Thursday, 30 April 2009


Moving upriver to Rothesay Dock this afternoon, fully laden with a cargo of refined petroleum products, the Norwegian-flagged tanker NORTHERN OCEAN may be a new name on the Clyde, but in fact she is a well known visitor, having been here many times in the past.  Built in China in 1998, and now owned by Donso Bunker Services, she is wearing new hull colours, but much of her main deck is still painted in her former owner's livery.  She is a 13,781 tonne vessel, of 134.66 metres overall length, and had arrived in Brodick Bay from Brofjorden in Norway on Tuesday afternoon. Her previous identity? Until the end of December last year, she would have been seen on the Clyde in this guise.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Seen from Fauld's Park at Gourock, the container ship PETUJA was arriving on the DFDS-Suardiaz service, having sailed early this morning from Dublin. Western Ferries' SOUND OF SCALPAY was heading back to Hunter's Quay on another crossing from McInroy's Point, their Gourock terminal.

Monday, 27 April 2009

TISTEDAL and MEDUM outbound

Seen off the Gantocks, the German coaster MEDUM (on the right) had slowed down to allow TISTEDAL to overtake and proceed down the main channel ahead of her.  MEDUM was sailing for Limassol with a cargo of steel fabrications built at Renfrew, and which had been shipped down the River Cart by barge to Shieldhall, while TISTEDAL was returning to Skogn on her regular service between Norway and the UK.

Sunday, 26 April 2009


Back at Loch Striven today was the Royal Fleet Auxiliary FORT GEORGE, which left the Clyde eraly in February after spending about two months at this berth.  She arrived this morning from Devonport, where she has been based for the past few weeks while conducting exercises in the western English Channel.

Saturday, 25 April 2009


Also seen heading out to sea on Saturday, in her case to Rotterdam, was the container ship MARGARETA B, now a regular caller at Greenock on the BG Freight Lines service from Rotterdam and Belfast.  She had only arrived on the river a few hours earlier, so must have only discharged or loaded a small number of containers.


Heading back to the German port of Brunsbuttel for another cargo of cement, APOLLO FALCON was seen as she passed Cloch Point in the early Saturday morning sunshine.  As she is a foreign vessel visiting UK waters, she is exhibiting a courtesy flag. In her case it is the Union Flag, which can be seen flying from her mainmast port yardarm. Strictly speaking, she should be flying a Red Ensign from the starboard yardarm of her foremast.

Friday, 24 April 2009


Despite being a new name on the Clyde when she arrived this morning, the profile of X-PRESS MATTERHORN is a familiar one, as she is a sistership of two vessels seen on the river in the past. This vessel was, until a week ago, named ENFORCER, and is one of the six sisters belonging to JR Shipping BV, a class which includes ENCOUNTER and ENDEAVOR. The 750-TEU ship was completed at the very end of 2003 by the Dutch builder Volharding at their Hoogezand yard. X-PRESS MATTERHORN is on charter to OOCL for their SIX service, and has replaced X-PRESS ELBRUS on the weekly Southampton-Dublin-Greenock-Belfast service. Another member of the class, X-PRESS MONTE BIANCO, which was originally named ENSEMBLE, is due to arrive tonight on another SIX service from Dublin and Rotterdam. Both vessels are currently scheduled to visit the Clyde regularly over the next few weeks.

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Having arrived on the Clyde a few days ago, HMS LEDBURY was seen exercising on the Upper Clyde on Thursday. Over the past year she spent some time on exercise with other NATO units in the Mediterranean, and in October 2008 found the wreck of a German Second World War bomber off the Italian coast. In the past few weeks she has been working out of Portsmouth and is now undergoing two weeks Operational Sea Training on the Clyde, in preparation for deployment in the Gulf later this summer.


Looking very smart after her very recent drydocking at Cork, in the south of Ireland, Coast Lines Shipping's RED BARONESS has retained her Troon registration, and apart from her funnel colours, her livery also remains the same as when she was owned by Taylors of Troon.  She was seen on Thursday heading to Sandbank to load a cargo of round timber for discharge at Troon.


