Sunday, 28 August 2011


Arklow Shipping's 2004-built 4,485 tonne deadweight coaster ARKLOW ROCK is seen above passing Cloch Light as she arrives on the Clyde from Liverpool, to load a cargo of scrap metal at Shieldhall Riverside berth. ARKLOW ROCK was built, like most of the company's ships, by Barkmeijer Stroobos, and flies the Dutch flag.


Seen cruising on the Upper Firth at the end of August was OCEAN PRINCESS, diverted from a scheduled call at Rothesay because of bad weather. She had attempted to lie at anchor off the Bute town but it was decided instead to cruise towards Loch Long, and she was caught between showers heading past Cloch Lighthouse. Her cruise had started at Leith and visited Lerwick, Thorshavn and Stornoway, before continuing south. The voyage finished at Liverpool.

Saturday, 27 August 2011


Heading past Kirn, the Maltese-flagged tanker BESIKTAS SCOTLAND was on her way to Finnart to load a cargo of reformate for Amsterdam. Built by the Cicek Shipyard in Turkey, she is one of a number of similar vessels operated by the Besiktas Group, one of which - BESIKTAS GREENLAND - has previously visited the river.  BESIKTAS SCOTLAND is 147.5 metres overall, with a deadweight of 17.998 tonnes.


Leaving the Clyde for the last time under the defaced Blue Ensign, the Type 45 destroyer DRAGON was seen making her way downfirth as she started her voyage to Portsmouth, where she would be handed over officially to the Royal Navy. DRAGON is the fourth ship of the class.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


The Northern Lighthouse Board's buoy tender POLE STAR was seen making her way downfirth after a brief visit to Greenock. Although plans to lengthen her were drawn up by Macduff Ship Design, so far no firm announcement has been made to say that the work will go ahead.


Seen making her first visit to the new breakwater linkspan berth at Dunoon, CalMac's SATURN was conducting berthing trials between morning and afternoon services between Brodick and Ardrossan. She was carrying out these trials prior to spending Cowal Games Saturday on charter to Argyll Ferries Ltd, supplementing their own service to assist with conveying the anticipated crowds between Gourock and Dunoon for the Games.


After completing the discharge of animal feed at Shieldhall, the large oil/bulk ore carrier SEAPOWET was seen making her way out to sea for her next cargo. SEAPOWET is operated by B+H Equimar of Singapore, and is registered at Nassau in the Bahamas. She was built in 1992 by the Danish shipbuilder Burmeister and Wain, who also supplied her main engine. 228.6 metres long, she has a deadweight of 74,928 tonnes and c an carry both dry bulk and liquid cargoes.


Another of the many 'Vista' class ships owned by the various companies belonging to the Carnival Corporation made her first visit to the Clyde when P&O's ARCADIA called at Greenock. The fourth ship of a class that, with derivatives, eventually numbered eleven, ARCADIA was completed by Italian shipyard Fincantieri in 2005.

ARCADIA, which has an overall length of 290 metres, is 86,799 gross tons and can carry a maximum of 2,388 passengers although she normally sails with around 1950. She was on a cruise around the British Isles that had last called at Lerwick, and in the lower picture she was outbound for Liverpool.

Monday, 22 August 2011


The products tanker VALE, which has been on the Clyde before, was seen heading upriver to Clydebank with a cargo of fuel from Rotterdam. The 13,006 tonne deadweight ship flies the Singapore flag and dates from 2007. 


