Wednesday, 31 December 2008


The last ship to be shown on ClydeSights this year is AASLI, the Norwegian mini-bulker that has recently been employed on the busy Glensanda-Clyde aggregates run. She arrived this morning and is currently anchored at the 'Bravo' anchorage prior to moving to Greenock in the first few days of the New Year. A fleetmate of hers, AASHEIM, was pictured on New Year's Day, similarly awaiting a berth in Glasgow. Once a regular caller on the Clyde, AASHEIM has more recently been employed elsewhere.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Little shipping activity has been noted over the past few days, especially during daylight, but this morning all three Clyde-based Svitzer tugs made their way down the firth to assist two bulk carriers changing over at deepwater berth at Hunterston. AYTON CROSS was seen as she passed McInroy's Point, having followed SVITZER MALLAIG from the James Watt Dock. WARRIOR III followed behind shortly afterwards.

Sunday, 28 December 2008


Like FORT AUSTIN, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary FORT GEORGE has spent Christmas on the Clyde, just as she did last year too. FORT GEORGE, which has recently undergone a major refit on the River Mersey lasting several months, arrived at Loch Striven on Friday 19th December.

SEADANCE outbound

Anchoring at Brodick on Sunday 21st December, the Maltese-flagged tanker SEADANCE moved to Finnart to discharge her cargo of North Sea crude from Mongstad yesterday morning. The 105,477 tonne deadweight ship, which has an overall length of 243.8 metres, sailed again this afternoon, bound for Falmouth where she will take on bunkers. SEADANCE was built by the Hyundai shipyard at Ulsan in Korea in 1999, and was originally named VALIANT. She was renamed SEADANCE in January 2008, and is now operated by Eastern Mediterranean Maritime, a Greek company.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Two of the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency's fleet are berthed in the James Watt Dock, Greenock, for Christmas. NORNA and MINNA are seen sharing the SFPA berth last night, with ALI CAT berthed around the corner.

ClydeSights would like to extend Season's Greetings and Best Wishes to all for the festive period.

Monday, 22 December 2008


Managed by Dynacom Tankers, a Greek concern, and owned by a Liberian company, the tanker ICE EXPLORER arrived this morning with a cargo of Nigerian crude oil from the Chevron oil terminal at Escravos. The ship was built in Japan in 2006 and has a deadweight of 146,427 tonnes. Her overall length is 247.2 metres.

Sunday, 21 December 2008


Passing McInroy's Point on Sunday, the coaster SEA EMS was heading for Shieldhall with a cargo - presumably animal feed - loaded in Amsterdam. She is a 2,500 tonne deadweight ship, 82.0 metres in length, and was built in 1996 by the Dutch shipbuilder Scheepswerf Bijlsma at Wartema. Her original name was LADON but was renamed HOLLAND in 2005. A year later, she took her current name. Now flying the Antigua and Barbudan ensign, she is managed by Fehn Bereederung. Passing astern of her is SOUND OF SHUNA, while the tanker BRO DELIVERER is passing Hunter's Quay on her way into Loch Long.

Saturday, 20 December 2008


The motor tanker VALE arrived on Wednesday from Norway, and anchored off Brodick until Saturday afternoon. She was seen passing McInroy's Point as she headed upriver with a cargo of fuel for Rothesay Dock. VALE is being operated by Eitzen Chemicals, and is owned by a Singapore-based company. Technical management is carried out by Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd of Limassol, Cyprus. She is 13,006 tonnes deadweight, and 128.6 metres long. Built by INP Heavy Industries in Korea, VALE was completed in August 2007, and has a Georgian master and officers, and Filipino crew. She is a sister of both GLEN and BEN, two tankers seen in recent months on the river.


Almost a full-time resident at Glen Mallen now, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary FORT AUSTIN returned to the Clyde early on Saturday, and anchored off Baron's Point before heading into Loch Long, where she will most likely remain over the Christmas period.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Hunter's Quay

Two of Western Ferries' fleet, the Dutch-built sisters SOUND OF SCALPAY (right) and SOUND OF SANDA, seen at Hunter's Quay this evening. As usual, SOUND OF SANDA has had her mast festooned with coloured lights for the Festive Season. SOUND OF SCALPAY was lying off service due to the weather, which today saw many west coast ferry services disrupted to varying degrees.

