Friday, 29 February 2008


Another arrival today was regular visitor MERIWA, on the Liverpool-Greenock-Bilbao UKIB container service for MacAndrews. She is 7,000 tonnes deadweight, 107.94 metres long, and has a capacity for 545 TEUs. MERIWA was built in 1996 as ARKLOW CASTLE by Peterswerft Wewelsfleth GmbH in Germany. She is currently partnered on this service by the larger VELAZQUEZ, and has a service speed of 16 knots.


The last time this tanker visited the Clyde, it was pouring with rain - today it was blowing a gale and pouring with rain! ALFA GERMANIA has just spent a number of days lying at anchor off Irvine and this morning finally sailed up the firth to Finnart. Dating from 1998, she is one of a fleet of eight 'Aframax' tankers owned by the Finnish operator Lundqvist and she is manned by Finnish and Croatian officers, with an Indonesian crew. Barely visible through the spray and rain is CalMac's CORUISK awaiting a berth at Gourock on a diverted sailing from Rothesay.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

PRINCESSA V outbound

After completing discharging her cargo of animal feed at Shieldhall, the bulker PRINCESSA V sailed this afternoon in ballast. She is seen here passing McInroy's Point as she heads down the Clyde and out to sea for her next port, St Petersburg in Russia. Details of the ship, and a short video of her arrival at Shieldhall, can be seen here. PRINCESSA V is currently operating on time charter to a Danish company, Atlas Shipping A/S.

GERD SIBUM inbound

Heavily laden with containers GERD SIBUM arrived at Greenock today from Belfast, passing McInroy's Point at the same time as CalMac's ISLE OF CUMBRAE was making her way from Rothesay to Rosneath for a spell of lay-up following her annual survey at Ardmaleish. GERD SIBUM sailed again this evening for Southampton.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

BLACK SEA outbound

Although scheduled to sail yesterday, the tanker BLACK SEA remained alongside at Finnart until weather conditions improved overnight. She arrived on the Clyde on Sunday afternoon, anchoring in Irvine Bay until Monday morning when she moved upfirth. Built in 1999 by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea, BLACK SEA is an 'Aframax' ship of some 104,942 tonnes deadweight, and has an overall length of 243.55 metres. She is operated by a Singapore company, Tanker Pacific, and is currently on time charter to Teekay. BLACK SEA was sailing today for Sullom Voe in the Shetland Isles.

HERM outbound

The container ship HERM left Greenock today for Belfast after spending the night alongside Ocean Terminal. She is operating on the OOCL SIX service, as she arrived yesterday from Dublin, having previously called at Southampton and Zeebrugge. See here for more details about the vessel herself. In the background, Clyde Marine's SEABUS crosses to Kilcreggan.


Although she arrived early today, AASFJORD had to anchor in the 'Bravo' anchorage this morning to await high water for her passage to Glasgow this afternoon, when she moved upriver to King George V Dock, to discharge a cargo of cement. The 3,960 tonne ship was built in 1978. AASFJORD is operated by Aasen Chartering, and all cargo operations are performed by her own crew.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

SD-OMAGH - A 285

Also seen this afternoon kicking up the spray as she punched her way into the westerly gale was Serco Denholm's fleet tender SD-OMAGH, heading down firth to carry out some exercises. Like other vessels of the former Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service, SD-OMAGH has flown the Red Ensign since Serco Denholm was awarded the 15-year contract to provide support services around the UK's naval dockyards.