After having some work carried out at Fairlie, Clyde Marine's ROVER was noted under tow passing upfirth back to Greenock. She was lashed alongside one of her owner's tugs, BEAVER BAY, and the pair are seen above with Argyll Ferries' ALI CAT heading across the Clyde to Dunoon.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Colintraive Ferries

Although normally employed at Largs during the summer, LOCH RIDDON occasionally is sent to relieve on other nearby routes when one of the other CalMac ferries suffers from technical problems. She is seen here at Colintraive on one such occasion after the regular ferry LOCH DUNVEGAN had a breakdown and was unable to take up service that morning. A little while after this picture was taken, LOCH DUNVEGAN was repaired and managed to resume duty running across the Kyles of Bute to Rhubodach, and so allowing LOCH RIDDON to return to Largs.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Dunoon Pier - 2011 style

Since the end of June the breakwater at Dunoon has been the main focal point for the ferry service to Gourock, and is used every half hour by Argyll Ferries' vessels. Seen arriving is ARGYLL FLYER, acquired by Argyll Ferries Ltd - a subsidiary of the David MacBrayne Group - from the Aran Islands earlier this year. She partners ALI CAT, a catamaran well known to Dunoon commuters, on a service that runs twice hourly to the railhead at Gourock, carrying passengers only. Argyll Ferries Ltd were the winners of the Scottish Government's tendering exercise to run a service across the Clyde for the next six years, and which saw the demise of the car ferry service run by CalMac. Berthed at the end of the pier is WAVERLEY, the steamer that back in 1954 had handed over to the first car ferry, ARRAN, when she was introduced to the Clyde fleet and hanselled the vehicle carrying service between the two towns.

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Clydeport's navigation aids tender TORCH was seen passing the entrance to Millport Bay, as she made her way towards Largs Marina. TORCH had been servicing some of the buoys and lights at the entrance to the main channel between the Cumbraes and Bute. In addition to this type of work, TORCH also undertakes some general workboat tasks both for Clydeport and commercially.

Largs Ferries

The two CalMac ferries employed during the summer on the ten-minute crossing between Largs and Cumbrae Slip have, for the past few years, been LOCH RIDDON (left) and LOCH SHIRA (right). Although the larger vessel is more than capable of handling most of the traffic on her own, the provision of the second ferry gives a ferry service every fifteen minutes during the summer months.


Well-laden with a cargo of wind turbine components made in Denmark, the Dutch-registered coaster FLINTERHUNZE was seen mid-channel as she made her way upriver to Glasgow. Each voyage from Esbjerg takes around four days for the 3,300 tonne coaster.


Seen between Toward and Bute, the 'Sandown' class minehunter GRIMSBY had just returned from a three-year stint of duty in the Persian Gulf. She left her base at Bahrain at the end of June and embarked on her seven-week, 7000-mile journey home to Faslane. Eight ports were visited during the voyage where GRIMSBY took on fuel and stores, and she passed through the Suez Canal on 28 July 2011, in the company of HMS CHIDDINGFOLD.


CalMac's Rothesay ferry BUTE, the first vessel built specifically for the company outwith the United Kingdom, is seen lying alongside the end-loading ferry berth at Rothesay. Built by Remontowa at Gdansk in Poland, she joined the company in the summer of 2005, and was the first of two sisters designed for the service that links the island of Bute with the railhead at Wemyss Bay.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


After reaching the Tail of the Bank, the 120 ton bollard pull tug ERACLEA, built in Italy in 2010 and owned by the Augustea Group, took charge of AMT TRADER and her valuable cargo. ERACLEA had arrived earlier from Rotterdam to tow the barge to Rosyth, accompanied by SVITZER PEMBROKE.

Once under way, ERACLEA set off down the main channel still with AYTON CROSS made fast aft, while SVITZER PEMBROKE and BATTLER followed them.

As the tow approached the Cowal Buoy, it was passed by the Dutch coaster GERARDA. Shortly after this last picture was taken, AYTON CROSS was released and returned to Greenock.

QUEEN ELIZABETH carrier - Lower Block 03

The first Clydebuilt section of the new aircraft carrier being constructed by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance for the Royal Navy began its slow passage to Rosyth aboard the barge AMT TRADER. The module, known as Lower Block 03, had been loaded onto the barge at Govan at the end of July.

Taking charge of the barge as it made its way downriver were local tugs SVITZER MILFORD and ANGLEGARTH, while Clyde Marine's BATTLER had gone ahead of them clearing any debris from their paths.

