Saturday, 31 May 2008

PASCAL outbound

Another view of the German coaster PASCAL, as she heads out to sea with a full cargo of scrap metal from Christie's scrapyard at Renfrew. PASCAL was heading for Seville, in the south-west of Spain.

Friday, 30 May 2008

CLARA K. outbound

Captured this evening as she was getting into her stride on passage to Leixoes in Portugal, and loaded down to her marks with another cargo of scrap metal from Shieldhall, Alstership's CLARA K. was also pictured earlier this week as she lay at anchor waiting to head up river.


Built at Zonguldak in Turkey, by the almost unpronounceable Ustamehmetoglu Gemi Tersanesi and completed for Van Dam Shipping in February 2007, LIANNE is operated by Wagenborg Shipping. LIANNE has a deadweight of 3,075 tonnes, and an overall length of 79.94 metres. She is registered at St John's in Antigua and Barbuda, and was heading for Shieldhall to load scrap metal.

Thursday, 29 May 2008


Outbound tonight for Aviles in Spain, the Russian-operated ship SOYANA is now registered at Kingstown in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, having previously flown the Portuguese and Maltese ensigns in the past. She loaded scrap metal at Shieldhall, and was also seen here on a previous visit to the Clyde.


A coaster which was in the news recently arrived this afternoon from Ayr, and anchored for a few hours at the 'Bravo' anchorage before heading up the river to Renfrew this evening. PASCAL, built by the Rousse Shipyard in Bulgaria, was delivered to the Wessels company in 2001. She is a 4,251 tonne deadweight ship of 89.90 metres, and is managed by Arkon Shipping.


Passing the Cloch Lighhouse at a good speed - over 16 knots in fact - the container ship CANOPUS J was making her second fortnightly call at Greenock today on the MacAndrews charter from the UK and Ireland to Holland and Portugal. CANOPUS J and VELAZQUEZ have replaced WERDER BREMEN and CITY OF OPORTO on this service.


Built by the Hugo Peters shipyard at Wewelsfleth in Germany, DEFENDER was completed in 1979 as CHRISTA SCHUTT, the first of a long series of low air draft coasters to come from the yard. In 1982 she was renamed SEA ELBE for a time charter to Sea Containers. She was renamed MARNE twelve years later, then FALKO in 1995, DREDGER in 2001 and finally DEFENDER in 2004. Owned until recently by Erwin Strahlmann, she has a deadweight of 2,248 tonnes and an overall length of 82.34 metres. She is now operated by a Norwegian company.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

At Anchor

While SCOTIA proceeded directly upriver on her arrival this morning, both APOLLO HAWK (nearest) and CLARA K. had to wait at anchor until this afternoon before heading for Glasgow. APOLLO HAWK was, as usual, carrying a cargo of cement for discharge at King George V Dock, while CLARA K. later berthed at Shieldhall to load scrap metal.


The small 2,097 tonne deadweight coaster SCOTIA arrived this morning and proceeded straight upriver to Shieldhall to lift a cargo of scrap metal. She was built in 1987 in Holland, by J.H. van Eijk & Zonen at Sliedrecht for German owners, and was originally named MEISE when launched. She was, however, completed as SCOTIA, then became FEED STAR before reverting to SCOTIA very briefly in 2003, becoming FEED STAR once more, and finally, just a few days ago, she took the name SCOTIA again. Her overall length is 79.1 metres, and she is now owned and operated by Estonian interests.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008


Making her second visit to the Clyde this month, the Turkish-owned, Maltese-flagged, and Russian-operated tanker AGDASH is the second Project 19619 ship of her type delivered to her owners by her builders, the Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard on the River Volga in Russia. Operated by the Palmali Group, AGDASH was launched last September and delivered at the end of October. Like MASALLI, the first of the class, she is 150.15 metres in length, and is 13,030 tonnes deadweight. There are to be five ships of this type altogether, the last two were ordered in March this year and are due for delivery in 2009.


