Seamen's House

Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1188
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

Re: Seamen's House

Bericht door Jan van der Doe » do 29 sep 2016, 14:01

Afbeelding
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.

Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1188
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

Re: Seamen's House

Bericht door Jan van der Doe » vr 30 sep 2016, 14:14

Afbeelding
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.

Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1188
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

Re: Seamen's House

Bericht door Jan van der Doe » wo 26 okt 2016, 14:10

The story behind the Ardita, stranded less than a mile from shore

10/26 - Hamilton, Ont. – Blair McKeil opens the trunk of his SUV to reveal a feast: covered aluminum trays full of carrots, mashed potatoes and a Thanksgiving turkey. “Homemade apple pie!” he exclaims, lifting one out of the back seat. Then McKeil walks towards a 147-metre-long ship docked at Hamilton Harbor’s Eastport, so large it makes a truck parked beside it look like a Dinky toy.

McKeil is chairman and CEO of McKeil Marine, a Hamilton shipping company, and the ship he's heading towards is the Ardita, an Italian vessel that McKeil has been trying to purchase for months.

The vessel — and its 14-person crew — has been stuck in Hamilton's harbor for nearly six months, and McKeil is delivering the holiday dinner in hopes of taking the edge off an ordeal with no clear end in sight.

On this sunny Thanksgiving Sunday morning, McKeil is accompanied by Steve Fletcher, the company’s president, and Olous Boag, its vice-president of operations. Carefully, they march up the curved metal steps to the deck, where crew members are loading skids of bottled water, and drop off the food in the dining room.

The ship’s captain, Salvatore Siragusa, greets them warmly. McKeil gestures to the pies. “Not as good as a cannoli, but a Canadian cannoli,” he says.

He had to explain the concept of Thanksgiving to the Italian and Filipino men who make up the Ardita’s crew. But given the unusual situation the vessel is in, McKeil thought the goodwill gesture might be a welcome one.

McKeil Marine had been working out a purchase deal with the Ardita’s owner, the Italian company Armamento Setramar, for nearly a year. The ship arrived in Hamilton on April 24 from Greece, at which point it was expected the sale would be completed.

The Ardita is what's called a bulker, used for transporting large volumes of material such as finished powdered concrete and grain. A brand new ship this size costs about $30 million; a used one can run $15 million to $20 million, depending on its age.

In 2015, McKeil had purchased another vessel from Setramar, a deal that had gone smoothly. That bulker, named Spavalda, sailed to Hamilton with an Italian crew, ownership was transferred upon arrival, and the crew flew home, replaced with Canadian workers under its new owners. McKeil renamed that ship Evans Spirit. But the purchase of the Ardita hit a snag.

McKeil Marine had sent a deposit prior to the ship’s arrival — typical practice. When the Ardita sailed into Hamilton, Setramar told McKeil it would take a few days for the sale to go through, says Boag.

In the meantime, Setramar gave permission for some upgrades to be made to the vessel, including painting and steel work. The ship was removed from the water and placed in dry dock, where these renovations began.

“A few more days, a few more days,” Boag says Setramar told them. “Then it ends up being weeks. It got, finally, to the point where we just knew it wasn’t going to happen.”

(One of Setramar’s Canadian lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.)

More than $1 million of work had been done on the ship. Concerned it would leave the harbor with an outstanding bill — and with Setramar in possession of the money McKeil had paid already — both McKeil and Heddle Marine, the company that operates the dry dock, sought a federal court order to put the ship under arrest.

That was granted on May 26. “We were trying to protect our interests,” says Fletcher. “We never thought it would take this long.”

In the meantime, McKeil had to purchase another ship to do the job the Ardita was going to do: transporting cement within the Great Lakes and out to the east coast.

McKeil learned that Setramar didn't wholly own the boat it was trying to sell, and that was causing the delays, Boag says.

“A deal gone sideways” is how he describes it. “Whether it was the banks or another company that had part ownership or interested parties that had the vessel as collateral against another loan, those are the things we’ll never know.”

Also caught up in all this: the 14-person crew. Until the ship’s ownership is transferred to McKeil, they must continue to work, and are still being paid by Setramar.

Because the Ardita has only docked briefly three times since it was placed under arrest, the crew has spent most of the last six months stuck in the middle of the harbor. (“Crew members are able to disembark and visit the city when the ship is berthed,” says Larissa Fenn, a spokesperson for the Hamilton Port Authority.)

“The seafarers are used to being away for long periods of time,” says Rev. Ronda Ploughman, a chaplain with the Mission to Seafarers Southern Ontario in Hamilton. “In some ways, this is a little bit easier because they’re not actually at sea, which can be very difficult and dangerous. But the big challenge for them has been being less than a mile from the shore and not being able to get off.”

There have been changeovers too, with some of the men flying home as their contracts ended.

Ploughman has been checking in on the Ardita crew over the last few months. That’s part of the mission’s duty — talking to crews as ships arrive in the harbor and providing support if needed. The mission’s center offers Wi-Fi for crews to communicate with their families.

When one Ardita crew member had to be hospitalized, Ploughman arranged for an Italian translator to assist. She also drove some of the men around Hamilton, to Hess Village and Williams Fresh Cafe, during one of the Ardita’s stays in the port — “just to get away from the relentless sound of the engines going and the vibration of the ship,” she says.

Back in August, she drove three crew members to a dinner held in their honor by the Sons of Italy, a fraternal Italian organization with a chapter in Hamilton.

When president Loris Pilot heard the ship would be docking the next day, he acted quickly, calling a chef and inviting Sons of Italy members.

“It was a sympathetic response, knowing that these men are stuck on that ship,” Pilot says. “When you’re moving freight across the ocean, you’re busy, you’re working, you’re watching the weather, there’s a task at hand. Now they’re just sitting here and waiting, waiting. I imagine it’s hard on them.”

They feasted on pasta chi chi, chicken, sausage, cannoli, salad, and fresh fruit. The conversation, a mixture of English and Italian, didn’t stop.

“The six degrees of separation became pretty evident,” says Pilot. “They knew somebody from their hometown or they knew someone from the neighboring town.”

While at anchor, the crew keeps busy cleaning the ship — “it’s spick and span,” says Ploughman — and watching the same movies over and over. When the sale finally goes through — and Boag is hopeful this will happen in the next 30 days — they will return home.

“I think the community has done a lot to reach out to this crew,” Ploughman says.

Ships arrive in the port city every day, and she says it’s often not foremost in people’s minds that sailors are aboard. “We really rely on the work of the seafarers who spend their lives at sea so we can live this quality of life that we live, right from the cup of coffee that we drink in the morning.”

TVO.org
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.

Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1188
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

Re: Seamen's House

Bericht door Jan van der Doe » za 29 okt 2016, 14:54

Afbeelding
Afbeelding
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.

Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1188
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

Re: Seamen's House

Bericht door Jan van der Doe » zo 30 okt 2016, 14:15

Houdt dit dan nooit op.

Afbeelding
Afbeelding
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.

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