Monday, 31 March 2008


This small ship has visited Fairlie twice in the past week. She is the Swedish offshore survey vessel FRANKLIN, built in 1985 and orginally used in Australia. In April 2005, she joined Marin Mätteknik, a Swedish underwater survey company, retaining her original name. With an overall length of 55.6 metres, she is 1,178 gross tons. FRANKLIN has recently been employed on survey work in connection with underwater power cables between North Ireland and Rathlin Island, and also has spent time working out of Stornoway, carrying out surveys in the Minch. A detailed specification sheet for the ship can be read here. After a brief three hour visit to Fairlie today (possibly to bunker), FRANKLIN sailed for Stornoway.


Another large ship which was seen today as she too neared the end of her cargo discharge was the bulk carrier ANANGEL SAILOR, unloading coal at Hunterston. Operated by Anangel Maritime Services, a Greek company, most of this vessel's day-to-day operations are brokered by Agelef Shipping, based in London. ANANGEL SAILOR was built by Daewoo of Korea in 2006. She is 289 metres in length, and has a deadweight of 171,681 tonnes. Running the full length of the jetty are conveyor belts, which carry the coal from the unloaders to massive stockpiles (out of view to the left) to await onward transport either by rail, road, or by sea from the inner berth.


Completing her discharge at Finnart today was the Monrovian-registered tanker SCF CAUCASUS, currently on a three-year time charter to BP Shipping, which commenced in August 2007. She has been described previously on ClydeSights. While at Finnart, she was given a routine Port State Control inspection, which she appears to have passed successfully. She anchored off Irvine on Friday afternoon, prior to berthing at Finnart yesterday morning. Currently filling in for the regular line-running boat DUNBAR, is NICOLA, the small vessel seen alongside the jetty on the left - any information about her would be appreciated!


DARING moved from her overnight anchorage to Glen Mallan early this morning, where she spent most of the day loading stores, presumably including munitions, prior to departing this afternoon for trials. In the first view, she is seen at Glen Mallan jetty with the Serco-Denholm tugs SD-NIMBLE and SD-DEXTEROUS lying alongside her.

In the second view, she is turning into the main channel off Cloch Point, having just exited Loch Long. The cranes visible on the left of the picture are those at Coulport.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

DARING in the river

I was sent this image tonight by a correspondent, showing DARING as she was escorted down the River Clyde this evening by BRUISER and BATTLER. Passing Port Glasgow, DARING is now anchored off Kilcreggan in the Bravo anchorage, ready to commence trials in the morning. My thanks to the original photographer.


Due to the delay in sailing DARING from Scotstoun, the Bro tanker BRO DISTRIBUTOR was required to kill time off the entrance to Loch Long while she awaited the arrival of one of the tugs from the upper river, before proceeding to Finnart. The Swedish ship had just returned from Belfast to load another cargo of products.


While DARING remained alongside at Scotstoun, the Strahlmann coaster KREMPERTOR, built in Portugal in 1990 as PORT FOZ sailed from Shieldhall with a cargo of scrap metal, bound for Bilbao in northern Spain. A sister ship to ELBETOR and HOLSTENTOR, KREMPERTOR is 87.0 metres in length and has a deadweight of 3,432 tonnes. Other names she has carried have been ROTTUM and LADY LISA, in a career which has paralleled her sisters.


About to leave for her second set of trials, the lead ship of the new Type 45 class of destroyers, DARING, had her departure from Scotstoun delayed by a few hours this afternoon. With two of Munro's tugs in attendance, DARING was seen this afternoon getting ready to sail. A picture of her taken during her initial trials was posted here.


Also seen at Ayr today was Faversham Ships' smart little coaster VELOX, which arrived yesterday with a cargo of fertiliser. Originally a member of the Dutch Beck's fleet, she has a deadweight of 3,502 tonnes and an overall length of 86.0 metres. VELOX was built by the Bodewes shipyard in Holland in 1992, and is now registered at Peel on the Isle of Man.