The third member of the Lys Line ships built in India in 1999 at the ABG shipyard at Surat arrived at Greenock this morning, after spending the night anchored in Brodick Bay. Like LYSVIK and LYSBLINK, this vessel too was lengthened in Poland in 2004 for a six-year contract carrying paper on behalf of Norske-Skogn, and is now 129.0 metres in length with a deadweight of 7,500 tonnes. Flying the Norwegian flag, like her sisters, she was bringing in a cargo of paper, and she sailed again for Skogn this evening. LYSBRIS sports yet a third variation of her owner's livery.

Monday, 26 May 2008


Another tanker lying at anchor in Irvine Bay, and which has been there for a number of days, is the Liberian-flagged GENMAR HARRIET G, a 150,205 tonne deadweight ship built in 2006. She was constructed at the Universal Shipbuilding Corporation's yard at Tsu in Japan, one of four similar tankers. GENMAR HARRIET G, which has an overall length of 274.2 metres, is on a three-year time charter to Eiger Shipping SA, a subsidiary of Lukoil, the Russian oil company. She is operated by the Portuguese subsidiary of the General Maritime Corporation, and has a Russian master, with a mix of Portuguese, Romanian, Filipino, and Russian officers and crew.

Sunday, 25 May 2008


Passing below the Erskine Bridge this evening, showing where she was seen from on a previous visit, the Dutch-flagged cargo ship DEO VOLENTE was outward bound, probably for Denmark and another cargo of turbines. However, in the past few weeks consignments of turbine parts have been brought in by other ships, as DEO VOLENTE has been employed elsewhere, most recently from Kristiansand to Haugesund, both in Norway, with an offshore crane.


A new ship, only completed last summer, has been in King George V Dock for the past few days. HOHEFELS was built in China by the Yangfan Ship Group, and she is 139.2 metres overall. Capable of carrying up to 957 TEU, she has a deadweight of 11,500 tonnes. Her last port was Hamburg, and she is due to sail tonight for Leixoes in Portugal. She is operated by Rass Schiffahrt GmbH.


For a ship built as recently as 1998, Peter Dielmann Cruises' DEUTSCHLAND has a fairly traditional appearance. Construction of this ship was entrusted to four different yards, with assembly of the modules taking place at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft at Kiel. Completed in May 1998, DEUTSCHLAND is 175.49 metres in length, and is 22,496 gross tons. Over the past few years, she has paid an annual visit to the Clyde while on a Round Britain cruise, which this year started at Bordeaux and will finish at Hamburg. She can carry up to 513 passengers in luxurious accommodation, catering mainly for the German market, although she does cruise world-wide. Prices for this 10-night cruise ranged from US$4,841 to US$13,111. She sailed this evening for Portree on the Isle of Skye.

Saturday, 24 May 2008


Now privately owned and preserved, this little ship has had a very interesting history. ST JUST was built in 1952 by R J Prior and Sons at Burnham-on-Crouch, a yard which is still in existence today. Originally named LALLA ROOKH II, she was built as a research vessel for the Kelvin Hughes company. In 1962 she was sold to other owners, believed to have been in the Falmouth area, and she was renamed ST JUST. New employment as a small charter boat eventually led to her appearing in Scottish waters a few years later, mainly working out of Oban. In 1985, she embarked on a new career - she became a drugs running boat, bringing a cargo of cannabis back to Scotland from West Africa. Followed by one of HM Customs Cutters as she sailed north from Land's End towards Oban, she was impounded in the largest drugs haul of the day, and taken eventually to Greenock, and sold at auction. Her new owner was from the Oban area, and he renamed her FALLS OF LORA, and she became a charter boat once more. From 1990, she lay in the Gareloch, until sold for preservation in 1999. She took the name ST JUST again in 2003, and since 2007 she has been listed on the National Register of Historic Ships. ST JUST is now based at the River Clyde Boatyard at Clydebank.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Friday Regulars

Two of the regular container ships using Greenock were noted this afternoon, as they made their respective ways from the Clyde. Above, the Liberian-flagged VEGA STOCKHOLM is seen as she makes her way down the Firth on a comparatively short voyage to Belfast.