With a fierce westerly wind blowing, TISTEDAL sailed for Skogn this afternoon after discharging her cargo of paper at Greenock. Tonight TISTEDAL, also seen in this previous post sailing in slightly better conditions a couple of weeks ago, is anchored in Brodick Bay, awaiting better weather before continuing her voyage.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Two Bros passing

Despite starting out reasonably pleasant, the weather deteriorated rapidly as the day progressed. By mid-afternoon a southerly swell had developed, sweeping right up the Firth. This image shows two of Brostrom's tankers as they passed each other just north of Cloch Point this afternoon, with BRO DELIVERER (on the left) heading to Belfast with a cargo of petroleum products on board. On the right is fleetmate BRO ANTON, whose sister BRO ATLAND was shown here in slightly better weather conditions. Like her, BRO ANTON, 16,376 tonnes deadweight , was built in 1999 by Factorias Vulcanos in Spain, and was previously named UNITED ANTON, changing names after the United Tankers fleet was taken over by Brostroms. She was heading this afternoon for Finnart to load a cargo of reformate which was piped through from Grangemouth and has been kept in storage at the Loch Long facility while part of the Ineos refinery (formerly BP) has been shut down for maintenance. What is perhaps a little surprising is the destination for this cargo - Grangemouth! There it will be further refined when the plant is reactivated and may even end up back at Finnart again as petroleum, diesel or aviation fuel.


The large coaster MOKSHEIM made a return to the Clyde today, moving upriver to load a cargo of scrap metal at Shieldhall early this morning. MOKSHEIM, which was detailed previously on ClydeSights, last visited the river about a month ago, when she loaded another cargo of scrap for Seville.

Sunday, 24 February 2008


Leaving King George V Dock this afternoon after discharging her cargo of cement, the German coaster APOLLO LYNX is owned by Apollo Shipping, of which a few other ships have been seen on the Clyde previously. This particular vessel was built by Zavod Krasnoye Sormovo, a builder in the Russian Federation, and was completed in November 2002. She is 4,2394 tonnes deadweight, and has an overall length of 96.30 metres.


The latest large CalMac ferry to visit the Clyde for her annual overhaul arrived this morning at Gourock. HEBRIDES, built in 2001 at Ferguson Shipbuilders at Port Glasgow, normally serves on the run between Uig on Skye, Tarbert in Harris, and Lochmaddy in North Uist. She differs from other large ferries in the company's fleet in that she has no lifeboats, although two fast rescue craft are carried. Instead she has a Marine Evacuation System with sufficient capacity for her full passenger complement of 612.

In the upper picture she is shown leaving Gourock where she had called briefly to land cars belonging to her crew, and to pick up a Clyde Pilot for the short journey upriver to the Garvel Drydock, which she is shown entering in the lower view. HEBRIDES is 5,506 gross tons, and has an overall length of 99 metres. During her overhaul last year, her MaK main engines were comverted to run on a heavier grade of fuel oil, with resulting savings reported to be in the order of 15%.


Another cargo of animal feed arrived this morning aboard the bulk carrier PRINCESSA V, seen here passing Greenock about to enter the main river channel. She was built in 1986 at the Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt, being completed as QENA for the Egyptian Navigation Co. With a deadweight of 38,500 tonnes, she is 200 metre overall. Her last port was Belfast, which she left on Thursday afternoon. However, her arrival was delayed until today due to the attrocious weather which has been affecting the area over the past couple of days - take a look at her movements on Friday. PRINCESSA V has been managed by a Greek company, Pendulum Shipmanagement Inc since March 2007, when she was given her current name and swapped the Egyptian flag for the Panamanian one.


A picture sent to ClydeSights by a good friend today shows the bulk carrier MAGDALENE as she heads down the Largs Channel with her cargo of coal towards Hunterston jetty yesterday morning. A Capesize ship of 149,530 tonnes deadweight, this 270 metre long ship was built in 1989 by the China Shipbuilding Co at their Kaohsiung shipyard. Managed by a German company, Johann MK Blumenthal, she was originally named PULANG LUPA, becoming COPPET in 2002. She took her present name at the end of 2006, transferring from the Panamanian flag to the Maltese register at the same time.

