Friday, 31 October 2008

Busy Gourock

Gourock Pier was a busy place on Friday evening, with three CalMac ferries present. JUPITER, seen departing and heading off round Kempock Point, was as usual on the Dunoon ferry service. SATURN, on the left, had returned from Greenock on Thursday where she had been receiving her annual overhaul at the Garvel Drydock. CORUISK, usually employed in summertime on the crossing from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye, had just completed her sailings there and was arriving at Gourock on her way to the Garvel yard, where she is to receive her own overhaul in the next couple of weeks. 

Thursday, 30 October 2008


Seen on Thursday afternoon at Oban, the Northern Lighthouse Board's navaids tender PHAROS was caught sailing from the Lighthouse Pier in lovely sunshine. After leaving Oban Bay, she turned south into the Firth of Lorne. Together with her Trinity House sister ship GALATEA, she was built by the Remontowa Shipyard in Poland, and has been a regular visitor to the Clyde both to the Garvel dock at Greenock, and on routine inspections of the lighthouses and buoyage with the Clyde estuary.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008


The Fleet Replenishment Ship FORT AUSTIN arrived on the Clyde on Tuesday afternoon and after a night at anchor off Greenock, moved on Wednesday morning to Glen Mallan. Before berthing, she had to await the departure of this ship, HARTLAND POINT. She is one of a series of six ships owned by Foreland Shipping, and operating on long-term charter to the Ministry of Defence. Built at Belfast by Harland and Wolff, HARTLAND POINT was completed in December 2002. She is 193 metres long, has a deadweight of some 13,300 tonnes, and is a sistership of ANVIL POINT, which visited the Clyde in March. After working cargo at Glen Mallan, HARTLAND POINT was heading for Sunny Point in North Carolina, USA, a major munitions base.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


The other operator using Loch Ryan is P&O Irish Sea, who run two sisterships between Cairnryan and Larne. EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY was built by Mitsubishi in Japan in 2000 and was joined two years later by the almost identical EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER. This crossing is also served during the summer months by the fast craft EXPRESS, now laid up for the winter months. The P&O ships provide an intensive service, each making three or four return crossings every day. EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY is 159.5 metres in length, with a deadweight of 4,276 tonnes and is 20,646 gross tons. She can carry 410 passengers and up to 315 cars, or a maximum of 84 15m freight units.


Two ferry operators run services across the North Channel from Loch Ryan to Northern Ireland. The railhead at Stranraer is served by Stena Line, who run both a High Speed catamaran ferry, STENA VOYAGER, and a conventional ro-ro ferry, STENA CALEDONIA. A few days ago, STENA VOYAGER suffered from some weather damage and had to be taken out of service. To provide additional capacitywhile she is undergoing repairs, a freight ferry usually employed between Larne and Fleetwood has temporarily been placed on the Stranraer-Belfast crossing. STENA SEAFARER was built for Stena Line in 1975 by Sietas, and named UNION MELBOURNE for a charter in New Zealand, becoming UNION TRADER in 1978 when she returned to the northern hemisphere to serve on her present route on charter to Pandoro.  In 1980 she was bought by P&O and renamed PUMA, before a further name change to EUROPEAN SEAFARER in 1998 following a reorganisation of the company's freight operations in the Irish Sea. In 2003, P&O divested themselves of some of their Irish Sea services, and she was transferred to the Stena fleet, adopting her current name and now flying the flag of the company which was initially responsible for her design and construction.

Monday, 27 October 2008


Having arrived back from Kilroot with another cargo of road salt, ARKLOW VENUS was seen this afternoon shortly before sailing from Shieldhall after she had completed discharging cargo. Details of this Dutch-flagged coaster can be seen in this earlier post.

T-class Submarine

One of the Royal Navy's T-class submarines was seen heading out to sea this afternoon,  with CalMac's JUPITER lying at Dunoon Pier in the background.


CalMac's Mallaig-based Small Isles ferry LOCHNEVIS completed her annual overhaul and survey at the Garvel Drydock today, and ran trials off Gourock. She is seen here heading for Gourock on their completion, where she berthed for a couple of hours before setting off for Mallaig to resume duty.

