Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Built in 2003 in Korea for the Novorossisyk Shipping Co, the tanker KRYMSK was seen heading downfirth from Finnart after she had completed a discharge of North Sea oil from Mongstad. KRYMSK is 250 metres in length, and has a deadweight of 115,605 tonnes. Although Russian owned, she is registered in Liberia. In October 2009, KRYMSK was involved in a collision at Galveston, Texas, which led to one of her own fuel tanks being ruptured and causing pollution.

Monday, 30 August 2010


Catching the evening sun as she makes her way, stern first, towards her berth on the south side of the harbour at Ayr, the paddle steamer WAVERLEY was making her last visit to the port for 2010 as she returned from an afternoon cruise to Girvan and around Ailsa Craig. After taking on fuel oil and having some remedial work carried out on her port paddlewheel, WAVERLEY would set off for Weymouth to commence her five week spell on the South Coast and Thames, before returning to her home river mid-October.


Also seen in Ayr Harbour was the former Russian coaster VALENTIN PIKUL, built in 1994 by the Volgograd Shipyard as one of their 'Project 16920' ships designed for river and sea-going duties. Originally named BALTIYSKIY-203, she is now operated by a Belgian firm although still mainting Russian connections, and she flies the Maltese ensign like many ex-Soviet ships. At 89.5 metres in length, she has a deadweight of 2,917 tonnes and was carrying a cargo of fertiliser from Sfax in North Africa, part of which she had already discharged at Newport in South Wales. This ship attained notoriety in December 1997 when she collided with, and sank, another coaster in the Skagerrak.


Only having arrived at Ayr shortly before, Ramsey Steamship's BEN VARREY was carrying a cargo of salt from Kilroot in Northern Ireland. Now almost twenty-five years old, she is fourth ship of the name to have been employed by the Manx company, which it joined in 1999.


One of the older Serco tugs still in service is currently on loan to the Clyde while other tugs are undergoing maintenance or repair. SD POWERFUL, built by Richard Dunston at Hessle in 1985, has more recently been based at Portsmouth and arrived here at the end of July. She is seen in Loch Long returning to Faslane having been released from berthing duties at Glenmallan.


The fleet auxiliary FORT ROSALIE was seen in Loch Long heading north past Finnart, as she made her way slowly towards Glenmallan jetty. Accompanying her were three Serco tugs - SD DEXTEROUS forward, now back in commission following her engine room fire earlier this year, her sister SD POWERFUL on the port side, and SD IMPETUS made fast aft. Lying at the mooring on the far side of the loch was Svitzer's ANGLEGARTH on fire stand-by duty for a tanker alongside at the Ineos terminal.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Cowal Games Fireworks

As usual, ferry services running to and from Cowal were augmented over the weekend to cater for additional traffic heading to the Cowal Highland Gathering. On the Saturday evening, the traditional fireworks display was held to mark the end of the Games and it is against their illumination that JUPITER is seen heading for Dunoon Pier, as SATURN - on the left - heads to Gourock.

Friday, 27 August 2010


As Clyde Marine's CLYDE CLIPPER heads up Loch Long on an evening cruise, the Danish coaster LONE BRES sets off from the Clyde for Seville with a cargo of scrap metal that she had loaded at Renfrew. LONE BRES was built in 2000 by Damen in Holland, at their Hoogezand yard and is operated by Rederiet Nielsen & Bresling A/S. She is 89 metres long with a deadweight of 4,748 tonnes.


One of the Defence Police's older craft attached to HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane is the launch JAMES DALTON, seen here heading towards the Holy Loch. She dates from 1981, and was built by Anderson, Rigden and Perkins at Whitstable in Kent.


Serco's tug SD IMPETUS was seen as she made her way downfirth to Loch Striven, where she would be assisting the departure of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship FORT GEORGE from the fuels jetty.


Still making her weekly calls at Greenock, CANOPUS J was seen heading towards the container berth as she arrived early on Friday morning. As usual, she was arriving from Liverpool but seems to be using Santander more often nowadays instead of Bilbao as he Spanish port of call.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


Hard on the heels of ARKLOW RIVER was the cruiseship OCEAN COUNTESS. She had just sailed from Greenock on her final visit to the Clyde for the year, and was heading for Liverpool on a cruise that lasted just one night. According to her operator's website, she does not appear to be scheduled to visit the Clyde next summer.