Saturday, 23 February 2008


One of CalMac's ferries built locally by Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd left the Garvel Drydock this morning and was berthed in the James Watt Dock to continue her annual overhaul. LOCH FYNE, sister of the Colintraive ferry LOCH DUNVEGAN, joined the CalMac fleet in 1991 and was initially used on the short crossing between Kyle of Lochalsh and Kyleakin before the Skye Bridge was built. LOCH FYNE is 56.0 metres overall with her ramps stowed, and is 549 tons gross. From 1995, when the bridge rendered her and her sister obsolete, until 1997, she lay in the James Watt Dock and on the sale list. No buyer was found and she was given a reprieve when LOCH DUNVEGAN, which had also been laid up for some time, broke down while serving on the Lochaline-Fishnish route across the Sound of Mull. LOCH FYNE was recommissioned, sent to replace her, and has served Mull faithfully since then. Her large capacity is useful for carrying the large number of commercial vehicles now engaged in timber haulage operations in the area. Berthed astern of LOCH FYNE, the Rothesay ferry ARGYLE continues with her overhaul.

Friday, 22 February 2008

BUTE diverted

CalMac's Rothesay ferry BUTE is no stranger to Gourock Pier, as she has been regularly berthing there overnight while reconstruction work continues at Rothesay . However it was for another reason that she was at Gourock today - a combination of a high tide and the weather. The small vessel in the foreground is Clyde Marine Service's SEABUS, used to provide a link between the railhead at Gourock, the village of Kilcreggan on the Rosneath peninsula, and Helensburgh. She too was affected this afternoon by the fierce westerly wind, and was securely moored at her berth awaiting an improvement before she could continue her service.

As can be seen in this view, the sun did come out between the heavy showers, although the white horses visible behind BUTE show that the wind continued to blow hard.

BUTE is seen in this last view as she sets out from Gourock and heads down the Firth from to Rothesay. Click here to see a short video clip of BUTE sailing past Ashton on her way down the Firth.


Caught today leaving Hunterston on a wild afternoon after discharging a cargo of coal, the bulk carrier MAR REINA was heading for Mobile, Alabama USA. Built in 1998 by Sasebo Heavy Industries in Japan, MAR REINA is operating on time charter to Lauritzen Bulkers, whose funnel colours she is wearing. Registered in Panama, she is a 72,424 tonne deadweight Panamax ship, with an overall length of 225 metres.

Thursday, 21 February 2008


Putting a little bit of colour into an otherwise grey day, Taylor and Taylor's RED BARONESS was at Sandbank today to load round timber for transport to Londonderry. Like the cargo taken from the Holy Loch a few days ago by FINGAL, this wood will be heading to an Northern Irish sawmill, this time at Enniskillen and belonging to Balcas, one of the UK and Ireland's largest suppliers of timber products. RED BARONESS sailed shortly after this picture was taken.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


Just off the slip at Ardmaleish Boatyard yesterday CalMac's ISLE OF CUMBRAE spent, I believe, the night at Gourock before returning to Rothesay this afternoon. A veteran in the fleet nowadays, she was built by the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company at Troon in 1977, and entered service on the Largs-Cumbrae Slip service in April that year. Since then, she has operated on a number of services, currently her summertime employment in on the Tarbert-Portavadie run while in winter she can be found on a variety of routes. Just visible in the background, to the right of the Toward Bank buoy, is LOCH SHIRA at Largs, the latest ferry to be employed on the Cumbrae service.


BROCKLESBY has spent several days exercising in the Upper Clyde with another 'Hunt' Class minehunter, CATTISTOCK. Today the pair were working in the main channel just off Dunoon, and BROCKLESBY is seen this afternoon heading back up the river. Passing down the river behind her is CalMac's ISLE OF CUMBRAE.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

FINGAL outbound

Making another departure from Sandbank this morning was the well-known coaster FINGAL, heading with her latest cargo of round timber for Youghal in southern Ireland. From there the timber is taken inland to Glennon Brothers' sawmill at Fermoy, in County Cork, about 25 miles inland. FINGAL has been seen many times before on ClydeSights - for further details see here.