Saturday, 25 October 2008


Seen on Friday being manoeuvred in the Great Harbour at Greenock, Serco Denholm's acoustic research ship SD COLONEL TEMPLER was being assisted by SD NIMBLE. SD COLONEL TEMPLER was built by Hall Russell at Aberdeen as a stern trawler in 1966, but was converted in 1980 to become a floating trials platform operated under the auspices of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. In 1997, she was further modified, and since 2000 has been managed by Serco Denholm.

PANTELIS outbound

Seen sailing from Finnart on Friday afternoon, the tanker PANTELIS had been discharging a cargo of North Sea crude oil from Mongstad, the huge Norwegian oil terminal. PANTELIS was built in 2004 by Samsung Heavy Industries at Koje in South Korea. At 249.87 metres long, she has a deadweight of 114,500 tonnes. Owned by a Cypriot company and operated by Enesel SA, a Greek firm, this Aframax tanker is currently on charter to Stena Bulk. Registered at Limassol, PANTELIS has a Greek master, with a variety of other nationalities making up her crew.

Friday, 24 October 2008


Following ARKLOW RANGER downriver a couple of hours later was another of the company's ships, ARKLOW VENUS, which unlike her fleetmate had brought a cargo to the Clyde. This was a consignment of salt for use on roads in the forthcoming winter, loaded at Kilroot on Belfast Loch and discharged at Shieldhall. She was seen passing Western Ferries' SOUND OF SANDA off McInroy's Point, as she headed back to Kilroot. ARKLOW VENUS flies the Dutch flag, and was built in 2000 at the Pattje Shipyard at Waterhuizen in the Netherlands. She is 89.75 metres long, has a deadweight of 4,940 tonnes, and was originally named SIDER VENUS, joining the Arklow fleet in 2005.


Outbound today, the Arklow Shipping coaster ARKLOW RANGER was seen as she made her way past Lunderston Bay, starting our on her passage to Seville with a cargo of scrap metal loaded at Renfrew. This neat little coaster was seen on a previous visit to the Clyde in August 2007, and many other members of the 'R' class have also loaded cargoes here.

HUMMEL outbound

After a part discharge of her cargo at Rothesay Dock, the tanker HUMMEL moved downriver to the Tail o' the Bank where she spent a few days at anchor. The German ship moved back to Clydebank on Wednesday afternoon to complete unloading, and sailed this morning for Amsterdam.

Thursday, 23 October 2008


Weather conditions on the upper firth have been far from ideal for photography today, as this view of JUPITER making her way from Dunoon to Gourock in a following sea demonstrates. All of Caledonian MacBrayne's Clyde routes were affected by weather at some stage during the day, as were the vast majority of the Western Isles routes too. Winter appears to have arrived this week!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

TIMCA departing

Seen sailing this afternoon in better conditions that those prevailing when she arrived, TIMCA was outbound from the Clyde with her newly-loaded cargo of paper reels for Baltimore, on the east coast of the USA. An interesting gallery of images showing the ship can be seen on the Spliethoff website.


A departure from the Clyde early this morning was the coaster ALSERBACH, which sailed from Renfrew - where she is seen in this view - with a cargo of scrap metal destined for the Spanish port of Seville. Like many other members of the Alstership fleet, she is frequently seen on the Clyde and in other UK ports loading cargoes like this.

Monday, 20 October 2008


Seen sailing from Glen Mallan this afternoon was RFA ARGUS, a ship built in 1981 by the Italian shipyard Cantieri Navale Breda as the container ship CONTENDER BEZANT. During the Falklands War in 1982, she was taken over by the Ministry of Defence and later converted at Belfast to become an Aviation Training Ship. Renamed ARGUS, her new role was to train navy helicopter pilots while she could also be adapted to act as a logistics ship. ARGUS is equipped with a large hospital facility including two operating theatres and beds for up to 100 casualties. Despite this, she is not designated as a hospital ship, but rather as a Primary Casualty Reception Ship. She is 175.1 metres long, and has a displacement of 28,481 tonnes. 

