At 06:55 SUPERFERRY inbound to Ringaskiddy followed three minutes later by the German owned B.G. ROTTERDAM [ 5368 grt / 2000] chartered to Mersey Docks and Harbour Company owned B.G. Freightlines. She was inbound from Rotterdam with her weekly run of containers for the Tivoli Container Terminal, near Cork City.
07:20 Tugs SOLEEN & TURBOT BANK scurried off from their berth inside Kennedy Pier across Cork Harbour to Whitegate to assist inbound Brostrom tanker TRAPPER
[7,947 grt 1985]. Everard Tanker, ARDUITY was still on Whitegate Pier.
An interesting arrival at 07:37 was former Royal Navy ship LOYAL MEDIATOR [ 117 grt / 1978 ] which is now operated by Mair of Fort William as an offshore support vessel. She appeared to have a lot of diving equipment on board. LOYAL MEDIATOR berthed at deep water quay.
07:47 ARKLOW SPRAY [ 2,300 grt / 1996 ] passed inbound for Cork City, South Quays.
At 09:40 SUPERFERRY departed Ringaskiddy, passing Cóbh at 10:02 bound for Swansea. Shortly afterwards ARDUITY was noted departing Whitegate for sea.
10:45 the TRANS TIND [ 1,635 grt / 1980 ]a Norwegian owned chemical tanker passed in bound for Cork City.
At 11:15 RCC SUIRBHÉIR - the new Irish Revenue Commissioners Customs cutter passed outbound passing Haulbowline Island. She is the first dedicated customs cutter to operate in Éire and is based in County Cork, with aim of intercepting drug smugglers on the extensive coast line in the county.
It was noted later that CARRIGALOE [ex CSPCo KYLEAKIN] [ 225 grt / 1970 ] had replaced GLENBROOK on the Carrigaloe - Glenbrook Car Ferry. She appeared freshly painted. GLENBROOK having retreated to Cork Dockyard presumably for the completion of her paint job.
SALEEN & TURBOT BANK had returned to Cóbh by 12:00 following duties at Whitegate Terminal.
At noon on Sunday I took the Marine Transport Services Harbour Cruise from Kennedy Pier. Usually this service is operated by the larger twin deck STEEL ISLE passenger ferry. However, the smaller BRYAN J looked to be the cruise vessel for this season appearing smartly turned out. Though she does have a relatively small open deck compared to STEEL ISLE which if you get more than twenty out there can be a bit full and restricting for photos.
These trips only operate June to early September though priced at €5.00 for around 50 minutes are excellent value for money. Some years ago when I did the trip a commentary was offered. Though in recent years it has not been. Though this is no loss, as one is left in peace to enjoy the views.
The trip certainly takes in the maritime points of interest even going into the Naval Base Dock at Haulbowline Island and giving close views of the Cork Dockyard at Rushbrooke.
Everard's ACTIVITY remained in dry dock. On the quay wall was STELLA MARIS V [2,668grt / 1962] this well kept laid up vessel is owned by local interests. She appears to be maintained in a manner similar to the TAMAMINA on the River Fal in Cornwall.
Also laid up the ship yard but in not so good condition is the former Port of Dublin tug COLLIMORE registered in St. Domingo. Nearby is the locally owned and well turned out tug FASTNET FALCON [154 grt / 1961]. She is operated by Seahorse of Cork.
An interesting vessel which had been lifted out of the water and appeared laid up on the quayside was the fast craft CAILÍN TURÁNA of Aran Islands Fast Ferries.
Cross River Ferries GLENBROOK was also alongside presumably the rest of her paint job was being completed whilst the CARRIGALOE was in service. Marine Transport Services larger tug BREEDBANK [ 274grt / 1969 ] was also to be seen. She was acquired by MTS in 2003 from Smit.
After crossing the harbour the BRYAN J passed naval ferry DAVID F alongside below the naval base control tower before passing the imposing warehouses built on Haulbowline Island by the Royal Navy enroute to the Naval Service Dock.
The Irish Naval Service HQ is effectively split, with the now abandoned Irish Steel steelworks between the two halves. This occurred due to the fact that the steel works was constructed between the British withdrawal from Éire and the establishment of the Irish Naval Service.
Given that the works closed around three years ago. No attempt appears to have been made to demolish the plant.
In the Naval Service Dock on the west side was the landing craft style ferry SPIKE ISLAND of Marine Transport Services, used to carry vehicles to the prison on the adjacent Spike Island. Spike Island Prison was the Irish equivalent to Alcatraz, however it closed last autumn. A regular private passenger service being operated for the prison service by MTS. Now closed, there only appears to be a limited service operating to Spike Island presumably for the benefit of those charged with looking after the property. - Located in the former British built Fort Westmorland it served the British and latterly the Irish authorities as a prison and is probably a developer's dream location! Time will tell!
Berthed outside of SPIKE ISLAND was MTS's STEEL ISLE. On the south side of the Dock was FIACH DUBH [tr: Raven] one of the Irish Naval services passenger vessels.
On the east side of the dock were Appledore built Róisín class patrol vessels LÉ RÓISÍN [P51] and LÉ NIAMH [P52] berthed alongside one another.
Astern were LÉ EMER [P21] berthed outside of LÉ ORLA [P41]. On the north side LÉ AISLING [P23] was berthed. With five naval vessels in port only three remaining members of the fleet were out and about guarding the coastline.
After departing the naval base BRYAN J headed off in the direction of the Spit Bank Lighthouse before running back along the waterfront to Kennedy Pier.
I left Cóbh and drove up to the Cross River Ferry - it was noted that the coaster BEN NEVIS [ex BEN VANE] [ 541 grt / 1977] was at Glenbrook Wharf in the company of YAMBURG.
There was some interesting shipping to be seen at the city quays. There were several ships on the South Quays - tanker TRANS TIND, ARKLOW SPRAY, JOHN-PAUL K. and the Swiss freighter MARIE-JEANNE [ 2,999 grt / 1999]. On the cross berth between North and South Customs House Quay was the Port of Cork's tug / work boat THOMAS DOYLE. Only one vessel was berthed on the North Quays - the Scottish owned offshore support ship NORTHERN CHASER [2,335 grt / 1991] of Trico Shipping, Aberdeen, registered in London.
A quick drive over to Kinsale revealed the imposing motor yacht MICHAELA ROSE in the harbour. But being a sunny Sunday afternoon safe parking was impossible and I deferred my plans to take a harbour on board SPIRIT OF KINSALE which would have facilitated photos of the MICHAELA ROSE.
Returning to Cóbh and driving down to Whitepoint revealed that helicopter patrol ship LÉ EITHNE [P31] had berthed at the Naval Base refueling berth. At 17:30 LOYAL MEDIATOR departed from Deepwater Quay Cruise Terminal. Meanwhile rounding Spit Bank came United European Car Carriers AUTO PRESTIGE [11,596grt / 1999] bound for Ringaskiddy.
AUTO PRESTIGE passed Cóbh outbound at 20:50, followed a seven minutes later by tug BREEDBANK. BREEDBANK returned at 22:52 with the bulker DARYA YOG [18,495 / 1996] of Yog Shipping, China. BREEDBANK acting as bow tug whilst Port of Cork's GERRY O'SULLIVAN brought up the rear.