Big freeze ices up Asphalt Sailor

Canada and the eastern United States have had a particularly severe winter this year, but no one on board the Asphalt Sailor, when en-route from St John in New Brunswick, Canada, to Newington in New Hampshire, USA in late February, expected the entire foredeck, including the mast, to ice up overnight.

The Master, Capt Md Belal Uddin reported that the vessel had departed St John after loading asphalt on February 23 at 1600hrs and in the morning, they found the freezing temperature and bad weather overnight had left the whole forecastle area up to main deck forward of the manifolds covered with a solid coating of ice.

All the railings were covered and the panama chocks were closed by ice. The mooring winches, anchors and windlasses presented a difficult problem to clear and make ready to berth, with the temp at -14°C and heavy wind and rough seas from the west-north-west.

Due to the freezing temperature, a limited crew exposure had to be considered. The situation meant that the vessel could not berth or anchor until the ice had been cleared.

After discussions with the owner and charterers, the vessel relocated further south to warmer waters at approximately 150 miles east of New York in order to clear ice from essential equipment and machinery before entering port.

This initiative was successful and Asphalt Sailor berthed in Newingtonon February 26 to discharge, and departed the following day.