TIMCA inbound

Arriving this morning during some rather fresh autumnal weather, the Danish ro-ro freighter TIMCA was heading for Greenock Ocean Terminal to uplift another cargo of paper. Somewhat unusually, today she used two tugs to berth on account of the strong southwesterly winds. Both TIMCA and her sister GENCA are now becoming regular visitors to the Clyde on Spliethoff transatlantic services.

Saturday, 18 October 2008


The Chinese bulk carrier HENG SHAN HAI arrived at Hunterston this afternoon, and was seen as she entered the Largs Channel with the Clyde's three Svitzer tugs in attendance. HENG SHAN HAI was built by the Shanghai Hudong Shipyard in 1998, and the 225.0 metre long ship, which has a deadweight of some 72,769 tonnes, was bringing in a cargo of coal from Murmansk. She is operated by COSCO Bulk Carriers, part of the enormous and diverse China Ocean Shipping Group.


Three of the Dutch participants in Exercise Joint Warrior 082 are berthed in King George V Dock. The amphibious transport ship ROTTERDAM (L800) was built by the Royal Schelde shipyard at Vlissingen, and completed in 1998. She is 162.2 metres long, with a displacement of 12,750 tonnes, and is fitted with a diesel electric powerplant for propulsion. ROTTERDAM is capable of operating landing craft from her floodable stern dock, as well as working with helicopters from her large flight deck. Since being commissioned into the Royal Netherlands Navy, she has been joined by a similar but slightly larger ship, JOHAN DE WITT, which also took part in the exercise. Astern of ROTTERDAM are berthed two of the 'Tripartite' class minesweepers, MAKKUM and MAASLUIS. The bow of the coaster APOLLO FALCON can also be seen behind one of the wind turbines delivered by DEO VOLENTE on her most recent visit this week.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Type 45s at Scotstoun

On Friday, the second Type 45 destroyer, DAUNTLESS, was moved from the drydock to the fitting-out berth. To allow her to lie alongside, DARING was temporarily moved into the river before double-berthing beside the newer ship. An excellent sequence of shots of the move can be seen on Upper Clyde Shipping

Thursday, 16 October 2008


A vessel of a type not seen on the Clyde was also noted as she made her way north through the Sea of the Hebrides on Thuesday. SIGAS DUKE, a liquified gas carrier, is Maltese registered, and was built in Norway in 1982 and was originally named TRAENAFJORD. She was renamed KNUD THOLSTRUP later that year, then became KNUD KOSAN in 1991. Her present name was adopted in 2006. She is owned by Sigas Singapore Pte Ltd and managed by EMS Ship Management. SIGAS DUKE is 76.75 metres long, and has a deadweight of 2,618 tonnes. She can carry ammonia or LPG in her three fully refrigerated tanks, at temperatures as low as -48.0 °C.


Seen at speed in the Sea of the Hebrides to the west of Tiree was the US Navy's frigate KLAKRING, making her way back to the Clyde following the completion of Exercise Joint Warrior 082. KLAKRING - a member of the 'Oliver Hazard Perry' class - dates from 1982. She was in company with LEROY GRUMMAN while several other naval vessels were also sighted as they headed south for debriefing.


A coaster well known in Scottish waters for many years was seen on Thursday as she headed towards Oban. NORD STAR, which was built in 1978 by Cubow at Woolwich as ORDINENCE, and later renamed KAVA SOUND, is now owned by Hebridean Coastal Services Ltd of Stornoway, and is one of a very few coasters owned and operated almost exclusively in our waters. She is 49.3 metres in length, and her deadweight of 727 tonnes makes her useful for carrying small quantities of general cargo around the islands and lochs of the western seaboard.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Following a few days alongside in the Great Harbour at the former Scott Lithgow Repair Berth, LIAMARE was towed upriver yesterday to Shieldhall, where she has discharged her cargo of animal feed. LIAMARE, a ship whose hull was built in the Ukraine but which was fitted out in Holland, is one of three sisters built there. One of those is well known on the Clyde - AASHEIM.