Controlling the aft end of the barge was AYTON CROSS.  The full scale of the module can be gauged by the personnel standing on the deck of the barge.

A broadside view of the barge and its tugs as it passes Port Glasgow gives further indication of the size of the module. It weighs around 8,000 tonnes and is 63 metres in length.

Once it had reached the Tail of the Bank, another tug was waiting to take over for the 600-mile tow around the north of Scotland to the Forth, where assembly of the module with other parts of the new carrier is taking place at Rosyth. The Italian-flagged tug ERACLEA is seen here making fast to the semi-submersible barge as another Svitzer tug, SVITZER PEMBROKE, stands off. Also visible is BATTLER, waiting to take off personnel.

Monday, 15 August 2011


Seen previously some two years ago, UK Dredging's grab hopper dredger CHERRY SAND had arrived a few days earlier at Ayr to carry out scheduled dredging work on behalf of Associated British Ports. The work was expected to take around two weeks.


The preserved paddle steamer WAVERLEY is seen here arriving at Ayr, ready to take an afternoon cruise to Girvan and round Ailsa Craig. This summer has been a very difficult one for her owners, especially with the cost of fuel nowadays: it is estimated that her fuel bill is, on average, in the region of £5,000 per day.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


The German cruise ship AIDAblu was seen as she arrived from Liverpool on her maiden visit to the Clyde. Owned by Aida Cruises, she was on a 14-night Round Britain cruise that had started at Hamburg. Delivered to her owners in February 2010, AIDAblu was built by Meyer Werft in Germany, and she flies the Italian flag.

The 252 metre long ship, which has accommodation for up to 2,050 passengers, measures some 71,300 gross tons, and is one of four similar sister ships known as the 'Sphinx' class. She cost her owners around $420 million.

Saturday, 13 August 2011


Fred Olsen Cruise Lines' BALMORAL heads down the Clyde following a visit to Greenock during a cruise around the UK and Ireland. Having visited Dublin the previous day, BALMORAL continued on her circumnavigation of Britain by next calling at Tobermory on the island of Mull. One of CalMac's Rothesay ferries is also seen making its way across to Wemyss Bay.


After delivering another of the regular cargoes of fuel from Mongstad, the smart looking Danish products tanker TERNVIK was seen making her way downriver past the Ashton Buoy. Once again, she was heading back to Norway for her next cargo.

Friday, 12 August 2011


The Danish tanker TORM VALBORG is seen here passing Cloch Point with a cargo of North Sea oil which she had loaded at Gothenburg in Sweden, as she heads towards Loch Long and the Ineos terminal at Finnart. TORM VALBORG, which has a deadweight of 99,999 tonnes and an overall length of 244 metres, is a member of her owner's LR2 pool of ships. Dating from 2003, she was built in Korea by Hyundai Samho.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


Having been a regular sight on the Clyde for a few years, the self-discharging bulk carrier CSL CLYDE was seen heading upriver to King George V Dock with a cargo of salt from Kilroot. Now with a new livery, and a new name, this vessel was formerly Jebsen's CLYDENES but her previous owners were acquired in March this year by the Canadian CSL Group and is now operated by their subsidiary CSL Europe.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Following CROWN PRINCESS up the Clyde was the Korean-built products tanker SONGA SAPPHIRE, a vessel with local connections as her managers are based in Paisley. She came from the Samho Shipbuilding yard in 2008, being completed in June that year, and is registered in the Marshall Islands. SONGA SAPPHIRE, which has an overall length of 144 metres and a deadweight of 17,596 tonnes, had been anchored at Brodick and was visiting Finnart to load a cargo for Montreal in Canada.


Princess Cruises' CROWN PRINCESS is seen here passing Ashton on her way to Greenock for a visit while on a Round Britain cruise from Southampton. The 113,651 gross ton cruise ship, which like most of her owner's fleet is registered in Hamilton, Bermuda, was inbound from Belfast and sailed late that night for Kirkwall.