Arklow Shipping's ARKLOW RIVER was seen heading past the Cloch Light as she left the Clyde with a cargo of scrap metal that she had loaded at Diesel Wharf. Her destination was Liverpool, from where she had a couple of days before. She was built in 2003 by Barkmeijer in Holland, at their Stroobos shipyard, and has a deadweight of 4,485 tonnes.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


FLINTERFOREST is no stranger nowadays when she visits Greenock, and this week she was back on the Clyde once more with cargo of woodpulp from Halla in Finland. On passage, she had, however, the misfortune to run aground near Helsingborg in Sweden. Although not badly damaged - reports indicate that divers later found some minor indentation to her hull but no damage to her propellor - her Ukranian master was subsequently arrested and charged with "aggravated drunkenness at sea". Some of her cargo was transferred to another ship, enabling her to be refloated, and later put back on board. With a new master in command, she was then able to resume her voyage to the Clyde without further incident. She was seen as she left the Clyde for Fowey.


Heading to load a cargo at Finnart, the Marshall Islands-registered tanker MARIDA MELISSA was seen as she passed Dunoon on her way north to Loch Long. She visited Finnart as recently as Friday, when she loaded for Belfast, to where she would be sailing again this time.


Another regular visitor to Greenock was seen passing Cloch Light early in the day, making rather a lot of smoke. LYSTIND was heading towards Ocean Terminal with newsprint from Norway, having called at Belfast on her way here.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Pictured shortly after she passed the Ashton Buoy, the regular W.E.C. Lines container ship WEC VAN GOGH was seen as she sailed for Le Havre on her weekly service from Greenock. Southbound calls at Dublin, as well as northbound ones, are scheduled for forthcoming voyages by the Cypriot-flagged ship.

Monday, 23 August 2010


On charter to Brostrom, the small products carrier WISBY VERITY was seen hugging the Renfrewshire coast as she made her way downriver from Clydebank, where she had been discharging a cargo of fuel from Eastham. WISBY VERITY was built for her Swedish owners by the Ferus Smit yard in Holland, and completed in July 2004. She is 116.4 metres long, with a deadweight of 7,479 tonnes. Her funnel markings are perhaps a little unusual, reflecting a bygone age when overloading of ships was not uncommon and the Plimsoll Line newly introduced. In those far-off days, some unscrupulous owners even placed the loadline on the funnels of their ships!

Goodbye to THE WORLD

After her weekend alongside at Greenock, THE WORLD left Ocean Terminal early on Monday morning and set sail for Oban, the next port of call on her global peregrination. From Oban, she would be setting off across the North Atlantic to the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland before continuing to the eastern seaboard of North America.

Sunday, 22 August 2010


The fleet replenishment ship FORT GEORGE was seen at anchor off Rothesay as she waited to move to the fuel jetty in Loch Striven. She had arrived from Crombie, on the Firth of Forth, earlier in the day, sailing via the Kilbrannan Sound, rather than the more usual route to the east of Arran, as she came up firth.

WAVERLEY at Tighnabruaich

On Sunday WAVERLEY gave a sailing from Glasgow to Largs, Rothesay and Tighnabruaich followed by a cruise to Loch Fyne, turning off Ardrishaig. On the way back, the paddler lay at Tighnabruaich for around an hour before retracing her steps back to Glasgow. Rain earlier in the day had eased off by this time, and Tighnabruaich soon began to live up to its reputation as 'Midge Capital' of the Clyde!

Friday, 20 August 2010


Usually CalMac's principal Arran ferry CALEDONIAN ISLES uses her bow ramp at Ardrossan, and berths stern in at Brodick, as shown recently. However, because of problems with her stern ramp, she was having to berth the other way around at Brodick for a few days, as seen here in this unusual view. While car traffic was able to turn within her garage on board, longer vehicles were having to reverse on board, which meant that her timekeeping suffered somewhat.