A German-owned tanker took the place of FRYKEN this morning at the NuStar berth in Rothesay Dock. Owned by Carl Büttner GmbH & Co, HUMMEL was built in 1989 by the Lindenau Shipyard at Kiel. She is 145.35 metres overall, and has a deadweight of 12,326 tonnes. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


The pipe-layer SOLITAIRE finally departed from the Clyde this morning, sailing for Algeciras in southern Spain, where it is presumed that repairs to her damaged pipe-laying equipment may be undertaken. Her extended stay on the Clyde generated considerable interest, as did the comings and goings of the numerous supply vessels working with her. One such vessel shown here, HAVILA FAVOUR, was one of the two Havila Shipping vessels working with SOLITAIRE that originally belonged to Stirling Shipping of Glasgow. She was built at Port Glasgow by Ferguson Shipbuilders in 1999 as STIRLING SPEY. Her elder sister HAVILA FAITH, ex-STIRLING TAY, also made a return to her home river.


Also arriving today was this small tanker, an interesting little ship that started her life as an unusual vessel with the ability to carry both general dry cargoes, and oils in bulk. Designated a C-O-B ship (container-oil-bulk), she was built in Holland in 1989 by Van der Giessen-de Noord at their yard at Krimpen ann den Ijssel and was originally named NORRSUNDET. Together with her sister SKUTSKAR - a vessel that was also on the Clyde fairly recently in her modified form as SAXEN - they introduced a new concept by carrying pulp and paper from Sweden to various European destinations, then returning with oil products and containers. In 1993, both ships were sold and this one became COLDSTREAM SHIPPER. Three years later, she was again renamed, becoming FRYKEN following her sale to Ahlmarco. She was rebuilt in Poland in 2004 and is now classed as a double-hulled vessel, complying with new regulations for tankers. With an overall length of 99.57 metres, FRYKEN has a deadweight of 6,862 tonnes. She was carrying a cargo of fuel from Antwerp.


The BG Freight Line service linking Belfast and Greenock with Rotterdam saw another new visitor arriving on the Clyde this morning in the shape of MARIS, seen here passing Inverkip on her way upfirth. MARIS, one of the few feeder container ships that has never changed her name, was built at the Sietas shipyard in 1995. A member of her builder's large Type 151 class, MARIS can carry up to 508 TEU containers, of which 52 can be reefer boxes plugged into the ships' electrical supply. She is 101.13 metres long, with a deadweight of 5,325 tonnes. Owned by a German company, she is registered in Antigua and Barbuda.

Monday, 13 October 2008


Providing a late season cruise from Greenock, Fred Olsen's BLACK PRINCE sailed this afternoon for Almeria and other Mediterranean ports, having arrived early this morning from Liverpool. She was captured as she passed the inbound coaster CORAL SEA, arriving from Denmark with a cargo of wind turbines to be discharged at King George V Dock in Glasgow.


Continuing to run stores out to SOLITAIRE off Tomont End, the northern tip of Great Cumbrae, BOA FORTUNE made another visit to Greenock today. Built to the standard Ulstein UT706 design, she has twin screws driven by Bergen Diesels, each producing 3,305 bhp. Her cargo deck aft can carry up to 1,800 tonnes. She is also fitted with six tanks which can carry drilling mud and other such cargoes. A full description of her can be found here.

[EDIT: BOA FORTUNE completed work with SOLITAIRE this evening, and has now sailed for Killybegs.]

YOSEMITE outbound

After a quick discharge, the bulk carrier YOSEMITE sailed this morning and was seen as she headed down the upper firth. Her next port is due to be Barranquilla, in northern Colombia. Hopefully her hold cleaning will be completed by then and her hatches closed for the passage across the Atlantic!


Built by the famous Robertson boatyard on the Holy Loch in 1971 as the City of Glasgow Police Boat, SEMPER VIGILO 2 was sold for further service several years ago and, minus the suffix to her name, has since been used by Talisman Offshore Services as a small survey vessel. Built to a modified 42 foot Nelson design, her shallow draft of only 1.25 metres allows her to work close inshore. 

Sunday, 12 October 2008


Her Maltese registration giving a clue to her Russian origins, KALLIOPE was indeed built in a Soviet shipyard, at the Severnaya Verf at St Petersburg, where she was launched in 1993. Built as DONBASS, she originally flew the Ukranian flag; now owned by Österreichischer Lloyd, KALLIOPE is a sistership of WALSERTAL, seen on the Clyde a year ago. She is 109.7 metres long, and has a deadweight of 6,920 tonnes.