A small Danish-flagged coaster arrived at Ayr this afternoon. DURA BULK, built in 1973 by Georg Eides Sønner at Høylandsbygd in Norway as BRUNBORG, took her present name in 1985. She is 87.78 metres in length, and has a deadweight of 3,007 tonnes. Her owners are a Norwegian firm, Nygård Shipping A/S. DURA BULK will either load a cargo of coal or scrap metal.

Friday, 28 March 2008


Another member of the JR Shipping fleet, and a sistership of a former well known regular caller at Greenock, ENDEAVOR, made her first visit to Ocean Terminal today on the MacAndrews UK/Iberian route via Rotterdam. According to the company's sailing schedule, ENCOUNTER should have been in Bilbao today, which suggests that she may have exchanged places with VELAZQUEZ at least for this voyage. ENCOUNTER is currently on charter to CMA CGM, which owns MacAndrews, until August 2008 through a Dutch shipbroker, Confeeder. One of a class of eleven similar ships, she was completed by the Volharding Shipyard in Holland using a hull built in Romania by Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries in 2004. With an overall length of 134.65 metres, this 9,450 tonne deadweight ship can carry a total of 750 TEU containers, with 225 stowed in her hold and 525 stacked on deck. ENCOUNTER arrived this morning from Liverpool, and sailed this afternoon bound for Rotterdam.

AQUA-BOY back again

Following her visit earlier this week, the live fish carrier AQUA-BOY made a second trip to Glasgow today to lift another cargo of salmon smolts for Loch Duart. These vessels have tanks in which the live smolts are carried to their destination. They are then transferred to the fish farm cages via sophisticated pumping equipment which does not harm the fish in any way.

Thursday, 27 March 2008


With an unusually large number of buoys aboard, the RMAS salvage and mooring ship SD-SALMOOR was noted passing upriver this afternoon, shortly after BRO DISTRIBUTOR (seen in the background) had arrived. SD-SALMOOR, more details of which can be found here, is still flying the defaced Blue Ensign of the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service. She will exchange that for the Red Ensign on Tuesday 1 April, when her operation will transfer to Serco-Denholm on the commencement of the new support services contract to the Royal Navy.


Arriving from Belfast this afternoon, the 14,907 tonne tanker BRO DISTRIBUTOR was seen heading into Loch long on her way to Finnart to load another cargo of petroleum products. The Swedish manned tanker has been seen before on ClydeSights - for more information about her click here.


Western Ferries' SOUND OF SANDA lies at the company's original berth at Hunter's Quay today while she took on fuel. This berth, still used on a daily basis by the ferries, was grafted onto the north side of the old pier at Hunter's Quay when Western Ferries commenced their service across the Clyde in 1973. After 35 years, it was superseded by the new pier and linkspan immediately to the north, and which was brought into use at the end of last year.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


With a hull built by Liesbosch Staal BV at Nieuwegein, and completed in 1989 by Scheepswerf Damen BV, Gorinchem, the coaster SEA HAWK arrived this morning to load scrap metal at Shieldhall. Launched as CHRISTIAN R, she was renamed MINDFUL soon afterwards, and became CHRISTA K in 1999. She was given her present name in 2006, and is now operated by Torbulk Ltd, a company based in England. Now registered at Bridgetown in Barbados, she is 87.8 metres long, and 3,015 tonnes deadweight. Her last voyage had been delivering a cargo of fertiliser from Teesport to Ayr.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

PETUJA outbound

It almost appears that Western Ferries' SOUND OF SANDA is being carried as deck cargo aboard the container ship PETUJA as she sailed from the Clyde this afternoon, on her weekly sailing to Bilbao in northern Spain. As has been previously noted, PETUJA is a Sietas Type 160 ship, two of her sisters being regular visitors to the Clyde - CITY OF OPORTO and WERDER BREMEN.