Also seen was the considerably smaller MERIWA, heading for Santander, which appears to be an additional destination to her usual weekly MacAndrews service to Spain.

ELVITA 1 at Sandbank

Lying at the Holy Loch Marina's pier at Sandbank today, ELVITA 1 appears to have commenced discharging her cargo of aggregates before her crew closed the hatches and refused to continue to unload the Russian-managed ship, following claims that the ten-strong Russian and Ukranian crew have not received pay for the past five months.

Thursday, 22 May 2008


WALNEY, the Faslane-based minehunter seen yesterday exercising off Kilcreggan, was out on the river again this morning. Today she had for company the 'Archer' class P2000 Fast Training Boat SMITER, also based at Faslane and attached to the Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities Royal Naval Unit.


One of Scotline's smart ships arrived this morning. SCOT MARINER, built at the Tille Shipyard in Holland in 2001, is seen heading for the 'Bravo' anchorage, where she spent a little while waiting for her pilot to take her upriver to Glasgow. SCOT MARINER is 89.98 metres long, and has a deadweight of 3,313 tonnes. The Rochester-registered ship appears to have recently completed a drydocking, judging by the appearance of her paintwork.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


The naval units based at Faslane are frequently seen in the Upper Clyde undertaking exercises, where a variety of scenarios are enacted with members of the Serco-Denholm (ex-RMAS) fleet from the Great Harbour. This view shows HMS WALNEY (M104) involved in such an exercise with the water carrier SD-WATERMAN (A146). Heading back towards the Gareloch from the lower firth, but not part of this particular exercise, is the fleet tender SD-OMAGH.


The coaster ELVITA 1 which was previously a regular caller at Sandbank, made a return visit to the Holy Loch today with another cargo of aggregates from Belfast. As the berth at Sandbank was occupied by RED BARONESS, loading a cargo of timber, ELVITA 1 had to spend the day lying at anchor at 'Bravo 4' before berthing in the early evening. She has recently been employed between Belfast and Ellesmere Port, with occasional visits to Ayr to load coal for Belfast.

[EDIT: Since her arrival at Sandbank, the crew of ELVITA 1 have staged an industrial dispute, claiming to be owed up to five months wages. Full story here.]


Seen as she passed McInroy's Point outbound for Terneuzen, the coaster MERIT had arrived at Glasgow with a cargo yesterday afternoon. She is registered at Gibraltar, although German-owned, and dates from 2000. Built at Mangalia in Romania, by the Daewoo shipyard, she is 82.50 metres in length, and has a deadweight of 3,171 tonnes.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008


Managed by an Indian company, EMS Ship Management, the 48,139 tonne deadweight bulk carrier SELANDIA was noted this afternoon as she headed down river to rendevous with the tanker AEGEAN PRINCESS at the north end of the Cumbraes, where she would receive bunkers. SELANDIA, which discharged part of her cargo of animal feed at Belfast before coming up the Clyde early on Saturday morning, is 199.98 metres in length, and was built by Stocznia Gdanska in 1996. Originally SELANDIA, she was almost immediately renamed STAR SELANDIA, which she carried for two years. Original owners were the well-known Danish company The East Asiatic Company, but in 2000 she was sold. SELANDIA now wears the Isle of Man flag and is registered in Douglas. After taking bunkers, she is due to head for Brixham, on the south coast.


One of the attractive Wagenborg fleet arrived this morning with a cargo of grain. DINTELBORG, a ship built by Scheepswerf Van Diepen in Holland, and completed in February 1999, has a deadweight of 8,865 tonnes, and an overall length of 133.41 metres. Between August 2001 and August 2004, she bore then name MSC DARDANELLES while on charter to the Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company.