Arriving on Thursday morning on her fortnightly visit to Greenock was the container ship VELAZQUEZ, in from Liverpool and seen here passing McInroy's Point. Her running mate on the MacAndrews service to Portugal is HELGALAND. Both vessels are of the Sietas Type 172 design, built in 2003, and call at Greenock on alternate Thursdays.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Also heading upriver later in the day was the German coaster MEDUM, which too was flying the Antigua and Barbudan flag. She was built in 1998 and completed as OPDR PORTO by the China State Shipbuilding Co at their Jiangxi Jiangzhou shipyard.  With an overall length of 100.62 metres, she has a deadweight of 5,199 tonnes. Owned by Briese Schiffahrt, MEDUM will be loading an export cargo at Shieldhall.


Passing McInroy's Point this morning, the Antigua and Barbudan-flagged coaster APOLLO FALCON was seen arriving from Brunsbuttel in Germany with a cargo of cement, which she will discharge at King George V Dock. Also passing was Svitzer's AYTON CROSS, heading back to Greenock after berthing a bulk carrier at Hunterston.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Passing the Cloch this evening, the German coaster NORDERAU was outward bound for Bayonne with a cargo of scrap metal loaded at Shieldhall.  Belonging to Erwin Strahlmann, the four-year old vessel was built on the River Danube at the Slovenske Lodenice shipyard at Komarno in Slovakia.  She is 87.9 metres overall and has a deadweight of 3,712 tonnes.


Hedaing for Greenock and Glasgow this afternoon, LORD OF THE GLENS was seen as she neared the end of her second Clyde cruise from the city. She left Glasgow early on Sunday morning and after spending the afternoon at Rothesay, conveyed her guests through the Kyles of Bute to Tarbert. She sailed from there early today for Brodick, before heading back up the Firth.


Seen from a distance, this view shows the new Serco Denholm tug SD MARS arriving on the Clyde for the first time this morning. The first vessel destined for the Great Harbour as part of Serco's major fleet renewal programme, she was built in Holland by Damen Shipyards at their Gorinchem yard.  SD MARS, which will replace one of the 'Dog' class tugs SD SPANIEL, arrived at Portsmouth earlier this month to be prepared for her voyage north. Built to the Stantug 2608 design, she is 26 metres long and 200 gross tons. Fitted with twin conventional screws, she also has a bow thruster to aid manoeuverability. She is to be joined by a sister, named SD JUPITER, in July.

Monday, 20 April 2009


Making her only visit to the Clyde this year, Princess Cruises' 108,806 gross ton cruise ship GRAND PRINCESS sailed this evening to Dublin, the next port on her 15-night 'North West Europe Transatlantic Cruise'. She had left Fort Lauderdale on 10 April, and after a call at Bermuda set out across the North Atlantic before arriving at Greenock this morning.  After having spent last winter based in North America, she will now operate a season of European and Mediterranean cruises out of Southampton, before heading west to the Caribbean in the autumn. GRAND PRINCESS, which flies the Bermudan flag, was built by the Italian builder Fincantieri and joined the Princess Cruises fleet in May 1998. Her overall lenght is 289.5 metres, and she can carry up to 2,600 passengers.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

VOS OCEAN outbound

Overhaul complete, the ERRV VOS OCEAN was seen on Saturday afternoon passing Cloch Point as she set out on her first voyage with her new name. VOS OCEAN was heading for duty in Liverpool Bay, where she was due to arrive on Sunday afternoon.