Passing Cloch Point around the same time as AQUA-BOY this morning was the container ship VEGA STOCKHOLM, which left her overnight anchorage at Brodick early this morning to head for Greenock. Further details of this Liberian-registered ship can be found here, while a fine selection of pictures showing her canting this morning off Ocean Terminal can be viewed here.


Although live fish carriers are common sights on other parts of the Clyde, it is comparatively unusual to see one as far upfirth as Cloch Point, where AQUA-BOY was seen passing this morning. She was heading for King George V Dock in Glasgow, possibly to load a cargo of salmon smolts, and she sailed again this evening for Loch Duart in Sutherland. AQUA-BOY is Norwegian owned, and was built in 1982 as PEER GYNT, later becoming ANTONSEN SENIOR in 1985, then KONKURS 1 in 1987. She was given her current name in 1988. She is 39.65 metres long, and has a gross tonnage of 312 tons. AQUA-BOY was in the news in November 2006, following a grounding in the Sound of Mull, and became the subject of an inquiry by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. Other views of AQUA-BOY can be seen here as she passed Greenock.

Monday, 24 March 2008


Heading for Southampton this afternoon following a quick visit to Greenock, the container ship JOHN MITCHELL arrived this morning on the BG Freight Line service from Rotterdam and Belfast. She was described here on ClydeSights on a previous visit.


One of Teekay Shipping's shuttle tankers arrived yesterday evening on the Firth of Clyde, anchoring in the lower firth until this morning. NAVION OCEANIA, built in 1999 by Astilleros de Sestao at Bilbao in Spain, moved up-firth early this afternoon heading for Finnart to discharge her cargo of crude oil. She has a deadweight of 126,355 tonnes and an overall length of 264.68 metres. Registered on the Norwegian International register, she is manned by a Scandinavian crew. She is owned by Navion Offshore, now a Teekay subsidiary but previously part of the Norwegian Statoil company.


A close-up view of the bulk carrier CAPE CARMEL, sent to ClydeSights by a good friend, as she departed from Hunterston yesterday evening. She is 290.0 metres in length, with a beam of 46.0 metres, and a full load draft of 18.32 metres. CAPE CARMEL is driven by a single screw, powered by a 7 cylinder Burmeister & Wain engine producing 21,347 bhp and was built at the Sasebo shipyard in Japan. She was launched at the very end of December 1995, being completed a few weeks later.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

SATURN at Dunoon

Following her brief stint on the Rothesay run, SATURN was relieved by BUTE on Friday afternoon and after a quick call at Gourock, retired to Rosneath where she returned to her slumbers. However, she was brought out again this morning after JUPITER suffered from problems and had to be taken off the Gourock-Dunoon run. SATURN is seen leaving Dunoon at lunchtime while filling in for JUPITER, which was able to pick up duty again later this afternoon, allowing SATURN to return again to Rosneath to await her next spell of duty.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Hunterston Jetty

Two ships are often seen together at Hunterston, one discharging coal while the other is loading it. In this case the larger vessel, the Bermuda-flagged CAPE CARMEL, is discharging coal from Colombia. Built in Japan in 1996, this 179,869 tonnes deadweight ship was originally named SGC CAPITAL before joining the Associated Bulk Carrier fleet, a joint venture in which P&O had a 50% stake, becoming their PYTCHLEY. She took her present name in 2005. On the inside berth is MORNES, a regular caller operated on charter to Clydeport and owned by Erik Thun, a Swedish company. She dates from 1991, and was built at the Ferus Smit shipyard in Holland. Self-discharging, she has a deadweight of 9,125 tonnes, and an overall length of 116.3 metres. MORNES, which is registered at Oslo, is usually employed carrying coal to Kilroot near Belfast, or occasionally to Manisty on the Manchester Ship Canal.