Operating this week's BG Freight Line service from Belfast to Greenock and Southampton, and making her first appearance on the Clyde, was RITA SIBUM, previously named EURO STAR. She was built in China by the Zhejiang Yangfan Ship Group and completed at the very beginning of 2005. It was originally planned to name her KATHARINA SIBUM, but she entered service as EURO STAR. After a spell on charter in the Far East, she was renamed VENTO DI MAESTRALE and earlier this year, she took the name RITA SIBUM. She is 132.6 metres long, and has a deadweight of 8,238 tonnes. She has a capacity for 672 TEU.

Monday, 19 May 2008

TRANSPINE outbound

Two days after having arrived at Greenock, the Swedish-flagged ro-ro ship TRANSPINE sailed this afternoon for Baltimore and Phillidelphia, on the eastern seaboard of the United States. She is due to arrive at Baltimore in ten days time. As previously mentioned, TRANSPINE was recently sold to a British company, Longitude Shipping, although she is still registered at Skärhamn.


After having received bunkers from AEGEAN PRINCESS yesterday, the Latvian tanker KRASLAVA finally moved up the Firth to Finnart today. Although operated by the Latvian Shipping Company, this ship is owned by a company based in the Marshall Islands, and is also registered there too. KRASLAVA is one of four identical sisterships, all built in 2007 by the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard at Ulsan in Korea.

Sunday, 18 May 2008


Lying at anchor off Kilcreggan today was Arklow Shipping's ARKLOW SEA, one of a series of coasters built in Holland by Barkmeijer Stroobos. This 4,351 tonne deadweight ship was completed in 1998, and she has an overall length of 89.99 metres. She arrived early this morning from Belfast, and after spending the day at anchor, continued up the Clyde tonight, presumably to load scrap metal for export. Breaking the surface in the right foreground is a harbour porpoise, a common sight in the Clyde nowadays.


Two tankers lying at anchor off the north end of the Cumbrae today. The smaller vessel is the bunker tanker AEGEAN PRINCESS, a ship which has an interesting past. Built in Holland in 1991, she was completed at ALHENA, but was renamed TALHENA almost immediately. When new, she was described as being able to carry 'general, container and oil cargoes', and appears to have two holds forward, which could also be used as cargo tanks, then a tank amidships, then another two hold/tanks. In 1996, she was renamed DALHENA, then in 2001 she was converted to full tanker status, at which point she was renamed NAUTILUS. In 2007, she was sold to become a bunker tanker, taking fuel oil out to larger ships when they were in port, as seen here. For this latest role, she was renamed AEGEAN PRINCESS.

The other ship is KRASLAVA, owned by the Latvian Shipping Co and delivered from her Korean builders in 2007. The 37,238 tonne deadweight tanker had been at anchor in Brodick Bay for several days, before moving to the north end of the Cumbrae during the night. She is 182.55 metres in length, and carrying a cargo of oil for Finnart from Skikda in Algeria, although she has spent a lot of time at anchor with it. She was previously lying for several days off Falmouth before arriving on the Clyde over a week ago.

Saturday, 17 May 2008


Arriving at Greenock from Zeebrugge, the ro-ro freighter TRANSPINE was calling to load a cargo of paper normally handled by the Spliethoff ships, suggesting that she is on charter. A Swedish ship of some 18,855 tonnes deadweight, she was built in Poland by Stocznia Gdynia, and completed in 2002. Originally named FINNPINE, her overall length when new was 158.60 metres, but in 2006 she was lengthened by 20 metres at the Blohm & Voss shipyard at Hamburg. When new, she was placed on a service between Finland and the USA, and was owned by B&N. TRANSPINE is managed by a Swedish company, Rederi AB Transatlantic, although she is now owned by a British company, Longitude Shipping, the transfer having only taken place very recently.