Belonging to the same owners as ENDEAVOR, a former regular caller at Greenock until the turn of the year, ELEGANCE was a new arrival on the Clyde early this morning. Inward bound from Belfast, she sailed this afternoon for Rotterdam. Dating from 1991, she was completed as ZENIT but almost immediately renamed GRACECHURCH CROWN. In 2002 she reverted to her original name, and two years later became ELEGANCE. Later in 2004, she was renamed BERMUDA ISLANDER for a three year charter in the Caribbean, reverting to ELEGANCE in September 2007. She was built by the German builders Sietas, and is one of their Type 129 ships, 103.55 metres long with a deadweight of 4,665 tonnes. Her container capacity is 374 TEU.

Monday, 18 February 2008


A night-time view WAVE RULER at Loch Striven, from where she sailed this morning and was replaced a few hours later by MAERSK RAPIER, which had arrived on the Firth yesterday afternoon, and anchored in Irvine Bay before moving to Loch Striven late this morning.

Sunday, 17 February 2008


For the past few weeks, one of the two Caledonian MacBrayne ferries serving Rothesay has had to berth overnight at Gourock, because of ongoing work at Rothesay pier. A new end-loading linkspan, which was commissioned in November last year, rendered the old side-loading linkspan redundant, and it was removed a couple of weeks ago. While the former ferry berth is being rebuilt, only one of the ferries can lie at Rothesay overnight, so the other ship makes for Gourock each evening. This past week - the two vessels swap duties every Sunday - it has been the turn of CORUISK to come up firth for the night. She was seen this morning passing McInroy's Point as she returned to Rothesay to pick up service for the day.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

MINERVA II at anchor

The Panamanian-flagged coaster MINERVA II, loaded with a cargo of scrap metal for the Portuguese port of Leixoes, sailed from the Lobnitz Basin at Renfrew on Wednesday afternoon. However, just upstream of Dumbarton, she lost engine power and ended up going aground, being later refloated and towed clear by Clyde Marine's tug BATTLER. MINERVA II was later berthed at Ocean Terminal, where she was inspected by MCA surveyors to assess any damage. She is now anchored off Greenock.

Friday, 15 February 2008

LYSBLINK outbound, AASHEIM inbound

As LYSBLINK passes the Cloch lighthouse as she leaves the Clyde this afternoon for Rotterdam, her next port, she passed another weel-kent ship on the river, AASHEIM, which was inward bound for the riverside berth at Shieldhall with another cargo of aggregates from Glensanda.


Following her short stay at Glen Mallan, the fleet tanker WAVE RULER sailed this morning for the short passage to the NATO Fuel Jetty at Loch Striven, accompanied by two of Serco Denholm's Greenock-based tugs. WAVE RULER is seen here as she passes Hunter's Quay.

Thursday, 14 February 2008


Passing the Amazon distribution centre at Gourock this morning, Lys Lines' LYSBLINK heads for Greenock with a cargo of paper. Like her sister LYSVIK which was shown here previously, LYSBLINK was built at the ABG shipyard at Surat in India, being completed in July 2000. She was also given a new 27.1 metre mid-section in a lengthening process at Gydnia's Nauta Ship Repair Yard in 2004, resulting in an overall length of 129.0 metres and a deadweight of 7,500 tonnes. Unlike LYSVIK, this ship is still in the Lys Line livery.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

DEFIANT II outbound

This interesting looking ship, DEFIANT II, is a self-discharging bulk carrier and was upriver at Shieldhall unloading a cargo of aggregate from the Glensanda quarry on the shores of Loch Linnhe. She was constructed in 1978 in Sweden as DANIA, and built to carry newsprint. In 1983, she was renamed DONNY, then DENEB in 1988. In 1991, she was lengthened to 135.01 metres, converted to carry bulk cargoes and fitted with self-dicharging gear, becoming HOLMÖN at that time. Her deadweight tonnage increased to 10,900 tonnes. She was only given her present name on 4 February following her recent acquisition by Britannia Bulk plc. She was sailing this afternoon to load again at Glensanda.


WAVE RULER, the sister of the large fleet tanker WAVE KNIGHT, which was seen at Loch Striven recently, arrived on the Clyde this morning, and is seen here as she headed into Loch Long to the MoD berth at Glen Mallan. WAVE RULER was built by BAE Systems at the Govan shipyard, and was launched in February 2001, joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in April 2003.

