Tuesday, 31 March 2009


The container ship PETUJA was seen arriving from Avonmouth and Dublin on the weekly service to Bilbao operated by the DFDS Suardiaz Line. PETUJA carries up to 700 TEU containers and was built by the prolific German containership builder Sietas at their Hamburg shipyard. She is one of their Type 160 vessels.


On another regular short-sea voyage, the 14,737 tonne deadweight tanker BRO DEVELOPER was seen on Tuesday passing Lunderston Bay as she headed down the firth for Belfast with a cargo of refined petroleum products.

Monday, 30 March 2009


Taking the place of PERUVIAN EXPRESS alongside the jetty at Hunterston on Monday afternoon was a bulker carrying another cargo of coal from Colombia. OCEAN COMET, seen rounding the north end of Great Cumbrae, was completed in March 2008 at the Imari Shipyard of the Namura Shipbuilding Company in Japan. She is 289 metres in length with a deadweight of 176,943 tonnes. Owned by a Panamanian company, OCEAN COMET is managed by a Japanese firm. Assisting her to berth were AYTON CROSS and SVITZER MILFORD (seen at her stern) together with SD IMPETUS. The former-RMAS tug was helping out while WARRIOR III is on relief duty in Belfast.


Also sailing on Monday afternoon was the bulk carrier PERUVIAN EXPRESS, which had been at Hunterston discharging a cargo of coal from Colombia. Seen passing Little Cumbrae with the Pilot Cutter MOUNT STUART giving chase, this ship, which was built in Japan in 2007 and is owned by the well-known Dutch Vroon company, is managed by Fleet Management Ltd in Hong Kong. She is 229 metres long with a deadweight of 82,329 tonnes. Her next port is scheduled to be Newport News, in the USA.


Making a smart exit from Loch Long on Monday afternoon, the tanker FORWARD BRIDGE was seen at the start of her ballast passage to Fredericia in Denmark. She had completed her discharge of crude oil from Skikda in a little under forty-eight hours, having arrived at Finnart on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, 29 March 2009


Heading for Oban after her stay in the James Watt Dock, the lighthouse tender PHAROS was making short work of the southerly swell as she made her way down the Firth on Sunday afternoon. PHAROS, whose call sign is appropriately GNLB, is the tenth vessel so named and employed by the Northern Lighthouse Board.


Seen heading past Gourock on Sunday morning, the tanker FALCON was bringing in another cargo of petroleum products to Rothesay Dock from Mongstad, on her Swift Tankers charter. FALCON, manned by a Filipino crew, dates from 2004.

Saturday, 28 March 2009


On charter to Teekay Shipping, the Panamanian-flagged Aframax tanker FORWARD BRIDGE heads into Loch Long where the tug SVITZER MILFORD can be seen waiting for her. AYTON CROSS was also on hand to berth the 243.55 metre long ship, which has a deadweight of some 105,162 tonnes. FORWARD BRIDGE was built in Korea in 1998 as SILVER PARADISE, changing her name in 2004. She is managed by Hong Kong-based Wallem Shipmanagement.


Passing Ashton, the Norwegian-owned coaster WILSON GRIMSBY had been discharging a mineral cargo at Shieldhall, and was seen as she sailed from the Clyde bound for Leith on the east coast.  WILSON GRIMSBY featured previously when she visited Renfrew to load scrap metal.


After completing a spell of duty servicing some of the MoD buoyage around the Clyde, Briggs Marine's anchor handler KINGDOM OF FIFE sailed on Saturday afternoon for Southampton. The colourful vessel was seen as she headed past Cloch Light at the start of her voyage south.