Friday, 17 April 2009


Berthed in Princes Dock beside the Glasgow Science Centre, the Magna Carta Steamship Company's little cruise vessel LORD OF THE GLEN had just returned after a four-day cruise around the Firth of Clyde, visiting Brodick, Tarbert and Rothesay. Built as a Greek cruiser in 1988, she was completely rebuilt in 2000 in a Spanish boatyard and emerged much longer and wider, with a length of 45.7 metres overall and a beam of 10.5 metres. Capable of carrying up to 54 guests in luxurious surroundings, she is more usually based on the west coast at Oban, or on the Caledonian Canal.  This year, however, she is operating a number of shorter cruises on the Clyde before starting her main season later in the year. Berthed on the other side of the quay, on the River Clyde, the paddle steamer WAVERLEY continues her winter refit, which this year includes a major overhaul of her boilers that will keep her out of commission until the end of May.


Now possibly the most common fleet that visits the Clyde on a regular basis, another coaster belonging to Arklow Shipping's 'R' class was seen at Diesel Wharf loading a cargo of scrap metal. ARKLOW REBEL, built in 2005 at Stroobos by the Barkmeijer shipyard is, like her sisters, a ship of 89.99 metres length and 4,485 tonnes deadweight.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Approaching Ocean Terminal, the container ship HELGALAND was seen as she arrived from Liverpool on a blustery but sunny afternoon. Made fast forward is the tug BATTLER, which was used to help her swing before berthing port-side to at the container berth. The Clyde Pilot Cutter TOWARD is also seen as she returned to Greenock after embarking the pilot aboard SCOT ISLES.


Running alongside the container ship HELGALAND on Thursday afternoon was Clyde Marine Services' tug BATTLER, which had been called out to help the larger vessel during her berthing at Greenock Ocean Terminal. These container ships seldom use tugs, but the fresh easterly wind on Thursday afternoon made it advisable to use BATTLER to lend some assistance.


Scot Lines' SCOT ISLES was seen just after she had boarded her pilot at Kempock Point from the Clydeport cutter TOWARD on Thursday afternoon.  SCOT ISLES, which was seen recently at Sandbank, was on a regular sailing for the Scot Lines ships, which often arrive from Waterford with cargoes of plywood for King George V Dock in Glasgow. After discharging her cargo, she sailed again for Kyle of Lochalsh to load a cargo of round timber.


Looking very spick and span after emerging from the Garvel Drydock yesterday afternoon following her ten day visit there, the emergency response and rescue vessel DEA OCEAN has been given not only a new livery, but also a new name. According to the American Bureau of Shipping, the classification society that she is registered with, the name change to VOS OCEAN took effect today. She is now carrying the funnel markings of Vroon Offshore Services - the parent company of her previous owners Nomis Shipping - as well as their hull colours, as part of a fleetwide transformation that is taking effect as each vessel is drydocked in turn.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

YEOMAN BANK outbound

Considerably lighter in the water than when she arrived, the bulk carrier YEOMAN BANK is seen heading down the Firth of Clyde after a 24-hour discharge at Shieldhall. She was returning to her owners' superquarry at Glensanda, on the Firth of Lorne.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Another Brostrom tanker, BRO GOTHIA, visited the Clyde this week, and visited the Royal navy fuel jetty at Garelochhead. She was reported to be bringing a cargo of waste oil from the Falkland Islands for recycling. BRO GOTHIA was built in Turkey in 2003 as MARISP, but joined the Brostrom fleet in 2007, at which time she was renamed. She is managed by Marin Ship Management, like most of the other Dutch-registered tankers in the company's fleet. With an overall length of 119.1 metres, BRO GOTHIA has a deadweight of 7,517 tonnes. She was pictured heading for Pembroke.

HURST POINT outbound

After discharging at Glen Mallan, the ro-ro freighter HURST POINT was seen as she passed Cloch Point on her way south towards Marchwood, the military port near to Southampton. In the background, CalMac's JUPITER can be seen heading towards Gourock.


Deeply laden with a cargo of aggregate from Glensanda, the bulk carrier YEOMAN BANK was seen as she approached the Warden Bank with the two Wemyss Bay-Rothesay CalMac ferries in the background. YEOMAN BANK was built in 1982 as SALMONPOOL for Ropner Shipping, a company that had its roots in the north-east of England. Following conversion to become self-discharging a number of years ago, she has been operated by Foster Yeoman, now part of the the Aggregate Industries Group.

