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Dockwise's, semi-submersible, heavy load carrier BLUE MARLIN arrived Halifax on January 11 and anchored in the Bedford Basin awaiting suitable weather to load on two jack-up drilling rigs. ROWAN GORILLA VI had arrived for end-of-contract inspection in mid-November, 2006 and Global Santa Fe's GSF GALAXY II in December. The BLACK MARLIN, which was originally to have transported the two rigs to the North Sea, was diverted to the Gulf of Mexico on December 8 following the foundering of fleet-mate, the MIGHTY SERVANT 3, off the coast of Angola two days earlier.

This page shows in photographs the events that culminated in the in the sailing of the BLUE MARLIN towards the end of the month for the North Sea.

Further Halifax shipping pages:

[Recent Sightings (1)] [Recent Sightings (2)] [Recent Sightings (3)]
[Halifax Shipping (General)] [Early Container Ships] [Tallships 2004] [2003 Cruise Season] [2004 Cruise Season] [Blue Marlin - Big Lift] [What Became of Them?] [Visiting Warships]



LEFT : BLUE MARLIN anchored in Bedford Basin shortly after arrival. CENTRE: The GSF GALAXY II was the first rig to be floated onto the ballasted-down BLUE MARLIN in the early morning hours of January 24. RIGHT: ROWAN GORILLA VI is shown here at 11.00 h on the 24th being manoeuvred towards the BLUE MARLIN.


LEFT : Just as the "GORILLA" was positioning to be winched onto the BLUE MARLIN the breeze picked up, exceeding the safe limit for the operation. The attempt was abandoned to be resumed late the same night. Note: the winch-line can be seen being paid-out from the "MARLIN". CENTRE: By the next morning (January 25), both rigs were high and dry on the deck of the BLUE MARLIN. As the photo shows, there was very little clearance either between the rigs or between the rigs and the ship. RIGHT: The time is noon, the pilot is onboard and the anchors are being raised.


ABOVE: 12.35 h - underway at last with tugs assisting the turning of the ship and the Atlantic Pilotage Authority's pilot boat waiting to escort the flotilla to the pilot station off Chebucto Head. BELOW: BLUE MARLIN was heading initially to the shelter of a secure anchorage in nearby St. Margaret's Bay where the rigs would be fastened-down over the next two to three days in readiness for the long journey ahead. The ship is at anchor in St. Margaret's Bay in the final shot, having ridden out a nor' easter and temperatures down to - 20 degrees Celsius, with a significant wind chill to make it feel even colder.


FOOTNOTE: January 28 - The BLUE MARLIN is now on its way, sailing down to 37 deg. N before crossing the Atlantic to the Azores and thence to the English Channel and its destination off the north coast of Scotland. A magnificent achievement by all involved and apparently the biggest tandem lift of drilling rigs ever to take place. The combined weight of the two rigs and fastenings is around 54,000 tonnes.

(Click on the thumbnails for enlargements)



IMO No: 9186338

Registered owner (Manager): Blue Marlin B.V., Netherlands (Anglo-Eastern (UK) Limited, Glasgow)
Flag (Port of Registry): Netherlands Antilles (Willemstad).
[The Dutch company DOCKWISE owns the ship. DOCKWISE is a division of the Heerema Group].
Type: Semi-submersible Heavy Load Carrier

Year built / Builder: 2000, China Shipbuilding Corporation, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. (The ship was "jumbo-ised" in 2004 in South Korea, beam being increased from 42 m to 63.8 m and length from 217.5 m to 224.8 m).
Tonnage: 51,821 gt; 76,061 dwt.
Dimensions: length oa: 224.8 m beam: 63.08 m draught: 13.3 m


IMO No: 8764078

Registered owner (Manager): Rowan Companies Inc., Houston, Texas
Flag (Port of Registry): U.S.A. (Houston Tx).
Type: Self-elevating drilling platform. The rig can operate in waters of 122 m depth and drill to 10,670 m.

Year built / Builder: 2000, LeTourneau, Inc., Vicksburg, Mississipi.
Tonnage: 19,526 gt.
Dimensions: length oa: 93.9 m beam: 91.5 m


IMO No: 8764107

Registered owner (Manager): Global SantaFe Drilling, Houston, Texas (Global SantaFE Corp.)
Flag (Port of Registry): Vanuatu (Port Vila).
Type: Self-elevating drilling platform. The rig can operate in waters of 120 m depth.

Year built / Builder: 1998, Keppel Fels Ltd., Singapore
Tonnage: 14,471 gt.
Dimensions: length oa: 74.4 m beam: 76.2 m


Photographs copyright 2004-2007, Ship-Pics, Nova Scotia