Also returning to the Western Isles following her annual docking at Garvel, CalMac's LOCH PORTAIN was seen on Saturday morning as she passed McInroy's Point shortly after leaving Gourock Pier. Although she had initially set off the day before, she only got as far as Garroch Head before she had to turn back because of bad weather. Most unusually, she lay alongside Millport Pier for a short time before heading back to Gourock. LOCH PORTAIN is one of two vessels in the CalMac fleet specially designed for operation in the shallow sandy waters of the Sound of Harris. For that reason, both she and LOCH BHRUSDA, the ferry that she superseded, are fitted with Schottel Pump-Jets. LOCH PORTAIN was built at the McTay shipyard at Bromsborough on the River Mersey, and joined the CalMac fleet in 2003. She can carry 200 passengers and around 30 cars.

Friday, 27 March 2009


Completing her annual overhaul and survey at the Garvel repair yard, CalMac's Uig-Tarbert-Lochmaddy ferry HEBRIDES was seen berthed ahead of the lighthouse tender PHAROS.  HEBRIDES sailed later for Oban for a positioning run out to Barra before resuming her own service at the wekend.


Presently the largest tanker in the James Fisher Everard fleet, PEMBROKE FISHER was seen on Friday passing Cloch Point after loading a cargo at Finnart for Whitegate, in County Cork, Ireland.  PEMBROKE FISHER, built in Italy by Cantieri Orlando Livorno, was completed in June 1997 as MONTE BELLO. Sold to Fishers in 2002, she was given her current name in June that year. She is registered in the Bahamas and has an overall length of 135.22 metres. She has a deadweight of 14,204 tonnes.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


With a nor'westerly gale whipping up spindrift, SVITZER MILFORD added to the spume as she headed for Hunterston today to sail a bulk carrier. Since arriving on the Clyde, this tug has had considerable attention lavished on her, including the renewal of the main engine exhaust pipework on her starboard funnel; when she arrived here it had been badly distorted at some time in the past.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Managed by Jebsens, whose colours she wears, the self-discharging bulker CLYDENES was seen getting underway after lying for a few hours at the 'Bravo' anchorage this morning. She was heading for Glasgow with another cargo of road salt from Kilroot on Belfast Lough.

Monday, 23 March 2009


Seen passing Kilcreggan on Monday afternoon, the Rochester-registered coaster SCOT MARINER had been visiting Glasgow with a cargo of plywood from Ireland. The 3,313 tonne deadweight, 89.9 metre long ship, owned by Scotlines, was outbound for Inverness most likely to load a cargo of timber for export to Scandinavia.


The last member of the 'Sandown' class to have been built for the Royal Navy, SHOREHAM, was seen heading out to sea this morning, in somewhat blustery conditions. SHOREHAM is based at nearby Faslane, and has been exercising extensively in the area over the past few weeks. She also paid a courtesy visit to her 'home town' of Shoreham for four days earlier this month.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

WD MEDWAY II from above

Passing below the Erskine Bridge with a full cargo of spoil from the river bed at Shieldhall, the dredger WD MEDWAY II was heading for the spoil ground off the mouth of Loch Long, a journey that she has been making several times a day over the past couple of weeks.

Saturday, 21 March 2009


Drydocked at Garvel in May last year, the Northern Lighthouse Board's tender PHAROS is back at the yard, where she is currently receiving some attention. In the drydock beyond is CalMac's HEBRIDES, which is presently sharing the dock with LOCH PORTAIN. Both vessels are receiving their annual surveys, and were due to take up their summer timetables on Friday 27 March, although this may now be delayed a little. PHAROS arrived at Garvel on Sunday 15, taking her place in the James Watt Dock following the drydocking of the two ferries.

Friday, 20 March 2009


Also at Shieldhall, the bulk carrier MORNES is lying in King George V Dock having some repair work carried out to her bow. She apparently had a collision with the jetty at Hunterston a few days ago, and is now the subject of preliminary examination by the Marine Accident Investigation BranchMORNES moved upriver to Glasgow for repairs on Monday 16 March.


The Arklow-registered coaster ARKLOW FUTURE was seen lying alongside the riverside berth at Shieldhall on Friday, presumably awaiting to load a cargo of scrap metal. The 4,480 tonne deadweight, 89.95 metre long ship, delivered from her Spanish builders to Arklow Shipping in July last year, had arrived early in the morning after spending a couple of days at anchor off Anglesey. Prior to that, her last port had been Birkenhead.