Friday, 21 March 2008


Rothesay Dock saw the arrival of another tanker with a cargo of fuel today. STEN ODIN, 13,781 tonnes deadweight and 134.3 metres in length, arrived from Mongstad in Norway on a voyage for Swift Tankers, a joint partnership between Teekay Shipping and Maersk Tankers. Like her sisters STEN EMBLA and STEN TOR, she was built to carry chemicals and oil products by the Jiangnan Shipyard in China, and was completed in December 1998. Owned by Stenersen AS, and registered at Bergen, she is manned by a Filipino crew.


Seen alongside at Greenock this afternoon, the open-hatch cargo ship STAR JAVA arrived this morning from the west coast of Canada with a cargo of palettised forest products. The newest of the three 'J' class ships in the Star Shipping fleet, she was completed in 2006 at the Tamano shipyard of the Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co in Japan. 198 metres in length, she has a deadweight of 44,692 tonnes. Her next ports are due to be Vlissingen, Antwerp and Brake before she returns to the west coast of the USA and Canada. This class of ship are all owned by Grieg Shipping, one of the two companies with an interest in Star Shipping.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


With the north-westerly wind making things difficult, the Gibraltar-registered container ship WERDER BREMEN struggled a little to get alongside Ocean Terminal this afternoon as the wind was blowing her off the quayside. However, she eventually did succeed and took her place behind MERIWA, the funnel of which is just visible above the blue shed.

JUPITER off Gourock

Heading for Gourock Pier, JUPITER appears to be sailing through a rainbow during some brief sunshine today. JUPITER will be the last major vessel of the CalMac fleet to receive her annual docking this winter, which will probably take place in May this year.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


The latest Spliethoff ship to visit the Clyde anchored in Brodick Bay last night before moving to Greenock early this morning. SCHIPPERSGRACHT, built in 2000 by Mitsubishi at their Shiminoseki shipyard, was the first of the many 'S' class ships they now operate. Much of their trade is the carriage of newsprint, and her side-door can be seen in its open position quite clearly in this view. Like the five other ships built in Japan, the deadweight of SCHIPPERSGRACHT is 21,402 tonnes and her length 168.14 metres.


CalMac's ferry woes are not confined to Rothesay this week. Following a spell of winter duty on the Tarbert-Portavadie crossing, the small ferry LOCH RIDDON has had to pay a visit to the Garvel repair yard in Greenock to have work done on one of her ramps. She is seen in this view arriving in the James Watt Dock this afternoon, passing BUTE which remains at Garvel while her overhaul is finished off.

SATURN at Rothesay

With the imminent start of CalMac's summer timetable, the winter relief ship on the Wemyss Bay-Rothesay service, CORUISK, had to leave the Clyde this morning in order to pick up her own summer run on Friday from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye. As BUTE, one of the two regular vessels on the Rothesay service has yet to complete her docking at Greenock, the veteran SATURN was reactivated and left her winter lay-up berth at Rosneath today. Dating from 1978, SATURN is seen here arriving at Rothesay pier, where the new end-loading linkspan has now been in use for several weeks. The former side-loading linkspan has been removed, necessitating all traffic carried on SATURN to either turn on board, or in the case of larger vehicles, reverse on or off at Wemyss Bay.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

EN AVANT 5 and barge

Yesterday evening, the Dutch tug EN AVANT 5 arrived on the Clyde towing a barge which had on board another Gottwald HMK260 crane for use at Shieldhall. It was previously in use on the Forth. EN AVANT 5 is owned by Muller Dordrecht, and was built in 1998 as QS MERCURY. Two Cummins main engines give her a bollard pull of 14.3 tonnes, and she has a gross tonnage of 122 tons, with an overall length of 21.0 metres. She was built in Malaysia, and completed in Singapore. The barge, number 6515, is also owned by Muller and is 65.3 metres long.


