Sunday, 30 January 2011


Shortly after arriving in the James Watt Dock from Kyle of Lochalsh, Serco's diving support tender SD MOORHEN is berthed at the Garvel repair yard to await her turn in drydock. Beyond her, HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS is undergoing her annual drydocking, having spent the winter in the hands of the Greenock-based yard.


Pictured in the James Watt Dock, the Svitzer tug FLYING SPINDRIFT has seen little use since her arrival back on her 'home' river in November. Now the last remnant of the once-great Clyde Shipping Company and still bearing their style of name, 'SPINDRIFT' was built in 1986 by Richard Dunston at Hessle-upon-Humber for use on the Clyde, and was the company's first example of an azimuthing stern drive (ASD) tug. Twin Ruston main engines gave her a bollard pull of around 38 tonnes. Now operated by Felixarc, she wears the same colours of the Svitzer parent company.


Rather unusually, as most coasters load there instead, BOISTEROUS has arrived on the Clyde with a cargo of scrap due to be discharged at Renfrew, having brought it from Londonderry. Like a number of smaller coastal traders, BOISTEROUS has recently spent some of her time delivering cargoes of rock salt from Kilroot, on Belfast Lough, to UK ports as well as carrying her more usual cargoes of round timber.

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Catching the early morning sun between showers, the tanker MARIDA MISTLETOE heads out of Loch Long past Hunter's Quay on her way to Immingham, which she would reach by sailing through the Minch and around the north of Scotland. These Chinese-built sisters are becoming increasingly common sights in UK waters, particularly on short-sea trades.

Friday, 28 January 2011


The newest of the 'Island' class of Police launches being built for service with the Ministry of Defence is named MULL, and she was seen passing McInroy's Point at speed. Identical to her earlier sisters, she has only recently been delivered from her builders at Holyhead on Anglesey.

Thursday, 27 January 2011


The Maltese-registered tanker MED ARCTIC was seen as she made her way upriver to Rothesay Dock with a cargo of fuel that she had loaded in Eastham. This ship, operated by the Turkish company Chemfleet, was built by Usmed at their yard in Eregli, Turkey, and was completed in June 2009. She is 123.9 metres long, and has a deadweight of 8,280 tonnes.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Greenock still features on the Sea Consortium Southampton-Irish Sea X-press (SIX) container service, and is served regularly by X-PRESS MATTERHORN, as the Dutch ship ENFORCER was renamed for the charter in April 2009. She is seen here arriving on her weekly visit from Southampton and Belfast.


Well-laden with a full cargo of light North Sea crude oil, the Indian-owned tanker ANBA BHAKTI was seen making her way slowly towards Finnart. This Aframax ship was built in 1997 as STENA COMMODORE, but later renamed THERASSIA before joining the Varun fleet in 2005 at which point she took her present name. She is 243 metres long, and has a deadweight of 106,597 tonnes.

Monday, 24 January 2011


Later in the day a second coaster arrived with another cargo of paper, this time from Halla in Finland. This ship, GRIMM, dates from 1992 and she was built by Cassens at Emden in Germany. She has retained her original name throughout her career, and the 4,175 tonne deadweight, 99-metre long ship, is now owned by Jan Nagel Schiffahrts KG.


Arriving from Skogn, the Norwegian palletised cargo ship FOSS, owned by DFDS Logistics, was making her way up the main with her regular cargo of newsprint towards Greenock. After discharging, FOSS would be returning directly to Norway - in the past she would often call at Belfast in addition to the Clyde. In common with some of her fleetmates, FOSS lost her DFDS branding following a restructuring of the company last year.

Friday, 21 January 2011


About to pass the Ashton Buoy, the Norwegian tanker BREGEN was sailing light from Rothesay Dock to Milford Have, where she would be loading her next cargo. The 1994, Chinese-built ship, had arrived a few days previously with fuel from Rotterdam.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Although normally based at Milford Haven, Svitzer's 2008-built tug SVITZER WATERSTON had been one of the company's tugs brought to assist the local vessels during some of the container ship movements in Loch Striven last year. More recently she had been temporarily based at Liverpool, from where she came north to supplement the Clyde fleet and provide standby fire cover at Finnart while FRONT OPALIA was discharging. Still made fast aft as the tanker passed Inverkip, SVITZER WATERSTON was returning to Liverpool to resume her duties there.


The VLCC tanker FRONT OPALIA, seen passing Cloch Lighthouse after discharging a cargo of Nigerian crude oil at Finnart, was heading for Wilhelmshaven in Germany. As she made her way down the Clyde, she was accompanied by the tug SVITZER WATERSTON. FRONT OPALIA was built in 1999 and until 2006 had no prefix to her name, being named simply OPALIA. A product of Kawasaki's Sakaide Shipyard, the 333 metre long ship has a deadweight of 302,193 tonnes. She is managed by the Dubai office of ITM Holdings, now part of the massive V Ships group.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


After lying for a spell at anchor in Irvine Bay, the 2008-built tanker SICHEM HIROSHIMA came upfirth to Finnart to load a cargo of reformate for Amsterdam. While heading upfirth, the tanker had been following a 'Vanguard' submarine heading, as seen above the tanker's bow, for Faslane.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Gourock Pier