Thursday, 19 March 2009


Despite the politics involved in the operation of the Caledonian MacBrayne service between Gourock and Dunoon over the years, the car ferry JUPITER has now maintained the service for the past 35 years, a fact commemorated today by the hoist of signal flags from her mainmast. Built at the James Lamont shipyard at Port Glasgow, JUPITER had the distinction of being the last vessel ordered by the Caledonian Steam Packet Company before its amalgamation with David MacBrayne in January 1973. She was launched in November that year, and is now the oldest vessel in the company's fleet. Her sister JUNO has been laid up at Rosneath for almost two years - although she is the younger of the pair - since she was displaced from the Rothesay service in April 2007.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Heading downriver after one of her regular visits to Rothesay Dock, STEN EMBLA was noted passing Cloch Point running her fire pumps and testing fire hoses - two on the starboard side as seen here and another on her port side. STEN EMBLA was on her way to Kalundborg in Denmark for her next cargo.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Passing Hunter's Quay on her way to Finnart, the shuttle tanker NAVION HISPANIA was bringing a cargo of crude oil from the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Owned and operated by Teekay Shipping, this ship was built by Astilleros Españoles S.A. in Spain and was completed in 1999, one of four sisters. One of those, NAVION OCEANIA, visited Finnart a year ago. NAVION HISPANIA is Norwegian-flagged, and is 264.68 metres long with a deadweight of 126,183 tonnes.


A Cypriot-flagged coaster was at Sandbank on Tuesday.loading a cargo of timber for export to Sunila in Finland. STOROE was built in 2004 by the Bodewes Shipyard at Hoogezand in Holland, and is an 89.95 metre long vessel with a deadweight of 4,507 tonnes. She is managed by a company based in Cyprus, and wears the funnel colours of Schulte & Bruns, who appear to be her commercial operators. Her owners are given as another German company, however, Reederei Buss.

Monday, 16 March 2009


It was two years ago that SEABUS took over the Gourock-Kilcreggan-Helensburgh ferry service from KENILWORTH, operated by Clyde Marine Services on behalf of Strathclyde Passenger Transport. SEABUS was seen on Monday afternoon heading past Largs towards Fairlie Quay Marina, where she was lifted out of the water to undergo her annual survey. In the background is CalMac's Cumbrae ferry LOCH SHIRA.

Sunday, 15 March 2009


Another of Arklow Shipping's 'R' class coasters sailed on Sunday afternoon with a cargo of scrap metal for Liverpool. ARKLOW RESOLVE, which arrived from Londonderry late on Friday night, was built by the Barkmeijer yard at Stroobos in Holland, joined the Arklow fleet in 2004. She is 89.99 metres overall, with a deadweight of 4,485 tonnes, and flies the Irish ensign.


Inbound for Finnart from Aveiro in Portugal, the Maersk tanker NORDBY MAERSK was seen as she passed Dunoon on Sunday morning. Delivered from her Chinese builders in June 2007, she has visited the Clyde before, and was seen in August that year heading for Clydebank. This time, however, the 16,564 tonne deadweight tanker was in ballast and would be loading a cargo of reformate for Amsterdam.


Arriving with a cargo of steelwork loaded in Holland and destined for the Type 45 build programme at Govan, the Belize-registered coaster RMS RIGA was seen heading for the Bravo anchorage on Sunday morning, to await her passage upriver. RMS RIGA, which was seen on a similar duty nine months ago, is owned by Riga Shipping and managed by Clermont Services, both of Latvia. The 1,380 tonne deadweight coaster was built in Germany in 1984, and has an overall length of 79.5 metres.

Saturday, 14 March 2009


Seen in Rothesay Dock close to cargo discharge completion, the tanker FRANK is registered in Gibraltar although owned by a German company. She was built in Valencia and completed in June 2000. FRANK has an overall length of 137.79 metres, a deadweight of some 14,895 tonnes and had arrived during the night from Brunsbuttel with a cargo of fuel.


