Friday, 30 April 2010


A new name appeared on the Clyde in the shape of this brightly coloured products tanker, seen in Rothesay Dock. CAPE DAWSON, which had been launched as RIO DAWSON and renamed prior to delivery, is owned by a German firm and managed by Columbia Shipmanagement. Registered in the Marshall Islands, she was completed at the end of November last year by STX Shipbuilding in Korea, and she has a deadweight of 12,592 tonnes, with an overall length of 120 metres. She was discharging a cargo from Rotterdam and is currently a member of the United Product Tankers coastal pool.

Largs Pier Trio

Three regular ferries from the CalMac fleet were seen together at Largs on Friday evening. LOCH SHIRA, on the left, was maintaining the regular service across the Largs Channel to Cumbrae Slip, while her smaller fleetmate LOCH RIDDON, berthed at the south side of the pier, was getting ready to assist with traffic building up for the holiday weekend. On the front of the pier was LOCH BHRUSDA, which had just arrived back on the Clyde after a brief visit to the west coast, where she had been used to convey a heavy outsize load at Raasay in connection with a civil engineering job there.


Enjoying some rest and recreation at Loch Striven following the end of Joint Warrior 10-01, the US Naval tanker LEROY GRUMMAN had arrived at the jetty on Tuesday morning, and was scheduled to spend the weekend here before heading off on her next task.

Thursday, 29 April 2010


At low water, the east berth in the Lobnitz Basin at Renfrew still appears to have quite an accumulation of silt judging by the list that the coaster JORVIK has developed in this view. This coaster, which dates from 2000 and is managed by the Flinter Group, was built by Daewoo at their Romanian shipyard at Mangalia and was named TASMAN until 2006. She is 88 metres long, with a deadweight of 3,697 tonnes. Her cargo of scrap metal was destined for El Ferrol in north-west Spain.


Pictures as she completed loading animal feed at Shieldhall, Ramsey Steamship Company's attractive little coaster BEN VARREY was getting ready to sail of Greenore, a deepwater port on Carlingford Lough in the Republic of Ireland. The size of the grab being used to load her can be judged against the size of the dockers trimming her cargo, and visible at work in her hold.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Outbound from Clydebank, the tanker EURO SWAN, operated by Uni-Tankers and registered in Denmark, was heading for her next load at Mongstad in Norway. She was built in Croatia in 1991, and originally named TRELSI when new. She is 138.9 metres in length and has a deadweight of 14,986 tonnes.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


After spending the weekend in King George V Dock at Glasgow, the 'Hunt' class mine countermeasures vessel HURWORTH was caught as she passed Dumbarton Castle, nestling at the foot of Dumbarton Rock. She is about to pass one of the lit beacons marking the 'Lang Dyke', the artificial wall that was built abut 200 years ago in a successful effort to make the river maintain a deep channel for shipping to navigate safely.

Monday, 26 April 2010


Like TINSDAL which was on the Clyde a few days ago, the German coaster KARL-JAKOB K was built at the Rousse Shipyard on the Danube, in her case some years later in 2006. Flying the Dutch flag and registered at Delfzijl, KARL-JAKOB K is managed by the Dutch Management Facilities Group. The 90 metre long vessel, which has a deadweight of 4,247 tonnes, was outbound for Seville with scrap metal.


Timber cargoes seem, thankfully, to be picking up from the Holy Loch and RED BARONESS was seen as she left the Holy Loch on Monday afternoon. As she often does, she was heading for Troon to discharge the timber.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


Literally seconds later, the Belgian frigate LOUISE MARIE also passed Cloch Point as she hurried - at a speed well above Clydeport's 12 knot limit - off down the Firth. LOUISE MARIE is one of two similar ships acquired by the Belgian Navy from the Netherlands, and is one of the 'Karel Doorman' class. She was completed in 1991 as WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN and served with the Dutch Navy until decommissioned in 2006. Sold with another of the class to Belgium, she was given a major refit and after having been officially renamed by HRH Queen Paola at Antwerp in April 2008, took up her new role as Belgium's largest warship. LOUISE MARIE had been taking part in Joint Warrior 10-01, and had only arrived on the Clyde a few hours earlier.