Once AMADEA had left the berth at Ocean Terminal, THE WORLD took her place alongside at Greenock. Not the more traditional type of cruise ship, THE WORLD is described as a residential community owned by its residents, and she cruises around the globe at a leisurely pace with many of her her 'passengers' remaining on board full time. She has 165 suites on board, some of which are let out by their owners to other guests. A unique little ship, she is 196 metres long and has a gross tonnage of 43,188 tons. She was built in 2001 in Norway. Her itineraries, and many other decisions, are planned by her residents, through a board of directors, in consultation with her full time sea staff and shore-based management.


Making her first appearance on the Clyde on Friday was one of two passenger ships to call at Greenock on the one day. AMADEA, presently operating for the German cruise company Pheonix Reisen, was built in Japan as ASUKA in 1991 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK). She was the largest passenger ship built for the Japanese market in the 20th Century. In 2006, after a successful career that had included annual world cruises in each of the preceding ten years, she was brought to European waters and given a major refit to adapt her for the German cruise market. On her present cruise, which started at Bremerhaven, she visited Greenwich, the Isles of Scilly and a number of other ports before coming to Greenock. She would be following in the wake of WESTERDAM once she sailed, calling at Portree and Invergordon before returning to Bremerhaven. AMADEA is 28,856 gross tons, and is 193 metres in length. She can accommodate up to 620 passengers, and is registered in the Bahamas.

Thursday, 19 August 2010


Yet another vessel moving on the Clyde on Thursday, one of the busiest days the river has witnessed for some time, was the small products tanker NORDPORT, seen here passing McInroy's Point on her way upriver to Clydebank with a cargo of fuel from Rotterdam. NORDPORT is operated by the German Oldendorff company, and flies the Cypriot flag. She was built as ER ELBE but was renamed in October 2008, six months after she was delivered from her Korean builders. She is 128.6 metres long, and has a deadweight of 13,126 tonnes.


After spending the day in Greenock, and allowing her passengers to sample the delights of the are with their various shore excursions, WESTERDAM sailed during the afternoon a little earlier than originally scheduled. She is seen here approaching the Ashton Buoy with Kilcreggan Pier in the background, as she headed for Portree on the Isle of Skye. From Skye she would continue to Invergordon (for Inverness) and South Queensferry to allow her passengers the opportunity to visit Edinburgh for some Festival events. After a brief visit to Newcastle, she would be returning to Rotterdam.


Having now been used by MacAndrews for two years on their UK/Ireland-Northwest Continent-Portugal service, the container ship HELGALAND was seen making her fortnightly visit to Greenock. British-registered, the Sietas Type 172 ship runs opposite to OELAND, another ship of the same class, thus providing a weekly service.


The only one of seven similar coasters belonging to the Bockstiegel company not to have been seen on ClydeSights before was finally caught arriving on the river today. WOLTHUSEN, sister of UPHUSEN, SUURHUSEN and the four similar 'A.B.'-prefixed ships, originally carried the name SAAR HAMBURG but was given her present name in 1996. Like UPHUSEN, she was built by Bodewes at Hoogezand - the other were Damen-built using hulls from Romania, and she was completed in 1995. She is 90.3 metres in length and has a deadweight of 4,372 tonnes. Arriving from Waterford in ballast, she headed straight upriver to Shieldhall to load scrap metal for Seville.


After just a few hours alongside at Finnart, PRISCO ALCOR completed discharge and set off back down the Firth. The Liberian-flagged tanker was not heading too far, however, as she dropped anchor in Irvine Bay to await further orders for next cargo.

WESTERDAM arriving

Thursday's visiting cruise ship was the Holland America Line ship WESTERDAM, paying her second call this year to Greenock. She is seen here heading towards Kempock Point early in the day.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


Rather lighter in the water than most crude carriers, PRISCO ALCOR was seen heading into Loch Long to complete her discharge of Nigerian oil. She had arrived from Rotterdam where she had discharged the bulk of her cargo before coming to the Clyde. Belonging to the Russian-based Primorsk Shipping Corporation but managed by their Singapore office, PRISCO ALCOR was built in 2007 in Korea by Hyundai. When new, the 166,546 tonne deadweight Suezmax tanker was one of the largest tankers to operate in the Baltic Sea. She is 285 metres overall.