Pushing her way downriver against the westerly swell, the Maltese-registered coaster UNIVOYAGER had sailed from the Lobnitz Basin at Renfrew, assisted by Clyde Marine's BITER, seen on the right kicking up a lot of spray, about an hour before this picture was taken as the pair passed Newark Castle. UNIVOYAGER is managed by Klip Marine Shipmanagement, an Estonian company, although commercial management is undertaken by Unimars, a Latvian firm. This coaster was built in Turkey, and completed in 2008 as ÖZCAN ATASOY, but was renamed shortly after being delivered. She is 84.75 metres overall, and has a deadweight of 4,500 tonnes. She was taking her cargo of scrap metal to Seville.

Friday, 13 March 2009

CLANSMAN on trials

Heading back to Gourock today after undertaking trials following her recent spell in the Garvel Drydock, Caledonian MacBrayne's CLANSMAN was seen passing a 'Sandown' class minehunter off McInroy's Point. After spending a short time alongside at Gourock, CLANSMAN sailed for Uig in Skye, where she will relieve her sistership HEBRIDES on the triangular ferry service between Skye, North Uist and Harris.


Having a turn on the Belfast fuel tanker shuttle service operated by Brostrom Tankers this week is BRO DESIGNER. She was seen making her way into Loch Long this morning to backload a cargo of refined products for the Ulster port.


Coastworks' workboat BEN CROM was noted heading upriver past Ashton today. Now over 40 years old, this useful little vessel is often seen in a variety of locations, fulfilling a number of roles. Capable of dredging, maintaining moorings, towing, and a host of other functions, BEN CROM is a regular sight on the river and indeed, the west coast.

Passing Box Boats

Passing off McInroy's Point this morning, the two regular Friday visitors, CANOPUS J. (left) and X-PRESS ELBRUS (right) were both heading for Greenock. As usual, CANOPUS J. was arriving on the MacAndrews service, having sailed overnight from Liverpool, while the other ship had left Dublin last night on the OOCL 'SIX' service.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


Launched exactly eight years ago today, Western Ferries' SOUND OF SCARBA represented the start of a programme of major investment by the company which spanned a five year period. Built at a reported cost of around £2.5 million, SOUND OF SCARBA was joined two years later by a sister vessel, both built locally at Ferguson's shipyard at Port Glasgow. The same shipyard later completed two new linkspans for the company.


Bound for Las Palmas, the wood chip carrier BUENA VISTA sailed today from Shieldhall, having completed her discharge of animal feed. The 1982-built ship had previously discharged cargo at Belfast and at Dublin before arriving on the Clyde on Monday.


Carrying a cargo of salt from Kilroot, the self-discharging bulk carrier CLYDENES  was seen as she passed Kempock Point on her way upriver to Glasgow today. Although not a stranger to the upper reaches, she is more usually employed carrying coal from Hunterston to both Kilroot and to Manisty on the Mersey, CLYDNES is now registered at Valetta, the change to the Maltese flag having taken place last autumn.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009


Having completed her work in Rothesay Bay, during which time she was assisted by her fleetmate CAMERON, KINGDOM OF FIFE returned to the Great Harbour, Greenock, early on Wednesday morning. She is seen here passing McInroy's Point in the drizzle.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Also back on the Clyde is Royal Boskalis Westminster Dredging's WD MEDWAY II, busy at work dredging the Clyde in the region of King George V Dock, Shieldhall, and Rothesay Dock. Working with WD MEDWAY II is a small bed-levelling tug. Since last September, WD MEDWAY II has flown the Cypriot flag. She was seen this morning heading back upriver after dumping spoil off the mouth of Loch Long.

Home from the Gulf

After a 6,500 mile voyage, two of the 'Sandown minehunters returned to the Clyde last night following their two-year long deployment in the Persian Gulf. HMS RAMSEY (M110 - above), seen off Kilcreggan this morning with SD OMAGH alongside, and HMS BLYTH (M111 - below) were relieved in January by GRIMSBY and PEMBROKE.

