter speed needs to be high enough to prevent blurring, and often there isn't enough light during my morning commute.

2017 Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo.

2017 Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo.

Who needs a foreground? Sometimes a sky is just that interesting on its own.


And again!

The Vimy Flight toured the country for Canada 150.

The Vimy Flight planes are replicas of Nieport XIs. 

Vimy Flight.

I've been following the rebuilding of the schooner Hebridee II for a few years now, and was invited to the launching at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

This fellow lives at the Ross Farm Museum. 

Plowing a field at Ross Farm Museum.

2017 was a year of Tall Ships. The main festival occurred at the end of July, but there were various vessels around for the month or two before and after. In this case, Europa showed up in Lunenburg after I had hoped to catch her a month earlier.

Sails of Oosterschelde.

A lot of work went into this photo - I spent several hours dodging hornets to pick the huckleberries before taking the photo.

The view leaving Lunenburg on a whale watching boat.

An island off Lunenburg.

Schooner racing in Lunenburg.

Occasionally I show up in my own photos - I'm the silhouette to the left.

The Lunenburg waterfront usually has some boat of interest for me, but of course wooden boats are the best.
In August, we vacationed in Cape Breton, and took the opportunity to spend the night inside Fortress Louisbourg.

You could spend the night in one of four tents beside the Bastion. We stayed in a house instead, but I made sure to get photos of the tents.

I was lucky that the Big Dipper was in the sky over the Bastion that night.

The next morning, the sun rose directly in line with one of the streets in the historic town of Louisbourg.

A quick run up the hill and I caught the sun from the fortress walls.

On our way home, we stopped in on Sherbrooke Village.

Flowing water is even better when it turns a water wheel, like it does in Sherbrooke Village.

On our trip home down the Eastern Shore, there were some nice abandoned boats to finish our trip.


Floating pebbles.

I'm not a wildlife photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes I get lucky. Luckier than that sculpin, anyway.

A greenhouse at a farm near Bridgewater.

The dining car at the Tatamagouche Train Station Inn.

A tin boat near Malagash. I desaturated everything except the yellow oars.

One wonders if this road was ever straight?

In October, I managed to snag a sail onboard the rebuilt Hebridee II.

My fellow crew onboard Hebridee II.





October brings the Nocturne night art festival, and takes me to Halifax in the evening. On our way this year, I couldn't resist this image of The Alexander building under construction.

Glass blowing at Garrison Brewery during Nocturne.

Spotlights and fog in Public Gardens during Nocturne.

Dew on the compass face on HMCS SACKVILLE's bridge.

More harbour reflections - the yellow is a tower crane on the Queen's Marque site.

The Maple Building near the Halifax waterfront has been a frequent subject for my photography.

One morning, the rising sun reflected off the Maple Building and onto a passing fog.



The Nova Centre finally opened in 2017. It is difficult to get far enough away from the building to not have it tower over the camera, but there are a few angles, such as this one looking across the base of Citadel Hill.

A newly painted wall in downtown Halifax.

Shadows cast onto the base of the TD Building.

Scrap yard radiator fan in a wrecked car.

This year's Canada 150 celebrations provided a number of special opportunities for my photography, and I can only hope that 2018 brings similar opportunities!