Friday, 16 May 2008


Another ore/bulk/oil carrier arrived at Hunterston this afternoon, after spending several days lying at anchor off Irvine. ALKMAN, built in 1985 as JAGUAR by the Namura Shipbuilding Co of Imari, Japan, is a 225.76 metre long ship of 66,221 tonnes deadweight. Now owned by a Panamanian company, she is managed by Orpheus Maritime Transport of Piraeus, and flies the flag of the Bahamas. In 1988, she was renamed SIKSITA, becoming NOR-OBO in 1989, OBO HAWK later the same year, and FRONT HAWK in 1990. She was given her present name in 1996.

SOSPAN-DAU at work

The dredger SOSPAN-DAU has commenced filling in the Kingston Basin at Port Glasgow, bringing spoil which has been dredged up at the mouth of the River Leven. As work progresses, it is highly likely that she will the last vessel of any size to enter the basin.

It is expected that SOSPAN-DAU will be on the Clyde dredging at the mouth of the Leven, the main channel at Greenock and around Ocean Terminal, and at Bowling Bend, for around eight weeks.

WAVERLEY leaving drydock

Having been in the hands of the Garvel repair yard since her return from Oban, WAVERLEY, billed as the 'last sea-going paddle steamer in the world', was today towed out of the drydock by two of Clyde Marine Service's tugs, BOOJUM BAY and BITER.

During her spell in the drydock, a problem was discovered with WAVERLEY's port paddle shaft, and both the paddle wheel and the shaft itself have been removed while remedial work is undertaken. As a result, WAVERLEY's port sponson presents a somewhat unusual appearance.

WAVERLEY was towed into the James Watt Dock and berthed bow-to-bow with JUPITER, due to enter the drydock shortly for her own survey. When the paddle shaft is ready to be refitted, WAVERLEY will return to the drydock. In the meantime, her scheduled late spring visit to the Bristol Channel has been cancelled, and her consort BALMORAL will be undertaking some of her sailings. It is hoped that WAVERLEY will be able to take up service in time for the star of her Clyde season in mid-June.


The first of the new vessels ordered by Serco Denhom, and allocated to the Clyde, following the award of the fifteen-year contract to provide marine services to the MoD, has arrived on the river. SD EMILY, a 12 metre Damen Pushy Cat 1204, was handed over to Serco by her builders, Damen Shipyards, at the end of March, and was delivered to Greenock by road. She is undergoing some finishing touches at the Garvel yard before she enters service. SD EMILY is part of a 29 vessel order, awarded to Damen Shipyards and worth an estimated €146 million, which will include tugs, pilot boats, barges, multipurpose work vessels, a fast crew boat and a worldwide support ship.

Thursday, 15 May 2008


A new ship for the Clyde which has been operating on MacAndrews' services for some time (although not on the UK/Iberian routes), arrived this afternoon. CANOPUS J, built in 2004 by Detlef Hegemann Rolandwerft at their Berne shipyard, spent some time under the name LYS BOX while on a two year charter to Lys-Line, before reverting to her original name in mid-January 2007. Operated by Jüngerhans Maritime Services, CANOPUS J is 9,193 tonnes deadweight and this 139.88 metre long ship can carry up to 750 TEU containers. Her previous employment for CMA CGM has been on the MacAndrews service between Felixstowe, Hull and Gdynia, which she commenced in December last year.


Following on from yesterday's post showing preparatory work underway at the Kingston Basin at Port Glasgow, this view taken in the Victoria Harbour, Greenock, shows the suction dredger SOSPAN-DAU, which will be undertaking the next stage of the work, and filling in the basin itself. SOSPAN-DAU dates from 1978, when she was built as the hopper ADLERGRUND at Dieppe. In 1992, she was renamed BADEBEC. She was converted into a suction dredger in 2001, and renamed SOSPAN-DAU, which when translated from Welsh means 'Saucepan Two'. Operated by a subsidiary of Westminster Dredging, her name alludes to her owners - Llanelli Sand Dredging - as the town of Llanelli had a tin-plating industry, saucepans being one of the main products. This dredger is unusual in that the spoil she lifts is often pumped ashore for land reclamation, sometimes being discharged via the spray cannon mounted in her bows. SOSPAN-DAU is 71.06 metres long, and can carry up to 1,800 tonnes of spoil in her hopper.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

SKANTIC outbound

Also noted outbound this evening, another ship which had arrived yesterday. SKANTIC was seen as she passed Port Glasgow, her destination unknown as she was proceeding 'for orders' following a brief visit to Shieldhall. In the foreground is the extremity of the track where a 'Goliath' crane once operated, straddling the building ways of the Glen Shipyard, Port Glasgow.