Another member of Arklow Shipping's large Dutch-flagged fleet of 'R' class coasters visited Shieldhall to discharge a cargo from Belfast, most likely animal feed. ARKLOW RIVER was seen on Sunday afternoon as she passed the Cloch Lighthouse on her way back to Belfast. Like many of her sisters, ARKLOW RIVER has visited the Clyde before.


After arriving on the Clyde on Thursday with her usual cargo - cement - APOLLO CONDOR headed upriver to discharge at King George V Dock. She sailed early on Sunday morning and headed back down the Clyde, outward bound for Glensanda, where she would load a cargo of aggregates for export to Hamburg.

Saturday, 24 April 2010


The US Navy's guided missile cruiser VICKSBURG sailed from Faslane on Saturday morning after the conclusion of the latest multi-national Joint Warrior exercise involving naval forces from several countries. After leaving the Clyde VICKSBURG was heading for the Baltic, to pay a courtesy visit to Klaipeda in Lithuania.


One the German-owned fleet of coasters belonging to Wessels sailed from Glasgow with a cargo of scrap steel for the Spanish port of Seville. TINSDAL is one of a number of their ships that were built in Romania by the Rousse Shipyard on the Danube. She has a deadweight of 4,310 tonnes and is 89.9 metres in length. TINSDAL was completed in October 1998.

Friday, 23 April 2010


Having spent the night alongside at the Clyde Naval Base at Faslane, the 'Duke' class frigate IRON DUKE headed out to sea on Friday, and is seen here with the chimney at the disused power station at Inverkip in the background.


As the submarine continued her runs on the DG range, Clyde Marine's CLYDE CLIPPER passed by on her way to Greenock. Now a year old, she had been on the slip at Ardmaleish for a few days, undergoing her annual survey.


With a good load of timber on board for export to the papermills at Tofte in Norway, SCOT VENTURE was seen as she left the Holy Loch. In the background, one of the Royal Navy's Trident submarines was preparing to spend the day running on the degaussing range off Baron's Point.

US Navy Returns

Three of the US Navy's participants in Joint Warrior 10-01 arrived back at Faslane on Friday morning. First to be seen was the cruiser VELLA GULF, seen passing the Dunoon ferry JUPITER which, very wisely, had given way to allow the warship to pass clear.

Shortly afterwards the second 'Ticonderoga' class cruiser arrived back. VICKSBURG was seen with two of the Clyde Naval Base's Defence Police launches, SWORD, one of the older boats which was heading for Loch Striven and JURA, one of the new 'Island' class boats. The latter was escorting the cruiser to Faslane.

Later in the day, the frigate KAUFFMANN was seen as she too headed for Faslane to debrief following her participation in the exercise.

Thursday, 22 April 2010


Having arrived at Loch Striven fuel jetty on Tuesday morning, the fleet replenishment ship FORT GEORGE sailed again on Thursday evening. She was helped away from the berth by two Serco tugs - SD IMPULSE and SD NIMBLE - and AYTON CROSS, just visible beyond NIMBLE's stern.


Two other participants in the recent exercise passed each other off Dunoon during the afternoon. The minehunter HURWORTH was heading for the Tail of the Bank, where she would anchor before heading later on upriver to Glasgow for a courtesy visit. Meanwhile, the submarine TORBAY, which had returned to Faslane on Wednesday afternoon, was heading back out to sea.


As IRON DUKE passed into the Gareloch, her younger sibling, SUTHERLAND - also a product of Yarrows - had just left the loch and was sitting off its entrance. She later put out to sea, and was seen as she headed off down the firth.


Another of the Royal Navy ships that had been taking part in the exercise was the Type 23 'Duke' class frigate IRON DUKE, seen heading towards the Gareloch as she made her way towards Faslane. She was Clydebuilt, having been launched at Yarrows in 1991 and commissioned in 1993.


As the German cement carrier APOLLO CONDOR waits at anchor for a suitable tide to head upriver, the US Navy's destroyer BARRY heads out after a short debriefing visit to Faslane following Joint Warrior 10-01.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Outbound from Faslane on the Queen's Birthday was the Type 22 frigate CUMBERLAND, seen with Kilcreggan in the background, and flying the Union Jack at her stem, and no less than three White Ensigns - one at each masthead and one aft - to mark the occasion. Like BROCKLESBY, CUMBERLAND had also retired prematurely from the exercise.


