Monday, 30 November 2009


Seen heading into the Hunterston Channel, the Panamax bulk carrier GOLDEN ICE was carrying a cargo of coal from the northern Russian port of Murmansk. A new ship, only delivered at the end of 2008, GOLDEN ICE was built in China for the Golden Ocean Group. She has a deadweight of 75.500 tonnes, and is 225 metres overall. She is managed by Singapore-based Thome Ship Management.


After another visit to Glen Mallan, the fleet auxiliary FORT ROSALIE was seen leaving Loch Long on Monday, after which she turned upriver and anchored again off Greenock, where she had just spent a number of days before moving to the munitions jetty a few days earlier. At the Tail of the Bank anchorage in the distance, the tanker EURO SWAN was lying while waiting to move to Finnart to load for Belfast - she had been discharging a cargo at Clydebank.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

LIQUID GOLD departing

The tanker LIQUID GOLD was seen taking her leave of the Clyde on Saturday morning, as she made her way downriver from the Great Harbour. Her next port will be Hamburg, where she is due to be drydocked by her new owners.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Great Harbour Boxboats

A view showing both Maersk Line ships, MAERSK MAINE and MAERSK MARYLAND, at the former tank-cleaning berth in Greenock's Great Harbour, where they will remain for the foreseeable future. Unlike the six ships laid up in Loch Striven, this pair are being placed in 'hot lay-up', rather than being completely shut down, and should be able to leave their berth at fairly short notice.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


Punching her way through the freshening weather on Thursday morning, Serco Denholm's personnel carrier SD ORONSAY was seen as she passed McInroy's Point on her way to meet 'a customer' further down the firth.

Monday, 23 November 2009


Also berthed in the Great Harbour, the former STEN EMBLA is now displaying her new name and funnel colours. Appropriately, for a tanker, she has been renamed LIQUID GOLD and has joined her sister STEN TOR - which has been renamed LIQUID SILVER - under the Liberian flag.


Lying at the Tail of the Bank, and about to join her sister in the Great Harbour, MAERSK MAINE was just getting under way as this picture was taken. She had arrived a day later, and like MAERSK MARYLAND, started life in Korea. Launched as CBM DAWN in 1992, she was soon renamed IBN ZHUR and later ENTERPRISE. She too had been a member of the Farrell Lines fleet until joining Maersk Line, when she was renamed MAERSK MAINE.


Loch Striven is not the only part of the Clyde where Maersk Line is laying up surplus containership tonnage during the current economic and trade recession. Two vessels, smaller than those already laid up in the Argyllshire loch, are being given temporary homes in the Great Harbour at Greenock. The first, MAERSK MARYLAND, arrived in the early hours of Wednesday 18, and moved to the former tank-cleaning berth later that day. MAERSK MARYLAND was built in 1991 in Korea, and initially she was named CMB DOLPHIN. However, when completed, she entered service as IBN JUBAYR, retaining that name until 1997 when she became ENDURANCE. Owned by the American shipping company Farrell Lines, she became a member of the Maersk Line by 2006 through her owner's acquisition by the Danish firm, and was given her current name. Now flying the British flag, MAERSK MARYLAND has a capacity for 1,928 containers, an overall length of 181.4 metres and a deadweight of 31,829 tonnes.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


The two resident Rothesay car ferries were seen on Sunday morning as they changed over, following BUTE's recent visit to the Garvel Drydock for her annual survey. Heading downfirth to Rothesay to pick up duty, BUTE passed ARGYLE as she was making her way towards Gourock, before continuing to Greenock for her own docking. BUTE was seen again during the day as she returned to Gourock, berthing at the pier at Wemyss Bay proving impossible because of worsening weather conditions.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


Inbound from Waterford, the Bockstiegel coaster A.B. LIVERPOOL was caught heading towards 'Bravo 4' anchorage on Saturday morning, where she would lie until heading up to Glasgow to load scrap. A.B. LIVERPOOL was built in Romania in 1996 and is 89.77 metres in length, and has a deadweight of some 4,224 tonnes.