The bulk carrier YOSEMITE arrived at the Tail o' the Bank on Friday afternoon from Belfast, where like most of the ships bringing in animal feedstuffs, she had discharged part of her cargo before heading for the Clyde. Once weather conditions had moderated a little, YOSEMITE was able to move to Shieldhall on Saturday evening. Delivered from Japanese builders in 1985, this 178.22 metre long ship has carried four names previously, becoming YOSEMITE in April 2006. She has a deadweight of 28,019 tonnes and is now operated by the Eastwind Group of Greece.


Caledonian MacBrayne's Small Isles ferry LOCHNEVIS was seen as she passed Cloch Point on her way to Gourock this afternoon. LOCHNEVIS, due to be drydocked at the Garvel Drydock in the next day or two, left her base at Mallaig yesterday afternoon, and after spending a few hours respite at Craignure, continued her voyage early this morning. The last vessel to be built at the Ailsa shipyard at Troon, LOCHNEVIS joined the CalMac fleet in 2000. Her overall length is just 49.2 metres and her unique design, including an extraordinarily long stern ramp, evolved around the necessity to be able to use new slipways built at each of the four islands that she serves - Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna. She is driven by three Schottel 'rudder propellers' mounted side-by-side at her aft end. To allow her to use the slipways, they are protected by large skegs on either side. She is currently the only CalMac vessel with a bulbous bow.

Saturday, 11 October 2008


Back for another visit to Greenock, the NLB's navaids tender POLE STAR took a little jaunt up Loch Long this afternoon to inspect some of the navigation buoys and lights. Like AYTON CROSS, she too dates from 2000, although she was built a little closer to home, by Ferguson Shipbuilders at their Newark Shipyard at Port Glasgow. The Northern Lighthouse Board has two ensigns. Their ships fly a defaced Blue Ensign, with a white lighthouse on it. The Commissioners of the NLB also have their own ensign, which is white defaced with a blue lighthouse, and it is the only British flag to use the pre-1801 Union Flag as part of its design. This flag is only flown at the NLB headquarters in Edinburgh, or by vessels with the Commissioners on board.


Returning from Hunterston this morning, the tug AYTON CROSS had been assisting with two bulk carrier moves, the departure of ALMA ATA, and the berthing of another vessel. AYTON CROSS, built in Spain in 2000, has been Clyde-based for almost a year, having arrived at Greenock at the very beginning of November 2007.

Friday, 10 October 2008


A brand new coaster arrived at Sandbank this morning to load a cargo of round timber. TIM, only delivered to her German owners Interscan Schiffahrt on 22 September, was built at the Marpro Shipyard in Poland, part of the Dutch Bodewes Group. Second of a series of six sisters, TIM is 3,450 tonnes deadweight and 82.5 metres long. She flies the Cypriot flag, and her brokers are HH Danship AS. She arrived on the Clyde yesterday evening from Cork, and anchored off Rothesay overnight to await her berth at the Holy Loch Marina this morning.


On her way back to Glensanda from the Great Harbour at Greenock, AASFJORD had arrived with a cargo of aggregates from the last night. The superquarry at Glensanda, operated by Yeoman Glensanda, is one of the largest quarrying operations in Europe and currently produces seven million tonnes of granite aggregate per annum, all of which is transported by ships such as AASFJORD and her fleetmates, and larger vessels such as YEOMAN BANK.

Thursday, 9 October 2008


Regular caller at Finnart BRO DEVELOPER was seen this morning as she made her way into Loch Long, with the bulk carrier NENA M outbound in the background. The tanker was inbound from Belfast, having spent the night off Brodick at anchor. NENA M, after completing her discharge of animal feed at Shieldhall, was outbound for Bilbao in ballast.


Built in the Netherlands by Tille Scheepsbouw as WAALDIJK in 1999, JAN MITCHELL spent a period on charter with the name BERMUDA ISLANDER before taking her present name in 2005. She is a 'Conofeeder 300' type ship, with a container capacity of 301 TEU. She is 92.75 metres long, and has a deadweight of 3,480 tonnes. She had arrived from Belfast, and sailed again this evening for Rotterdam.