Loaded with Nigerian crude oil, Teekay Shipping's Aframax tanker AUSTRALIAN SPIRIT, one of their fleet that is managed locally by the company's Glasgow office, was seen as she headed slowly towards Finnart. She was built in Korea by the Hyundai shipyard, and completed early in 2004. She is 111,905 tonnes deadweight, and has an overall length of 256 metres.


During her annual survey and overhaul at Greenock last year, CalMac's HEBRIDEAN ISLES had been fitted with a new design of propeller blades, intended to work more efficiently and thus reduce fuel consumption. However, it was recently discovered that the new blades had suffered from some minor damage and, before they got worse, it was decided to replace the original blades and to send the new ones for repair. This necessitated a quick visit to drydock, and she was in the Garvel Drydock for a day while the blades were changed. She has now returned to the Islay route.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Three mines countermeasures ships had taken part in Joint Warrior 10-01, including BROCKLESBY, seen here returning to Faslane after what appeared to be an early termination to the exercise. This had been caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland, and an ash cloud that had brought to an end all flying operations by naval (and civilian) aircraft off north-west Scotland.


After discharging a cargo from Mongstad at the NuStar terminal in Rothesay Dock, the Danish-flagged tanker TERNVIK was seen heading for the anchorage in Brodick Bay to await orders for her next cargo.

Monday, 19 April 2010


Catching a very brief glimpse of sunlight as she heads south past Inverkip, Princess Cruises' GRAND PRINCESS was making her only visit of the year to the Clyde today. She had arrived this morning from Fort Lauderdale and Bermuda, having taken six days to cross the Atlantic. From Greenock, GRAND PRINCESS was heading initially for Dublin, and then continuing on to Cork, Falmouth, Le Havre and Southampton, before taking up summer employment based on European cruising.

Sunday, 18 April 2010


The small tanker WHITCHAMPION, owned and operated by Whitaker Tankers Ltd, is normally based on the Mersey but paid a visit to Garelochhead on Sunday, arriving during the afternoon from Liverpool. WHITCHAMPION was built in 2003 in Turkey, and has a deadweight of 4,450 tonnes, with an overall length of 85 metres. She has been seen previously on the Clyde - back in February 2009 she bunkered a larger vessel at No 6 anchorage.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


On Thursday, Serco's little passenger tender SD OMAGH was seen heading through the Sound of Islay, the stretch of water that separates the Inner Hebridean islands of Islay and Jura. She was heading north, possibly in connection with the Joint Warrior exercise that was taking place off the north-western coast of Scotland. Seen at the Feolin slipway in the background is EILEAN DHIURA, the small ferry that runs between Port Askaig and Jura. Owned by Argyll and Bute Council, she is operated by ASP Seascot.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


On Wednesday afternoon, Clyde Marine Services' newest passenger vessel, the catamaran CLYDE CLIPPER, finally made her first passenger sailing. Together with CRUISER, the two vessels were chartered to carry a large party of passengers from the pontoon at Glasgow's Crown Plaza hotel, downriver the short distance to Braehead. The first view shows CLYDE CLIPPER awaiting her first passengers, as CRUISER waits for her to leave before berthing.

After landing the party at Braehead, CLYDE CLIPPER returned upriver to pick up another capacity crowd. She is seen here disembarking at the pontoon at Braehead.

The two vessels are seen here passing at the mouth of the River Kelvin, with CLYDE CLIPPER well-loaded on her second downriver sailing as CRUISER returns to the Crown Plaza pontoon. The new Museum of Transport is slowly taking shape on the east bank of the Kelvin, more or less on the site of the former A & J Inglis shipyard which, amongst other vessels, constructed the well-know paddle steamer WAVERLEY in 1946.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Another view of the Greek-flagged tanker AEGEAN HARMONY, this time as she passed Cloch Point in ballast, at the start of her next voyage. She was heading for Murmansk in Russia.

Monday, 12 April 2010


Also lying alongside the north wall of the James Watt Dock at the Garvel yard was the Irish ferry FOYLE VENTURE, over here for her annual survey and drydocking. She had arrived the afternoon before, and was awaiting the departure of BOISTEROUS from the drydock later in the week. Originally named SHANNON WILLOW, she had been built in 1978 by Scott and Sons at Bowling, and moved from the River Shannon to Lough Foyle in 2003, having been laid up for around three years. On the service across the lough, she is relieved by FOYLE RAMBLER, which had also visited Greenock last year. Unlike her, though, FOYLE VENTURE made her own way here. She can carry around 40 cars, and 250 passengers on the short cross-border crossing between Greencastle, in County Donegal, and Magilligan in County Derry.