Friday, 20 November 2009


The German-owned container ship PETUJA steams past Cloch Point on her weekly sailing from the Clyde to Bilbao, on the regular DFDS Suardiaz Line charter that has kept her fully employed for the past couple of years. She had arrived earlier in the day, and would be calling at Avonmouth before heading for Spain.


The Turkish bulk Carrier ORHAN EKINCI was seen on Friday morning as she made her way upriver from her overnight anchorage at Brodick. Carrying a cargo of animal feed, her last port had been Dublin. The 186.2 metre long vessel, built in Japan in 1982 as WORLD AMITY, and renamed GREAT AMITY three years later, had a deadweight of 37,607 tonnes. She became ORHAN EKINCI in 1995 when she was acquired by her present owners.


The first of a class of new attack submarines being built at Barrow-in-Furness for the Royal Navy, arrived on Friday morning. ASTUTE left the BAe Systems yard earlier in the week and has been conducting initial sea trials as she made her to the Clyde. Ordered in 1997, this vessel has suffered from considerable delays and has been beset with problems during construction, including a fire on board while fitting out.

This second picture, sent by a correspondent, shows ASTUTE heading up the Gareloch to Faslane, accompanied by SD IMPULSE. The submarine is 97 metres in length, and has a submerged displacement of 7,800 tonnes. She will be armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, and has six torpedo tubes. A complement of 12 officers and 97 ratings is carried, and ASTUTE and her sisters will replace the 'Trafalgar' class boats in due course. Delivery to the Royal Navy is now anticipated to be sometime around the end of next year.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


The 'Hunt' class mine countermeasures ship LEDBURY, built at Woolston in 1981, has been exercising extensively in the waters around the Clyde over the past few days, and she is seen here passing Gourock. The ship's page on the Royal Navy website suggests that she is due to be deployed in the Persian Gulf following the completion of training.


The Norwegian coaster AASLI arrived on Wednesday morning from Port Talbot bringing a cargo of cement from South Wales. As usual, she was heading up the River Clyde to King George V Dock in Glasgow to discharge.


Looking considerably better than when last seen on the Clyde in August, MAERSK RAPIER appears to have recently been drydocked, possibly at Falmouth. She had arrived at Garelochhead on Saturday, and after spending Tuesday night at anchor off Greenock, she moved on Wednesday morning to Loch Striven to load fuel for shipment to Plymouth.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Until recently TYNE, one of the Royal Navy's three 'River' class patrol vessels, has been employed in a Fisheries Protection role around the coasts of England and Wales (Scotland has its own fisheries cruisers), but over the past few days she has been undergoing Operational Sea Training from her temporary base at Faslane. She was seen on Tuesday afternoon taking part in some naval manoeuvres off Hunter's Quay together with the mine-hunter BLYTH.

Monday, 16 November 2009


Another tanker bringing in a further cargo of crude oil, this time from the North Sea and loaded at Mongstad, arrived on Monday morning. Japanese-built in 2008 by Imabari Shipbuilding, EAGLE TURIN is registered in Singapore and is 246.8 metres overall. An Aframax ship with a deadweight of 107,123 tonnes, she is operated by AET, a company formerly known as American Eagle Tankers.

Sunday, 15 November 2009


The next CalMac ferry to visit the Garvel yard for her annual survey arrived today. HEBRIDEAN ISLES had lain on Saturday night at Brodick before heading upfirth this morning, berthing briefly at Gourock and continuing to the James Watt Dock. She will enter the drydock once BUTE and LOCH DUNVEGAN are floated out early next week.

Saturday, 14 November 2009


Completed at the beginning of 2001 by Daewoo Heavy Industries as SOMJIN, this Liberian-flagged Suezmax tanker is 274 metres overall, and has a deadweight of 160,183 tonnes. She was renamed HS ALCINA in 2006 and is currently working on time charter to Teekay Shipping. Now owned by a German company, she is managed by Wallem Shipmanagement of Hong Kong. Her cargo of crude oil, destined for Finnart, had been loaded in Nigeria.