The CalMac car ferry SATURN was seen arriving from Dunoon and having to berth rather more carefully than usual as she had suffered a problem with one of her main engines on the way back from the Cowal resort, and so was using her forward engine only - she has Voith Schneider propellers mounted fore and aft. Berthed at the side of the Gourock linkspan was the smaller ferry LOCH TARBERT which until just after New Year had been operating the wintertime Portavadie and Lochranza services from Tarbert, Loch Fyne. She was waiting at Gourock until due to leave for annual overhaul at Ardmaleish Boatyard on Bute.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


Marida Tankers' MARIDA MULBERRY heads past Dunoon on her way north to Finnart from Belfast, to load another cargo of products, this time for Immingham on the east coast of England. MARIDA MULBERRY, which has not been previously shown here, was completed in 2008 by the Jinse Shipbuilding Co. in Korea, and is 127.9 metres in length. She has a deadweight of 13,210 tonnes.


Three tugs return from a move at Hunterston: SD IMPULSE heads back to Faslane, AYTON CROSS back to the James Watt Dock while ANGLEGARTH waits for an inbound tanker heading to Finnart, which was following the trio up the Firth.

Friday, 14 January 2011

'Vanguard' class sub

One of the Royal Navy's four nuclear-powered 'Vanguard' submarines is seen here heading out to sea from her home at the Clyde Submarine Base at Faslane, in the Gareloch. As usual, the submarine was accompanied by a flotilla of small craft including one of the 'Archer' class patrol boats now stationed on the Clyde.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


Serco's dive support vessel SD TORNADO was seen passing the German coaster SUURHUSEN as the latter lay at the 'Bravo' anchorage waiting to head upriver to Renfrew to load scrap metal. SD TORNADO was outbound for Tarbert, Loch Fyne, from where she would be conducting exercises in the Loch Fyne area.

Monday, 10 January 2011


Seen heading downstream on passage from Glasgow to Wicklow was SCOT ISLES, which had arrived a few days previously with a cargo of plywood from Waterford. SCOT ISLES is a fairly regular visitor to the Clyde, usually carrying timber cargoes either in their unprocessed state, such as round timber for export from Sandbank, or as the finished article as in this case.


HMS BANGOR, one of the 'Sandown' class minehunters based at Faslane was seen as she conducted exercises off Gourock with the 'Archer' class patrol boat PURSUER. The two vessels spent the day working together in the area before returning to HM Naval Base Clyde.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


During the first part of each winter, CalMac's ferry CLANSMAN maintains the services from Oban to Coll, Tiree, Barra and South Uist, much as she does during the summer. After New Year, however, she commences a period of relief duty as other ships in the fleet are given their annual refits. CLANSMAN is pictured at Oban shortly before commencing a voyage round to the Clyde which, for the first time in many years, actually carried a number of passengers as she headed for Ardrossan, a passage that took her around nine hours. On the Clyde, she will be used on the Arran service for about three weeks while CALEDONIAN ISLES, the regular ship, is drydocked at Greenock.

Friday, 7 January 2011


When this ship arrived at Greenock from Finland with her cargo of newsprint, she was named FLINTERFOREST, a familiar name over recent months. Whilst on the Clyde, she lost the prefix to her name, and was seen heading past Cloch Point on her way to Rotterdam named simply 'FOREST'.


A new visitor to the inner berth at Hunterston was seen not long after arrival. The 4,646 tonne deadweight coaster ANTONIA B, a vessel that dates from 1983, had arrived from her previous charter via Roitterdam, to commence a period of service carrying coal from Hunterston to Kilroot on Belfast Lough. Operated by GBS-Shipmanagement GmbH, like many ships of her age she has carried a multitude of names, most recently having been named CLONTARF until 2008. A product of the Sietas shipyard in Germany, she is 97 metres long and previously served as a container ship, although her hull is suitably strengthened for the use of coal grabs like those used to load and discharge bulk cargoes.

Thursday, 6 January 2011


Keeping the berth at Finnart warm until BRO DISTRIBUTOR arrived was Stenersen's Gibraltar-flagged products tanker STEN ARNOLD, a ship of 16,578 tonnes deadweight, which was loading a cargo for Las Palmas. Built in 2008, she is one of a class of seven all built in China by the Jiangnan Shipyard - STEN FRIGG, one of her sisters, has been a regular visitor.


After spending Christmas and New Year lying at Garelochhead, the fleet auxiliary FORT GEORGE moved to Loch Striven, accompanied by four tugs - SD NIMBLE and SD DEXTEROUS seen made fast forward, with the two 'Imps', SD IMPULSE and SD IMPETUS, made fast aft. Her extended stay on the Clyde is likely to include a visit to Glenmallan to allow FORT GEORGE to store, as she is shortly to be withdrawn from active service.


After arriving from the Mersey, the Swedish tanker BRO DISTRIBUTOR anchored in Brodick Bay for two days before heading upfirth. Seen passing Wemyss Bay on her way to Finnart, the 14,907 tonne deadweight ship would be loading a cargo of petroleum products for Belfast.