Loading scrap at Renfrew this afternoon, Reederei Bockstiegel's coaster A B BILBAO arrived a few days ago and discharged a cargo of maize at Shieldhall riverside berth. She is a sistership of SUURHUSEN, which sailed yesterday, like her being completed by Damen Shipyards Hoogezand at Foxhol. Her hull was built at Santierul Naval Galati in Romania, and as launched her name was SAAR BILBAO, it changing shortly after her completion in 1997. She is 89.76 metres in length, with a deadweight tonnage of 4,212 tonnes. As well as bulk cargoes, these little ships are also capable of carrying 221 TEU containers.

Monday, 17 March 2008


Returning to Greenock from one of her patrols in Scottish fishing waters, the Fishery Protection Vessel NORNA is seen against the backdrop of the Sleeping Warrior on the island of Arran. NORNA, which is based in the James Watt Dock, was built in 1987 by Richards Shipbuilders at Lowestoft. 72 metres in length, she has a gross tonnage of 1,385 tons. The role of fishery protection around the Scottish coastline was transferred in 1991 to the newly-created Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency. More information about the SFPA can be found here.


Arriving today from Avonmouth and Dublin, the German container ship PETUJA is shown here being passed by the MoD police training launch OSPREY as she heads towards the Ashton Buoy. PETUJA, described here on previous visits, left again this evening for Bilbao on her weekly DFDS Suardiaz Line sailing, formerly operated by the Dutch ship ENDEAVOR.


Taking a load of scrap metal from the Clyde, SUURHUSEN was bound for Liverpool today. The 1995-built coaster had arrived on the Clyde from Garston, also on the Mersey, a few days ago. Further details of this ship can be seen here when she visited the Clyde last month.

Sunday, 16 March 2008


At her adopted home in the James Watt Dock today, JP Knight's KINDEACE lies ahead of Svitzer's AYTON CROSS. Since her arrival on the Clyde last December, KINDEACE has been used for many jobs at Hunterston and Finnart, with occasional forays up the river to assist at Glasgow as required. She has also returned north a couple of times to berth ships at Loch Ewe, working there with her fleetmates from Invergordon.

James Watt Dock today

With her fresh paint glistening in the sun, the CalMac Rothesay ferry BUTE is completing her overhaul at the Garvel yard. She left the drydock on Friday, together with Western Ferries' SOUND OF SANDA, seen on the right. In between them, and newly arrived this afternoon, is CalMac's ferry LOCH PORTAIN which normally operates across the Sound of Harris. She is due to be drydocked early next week.


After completing her cargo discharge at Rothesay Dock, MOJITO sailed downriver this morning and anchored off Greenock Esplanade. She is now waiting to head south to Stanlow, the Shell refinery on the Mersey.


Seen lying at Ocean Terminal, VEGA STOCKHOLM made her second call to Greenock today. Currently scheduled to operate the OOCL SIX service between Southampton, Dublin, Belfast and Greenock over the next few weeks, this ship is reported to have cost €16.646 million to build. Her carrying capacity of 698 TEU containers is made up of 472 on deck, with the remaining 226 in her holds.

Saturday, 15 March 2008


Built in 2005 by the Korean builder 21st Century Shipbuilding, the tanker MOJITO berthed in Rothesay Dock late last night with a cargo of fuel from Riga. Owned by a Greek company, with managers based in Cyprus, this little ship flies the flag of the Marshall Islands, and is manned by a crew from Russia, Latvia and the Philipines. She is 13,061 tonnes deadweight, and 128.6 metres long.


With another cargo of cement for Glasgow's King George V Dock, APOLLO EAGLE is seen this afternoon passing below the Erskine Bridge with Munro's tug BRUISER in attendance. No stranger to the Clyde, APOLLO EAGLE was previously seen on ClydeSights last October. A datasheet from her owner's website can be downloaded here.


