Sunday, 30 November 2008


Also lying off Greenock to await an improvement in visibility was the Ukranian-flagged coaster HEROI STAKHORSKYI, which had arrived on the Lower Firth late on Friday evening with a cargo of animal feed. She was built by Damen Shipyards' Ukrainian yard at Nikolaev, being launched in September 2005. Owned by Ukrrichflot, she has a deadweight of 6,315 tonnes and measures 127.3 metres overall. 


The second vessel bringing in steel fabrications for the new footbridge being built at the Broomielaw arrived from Invergordon at the 'Bravo' anchorage on Saturday evening. SEA HAWK weighed anchor on Sunday morning with the intent of heading upriver, but it was decided instead to await an improvement in visibility and she anchored again off Greenock. SEA HAWK is operated by Torbulk, and is registered in Barbados. She was completed as MINDFUL in 1989 by the Damen Shipyard at Gorinchem, changing her name to CHRISTA K ten years later. The 3,015 tonne deadweight, 87.7 metre long ship was given her present name in 2006.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

The Tugs

There are presently four tugs belonging to Svitzer berthed in the James Watt Dock at Greenock. This view shows WARRIOR III returning to her berth after assisting a tanker movement upriver at Clydebank, with SVITZER MALLAIG and AYTON CROSS sharing their home berth with WILLOWGARTH, which arrived at Greenock a few days ago. An announcement was made yesterday by Scottish Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell to signal the start of a £180 million project to regenerate the 50-acre waterside site over the next ten years. Hundreds of luxury apartments are planned, together with marina facilities. Although, the Great Harbour is included in the redeveloment plans, the adjacent Garvel drydock appears to be unaffected by the proposal.

Winter Refits

Two of the larger CalMac ferries were seen this afternoon in Greenock's James Watt Dock. Completing her annual survey and refit was ISLE OF MULL, looking very spruce after her spell in the Garvel Drydock. Berthed ahead of her, HEBRIDEAN ISLES, which briefly visited the Clyde as recently as last weekend, had only arrived a little while earlier, and was seen deploying her Marine Evacuation System chutes as part of her annual survey. The Rothesay ferry BUTE and the Colintraive ferry LOCH DUNVEGAN had both sailed from the Garvel yard earlier this morning, both having just completed their surveys.

GYN YOH outbound

Passing Cloch Point this afternoon, the bulk carrier GYN YOH was sailing from the Clyde for Tenerife, where she will be taking on bunkers before loading her next cargo. She was seen earlier this week as she discharged her cargo of animal feed at Shieldhall.


Only renamed a few weeks ago, the tanker NORDPORT was completed in March this year as E.R. ELBE by the Sekwang Shipyard in Korea. She is 13,126 tonnes deadweight, with an overall length of 128.6 metres. Flying the Cypriot flag, she is operating for Eitzen Chemical A/S and had been discharging a cargo in Rothesay Dock before moving downriver to the Tail o' the Bank last night.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Greenock Ocean Terminal

Three container services currently use Greenock's Ocean Terminal on a Friday, and today two vessels were seen alongside. Closest is CANOPUS J on the MacAndrews Greenock-Bilbao-Liverpool service while at the west end, LAURA ANN was loading on the OOCL SIX service, running between Southampton, Dublin, Greenock and Belfast. LAURA ANN is a fairly new visitor, and is one of the well-known Sietas 168 type container ships. Owned by Eicke Shipping, this 11,639 tonne deadweight ship is 134 metres long, and has a maximum capacity of 868 TEU boxes. She was built in 2002, and like many vessels of her type, has carried other names while on different charters. The third container ship to visit Greenock today was HELGALAND, also on charter to MacAndrews but running on their other Northwest UK-Iberia route, serving Portugal.


Passing Cloch Point this afternoon, the Strahlmann coaster HOLSTENTOR was setting out for Bilbao with a cargo of scrap steel, loaded at Diesel Wharf. One of a class of Portuguese-built sisters, HOLSTENTOR's career has paralleled that of the other three ships, all built for Port Line, a Portuguese company in 1989/90, and sold on successively to German, then Dutch owners. They were acquired collectively by Erwin Strahlmann in 2004.