Operated by Swan Hellenic, MINERVA has an interesting history. Laid down by the Soviet Navy and intended to become a 'research ship', work on the hull came to a stop in 1990 at the Okean Shipyard at Nikolaev in the Ukraine. In 1994, the hull was purchased by Swan Hellenic and taken to Italy for completion, where it was fitted out as a small cruise ship. In 1996, now complete, she was named MINERVA and cruised for the company until 2003. That year she operated for Saga Cruises as their SAGA PEARL briefly, before being chartered to Abercrombie and Kent as EXPLORER II, commencing a career of 'expedition cruises' to, amongst other places, the Antarctic. In 2005 another charter followed, this time to a German firm who named her ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. After Swan Hellenic had been restructured, the company set about re-acquiring the ship, and giving her back her original name from 2008. At 12,449 gross tons, the 133 metre-long ship can carry up to 350 passengers. Her visit to Greenock was a last-minute alteration to her schedule. She had been due to call at Rothesay and use a naval mooring in the Bay, but its condition gave rise to concerns about its suitability and a call at Greenock was substituted instead. She was seen arriving from Killybegs in Ireland, and would be heading later for Tobermory on a 15-day Round Britain cruise from Dover.


An early arrival on Wednesday was the weel-kent coaster FINGAL. She was arriving from Youghal to load timber at Sandbank and, for some reason, had to head for Kempock Point to pick up her pilot to take her to the Holy Loch. Commercial traffic heading into the Holy Loch Marina usually picks up the pilot off Dunoon. FINGAL sailed again in the early evening, heading back to Youghal.


Her UK discharge finished, LUMINOUS ORANGE sailed early from Shieldhall and made her way down the Clyde. Seen here about to pass Cloch Point, she was heading for Tenerife where she would bunker before heading for her next cargo.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Following the visit on Monday by CROWN PRINCESS, a more traditional looking ship arrived on Tuesday, continuing to make her way around the British Isles. SAGA RUBY, which had already been to Greenock before under the Cunard houseflag when she was named CARONIA, had sailed through the night from Portree on an anti-clockwise circumnavigation of the UK that had started at Dover - most ships sail the other way round. To allow some of her passengers to visit the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, it was not until 2300 that SAGA RUBY was due to sail for Belfast. With a capacity for 661 passengers, SAGA RUBY is now registered in Malta and is one of the few remaining large passengers ships to have been built in Britain, having come from Swan Hunter's yard on Tyneside in 1973.

Monday, 16 August 2010


Monday saw another visit by the cruise ship CROWN PRINCESS on another cruise around the British Isles. Over the next week, Greenock was to receive a visiting cruise ship every day - seven ships in as many days bringing in around 9,000 passengers. CROWN PRINCESS alone carries 3,200. Lying at anchor, the container ship WEC VAN GOGH waits patiently for a berth to become available.


Repairs complete, Serco's Range Maintenance Vessel SD WARDEN was seen passing Lunderston Bay as she commenced her voyage back to Kyle of Lochalsh from Greenock. Housed within the blue frame aft of her funnel is a remotely operated vehicle for use on the BUTEC Trials Range.

Saturday, 14 August 2010


With the Ashton Buoy astern, the coastal bulk carrier APOLLO FALCON was seen as she made her way downriver after landing another cargo of cement at King George V Dock. She was heading for Aughinish in County Clare in Ireland, presumably to load a cargo of alumina.


After her cruise to warmer climes, OCEAN COUNTESS was seen making her way to Greenock following a final call at Cobh in Southern Ireland. The 17,593 gross ton ship would then disembark her passengers before setting out later in the day on another cruise to the same ports - Leixoes, Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Tangiers, Malag and Praia da Rocha, calling again at Cobh on her way back to the Clyde. With a length of 164 metres, OCEAN COUNTESS can currently carry around 800 passengers.