In Memorium

The Clyde tug FLYING PHANTOM, which sank off Clydebank one year ago today, with the tragic loss of three lives.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Clyde Marine Services' tug BITER has recently made quite a few trips carrying stores and personnel from Greenock to the bulk carrier SILVER CONSTELLATION, lying at anchor off the north end of Great Cumbrae while she remains under detention. Another such run was made on Thursday morning, and BITER was seen as she passed McInroy's Point on her way down the Firth.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


After a night in the comparative shelter of the James Watt Dock, the Millport Marine Biological Research Station's survey and ressreach boat AORA was seen making her way back downfirth this morning, during one of the day's brighter spells. Built in 2003 at Macduff, AORA is a sophisticated little vessel equipped with a vast array of electronic gear used to monitor the marine environment around the Clyde.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


Awaiting the departure of BRO DESIGNER from Finnart, the Eitzen tanker SICHEM HAWK arrived at the 'Bravo' anchorage this afternoon, and was seen as she passed Ashton. Only delivered two months ago, SICHEM HAWK was built by the Korean Dae Sun shipyard for the Eitzen Group. She is 25,385 tonnes deadweight, and has an overall length of 170.1 metres. Her crew are a mix of Latvian, Russian, Estonian and Ukranians who are supplied through the EMS Shipmanagement company, part of the Eitzen Group.

Monday, 15 December 2008


Heading into Loch Long, the Brostrom tanker BRO DESIGNER was heading for Finnart to backload another cargo of petroleum products for Belfast. She is seen passing the 'Sandown' class minesweeper HMS PENZANCE.


Seen on trials and heading downfirth for an hour or so, the CalMac car ferry ARGYLE is nearing the completion of her annual overhaul and survey at the Garvel Drydock. She later returned to Greenock, and is due to return to service this week, allowing the relief ferry CORUISK to stand down.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


The bulk carrier SILVER CONSTELLATION remains at anchor at the north end of the Great Cumbrae, remaining under detention by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency following a Port State Control inspection while she was at Hunterston. So great was the number of defects that the inspection was actually halted, which followed an earlier inspection some two months earlier at Rotterdam and which revealed numerous deficiences although SILVER CONSTELLATION was not held at that time.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008


The Maltese-registered tanker HARTZI was seen in Rothesay Dock at Clydebank, having arrived in Brodick Bay on Sunday 7th, and moved upriver late in the afternnoon on Tuesday. Carrying a cargo of petroleum grades from Rotterdam, HARTZI is no stranger to the river, although this is her first visit since she was renamed. Seen on the Clyde in her former guise as ILANDAG in November 2007, she was renamed last December but appears to have remained on time charter to Lukoil.


Taking part in exercises off Gourock, the 'River' class Offshore Patrol Vessel MERSEY was seen with Serco-Denholm's water barge SD-WATERMAN, which is based at the Great Harbour at Greenock. MERSEY has been conducting training for the past feew weeks and is operating out of Faslane.

Monday, 8 December 2008

STEERSMAN outbound

Seen passing Cloch Lighthouse, the Fishers tanker STEERSMAN had been at Rothesay Dock discharging a cargo of fuel from Amsterdam, and was making her way downfirth on passage to Pembroke to load another cargo. She was built in Malaysia in 1994, one of a class of four ships, and was named in the tradition of the Rowbotham fleet by whom she had been ordered. Although delivered to P&O Tankships, which had taken over Rowbothams in 1993, she was transferred to the Fishers fleet when the Barrow-based company bought over the Rowbotham/P&O Tankships fleet at the end of 1996. STEERSMAN is 101.6 metres overall, and has a deadweight of 6,403 tonnes. She flies the Liberian flag, and has a British master, with a mix of British and Polish officers, and a Filipino crew.

Saturday, 6 December 2008


Another view of CAMERON, the Briggs Marine buoy maintenance vessel that has been working out of the Great Harbour for the past few weeks. She was returning to Greenock from a few days sojourn to Campbeltown, and the red navigation buoy on her deck was from Loch Carnan, in the Outer Hebrides. CAMERON is currently working on contract to Serco Denholm.


Sitting at Greenock's Ocean Terminal in the wintery sun, the container ship PETUJA was seen as she loaded cargo for Bilbao. This Sietas Type 160 vessel is currently on charter to DFDS Suardiaz Line, and she has been operating on their UK-Spain service for around a year.