Finally taking her leave of the Clyde this afternoon, the tug ST BUDOC was seen passing Inverkip as she commenced a lengthy sea passage to Portland, in the south of England. There it is expected that she will be prepared for a new career in Africa. ST BUDOC has been a familiar sight in the Holy Loch as she lay on mooring buoys at the head of the loch for the past six years, and over the past year at the pontoons of the Holy Loch Marina.

Thursday, 27 November 2008


Another vessel which has spent quite a while at anchor, in her case at the north end of Great Cumbrae, is the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier SILVER CONSTELLATION, which moved there on completion of discharge of a cargo of Colombian coal at Hunterston. Now on her fifth name, she was built in Japan as CAPE COSMOS, entering service in 1986. In 2000, she was briefly named CAPE DAISY, becoming CHAMPEL the same year, then ORIENT BRILLIANCE two years later. She was given her present name in 2006. She is 273.01 metres long, and has a deadweight of 146,351 tonnes. She appears to be owned by Canadian interests, and is on charter to a Singapore company.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


The Ministry of Defence Police launch GIGHA has completed her trial period with the Clyde Naval Base and is now serving as a fulltime unit. An order for a further five similar launches has been placed with Holyhead Marine. Subject to suitable funding being made available, it is hoped that there will be fifteen such boats within five years. GIGHA, which is 14.90 metres long, is driven by two Caterpillar engines and twin Rolls Royce Kamewa waterjets, which give her a speed of up to 33 knots.


Lying at the 'Bravo' anchorage for a few days, the Gibraltar-registered coaster CIMBRIS is waiting to move upriver to discharge her cargo of wind turbines. She was built at the Rousse shipyard in Bulgaria in 2003, and is 98.86 metres in length. Her deadweight is 4,516 tonnes, and she is owned by Briese Schiffahrt.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


A most unusual arrival today at a berth that has not seen commercial shipping for many years, was Faversham Shipping's SHETLAND TRADER, seen here alongside the south wall of the former Princes Dock. Carrying steel sections of a new footbridge being constructed further upriver linking the former Bridge Wharf and the Broomielaw, SHETLAND TRADER was waiting for the arrival of craneage to discharge the sections, which she had loaded at Invergordon. The coaster was built in 1992 as LASS MARS at the Rosslauer Shipyard on the River Elbe, and has a length of 74.94 metres, and a deadweight of 2,386 tonnes. She joined the Faversham fleet in September 2007, at which time she was renamed and re-registered in Barbados.


Discharging animal feed at Shieldhall today was the Philippino-flagged woodchip/bulk carrier GYN YOH, a ship of a type seen fairly often on the upper reaches of the Clyde. She was built in 1988 by the Oshima Shipbuilding Co in Japan, and has an overall length of 199.2 metres. Her deadweight is some 43,117 tonnes, and she is owned by a company based in Panama, with Singapore based managers.

Monday, 24 November 2008


Making one of her periodic visits to the Clyde, the MoD-chartered tanker MAERSK RAPIER arrived yesterday morning at Loch Striven, and moved today to the fuel jetty at Garelochhead, where she is seen in this view. Prior to coming to the Clyde, she loaded at Gosport.


Basking in the wintry sunshine at Glen Mallan, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary FORT AUSTIN appears to be having some cosmetic attention to her starboard side, with a painter's staging lying alongside. She has been at Glen Mallan since the end of October.

Sunday, 23 November 2008


Seen at Gourock on Sunday afternoon, CalMac's HEBRIDEAN ISLES had spent the morning steaming up and down the east coast of Arran after being unable to berth at Brodick. Her presence on the Clyde was required after the regular Arran ferry, CALEDONIAN ISLES, suffered major engine problems and had been unable to serve the island since Saturday morning. In the event, HEBRIDEAN ISLES was also unable to provide a service owing to a number of things, resulting in her heading for an overnight berth at Gourock.