Despite the Serco tug fleet being stretched to capacity, and beyond, during the many ship movements at Faslane, and elsewhere, with the Joint Warrior arrivals and departures, one tug did not take part. SD IMPETUS had been in the James Watt Dock, undergoing work at the Garvel yard, for several days beforehand, and she was seen lying there on the Monday afternoon.


Navigating her way carefully amongst the departing warships, the Greek-flagged tanker AEGEAN HARMONY arrived during the morning from Teesport, carrying a cargo of North Sea crude for discharge at Finnart. She is a relatively new ship, having been completed in June 2007 by Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea. Operated by Arcadia Shipmanagement, AEGEAN HARMONY is 249 metres in length and has a deadweight of 115,824 tonnes.


While the larger naval units were sailing, this little ship appeared amongst them, having been at Greenock Ocean Terminal for a few days. She is the Dutch training ship VAN KINSBERGEN, which was making a round Britain cruise, and did not appear to have any connection with Joint Warrior 10-01. She was built in 1999 and completed by Damen at their Gorinchem shipyard.


Also taking part in Joint Warrior 10-01 was the Brazilian frigate INDEPENDENCIA, a ship designed in Britian by Vosper Thorneycroft but built in Brazil itself. She was laid down in 1974 and entered service some five years later after considerable delays during build. Powered by combined gas turbine and diesel engines, she has a maximum speed in the region of 30 knots.

Joint Warrior 10-01 - Submarines

Two submarines were also observed on Monday, one departing while the other arrived. The outbound submarine, HMS TORBAY, passed Cloch Point escorted by the Defence Police launch RONA. An attack submarine of the 'Trafalgar' class, TORBAY dates from the late 1980s, and following an extensive refit a few years ago, is expected to remain in service until 2015.

Passing inward at the same time was USS PITTSBURGH, a member of the US Navy's large 'Los Angeles' class. She headed for Faslane. PITTSBURGH was built by General Dynamics Electric Boat Division at Groton in Connecticut and was commissioned in 1985. She is claimed to have fired Tomahawk missiles into Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, and again during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Joint Warrior 10-01 Departures - British Ships

Three large Royal Navy ships were also seen leaving the Gareloch, heading downfirth past Cloch Point to participate in the exercise. The first ship out was CUMBERLAND, a Type 22 (Batch 3) frigate. She was built on the Clyde by Yarrow Shipbuilders at Scotstoun, and was commissioned in 1989.

A sistership followed her next, this one also having been built at Scotstoun by Yarrows. CORNWALL, a slightly earlier ship, joined the Royal Navy in 1988. Like the other three ships of this sub-class, CAMPBELTOWN and CHATHAM being the other two, they were built to replace frigates and destroyers that had been lost during the Falklands War in 1982, and represented a considerable improvement of earlier batches of Type 22 frigates, with longer hulls and improved weaponry.

The final British surface ship to be seen leaving was SUTHERLAND, one of the Type 23 'Duke' class frigates, again built on the Clyde by Yarrows. She was commissioned in 1997, and was reputedly the most expensive ship of the class, having cost £143 million.

Joint Warrior 10-01 Departures - US Ships

Four of the US Naval ships sailed from Faslane on Monday 12th to commence taking part in Joint Warrior 10-01. First to leave were the 'Arleigh Burke' class destroyers, with BARRY (DDG52) being first to sail.

She was followed shortly afterwards by LABOON, a slightly newer ship of the same 'flight', as the different sub-classes of the design are known. She joined the US Navy as a commissioned warship in March 1995, and was built by Bath Iron Works in Maine. Also heading downfirth was the local tug SVITZER MILFORD, heading for Hunterston to sail a bulk carrier after assisting at Faslane.

The 'Ticonderoga' class cruiser VELLA GULF was the next US departure, seen here on her way past Cloch Point with, in the background, HMS SEVERN at the entrance to Loch Long.

Last of the four US ships to sail on Monday - KAUFFMANN remained at Garelochhead for some reason - was the cruiser VICKSBURG, which had been berthed separately from the other ships at Glenmallan. She was the only one of the four to have a helicopter visible on board as she steamed off down the firth.