Friday, 13 November 2009


After discharging a cargo from Mongstad at Clydebank at the end of October, the Norwegian tanker STEN EMBLA anchored in Brodick Bay. She remained there until late on Sunday 8th November, when she moved to the former Scott Lithgow Repair Quay in the Great Harbour, where she is seen in this view. STEN EMBLA is in the process of being sold, and while alongside in Greenock is having some work carried out onboard for her new owners. Her sister, STEN TOR, was sold some time ago, and it appears that the two ships will be operating for the same company.

MAERSK BROOKLYN being laid up

Shortly before sunrise on Friday morning, MAERSK BROOKLYN raised anchor from her temporary home off Toward and started to make her way, slowly, towards the entrance to Loch Striven.

Accompanied initially by the tugs SVITZER MILFORD and ANGLEGARTH, she passed the RFA ship FORT VICTORIA which was lying alongside at the NATO fuel jetty a little way into the loch.

As she approached the raft of five other vessels, MAERSK BROOKLYN reduced her speed as she prepared to drop anchor.

With TORCH acting in her usual supervisory role, marker buoys were secured to MAERSK BROOKLYN's anchors, to indicate their positions on the bed of the loch.

Once both anchors had been lowered to the seabed, the cables were 'walked out', lowered carefully rather than just allowed to run out under their own weight. With AYTON CROSS now also in attandance, the three tugs carefully and slowly eased her towards the other ships, where she made fast alongside. The whole operation, from lowering the anchors, to being made fast, took several hours. The arrival of MAERSK BROOKLYN completed the raft of six ships, and will ultimately mean the loss of many jobs from the company's seastaff. A press release by Maersk Line, issued last month, stated that of 560 British officers employed by the company, redundancies will be sought from around a quarter, with the anticipated loss of 113 jobs. It is likely that a similar number of ratings will also be affected by the lay-ups.

Two smaller Maersk Line ships are due on the Clyde shortly; they are to be placed into lay-up at Greenock, at least for the time being.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


In the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, the Transport Secretary Stewart Stevenson announced that, after many months of indecision, the ferry service between Gourock and Dunoon would be put out to tender, but with a subsidy only available for the carriage of passengers. This decision followed an extensive investigation by the European Union into the financing of Scotland's ferry services in recent years, which inferred that the current operation of the Dunoon route by Cowal Ferries Ltd may not be fully compatible with EU State aid rules. Under the new tender, it is planned that service frequency will be unrestricted, and the Minister also stated that he hoped that the new - and as yet unused - linkspan at Dunoon, will finally be utilised. JUPITER's days on the run could well be numbered.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Passing the mouth of Loch Goil, with the small lighthouse on Dog Rock marking its entrance, the tanker FIONIA SWAN was seen as she approached Finnart on Tuesday afternoon. Accompanying her were the tugs AYTON CROSS (seen on her starboard quarter) and SVITZER MILFORD.


On Tuesday morning, CalMac's Rothesay ferry ARGYLE suffered from a breakdown in her aft main engine, and as a result had to be taken off service for repairs. She is seen here arriving at Gourock to have this work carried out. As her manoeuvring abilities were somewhat hampered by the loss of power aft, she was assisted during berthing by Clyde Marine's BITER, seen made fast to the larger vessel's stern. Lying off Gourock, having vacated the berth at 'the wires', was LOCH RIDDON, which had just completed her annual overhaul at Ardmaleish. ARGYLE was able to resume service the next morning (Wednesday).

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Having just left the Finnart berth, and thus allowing NORDBY MAERSK to berth, MARIDA MAPLE was seen as she cleared Loch Long. The small tanker was on passage to Dublin with a cargo of products from Grangemouth. The company's ships, as part of the Heidmar Group and working as members of the WOMAR fleet, have become regular visitors to the river in recent months.


The Kyles of Bute car ferry LOCH DUNVEGAN was seen on Sunday afternoon as she made her way to the James Watt Dock in Greenock, where she will be drydocked for her annual survey along with another Bute ferry, the larger BUTE. Unlike smaller 'loch' class ferries, LOCH DUNVEGAN is fitted with a different design of folding ramp, shown here in its raised position. For normal operation on the five-minute crossing between Colintraive and rhubodach, she sails with the ramps extended.