Seen departing on Sunday afternoon, the Greek-flagged tanker POPI P. had arrived at Finnart early on Saturday with a cargo of Nigerian crude from Forcados. POPI P. is owned by Unity Shipping Corporation, and managed by Centrofin. She was built in Korea by the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co, being launched in September 2005, and completed the following month. She is 274.0 metres in length, and has a deadweight of 159,966 tonnes.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


Another view of BRO DESIGNER, passing Strone Point this afternoon as she made her way downfirth from Finnart on another of her short runs to Belfast, with a cargo of petroleum products.

Friday, 21 November 2008


Seen passing Wemyss Bay today, the coaster EILSUM, owned by Erwin Strahlmann, was heading upriver to Glasgow to the BVT shipyard at Govan, presumably delivering a consignment for the Type 45 build programme. EILSUM was built at the Rosslauer Shipyard in Germany in 1991, and was completed as SAAR ROTTERDAM, trading under the her allocated Bockstiegel name although she had just been bought over by Strahlmann. She was later renamed SAAR LISBOA before reverting to the name that she was launched under, EILSUM, in 1998. She is 1,950 tonnes deadweight, and has an overall length of 81.76 metres.

Thursday, 20 November 2008


Alstership's ANTJE K. arrived on the Clyde this afternoon and headed straight upriver to Shieldhall to load a cargo of scrap metal for Seville. Like her sisters CLARA K. and JOHN-PAUL K., she was built in Bulgaria at the Rousse Shipyard, being completed in the summer of 2002. ANTJE K. is 90.25 metres long, has a deadweight of 4,247 tonnes, and is managed by a Dutch company.


Kicking up a lot of spray in the stiff nor'westerly wind this morning, the Ministry of Defence Police boat JAMES DALTON was heading down the Firth to escort one of the Royal Navy's 'Vanguard' class submarines upfirth.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Back the the 'Bravo' anchorage, the coaster LIAMARE sailed from Glasgow on Wednesday morning after spending several weeks lying in King George V Dock undergoing machinery repairs. LIAMARE headed down the Firth as far as Cumbrae Island before returning back upfirth and anchoring.

SD IMPETUS and lighter

Taking another trip to Loch Striven, the former RMAS tug SD IMPETUS was seen heading downfirth with the sullage lighter 1710 U lashed alongside. In the background is one of Serco-Denholm's new Naval Pilot cutters, CLYDE RACER.


The 'River' class Offshore Patrol Vessel MERSEY was seen on Wednesday morning exercising on the Clyde. She was the third, and last, of the three ships of the original batch built by Vosper Thornycroft under a leasing arrangement between the yard and the MoD. Together with sisters TYNE and SEVERN, MERSEY spends most of her time on fishery protection duties around the coastline of England and Wales.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Making one of her regular voyages from Finnart to Belfast, BRO DESIGNER was seen at close quarters this afternoon as she left Loch Long and headed down the Firth. Launched in 2006 and the second of four identical sisterships built in China for Brostrom Tankers, BRO DESIGNER is 146.7 metres overall and was constructed to the latest double-hull standards, with fully segregated machinery spaces capable of independent operation. 

Monday, 17 November 2008

DRAGON - D35 - Launch Day

As the rain cleared this afternoon, DRAGON sat on the slip at Govan, the latest vessel of the Type 45 class of destroyer to await what is possibly the most stressful time in a ship's career, her launch.  

At 1500 exactly, following her naming by her Lady Sponsor, Mrs Susie Boissier, whose husband is Deputy Commander-In-Chief Fleet and Chief of Staff (Headquarters), DRAGON started to move.

As she slid into the waters of the River Clyde, balloons were released from her fore deck, followed by a display of pyrotechnics. The dragchains soon brought DRAGON to a halt midstream.

Tugs SVITZER MALLAIG and WARRIOR III soon made fast and held DRAGON in position while the wire hawsers securing the dragchains to her hull were released.

