Sunday, 29 June 2008


Following the visit to Loch Striven by BAYLEAF earlier in the week, this morning witnessed the arrival of her sistership ORANGELEAF. Another Stat 32 tanker, she was also built at the Cammell Laird shipyard at Birkenhead but was competed a few years previously. ORANGELEAF was launched in 1975, originally named HUDSON PROGRESS, but was not completed until 1979, by which time she had been renamed BALDER LONDON. She was requisitioned during the Falklands conflict to supply fuel to the British forces, and her fulltime naval career as a member of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary commenced when she was chartered to the MoD(N) in May 1984, following conversion to allow replenishment of other vessels at sea. She is 170.7 metres overall, with a deadweight of 33,751 tonnes. Both ships of this class are due to leave naval service in the not-too-distant future, as they are single hulled tankers. ORANGELEAF is due to be decommissioned next year, despite having fairly recently completed a Service Life Extension Programme.