The Maersk Line tanker NORDBY MAERSK, which flies the Danish flag, was seen on Sunday arriving at the entrance of Loch Long as she made her way to Finnart to back-load a cargo of refined oil from Grangemouth. She had been lying overnight at anchor off Irvine since arriving from Amsterdam.


With the Pilot Cutter MOUNT STUART alongside, the coaster APOLLO HAWK had just come downriver from King George V Dock where she had been discharging cement loaded, as usual for an Apollo Shipping vessel, at Brunsbuttel in Germany. From the Clyde, she was heading round to Glensanda to load a cargo of aggregates.


Overhaul and annual survey complete, Caledonian MacBrayne's CORUISK sailed from the Garvel yard this morning firstly for trials, and then to Rothesay to take over on the Wemyss bay service. Her arrival there will allow the two regular ships on the crossing to visit Garvel for their own surveys. Following this spell of relief duty, CORUISK will probably head to her winter berth in King George V Dock until she resumes the Mallaig-Armadale service next spring.

Saturday, 7 November 2009


Making another visit to Greenock with paper from Skogn in Norway, the Gibraltar-registered paper carrier TISTEDAL was seen on Saturday afternoon shortly after she had passed the Ashton Buoy, outbound once more for the Norwegian port.


Moving smartly towards the pilot boarding station at Kempock Point, Scotline's SCOT MARINER was seen on Saturday morning as she arrived from Waterford with a cargo of plywood. Such cargoes are discharged in King George V Dock, and form typical employment for the company's ships.

Friday, 6 November 2009


Well loaded with scrap metal, the German coaster SUURHUSEN was seen leaving the Clyde for the short voyage down the Irish Sea to Liverpool. She had arrived, in ballast, from Londonderry on Thursday afternoon, proceeding upriver to Diesel Wharf later that night.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


After a brief visit to Loch Striven following the completion of the Joint Warrior exercise last month, the US Navy's fleet oiler LARAMIE has remained in North European waters, and included a visit to Portsmouth, before heading back to Loch Striven, where she arrived on Tuesday morning.


MAERSK BROOKLYN, fifth of the 'B' class of ships to come to the Clyde for cold lay-up, arrived off Irvine on Tuesday 27th October, and moved to No 7 anchorage between Toward and Rothesay yesterday. She is expected to join her fleetmates in Loch Striven in the next few days.


Although she was seen regularly on the Clyde for a number of years, Tuesday saw the first visit for some time for BRO ANTON, and she was seen the following day after having been - unusually for one of her class - upriver at Clydebank. Having discharged a cargo of products from Rotterdam, BRO ANTON was sailing for Brodick Bay where she would wait for orders for her next cargo. Spanish-built in 1999 as UNITED ANTON the 16,376 tonne ship, which has an overall length of 144.1 metres, was renamed in 2000 when the United Tankers fleet was absorbed into the Brostrom fleet.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Another of Arklow Shipping's 'R' class coasters arrived on Tuesday morning from Bordeaux, carrying a cargo of maize which she would be discharging at Shieldhall. ARKLOW RAVEN, one of the company's Irish-registered ships, was built in 2007 at Stroobos in the Netherlands by the Barkmeijer shipyard, and is 89.99 metres long. Identical to other ships of the class, she has a deadweight of 4,530 tonnes. As usual for these ships, she was due to load a cargo of scrap metal on completion of discharge.

Monday, 2 November 2009


Heading towards the Cowal Buoy after exiting Loch Long, the shuttle tanker GERD KNUTSEN, built in 1996 as KNOCK AN by Harland and Wolff at Belfast, had been discharging a cargo of North Sea crude from Mongstad at the Finnart oil terminal. She was renamed in 2003, at which point she was reflagged from Liberia to the Isle of Man, and her ownership transferred to Knutsen OAS. She is 276.9 metres in length, with a deadweight of 146,273 tonnes. She was heading for Irvine Bay to await orders.