Thursday, 30 December 2010

AASVIK and SKOG

Rounding off the year on the Clyde, this view shows AASVIK again, with yet another Norwegian flagged ship, SKOG, also lying at the 'Bravo' anchorage while she waited for orders to proceed to Rotterdam. 2010 has been an interesting year on the river, with what may well be the final dynamic launch having taken place at Govan when DUNCAN entered the water in October. It has also seen the likely departure of some well known names from the Royal Navy, with Defence cuts reducing numbers of ships, starting with the decommissioning of HMS ARK ROYAL, amongst others, although new ships are slowly taking their place under the White Ensign - DAUNTLESS and ASTUTE being just two. The year has also witnessed the departure of the eight large container ships laid up on the Clyde, all except one now having returned to commercial service.

AASVIK

Another Norwegian ship was seen lying at 'Bravo' anchorage, as she waited to head upriver to Glasgow. The coaster AASVIK, normally associated with the stone or cement trades, had arrived from Kilroot in Northern Ireland earlier in the week with a cargo of rock salt but after berthing in Glasgow, returned back downriver to Hunterston. She was pictured shortly after arriving back from the Ayrshire port, before heading once more to Glasgow.

Monday, 27 December 2010

BREGEN

Another Norwegian tanker spent Christmas on the Clyde, lying at anchor in Brodick Bay. Seen heading towards Clydebank, the 13,941 tonne deadweight BREGEN was carrying fuel from Mongstad. She dates from 1994, and was built in China by Ching Fu Shipbuilding. Somewhat unusual for her size in that she has twin funnels, she is operated by Bergshav.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS and ISLE OF MULL

This winter, HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS is undergoing her annual maintenance period in the James Watt Dock, the Garvel repair yard having won the contract to carry out any improvements to the elderly cruise ship following the demise of yards in the south that did the job previously. Behind her, in the Garvel Drydock, is CalMac's ISLE OF MULL which had arrived on Thursday 23rd from Oban. She was visiting the Clyde for emergency repairs to her rudders, despite having just completed her annual overhaul at Aberdeen just a day or two before. The two ships have met on many occasions, as both are based at Oban during the summer. In her original incarnation as MacBrayne's COLUMBA, HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS had originally served Mull from Oban, as does ISLE OF MULL nowadays.

Friday, 24 December 2010

SKS TANA

After lying at anchor in Irvine Bay since late on Tuesday 7th December, the Norwegian tanker SKS TANA moved to the 'Bravo' anchorage on Thursday 23rd. This allowed the 1996 Korean built ship to take on fresh water supplies from SD WATERMAN, seen alongside, before she was able to get alongside at Finnart. SKS TANA is owned by SKS Tankers, and she is 244 metres long. The 109,906 tonne deadweight ship was carrying a cargo of crude from Sture in Norway.

Monday, 20 December 2010

HAVILA PHOENIX

The large sub-sea construction ship HAVILA PHOENIX arrived on the Clyde and was forced to anchor off Gourock while fog meant that traffic movements on the river were restricted. She is a new vessel, built in Norway for Havila Shipping by Havyard Leirvik in 2009, and the 100 metre long ship is capable of working in depths of more than 2,000 metres. Her largest crane is rated at 250 tonnes and can be rigged with lightweight fibre rope that has many advantages over conventional steel wire rope of a similar capacity. On hire to an Australian offshore services company, she is possibly going to be loading plant in King George V Dock.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

COASTAL DENIZ

Arriving from Liverpool on one of her periodic visits to Greenock, the small container ship COASTAL DENIZ was seen making her way upriver past Dunoon. She sailed later in the evening for Belfast.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

KANUTTA

A real veteran was seen at the breakwater at Dunoon after she had discharged a cargo of rock salt for use by the local authority to keep the roads safe for motorists in cold weather. Ironically, during the day while she was discharging, it was snowing heavily! KANUTTA dates from 1958 and was built, under that name, in Denmark. Since then, she has sailed under several other names but reverted to her original in 2007. She was recently chartered to carry round timber from Loch Etive to Inverness, her dimensions - she is only 44 metres long - allowing her to fit into the locks of the Caledonian Canal. Able to carry up to 840 tonnes of cargo, it is estimated that each voyage would be saving over 4,000 miles of road transport. During the cold spell, however, timber movements are limited and she has been chartered to carry salt supplies to a few west coast ports from Kilroot.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

STENA SIRITA

Although the 'Teekay' name has been seen on the Clyde on many previous visitors, tankers wearing the 'Stena' branding are not so common. STENA SIRITA, wearing the joint company's logo proudly on her hull, was carrying a cargo of North Sea crude from the Statfjord Oil Field, north east of Shetland. She was built in Japan by the Tsuneishi Shipyard in 1999, she is 262.6 metres long and has a deadweight of 126,873 tonnes.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

MARIDA MISTLETOE

With a clear view ahead upriver, the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker MARIDA MISTLETOE heads for Rothesay Dock, after having lain at anchor at Brodick for a couple of days on her latest visit to the Clyde. As is often usual for tankers bound for Clydebank, she had loaded her cargo of fuel in the Netherlands at Amsterdam.

LOCH STRIVEN

Fresh from the slip at Ardmaleish, the CalMac ferry LOCH STRIVEN was seen making her way to her owner's headquarters at Gourock Pier following her annual survey at the Bute boatyard. She was the first of the original four 'Loch' class ferries, all built on the Humber by Richard Dunston at their Hessle shipyard in 1986-87 for Caledonian MacBrayne. Employed initially on the route from Largs to Cumbrae, she moved north to serve Raasay after eleven years on the Clyde, and has remained on that run since.

FORT GEORGE - A388

After her most recent visit to the Clyde, FORT GEORGE was observed working in Lyme Bay before moving to Crombie on the Forth for some downtime. A quick visit to the Tyne followed before she was again on the move, heading around the north of Scotland back to the Clyde. She was seen heading towards the Gareloch, where she would be spending several weeks alongside. FORT GEORGE is likely to be another victim of the recent defence spending review. The fog seen in the distance lingering at the Tail of the Bank makes for a sinister reminder of the sad events that occurred on the river a few years ago.

MAERSK RAPIER

Making more of her regular visits to the various Scottish military fuel depots at Loch Ewe, Campbeltown, Loch Striven and Garelochhead with cargoes of fuel, the chartered Maersk tanker MAERSK RAPIER was seen passing the Renfrewshire shore en route to Norway to pick up another cargo.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

SOUND OF SHUNA

With the current Arctic weather conditions affecting most of the UK, it is hardly surprising that fog banks have affected many areas including the Clyde. Western Ferries' SOUND OF SHUNA was seen heading away from Hunter's Quay on a pleasant winter's day, only marred by thick fog that was still lingering along the Renfrewshire coastline.