Thursday, 15 July 2010

MAERSK BROOKLYN - last in, last out

She was last to arrive in Loch Striven, and she was last to leave. Of the five Maersk Line 'B' class ships, MAERSK BROOKLYN had arrived on the Clyde and anchored initially off Irvine on 27 October 2009. On 3 November, she moved to No 7 anchorage where she then lay for ten days, moving into Loch Striven and joining her sisters on 13 November.

Together with MAERSK BENTONVILLE, the pair left the loch on 1 July and were towed to the Tail of the Bank off Greenock, where they underwent hull cleaning as they lay at anchor, and had their machinery brought back to working order after months of deep lay-up.

With an upturn in container shipping worldwide, the ships were brought out from the loch over a three week period and gradually returned to full running order. Initially being used to transport empty containers to the Far East - MAERSK BROOKLYN herself had been laid up with 1,000 40ft boxes onboard - the ships have all taken on fuel in Channel ports before steaming westwards across the Atlantic.

MAERSK BROOKLYN, however, had a slightly different voyage ahead of her as she left the Clyde, and after bunkering and storing at Le Havre was being sent to the Far east via the Mediterranean, calling at Malaga, Marseille, Genoa and Gioia Tauro before heading through the Suez Canal. She is being used initially to take over on a Maersk Line service that was being operated by CHARLOTTE MAERSK which recently suffered from an extensive cargo fire off the Malayasian coast.

They may have caused a lot of controversy during their spell of inactivity on the Clyde, but the Big Blue Box Boats will be missed, as will their crews who went out of their way to make friends with local residents.

Their departures over the past few weeks leaves just two container ships laid up on the Clyde - MAERSK MAINE and MAERSK MARYLAND remain in the Great Harbour at Greenock awaiting an uncertain future.