This magnificent yacht was seen passing downstream from the Gareloch, where she had spent the night at anchor off Rhu. ELEONORA E was built as recently as 2000 but is a 49.5 metre long replica of the 1910-built Class-A schooner WESTWARD, one of the great racing yachts of the era. ELEONORA E was built in Holland and is used extensively in the charter market, accommodating 8 guests at a time in compete luxury. She carries a crew of 7. With a sail area of 1,100 square metres, she recently took part in events at Cowes named after her predecessor, although on the last day of racing there, suffered mast damage. One of the other yachts taking part in the Westward Cup was the gaff schooner MARIETTE, built in 1915 and which visited the Clyde two years ago.

Friday, 13 August 2010


JURA, the second of the new police launches that are being delivered to the Ministry of Defence by Holyhead Marine, and which has been in service for well over a year, was seen passing McInroy's Point at close quarters as she made her way back to HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane. So far three of these highly-specialised craft are stationed on the Clyde - GIGHA, JURA and RONA.


The wonderfully named wood chips carrier LUMINOUS ORANGE was seen passing Lunderston Bay as she made her way slowly upriver. Like most of her type, she was carrying a cargo of animal feed from South America and had already discharged much of it at Southampton and Belfast. LUMINOUS ORANGE was built in 1997 by Sanoyas Hishino Meisho at Mizushima in Japan, and is 195 metres in length. She has a deadweight of 43,951 tonnes. Managed by a Japanese company, the Panamanian-flagged ship was named GRAND OJI PIONEER until earlier this year.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


The little coaster, flying the Belgian flag, had arrived the previous day with a cargo from Malaga. MARIABURG, which was built in 1985, has a deadweight of 1,552 tonnes and is 75.2 metres long. Built by Koetter-Werft at Haren-Ems in Germany, she was originally named BETA, becoming in 1998 ROBETA, and in 2006 KEVIN-S. She was given her present name in 2008. Crew management is by Wellteam Marine, and she is operated by Bugge Shipping.


Outbound with scrap for Liverpool, Erwin Strahlmann's 3,672 tonne coaster EIDER looked smart as she began her voyage from the Clyde. She had loaded the cargo at Diesel Wharf, having arrived earlier in the week, also from Liverpool.


Making her way towards Greenock, the container ship ÖLAND passed the Clydeport buoy tender TORCH off Ashton. ÖLAND was arriving from Liverpool and sailed the next day for Rotterdam, while serving on the MacAndrews container run to Portugal.


Arriving from Eastham with a part cargo of fuel, the small tanker BRO GEMINI was seen as she passed Dunoon one her way upriver to Clydebank. She was built in 2003 by Ferus Smit at Hoogezand. BRO GEMINI has a deadweight of 7,559 tonnes and is 114.7 metres overall.


Recently seen at Brodick while waiting to head upriver to Finnart, the tanker SUMMER returned to the Clyde a few days ago with a cargo of fuel for Clydebank. Following discharge there, she then moved to Finnart to backload another cargo, this time for Belfast, and it was with this on board that she was seen leaving Loch Long.

Sunday, 8 August 2010


Amongst the cruise ships visiting the Clyde in 2010 are two of the Holland America Line 'Vista' class ships. The first was QUEEN VICTORIA on 28 July, the second is this ship, WESTERDAM, which was the third member of the class to be built. She was completed for Holland America Line in 2004 and is 82,348 tons gross, her tonnage having increased slightly following a refit in 2007. At 290 metres in length, the class are able to fit through the locks of the Panama Canal - just. Starting at Rotterdam, WESTERDAM is visiting a number of British and Irish ports on a voyage entitled 'Celtic Legends Cruise', and could be carrying as many as 1,916 passengers. She is due to pay a second visit to Greenock later in the month.


After arriving from Rotterdam the Fisher tanker STEERSMAN had spent most of the week lying at Brodick before she headed up the firth to Finnart on Saturday. There the 6,403 tonne deadweight tanker, which dates from 1994 and flies the Liberian flag, loaded a cargo of petroleum products for Belfast.

'Vanguard' class submarine

One of the Royal Navy's 'Vanguard' class submarines was seen heading out to sea on another patrol, accompanied by the usual flotilla of small craft as she made her way down the firth. On the opposite side of the Clyde, nearing the southern end of the Skelmorlie Measured Mile - the posts can be seen ahead of her - the paddle steamer WAVERLEY is enjoying reasonable weather for another of her Clyde cruises.