Sunday, 12 April 2009


Arriving on a glorious sunny spring evening, BRO DISTRIBUTOR was inbound from Dublin as she was seen heading towards Finnart on Sunday. As usual, the 2006-built ship, of some 14,907 tonnes deadweight, was here to load a cargo of petroleum products for Belfast.


The Dutch-flagged tanker BRO GLOBE, operated by Brostrom, had been visiting Clydebank, where she had arrived late on Saturday night from Portland. After discharging, she was seen hedaing downfirth for Pembroke, her next port. BRO GLOBE was built in Holland in 2001, and is 7,559 tonnes deadweight. She has been seen on the Clyde on a few occasions previously.


Once a very regular visitor to the Upper Clyde, the Norwegian coaster AASHEIM has been back visiting her old haunts once again. After delivering a cargo of aggregates from Glensanda, AASHEIM was seen as she sailed on Sunday afternoon for Port Talbot, on the Bristol Channel, to load a cargo of cement.


Delivered to her owners, Carisbrooke Shipping, who are based at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, in September 2008, the coaster TINA C was seen on Sunday as she made her way towards Kempock Point to pick up her pilot for the river passage to Glasgow. TINA C was built at Vigo in Spain by the Freire Shipyard. She is 99.6 metres overall and has a deadweight of 5,375 tonnes.


Passing McInroy's Point on her way upriver to the Great Harbour, Serco Denholm's moorings and salvage vessel SD-SALMAID was seen on Sunday morning.  Built at Aberdeen in 1986, she and her sister SD-SALMOOR are due to be replaced by new tonnage as part of the marine support service contract awarded to Serco Denholm a year ago.

Saturday, 11 April 2009


After four months alongside Newark Quay, the dumb barge AMT DISCOVERER left the Clyde on Saturday afternoon, in the charge of the Portuguese tug RED DOLPHIN, a vessel which is no stranger to the river. The duo were heading for Liverpool.

The 85-tonne bollard pull tug RED DOLPHIN, on charter from her Portuguses owners to Svitzer, took over the tow off Greenock from SVITZER MILFORD and AYTON CROSS, the two local tugs that had moved the barge from her berth at Port Glasgow.

Having arrived at Port Glasgow in December, Ferguson Shipbuilders spent several months preparing the barge for her next task, operating as a cable layer for Subocean. In addition to cable-laying equipment manufactured at Renfrew, twelve accommodation modules were added to the barge, plus additional stores, galley, office, and recreational facilities. The barge will operate in European waters, primarily working on various wind farm projects around the UK over the next two years.

CANOPUS J. outbound

The other vessel that had been alongside at Greenock on Saturday morning was CANOPUS J., which sailed mid-afternoon. She had arrived from Liverpool on Friday evening, and was heading for Bilbao on her regular MacAndrews sailing.

TISTEDAL outbound

One of the ships occupying the quayside at Ocean Terminal  sailed in the early afternoon. TISTEDAL, seen here outbound for Skogn, had been making her regular visit from Skogn with a cargo of newsprint from the Norkse Skog paper mills. She had arrived from Norway during the night.

MARGARETA B at anchor

Unable to berth on her arrival on Saturday morning from Belfast, BG Freight Lines' chartered container ship MARGARETA B spent part of the day lying at anchor, while she was awaiting the departure of other vessels from Greenock Ocean Terminal.

Friday, 10 April 2009


The British tanker MAERSK RAPIER arrived this afternoon on one of her occasional visits to the storage facility at Loch Striven. On long-term charter to the Ministry of Defence, MAERSK RAPIER was carrying fuel from Gosport. The floodlit building on the left is the Glenburn Hotel in Rothesay.

Thursday, 9 April 2009


Visiting the Clyde for a few days is the small 'warship' CHARGER, a member of the 'Archer' class attached, like many of her sisters, to a university under the auspices of Britannia Royal Naval College . In her case, CHARGER is attached to Liverpool University. CHARGER, built by Watercraft Ltd at Shoreham, but completed by Vosper Thorneycroft, was commissioned in June 1988. She is a twin screw 20.8-metre long patrol boat with a displacement of 49 tonnes. After initially serving with Severn RNR, she was transferred to the Liverpool URNU in 1990.


