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.