CORAL SEA outbound

After a quick turn round at Glasgow where she discharged her cargo of wind turbine components at King George V Dock, CORAL SEA was seen dropping the Pilot at Kempock Point this evening, as she sailed for Gdynia in Poland, and her next cargo.


The 1997-built container ship JOHN MITCHELL was seen passing McInroy's Point this afternoon as she headed to Greenock from Belfast on the regular BG Freight Line UK West Coast service.

Kingston Basin, Port Glasgow

As part of the redevelopment of the Port Glasgow waterfront, the fitting out basin of the former Lithgow's Kingston shipyard is to be filled in. Preparatory work for this project is being undertaken using the long-reach excavator mounted on a barge, with Offshore Workboats' TRIO - previously seen on the River Cart - acting as the safety and standby boat. This part of the work commenced at the beginning of May, and is nearly complete.

Preserved tug HOLLAND

This beautifully restored old tug was berthed at Troon over the weekend, and was due to leave again this morning for Oban. Currently on a tour round Scottish waters, HOLLAND dates from 1951, when she was built by Ferus Smit at Foxhol for Rederij Doeksen as a deep sea salvage tug, and passenger ship capable of accommodating 700 passengers (yes, 700!) while serving the islands of Terschelling and Vlieland from the mainland.

After a career spanning 25 years, she was chartered to the Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Water Department) and served with them until 1998. By that time, the 57.35 metre long vessel was surplus to requirement, and advertised for sale. A trust was set up, and she was taken into preservation with considerable assistance from the Dutch Government, and several companies and other institutions. Now operating as a working museum, she has been largely restored to original condition, still retaining her 10-cylinder Werkspoor main engine.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008


Outbound from Glasgow for Limerick this evening, WILSON BLYTH is one of Wilson ASA's ships which flies the Maltese flag. From 1995, when she was completed at the Slovenske Lodenice shipyard on the Danube as KAPITAN DROBININ, until 2004, when she given her 'Wilson' name, she was managed by Wilson although owned by Gee Em Shipping. In 2004 she was taken into the Wilson fleet itself. With an overall length of 88.00 metres, she has a summer deadweight of 3,713 tonnes. Like most of these box hold coasters, she can also carry up to 176 TEU containers.


An attractive little ship arrived this evening, the St Vincent & The Grenadines-flagged SKANTIC, which is owned by a Danish company and was inbound from Peterhead. She was built in 1974 at Frederikshavn as SKANLITH, becoming SKANLILL in 1983 and SKANTIC in 1999. With an overall length of 64.62 metres, she has a deadweight of 1,094 tonnes.


Another Aasen Transport ship joined AASFJORD at Glasgow today, and was seen as she passed McInroy's Point this morning. AASLI, also seen on a previous visit here, arrived on the Clyde today from Glensanda with a cargo of aggregates, another typical cargo for these hard-working little ships.


Bringing a cargo of components for wind turbines, including a number of the massive blades on her hatch tops, CORAL SEA was seen passing Cloch Point this morning as she headed up the Clyde to Glasgow. CORAL SEA was built in Holland in 2000, and when launched bore the name DEO VOLENTE, which she carried until the newer ship now carrying the same name was built. This ship, built by Tille Shipyards, has a deadweight of 2,850 tonnes and an overall length of 90.78 metres. She is now owned by Coral Shipping, a Dutch company.