Friday, 5 December 2008


The Clyde tugs AYTON CROSS and SVITZER MALLAIG headed for the Largs Channel this afternoon to tow the barge AMT DISCOVERER from Fairlie, where it had arrived on Wednesday, upriver to Ferguson Shipbuilders' Newark Shipyard at Port Glasgow. The trio are seen here approaching Cloch Point in the fresh northerly breeze.


The CalMac ferry LOCH BUIE, which has just completed her annual survey at the Ardmaleish Boatyard on Bute, was seen today making her way from Rothesay to Gourock, where she will remain for a few days. LOCH BUIE is normally employed on the short crossing between Fionnphort on the island of Mull, and Iona, and although similar in size to other example of the smaller 'Loch' class ferries in the fleet, differs in that she has more extensive passenger accommodation, needed on the run that she serves for the intensive tourist traffic. She was built in 1992 by the James Millar yard at St Monans in Fife. The MoD Police launch CONDOR seen passing LOCH BUIE was heading back upriver to Faslane.


With the tug WILLOWGARTH having returned to her Belfast home yesterday afternoon, it was the turn of Svitzer's other Belfast-based tug to come to the Clyde today. NORTON CROSS, built by Richard Dunston (Hessle) Ltd in 1985, was originally built for service on the River Tees, but has since been base on the Mersey before taking up employment at Belfast. She is a tractor type tug, with twin Aquamaster azimuthing units mounted under the hull, more or less amidships, and at 27.85 metres in length, this 189 gross ton tug has an advertised bollard pull of 43.8 tonnes. Main power for her azimuth units comes from two Ruston 6RK3CM diesel engines, rated at 1,700 bhp.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


At the same time that ALHOLMEN was heading into the Holy Loch, this tanker, owned by Libyan Maritime Carriers Ltd, was heading to Finnart on Long Long. ASHAHDA, which was built by Sumitomo Heavy Industries at their Oppama shipyard in Japan in 2004, was named CELEBRITY until June 2007. She is 237.74 metres in length, and has a deadweight of 105,221 tonnes. ASHAHDA is currently on charter to Teekay Shipping, and was arriving with a cargo of North Sea crude from Mongstad, in Norway.


It's unusual to see a geared ship heading to Sandbank to load timber, but today saw the Holy Loch Marina's berth receiving a visit from ALHOLMEN, a Finnish coaster built in 1984 as MANGEN for German owners. ALHOLMEN is now owned by Kraftline, and is 3,175 tonnes deadweight with an overall length of 86.95 metres. She was built by Nieuwe Noord Nederlandse Scheepswerven BV, at Groningen in the Netherlands. ALHOLMEN sailed this afternoon, having loaded just a part cargo. Weather conditions had made it impossible to deliver more timber for shipment, and she will instead complete her loading at Kyle of Lochalsh.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Heading back to Hunter's Quay from McInroy's Point this afternoon, Western Ferries' SOUND OF SHUNA is seen here being passed by the MoD Police Boat GIGHA. During her recent overhaul at the Garvel Drydock, SOUND OF SHUNA was fitted with extended exhaust pipes like those fitted to her sister SOUND OF SCARBA at the beginning of the year.


While WILLOWGARTH was running up and down the Firth, local tugs AYTON CROSS and SVITZER MALLAIG were busy at Fairlie berthing the dumb barge AMT DISCOVERER, seen in this view sent by a friend. The barge had arrived earlier this morning, under tow by the tug EIDE TRAVELLER, which handed over her charge to the local tugs at Cumbrae Heads before heading off herself. This barge is owned by Anchor Marine Transportation Ltd, and is 91.86 metres in length, with a beam of 30.48 metres. It can carry a maximum cargo deadweight of 13,935 tonnes, and is believed to be due to move upriver to Ferguson Shipbuilders shortly.


Seen this morning out and about on the Upper Firth, the tug WILLOWGARTH appeared to be running trials following her recent stay in the James Watt Dock. Sailing downfirth as far as Toward, she turned round and headed back up the firth, into Loch Long and to the oil terminal at Finnart. She later returned to Greenock. WILLOWGARTH, which dates from 1989, is usually based at Belfast.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

NORDPORT outbound

Also departing this afternoon was the tanker NORDPORT, which had been seen at anchor at the Tail o' the Bank a few days ago. After MARIDA MAGNOLIA sailed yesterday, NORDPORT returned to the tanker berth in Rothesay Dock to complete her discharge, before leaving again today for Amsterdam.