Serco-Denholm's tug SD IMPETUS was seen heading for Loch Striven this morning, into a fresh southerly wind and sea. She was side-towing 1710 (U), the sullage lighter based at Faslane, but before they had reached Innellan the pair had turned back due to the weather, and headed for the Gareloch.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


A Turkish bulk carrier was photographed by a friend as she arrived at Hunterston with a cargo of coal from Richards Bay, South Africa, on Wednesday afternoon. ALMA ATA, a vessel whose keel was laid in 1991 but was not completed until 1999, was built by the Pendik Shipyard for Deniz Nakliyatı T.A.Ş. (Turkish Cargo Lines). With an overall length of 248.8 metres, she has a deadweight of 76,009 tonnes.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


Not just one Ferguson Shipbuilders product is shown in this view, but three! On the right, the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency's vessel MINNA was seen as she headed downriver from their base in the James Watt Dock. MINNA was built at Port Glasgow in 2003, and is 42 metres in length. Mainly used for inshore work, she is the third fisheries cruiser to bear the name. At McInroy's Point, Western Ferries' terminal to the west of Gourock, is SOUND OF SHUNA, also built at Fergusons in 2003. As for the third Ferguson product? The linkspan itself, which was built at Newark Shipyard and installed at McInroy's Point in the early summer of 2007.

Monday, 6 October 2008


She arrived on Saturday afternoon, and was due to proceed upriver later that evening but following main engine problems, LIAMARE had to remain at anchor. Loaded with a grain cargo for Shieldhall, she was towed to the Great Harbour on Monday afternoon by one of Clyde Marine's tugs, and AYTON CROSS, for repairs. LIAMARE was built in 2000 by the Zaliv Shipyard at Kerch in the Ukraine. Originally named AMELAND, she was towed to Holland for fitting out, and was completed the following year. 107.13 metres overall, she has a deadweight of 5,842 tonnes. She was renamed LIAMARE when sold to Liamare Shipping BV in May 2007.


The second large merchant vessel that arrived on Monday morning was the Dutch ro-ro freighter GENCA, a sistership of TIMCA which had visited the Clyde earlier this year. GENCA was delivered to Transfennica in May 2007, having been launched the previous October as the third of eight ships in the class being built by the New Szczecin Shipyard in Poland. Like other ships belonging to the Spliethoff company, GENCA was on the Clyde to load a cargo of paper reels.


Inbound for Finnart with a cargo of crude oil from Escravos in Nigeria, the Indian flagged tanker JAG LAYAK had been lying off Brodick for a few days prior to moving upfirth. She was built in 1996 by Samsung Heavy Industries, and delivered to Liberian owners as SEAPRINCESS. In 2006 she was taken over by Great Eastern Shipping, India's largest private sector shipping company, and renamed. JAG LAYAK is 147,834 tonnes deadweight, and has an overall length of 274.12 metres. She is driven by a 6-cylinder Burmeister & Wain engine built under license by her builders, which produces 20,940 bhp at 88 rpm.

Departing Naval Fleet

One of the earlier departures from Faslane was the US warship HAWES (FFG53), a sistership of DOYLE. Like her, HAWES was built by Bath Iron Works, launched in February 1984 and becoming an active member of the United States Navy one year later. Her homeport in Norfolk, Virginia.

First of the major British vessels to sail was ARK ROYAL, which had embarked a number of Seaking helicopters prior to her departure.

Leading some of the amphibious assault ships to sea was GLOUCESTER (D96), one of the two Type 42 destroyers taking part in Joint Warrior 082.

MOUNTS BAY followed the Type 42, and had to make an alteration of course to allow two large merchant ships to pass. She is seen here as she moved to the west side of the main channel, towards Dunoon.

BULWARK sailed quite some time after the main contingent of ships had left, and was seen as the MoD pilot cutter SD-MONEYPENNY was alongside to take her pilot off.

Last to leave on Monday was the Royal Fleet Auxiliary's FORT AUSTIN, which had been berthed at Glen mallan for several days prior to the start of the exercise.