EN AVANT 7 and Crane Barge DINA M

The Dutch crane barge DINA M arrived this morning under tow from Holland, with the small tug EN AVANT 7 in charge. Off Inverkip, they were met by Briggs Marine's tug FORTH DRUMMER, which had arrived a couple of days ago, and which assisted the 60 metre barge to berth in the Great Harbour. The crane barge, which has a maximum lift of 350 tonnes and is owned by Stemat Marine Services, is to be used in connection with construction work at Faslane for the new 'Astute' class submarines.

The tug which towed the crane from Rotterdam, EN AVANT 7, is owned by Rederij Muller Dordrect, and was built in 1981 by Damen for service in the United Arab Emirates. 22.15 metres long, she was acquired by Muller and given her current name. After leaving DINA M at Greenock, the tug sailed again this evening for Dordrect.


One of the four members of Fisher Everard's 'Speciality' class of coastal tankers arrived on the Clyde this morning, with another cargo of fuel for Rothesay Dock. SUPREMITY, the last vessel of the class, was delivered by the Qingshan Shipyard at the end of September 2007. Her arrival in the Everard fleet cleared the way for the company to dispose of three of its older vessels, including ALACRITY, which visited Clydebank in August last year. It was reported that her sale realised around £1.4 million. SUPREMITY has an overall length of 95.15 metres, and a deadweight of 4,426 tonnes. She is registered in London, and has British, Canadian and Polish officers, and a Polish crew.


One of two 'Hunt' class minehunters exercising on the Upper Clyde today, CATTISTOCK spent some time working with one of the Royal Navy's Westland Sea King rescue helicopters from Prestwick. HMS CATTISTOCK has been based at Faslane for the past few weeks getting ready for a spell of duty in the Arabian Gulf.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008


A new ship to visit the Holy Loch arrived this afternoon in the shape of ANKE-ANGELA, a Gibraltar-registered, German-owned coaster built in 1984. Coming from the Hugo Peters shipyard at Wewelsfleth, she was named CLAUDIA-ISABEL when new, and was renamed ANKE-ANGELA in 1997. She is owned by Klaus-Dieter Oelze Schiffahrts, and operates for Echoship ApS on charter. She has a deadweight of 1,735 tonnes. ANKE-ANGELA is 82.45 metres long, and is loading a cargo of logs at Sandbank for the Finnish port of Rauma.


The misty silhouette of HMS IRON DUKE, taken today as she headed down the Clyde. This 'Duke' class Type 23 frigate was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders at Scotstoun, entering the Clyde for the first time in March 1991. These ships, whose primary role is anti-submarine warfare, have an impressive array of armaments, including Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles, Stingray Torpedoes, Sea Wolf Anti-Air Missiles and a single 4.5" Mk 8 gun mounted forward. She also carries a Mk 8 Lynx Helicopter. IRON DUKE is 133 metres long, and has a displacement of 4,900 tonnes. Propulsion comes from a combined gas turbine and diesel-electric system, giving a speed of 28 knots. Some ships of this class have already been sold overseas as part of defence budget cutbacks.


Glistening in the sunshine today after the thick fog cleared this morning, Western Ferries' SOUND OF SCARBA lies at Hunter's Quay during a routine break from service to take bunkers and carry out routine maintenance. During her recent spell at the Garvel Drydock, she had her exhaust uptakes lengthened, making the two Ferguson-built sisters readily identifiable, at least for the time being.

Monday, 11 February 2008


Running opposite MERIWA on the MacAndrews container service between Greenock, Dublin, Liverpool and Bilbao, VELAZQUEZ arrived this afternoon in pleasant sunshine. When she went on charter to MacAndrews in September 2005, VELAZQUEZ became the largest vessel that they had used to date on their UK/Iberian peninsula services. Much of her cargo is carried in refrigerated containers, these are the ones painted white in this view.