Clyde Marine's tugs BITER and BEAVER BAY were also in attendance, taking care of the sliding ways, which by now had floated free and had to be taken clear before the two tugs joined their larger compatriots. Two line runners - COURIER and RANGER - were also used to clear flotsam from the launch.

With the sliding ways taken care of, DRAGON was manoeuvred into the basin at the former Fairfield shipyard. She will remain at Govan for a few days before heading downriver to BVT Surface Fleet's other yard at Scotstoun, where she will be fitted out. DRAGON is due to be in full naval service by 2012. The bow of DEFENDER, the fifth ship in the series, can be seen on the right. It will be moved onto the slipway fairly soon, where it will be joined by other modules currently inside the building sheds.

Sunday, 16 November 2008


With a large red dragon emblazoned on her forward end symbolising her future affiliation to the city of Cardiff, the latest Type 45 destroyer spends her last night on the shipyard ways at Govan, awaiting her launching tomorrow afternoon. To be named DRAGON, she is due to enter the Clyde at 1500. Construction of the ship commenced in December 2005, and her bow - built at Portsmouth at BVT Surface Fleet's facility at Woolston - was moved into position at Govan two years later, following the launch of DIAMOND.


Spending a couple of days in the Great Harbour was Briggs Marine's CAMERON, a trials support vessel built in 1991 by Richard Dunston and intially a member of the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service fleet. She was later sold to DERA, with her operation passing to Briggs while she was based at Rosyth. CAMERON is 33 metres in length, and can also be used to lay and maintain mooring and navigation buoys. She is now employed on commercial work on an increasing basis, and her owners were recently awarded a £100 million contract by Serco to provide navigation buoy maintenance and mooring support for the Royal Navy for a 15 year period.


The Royal Navy's hydrographic survey ship ENTERPRISE arrived this afternoon, and anchored at the Tail o' the Bank. One of a pair of ships constructed at the Appledore Shipyard in Devon, ENTERPRISE was recently surveying off the Northern Irish coast and in the North Channel, following her visit to Faslane in September, then spent some time at Devonport.

Saturday, 15 November 2008


After delivering another fuel cargo to Rothesay Dock, the tanker LIQUID SUCCESS sailed this morning, and was seen as she passed Cloch Point on her way downfirth. This was the Liberian-flagged tanker's second visit to Clydebank.

Friday, 14 November 2008


Arriving at Sandbank this afternoon, Echoship's 1,735 tonne deadweight coaster ANKE-ANGELA was seen approaching the berth, while the Clydeport Pilot Cutter TOWARD waits off until the Pilot had completed his duties, before taking him back to Greenock. Dating from 1984, ANKE-ANGELA, which was also seen previously on another visit to the Holy Loch, will be loading a cargo of round timber for export to the Finnish port of Rauma.

LYSHAV outbound

After lying at Greenock overnight, LYSHAV sailed from Ocean Terminal this afternoon, and is seen as she passed Inverkip on her way downfirth and on to Drogheda. Smallest in the DFDS Lys Line fleet, LYSHAV dates from 1985 and in 85.0 metres long. She has a deadweight of 3,040 tonnes and had been, as usual, delivering paper from Scandinavia.

CANOPUS J inbound

A regular Friday visitor to the river is CANOPUS J, seen this morning passing McInroy's Point as Western Ferries' SOUND OF SCARBA heads back to Hunter's Quay. CANOPUS J, which has been running on the MacAndrews container service from Liverpool and Greenock to Bilbao for the past six months, was built in 2004. She is 139.88 metres in length, has a deadweight of 9,193 tonnes and can carry up to 750 TEU containers.


Also sent by my correspondent was this fine view of the bulk carrier SEALINK, which sailed this morning. SEALINK was built in China by the Dalian Shipyard in 1983 as SEA GLORY, changing her name in 1986 to SEASTAR II, before she took her present name in 1997. She is 195.0 metres overall, and has a deadweight of 28,234 tonnes. She was discharging a cargo of animal feed from South America. SEALINK is managed by Thenamaris Ships Management Inc, a Greek concern, and flies the Cypriot flag.