Still carrying regular cargoes into the Clyde, AASFJORD had been discharging cement in King George V Dock and sailed today for Glensanda, and is seen here passing Cloch Lighthouse in the afternoon sun. At the superquarry, AASFJORD will be loading aggregates, possibly for the Clyde.


Arriving this morning from Seville to load another cargo of scrap metal, Alstership's DANIEL K. was seen as she headed towards the pilot boarding station at Kempock Point. One of a number of similar vessels, she was built by the Rousse Shipyard in Bulgaria and was completed in October 2002. DANILE K. is 89.89 metres overall, and has a deadweight of 4,247 tonnes. After embarking her pilot, DANIEL K. moved upriver to Shieldhall.

Monday, 1 December 2008


Seen sailing this afternoon, the tanker MARIDA MAGNOLIA was on her way to the French port of Petit Couronne, on the River Seine. Delivered less than six months ago by her Korean builders, the Jinse Shipbuilding Co, she is operated by Marida Tankers as part of the Heidmar Group. With a deadweight of 13,273 tonnes, the 127.9 metre long tanker was named SICHEM HAMBURG when launched, but had her name changed after being sold by her original owners, Eitzen Chemical, when she was about a month old.


Paying another visit to Greenock Customhouse Quay over the weekend, the Northern Lights' tender POLE STAR was seen rounding the Ashton Buoy this morning, as she sailed for Campbeltown. Usually based at Oban, POLE STAR is no stranger to the Clyde, having been built by Ferguson Shipbuilders eight years ago.

CIMBRIS outbound

An early departure from Glasgow today was the coaster CIMBRIS, seen passing Gourock on a chilly December morning. CIMBRIS, which spent several days at anchor awaiting a berth at Shieldhall, had moved upriver on Saturday and discharged her cargo of wind turbines at the berth the bulk carrier GYN YOH had been occupying. She is now on passage to Emden.

Sunday, 30 November 2008


Also lying off Greenock to await an improvement in visibility was the Ukranian-flagged coaster HEROI STAKHORSKYI, which had arrived on the Lower Firth late on Friday evening with a cargo of animal feed. She was built by Damen Shipyards' Ukrainian yard at Nikolaev, being launched in September 2005. Owned by Ukrrichflot, she has a deadweight of 6,315 tonnes and measures 127.3 metres overall. 


The second vessel bringing in steel fabrications for the new footbridge being built at the Broomielaw arrived from Invergordon at the 'Bravo' anchorage on Saturday evening. SEA HAWK weighed anchor on Sunday morning with the intent of heading upriver, but it was decided instead to await an improvement in visibility and she anchored again off Greenock. SEA HAWK is operated by Torbulk, and is registered in Barbados. She was completed as MINDFUL in 1989 by the Damen Shipyard at Gorinchem, changing her name to CHRISTA K ten years later. The 3,015 tonne deadweight, 87.7 metre long ship was given her present name in 2006.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

The Tugs

There are presently four tugs belonging to Svitzer berthed in the James Watt Dock at Greenock. This view shows WARRIOR III returning to her berth after assisting a tanker movement upriver at Clydebank, with SVITZER MALLAIG and AYTON CROSS sharing their home berth with WILLOWGARTH, which arrived at Greenock a few days ago. An announcement was made yesterday by Scottish Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell to signal the start of a £180 million project to regenerate the 50-acre waterside site over the next ten years. Hundreds of luxury apartments are planned, together with marina facilities. Although, the Great Harbour is included in the redeveloment plans, the adjacent Garvel drydock appears to be unaffected by the proposal.

Winter Refits

Two of the larger CalMac ferries were seen this afternoon in Greenock's James Watt Dock. Completing her annual survey and refit was ISLE OF MULL, looking very spruce after her spell in the Garvel Drydock. Berthed ahead of her, HEBRIDEAN ISLES, which briefly visited the Clyde as recently as last weekend, had only arrived a little while earlier, and was seen deploying her Marine Evacuation System chutes as part of her annual survey. The Rothesay ferry BUTE and the Colintraive ferry LOCH DUNVEGAN had both sailed from the Garvel yard earlier this morning, both having just completed their surveys.

GYN YOH outbound

Passing Cloch Point this afternoon, the bulk carrier GYN YOH was sailing from the Clyde for Tenerife, where she will be taking on bunkers before loading her next cargo. She was seen earlier this week as she discharged her cargo of animal feed at Shieldhall.