Now a regular part of the Clyde scene, the Svitzer tug AYTON CROSS was seen heading down firth today from her base in the James Watt Dock to Hunterston, to assist with the departure of one, and the arrival of another bulk carrier. Details of this Spanish-built tug, which dates from 2005, can be read here.


Spending last night at anchor in Irvine Bay, the BP tanker BRITISH CYGNET arrived at Finnart this morning. The 113,782 tonne deadweight ship was completed by Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea, in November 2005. She is 251.5 metres in length. Like most of the BP Shipping fleet of fifty ships, she is registered at Douglas on the Isle of Man. Manned by an Indian crew, BRITISH CYGNET has a number of sisterships making up the 'Bird' class, including BRITISH ROBIN.


A small tug, owned by Briggs Marine who are based in Burntisland in Fife, arrived this morning towing a barge. FORTH DRUMMER was built by the Richards shipyard at Lowestoft as LADY LAURA in 1967. Original owners were J H Piggott of Grimsby. She later passed to Humber Tugs, then United Towing, before Howard Smith took her over in 1996. FORTH DRUMMER joined the Briggs fleet in 2000, when she was renamed. A small vessel of 114 gross tons, she is twin screw and has Ruston main engines. She is 25.3 metres long.

The pair left Rotterdam on Sunday 27 January, and both vessels are now berthed in the Great Harbour.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

BIG GRACE outbound

The massive bulk of the woodchip carrier BIG GRACE is very apparent in this view, taken today as she headed down the Firth for Belfast, her next port of call. Although she is of a similar length to other bulk carriers which have visited Glasgow over the past few months at around 200 metres, at 32.2 metres she is almost 5 metres wider than most of them. Her depth - the actual depth of her hull from keel to main deck - is also much greater (22.65 metres as against 15-17 metres for the other ships), although her loaded draft is similar to the others, a little over 11 metres. These dimensions are reflected in the comparative tonnages, ships such as KYODO PROGRESS and OCEAN LIGHT being around 23-24,000 gross tons, whereas BIG GRACE is 39,199 gross tons.

Saturday, 9 February 2008


A sistership of SUURHUSEN which sailed yesterday afternoon, A.B. DUBLIN is loading scrap metal at Diesel Wharf for the Spanish smelters at Seville. She dates from 1997, when she was launched as SAAR DUBLIN for Bockstiegel, though she was renamed before completion. Her hull was built in Romania by Santierul Naval Galati S.A. but completed by Damen in Holland. She is 89.69 metres in length, while her deadweight is 4,211 tonnes. One of her other sisters was seen in King George V Dock on a previous occasion.


Arriving at Greenock very lightly loaded this afternoon, the container ship GERD SIBUM is currently on charter to BG Freight Line on their Belfast - Greenock - Southampton - Rotterdam - Antwerp service. She was built by Elbewerft at Boizenburg, but completed by Sietas at Neuenfelde in 1998 for Reederei Bernd Sibum GmbH, a well known German shipping company. Initially on charter to Maersk as MAERSK SALERNO, she reverted in 1999 to the name she was given when launched. Not a large ship by today's standards, she can carry 523 TEU, and with a deadweight of 5,272 tonnes, she has an overall length of 99.99 metres. She sailed this evening for Southampton.


The 750th ship to be launched at the Govan shipyard, now run by BAE Systems, when she entered the Clyde on 9 April 2004, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary MOUNTS BAY was the first of four identical sisterships to be handed over to the RFA, joining it in December 2005. Designated as Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary), MOUNTS BAY and her sisters were built as replacements for the aging 'Sir Bedivere' class LSLs which dated from the 1960s. Based on a Dutch design, she has a floodable stern dock for landing craft, and a large flight deck which can accommodate two helicopters. She is 176 metres long, and has a displacement of 16,160 tonnes. She has a complement of around 60 and can carry over 300 troops. Her maximum speed is in the region of 18 knots, and she is fitted with diesel-electric propulsion. MOUNTS BAY was heading upriver to Glasgow, where she berthed in King George V Dock.