The return home of the two ships had been delayed by three months due to problems with the two relief vessels. Whilst in the Gulf, RAMSEY and BLYTH had been involved in minefield clearance operations, seabed survey work and also spent time training Iraqi naval personnel.

Monday, 9 March 2009


The neat little survey/research vessel AORA had been sheltering overnight at Greenock, but was heading back to Millport as she was seen passing McInroy's Point this morning. She is a regular sight on the Clyde, as are the 'Sandown' class minehunters, one of which - HMS SHOREHAM - can be seen in the background exercising off the mouth of Loch Long.


Arriving early this morning, and behind schedule following detention for a few days at Belfast, the wood chip carrier BUENA VISTA was bringing a cargo of animal feed from South America for discharge at Shieldhall. This ship, built in 1982 as JUJO MARU by Imabari Zosen in Japan, is 45,765 tonnes deadweight and has an overall length of 199.54 metres. She was renamed BUENA VISTA in 1992, and is now run by the same company that operates WORLD TRADER, a similar vessel that visited the Clyde recently.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Sandbank Majesty

Both vessels belonging to the Majestic Line are undergong their winter refurbishments at the Holy Loch Marina at Sandbank. GLEN TARSAN, seen on the right, is usually based at Oban for her summer season while her slightly elder sister GLEN MASSAN is more often seen around the Clyde estuary. Details of both vessels were given in this earlier post. Berthed astern of them is Scotlines' SCOT ISLES, which had loaded a cargo of timber for export to Varberg in Sweden. Her departure had originally been scheduled for earlier in the week, but she had suffered from a minor technical problem and was conseuqently delayed while it was rectified. 

Thursday, 5 March 2009


Seen passing Cloch Point on her way south from Finnart, the tanker NAVION AKARITA was heading for the Captain oil field in the North Sea, where she will be loading from the FPSO on site. The shuttle tanker was built in 1991 in Japan, and is 246.7 metres in length. She is of some 107,223 tonnes deadweight.


Berthing EDINBURGH at the fuel jetty at Campbeltown required the services of two tugs, and as a submarine movement was taking place on the upper firth, SD HUSKY was assisted at the Kintyre port by Svitzer's WARRIOR III. The two tugs are seen here alongside the old pier at Campbeltown waiting for their customer to turn up. SD HUSKY is one of a handful of survivors of the formerly sizeable 'Dog' class, now reduced to just four vessels. She was built in 1969 by the Appledore shipyard in Devon, and is scheduled for early replacement in the Serco Denholm fleet.


The Type 42 destroyer EDINBURGH paid a brief visit to the Clyde on Thursday, and was seen here arriving at Campbeltown, where she berthed alongside the NATO jetty on the south side of the loch. Later noted in the Largs Channel before heading back out to sea, her visit to the Clyde was for navigation training purposes. EDINBURGH visited Glasgow last November for a few days.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


One the Service Information page of her owner's website, Caledonian MacBrayne advised on Wednesday morning that their Colintraive-Rhubodach service was: "suspended until further notice" due to "technical reasons". The incumbent ferry on the route, LOCH DUNVEGAN, had in fact become stuck on the Rhubodach slipway on a falling tide, as is apparent in this view taken around three hours later. She was refloated as the tide rose again, and returned to service later in the day, apparently undamaged.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


Seen nearing completion of her loading at Renfrew, the Nassau-registered coaster SWAMI sailed in the early hours of Tuesday morning with her cargo of scrap metal, destined for Newport, in South Wales. Built in 1995, SWAMI sailed for nine years as SWAN, before joining the Arklow Shipping fleet and having her name prefixed appropriately. Although now owned by a Norwegian company, Misje Rederi AS, she remains under the management of Arklow Shipping. Her deadweight is 4,304 tonnes, and her length 90.46 metres overall. She was completed in 1995 at the Bodewes shipyard in Holland.