DAUNTLESS outbound

The second Type 45 destroyer, and the first launched at Govan, sailed from the BvT yard at Scotstoun this morning, at the start of the first series of sea trials which she will be conducting over the next few months. This picture, sent to ClydeSights by a correspondent, shows DAUNTLESS passing Renfrew accompanied by Clyde Marine's tug BRUISER. BATTLER and SVITZER MALLAIG were also in attendance as the new warship made her way to the Tail of the Bank, where she undertook anchor trials before proceeding further down the Clyde later today.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


I am grateful to a correspondent for sending these two images, showing two of CalMac's ferry fleet heading into the Garvel Drydock this morning for their annual surveys. The upper view shows LOCH DUNVEGAN, normally employed on the Colintraive-Rhubodach service across the Kyles of Bute, approaching the dock entrance. In the background, ISLE OF MULL can be seen while just to the left of her, the containership HELGALAND makes her approach to Greenock Ocean Terminal.

Following LOCH DUNVEGAN into the drydock, ISLE OF MULL had just arrived from Oban, having passed McInroy's Point in the darkness and called briefly at Gourock pier, where she berthed at the linkspan to land cars belonging to her crew.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

PETUJA outbound

Seen catching the afternoon sun as she passed the Ashton Buoy, DFDS Suardiaz Line's chartered container ship PETUJA had left Greenock a little while earlier and was making her way to Bilbao in northern Spain.

'Sandown' Class Minehunters

Two members of the eight-strong 'Sandown' class Single Role Minehunters based at Faslane at the north end of the Gareloch were noted exercising at the mouth of Loch Long this morning. The two ships were HMS BANGOR - M109 (left) and HMS PENZANCE - M106 (right), commissioned in 1999 and 1998 respectively. BANGOR appears to have been spruced up a little during the past year, while in July this year, PENZANCE completed a £2 million 7-month long refit at Rosyth.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

HMS EDINBURGH - D97 outbound

The Type 42 destroyer EDINBURGH sailed from King George V dock this morning, and is seen here as she started to pick up speed on her way out to sea. EDINBURGH is now reported to be on passage to Leith, her adopted 'home port' where she will berth for a few days.

Monday, 10 November 2008


Another wild day in the west of Scotland, with a southerly gale blowing up the Firth of Clyde, as this image of CalMac's JUPITER approaching Dunoon shows. In the background, the coaster APOLLO EAGLE, a regular visitor to the river carrying cargoes of cement, can be seen riding at anchor awaiting a river passage to Glasgow.


A Russian coaster has been at Shieldhall for a few days discharging a cargo at the riverside berth. VASILIY SHUKSHIN, which now flies the Maltese flag, was built in 1995 by the Volgograd Shipyard is 89.5 metres long, and has a deadweight of 2,792 tonnes. She is managed by a Belgian company, and like many Russian vessels,  her owners appear to have a Maltese address. She is of the 'Baltiyskiy' Project 16290 type, and is operated by the North-Western Shipping Company. 

Sunday, 9 November 2008


Another Norwegian vessel was seen today heading out to sea, after a brief visit to Greenock. LYS-SKOG, which arrived earlier today had also been at Ocean Terminal a few days ago, bringing in paper from Norway before visiting the Irish port of Drogheda. Today's call at Greenock was to allow her to take on fuel bunkers before returning to Scandinavia. LYS-SKOG, together with other ships belonging to DFDS-Lys Line, have been regular visitors to the Clyde for some time. Described as a palletised cargo ship, LYS-SKOG has a deadweight of 3,728 tonnes and an overall length of 99.43 metres. She was built in 1990 at the Kraljevica Shipyard in Croatia, and was lengthened by 10 metres at a Polish shipyard eight years later.

KRONVIKEN outbound

Another view of the Norwegian tanker KRONVIKEN, taken this morning as she headed south past Dunoon and down the blustery Firth of Clyde. Her next cargo will be another load of North Sea crude, which she is due to load at Hound's Point, on the Firth of Forth.