With the Pilot Cutter TOWARD approaching her this morning, the container ship JOHN MITCHELL is seen passing Ashton as she heads upriver to Ocean Terminal. A sistership of GERD SIBUM, she is employed on the BG Freight Line service and runs on the same service, the two ships alternating weekly. JOHN MITCHELL arrived from Belfast, and set sail later this afternoon for Southampton. JOHN MITCHELL, which was built as UWE KAHRS by Elbewerft Boizenburg GmbH in 1997, has a deadweight of 5,865 tonnes, and an overall length of 99.95 metres. She can carry up to 505 TEU.

Friday, 14 March 2008


Seen arriving inbound today from Liverpool, the container ship CITY OF OPORTO paid a short visit to Greenock before setting off again this evening for Rotterdam. Partnering WERDER BREMEN on the MacAndrews service from Northwest Europe to Portugal, CITY OF OPORTO is owned by K&K Schiffahrts GmbH & Co although she flies the British flag, with London as her port of registry. She was built at the Sietas yard in 1998, and is one of their typical hatchless Type 160 ships, with hydraulic covers on the forward holds only. She can carry up to 700 TEU, 100 of which can be refrigerated plug-in 'reefer' boxes.

Hoverbarge SIBERIA

Following several weeks in the Holy Loch undergoing trials, the Hovertrans hoverbarge SIBERIA, destined for duty working for the Russian oil company Rosneft, was towed back to Port Glasgow today, by Clyde Marine's BRUISER. A short video showing her under tow can be seen here.

HMS ARK ROYAL - R07 outbound

Having spent a couple of days undergoing repairs at Faslane following her participation in Exercise Armatura Borealis, ARK ROYAL, the Fleet Flagship of the Royal Navy left the Gareloch this morning, and headed out to sea. Escorted once more by the MoD Police Boat GIGHA, the carrier is now due to spend some time working in American waters with the US Marine Corps.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Scooshin' Cooshin'

Some years ago, the Caledonian Steam Packet Co attempted to operate a hovercraft on the Clyde, during the 1970 and 1971 summer seasons. Linking the principal Upper Clyde resorts, the venture was not a great success for a variety of reasons, and the craft was sold. That had been the second attempt to operate hovercraft on the river, the first effort, back in 1965, also having failed when Clyde Hover Ferries ran two SRN-6 craft between Craigendoran, Gourock, Dunoon, Largs, Millport and Tarbert, where the craft were based.

More recently, a company called Clydefast has proposed operating different high-speed craft between Rothesay, Dunoon, Greenock and Glasgow. Until now, none of these grandiose schemes has come to anything, but recently another scheme was announced, following on from trials using a hovercraft last summer on the Firth of Forth. On Monday, trials were commenced by Clydefast, with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport as one of the main sponsors. Using a Griffon 2000TD 12-seat hovercraft, evaluation trips were run between Glasgow, Greenock and Dunoon, where the craft was seen heading today. Journey times of under an hour have been quoted, but whether a proposed service using a larger hovercraft for up to 130 passengers will ever come to fruition remains to be seen.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


Heeling over to starboard with the stiff north-westerly wind, the Royal Navy's current Fleet Flagship ARK ROYAL arrived this morning for a three-day visit to HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane.

Off McInroy's Point, ARK ROYAL embarked a naval pilot to ensure her safe navigation through the entrance and up the Gareloch to Faslane.

ARK ROYAL did not appear to have a detachment of aircraft on board today. Some excellent views of her taken from ashore as she passed Cloch Point can be seen here.

Escorting the carrier today was MoD Police Boat 07001, now sporting the name 'GIGHA'. She was later joined by MoD tugs as she neared the entrance to the Gareloch.

With her pilot embarked, ARK ROYAL headed east towards the entrance to the Gareloch. This ship is one of three 'Invincible' class carriers, and was built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders on the Tyne, and commissioned in the 1985. ARK ROYAL completed an extensive refit in September 2006, and now carries up to 400 troops, with Harrier GR9, Merlin, Sea King and Chinook helicopters from the Tailored Air Group as required. 210 metres in length, she has a complement of around 1,100 men and women.