Only renamed a few weeks ago, the tanker NORDPORT was completed in March this year as E.R. ELBE by the Sekwang Shipyard in Korea. She is 13,126 tonnes deadweight, with an overall length of 128.6 metres. Flying the Cypriot flag, she is operating for Eitzen Chemical A/S and had been discharging a cargo in Rothesay Dock before moving downriver to the Tail o' the Bank last night.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Greenock Ocean Terminal

Three container services currently use Greenock's Ocean Terminal on a Friday, and today two vessels were seen alongside. Closest is CANOPUS J on the MacAndrews Greenock-Bilbao-Liverpool service while at the west end, LAURA ANN was loading on the OOCL SIX service, running between Southampton, Dublin, Greenock and Belfast. LAURA ANN is a fairly new visitor, and is one of the well-known Sietas 168 type container ships. Owned by Eicke Shipping, this 11,639 tonne deadweight ship is 134 metres long, and has a maximum capacity of 868 TEU boxes. She was built in 2002, and like many vessels of her type, has carried other names while on different charters. The third container ship to visit Greenock today was HELGALAND, also on charter to MacAndrews but running on their other Northwest UK-Iberia route, serving Portugal.


Passing Cloch Point this afternoon, the Strahlmann coaster HOLSTENTOR was setting out for Bilbao with a cargo of scrap steel, loaded at Diesel Wharf. One of a class of Portuguese-built sisters, HOLSTENTOR's career has paralleled that of the other three ships, all built for Port Line, a Portuguese company in 1989/90, and sold on successively to German, then Dutch owners. They were acquired collectively by Erwin Strahlmann in 2004.


Finally taking her leave of the Clyde this afternoon, the tug ST BUDOC was seen passing Inverkip as she commenced a lengthy sea passage to Portland, in the south of England. There it is expected that she will be prepared for a new career in Africa. ST BUDOC has been a familiar sight in the Holy Loch as she lay on mooring buoys at the head of the loch for the past six years, and over the past year at the pontoons of the Holy Loch Marina.

Thursday, 27 November 2008


Another vessel which has spent quite a while at anchor, in her case at the north end of Great Cumbrae, is the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier SILVER CONSTELLATION, which moved there on completion of discharge of a cargo of Colombian coal at Hunterston. Now on her fifth name, she was built in Japan as CAPE COSMOS, entering service in 1986. In 2000, she was briefly named CAPE DAISY, becoming CHAMPEL the same year, then ORIENT BRILLIANCE two years later. She was given her present name in 2006. She is 273.01 metres long, and has a deadweight of 146,351 tonnes. She appears to be owned by Canadian interests, and is on charter to a Singapore company.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


The Ministry of Defence Police launch GIGHA has completed her trial period with the Clyde Naval Base and is now serving as a fulltime unit. An order for a further five similar launches has been placed with Holyhead Marine. Subject to suitable funding being made available, it is hoped that there will be fifteen such boats within five years. GIGHA, which is 14.90 metres long, is driven by two Caterpillar engines and twin Rolls Royce Kamewa waterjets, which give her a speed of up to 33 knots.


Lying at the 'Bravo' anchorage for a few days, the Gibraltar-registered coaster CIMBRIS is waiting to move upriver to discharge her cargo of wind turbines. She was built at the Rousse shipyard in Bulgaria in 2003, and is 98.86 metres in length. Her deadweight is 4,516 tonnes, and she is owned by Briese Schiffahrt.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


A most unusual arrival today at a berth that has not seen commercial shipping for many years, was Faversham Shipping's SHETLAND TRADER, seen here alongside the south wall of the former Princes Dock. Carrying steel sections of a new footbridge being constructed further upriver linking the former Bridge Wharf and the Broomielaw, SHETLAND TRADER was waiting for the arrival of craneage to discharge the sections, which she had loaded at Invergordon. The coaster was built in 1992 as LASS MARS at the Rosslauer Shipyard on the River Elbe, and has a length of 74.94 metres, and a deadweight of 2,386 tonnes. She joined the Faversham fleet in September 2007, at which time she was renamed and re-registered in Barbados.


Discharging animal feed at Shieldhall today was the Philippino-flagged woodchip/bulk carrier GYN YOH, a ship of a type seen fairly often on the upper reaches of the Clyde. She was built in 1988 by the Oshima Shipbuilding Co in Japan, and has an overall length of 199.2 metres. Her deadweight is some 43,117 tonnes, and she is owned by a company based in Panama, with Singapore based managers.