Also seen sailing past Dunoon was the British-flagged, German-owned, container ship VELAZQUEZ, which was heading from Greenock to Rotterdam on her usual MacAndrews service linking North West Europe and Portugal.

ARKLOW ROSE outbound

Punching her way past Dunoon into the fresh southerly swell, the Irish-flagged coaster ARKLOW ROSE was on passage from the Lobnitz Basin at Renfrew to Seville with a full cargo of scarp metal, a voyage which is expected to take around five days. Her arrival on Tuesday was depicted here.


Repairs to her damaged bow having been completed during the past few weeks at King George V Dock, the Norwegian-flagged ship MORNES was seen passing Gourock on a blustery day as she made her way back down the Clyde to Hunterston, where she would resume her usual duties of carrying cargoes of coal to Northern Ireland. As mentioned in the previous posting about this ship, a preliminary examination into the incident which led to her visit to Glasgow was conducted by the MAIB - the results of that examination can be read here.


Arriving early on Thursday morning, the German-built ro-ro freighter HURST POINT was seen heading for the MoD jetty at Glen Mallan with military stores from Sunny Point in North Carolina, one of the USA's main munitions bases. HURST POINT and her five sisters are managed by Andrew Weir Shipping, and operated on charter to the Ministry of Defence as required - two are on commercial work in the Baltic Sea.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Pictured lying alongside the Riverside berth at Shieldhall, the Ukrainian-flagged ship MYKHAILO SYNYTSIA was discharging a cargo of animal feed from the Ukrainian port of Mykolayiv. She was built in 2007 by the Okean Shipyard at Nikolayev, and is operated by Ukrrichflot. Her deadweight is 6,355 tonnes, and her overall length 127.3 metres. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Lying at anchor for the afternoon on Tuesday was the Danish coaster VEGA, last seen on the Clyde in April 2008 when she was on a charter for the MoD. On this occasion, however, her business was rather more conventional; she was waiting to proceed to Glasgow to load a cargo of scrap metal at Diesel Wharf for shipment to Liverpool. Seen at the 'Bravo' anchorage, she had just arrived from Dundalk.


Following ARKLOW ROSE and ISLAY TRADER upriver was the Dutch-flagged 21,402 tonne deadweight cargo ship SNOEKGRACHT, arriving from Rauma in Finland to load paper reels at Greenock. SNOEKGRACHT was making the monthly call on the Spliethoff service from Northern Europe to the East Coast of the USA, with Baltimore as her first discharge port on arrival there.


Arriving from Sharpness, the smart little coaster ISLAY TRADER arrived at the same time as ARKLOW ROSE this morning, and is seen here passing McInroy's Point as she headed towards Kempock Point pilot station. ISLAY TRADER, now owned by Faversham Ships, was built in 1992 as LASS MOON by the German builder Rosslauer Schiffswerft on the Elbe. She is 74.86 metres long, with a deadweight of 2,386 tonnes. Registered at Bridgetown in Barbados, she joined her current owner's fleet in 2007.


Differing a little from the usual livery of the Arklow fleet, ARKLOW ROSE has the top of her wheelhouse painted green rather than the more common white. She was seen arrving this morning, passing McInroy's Point as she made her way upriver to Renfrew where she will load a cargo of scrap metal. ARKLOW ROSE - built in 2002 by Barkmeijer at the Stroobos yard - was arriving from Holyhead. Like other vessels of the 'R' class, she has a deadweight of 4,485 tonnes and an overall length of 90 metres.

Monday, 6 April 2009


Outward bound from Greenock for Kyle of Lochalsh, Serco's SD-SALMOOR had arrived at the Great Harbour as recently as Saturday, after spending several days at Devonport Dockyard in the south west of England.