|NOTES & NEWS |
Your webmaster has returned from a metrologically interesting visit to the Isles of Scilly and South West. Constantly changing forecasts, some severe weather, and some unexpectedly glorious weather were highlights of my trip. Needless to say the camera has been working overtime and there is much new material for the website. However, today I have been busy catching up with the news and some of the submissions received whilst I have been away.
The postponement of the Clipper Race 2002 due to take place today has had the beneficial effect of allowing more time to be dedicated to the update than I had thought would be possible. However, there remains much material to be posted.
I envisage that a number of updates will be posted over the coming days, therefore it will be worthwhile checking the "What's New" page on a regular basis this coming week from Tuesday onwards!
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Jenny Williamson, Chris Jones and "others".
SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
BEN-MY-CHREE reports from correspondents indicate that the Ben has acquired some damage to the stern recently. Does anyone know how it happened?
LADY OF MANN did not operate he scheduled 07:00 Douglas to Liverpool sailing on Saturday October 26. On Saturday September 26, SEACAT ISLE OF MAN operated the LADY OF MANN's morning 07:00 sailing from Douglas.
The LADY OF MANN departed from Douglas later as she had been rescheduled to cover for SUPERSEACAT THREE Liverpool to Douglas sailing due to adverse conditions.
SEACAT ISLE OF MAN had actually concluded her Manx sailings for this year when she was hastily reactivated. She is due to head north to provide refit cover on the Troon - Belfast route on Monday.
All Sea Containers Irish Sea day time sailings were cancelled on Sunday October 27, due to adverse conditions.
ISLE OF MAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
SEPTEMBER HARBOUR TRAFFIC FIGURES
Passenger figures compiled by the Harbours Division for September 2002 at 63,217 shows a 12.1% increase on the figure for the same period in 2001 which was 56,375.
The year to date figure at 558,808 passengers shows an 18.2% increase over the same period in 2001 which was 472,824.
During September car and motorcycle traffic through Douglas Harbour increased by 15.2% from 13,356 vehicles to 15,384 vehicles.
The year to date figure at 145,529 vehicles shows a 35.8% increase over the same period in 2001 which was 107,155.
Scheduled Routes show the following changes in passenger numbers for September:-
September commercial vehicles metreage increased by 5.5% from 35,542 metres to 37,486 metres.
Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew comments:
Another excellent month for Sea Passenger Traffic continuing a well established trend. Both the Liverpool and Belfast routes show strong growth this month. Passenger Traffic to the end of September 2002 already exceeds the total traffic in 1998 and this highlights the rates of growth seen in recent years.
ISLES OF SCILLY STEAMSHIP COMPANY
GRY MARITHA is now sporting the new ISSCo logo on her starboard side.
GRY MARITHA missed her Penzance to Hugh Town sailing on Monday October 21 and her return sailing on Tuesday October 22.
SCILLONIAN III which is now operating her autumn schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday sailings did not sail on Monday October 21 nor Friday October 25. Passengers being transferred to Isles of Scilly Steamship's Skybus air service between Land's End and St.Mary's. Wednesday's sailing from Penzance was delayed from 09:15 to 11:45 to allow conditions to moderate. Only 12 passengers were carried on the outward sailing from Penzance, though quite a few more made the return sailing.
A number of video clips of SCILLONIAN III have been posted to the Irish Sea Ships Yahoo Group - please go to the files area of the group and open the "Film Clips" folder to access.
Photographs will appear on the Irish Sea Shipping site during the coming week.
CENARGO: NORSE MERCHANT FERRIES
DAWN MERCHANT the former Liverpool - Dublin route vessel which went on charter to Norfolk Line this autumn was holed beneath the waterline on October 24 when she was in collision with the harbour wall on departure from Dover. The vessel began to list and returned to the berth for passengers and vehicles to be discharges. There were no injuries reported.
Mike Cory, safety manager for Bluewater Marine Management, which operates the ferry on behalf of Norfolkline, said the damage to the ferry was being assessed.
He said: "She will have full repairs carried out under supervision by the coastguard before the ship goes back into service."
ISLE OF INISHMORE the company has announced the opening of the first beauty salon on the Irish Sea. Passengers travelling between Pembroke and Rosslare, on the luxurious Isle of Inishmore, will now be able to choose from a comprehensive range of beauty treatments including facials, massages, manicures and leg waxing.
The salon is run by beauty.com, a Wexford based company, and has been created to offer a wonderfully relaxing environment in which passengers can indulge and pamper themselves. All the beauty treatments on offer are competitively priced and use products based on natural plant and marine extracts, guaranteed to revitalise and soothe the skin.
JONATHAN SWIFT - sailings were cancelled on October 27 due to adverse conditions in the Irish Sea.
PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY
EUROPEAN PATHFINDER has been sold to Greek interests. She has been seen in the A&P Tranmere Basin, Birkenhead carrying the new name REGINA I.
P&O PRINCESS / CARNIVAL CORPORATION
It appears that P&O Princess have, subject to shareholders' approval, agreed to merge with the Carnival Corporation and abandon plans for a merger with Royal Caribbean.
The decision came after Miami-based Carnival agreed late on Thursday to create a dual-listed company with P&O Princess, which will value P&O at pounds 3.5bn. The merger will value the combined group at more than $20bn and strengthen Carnival's position as the world's largest cruise company with 62 ships already in operation and more on order.
The deal also creates a fees bonanza for the various sets of professional advisers who will share a total of $130m between them. P&O Princess will pay a success fee of $25m to its advisers on top of the $55m already incurred. The bulk of the money will go to its lawyers, Sullivan & Cromwell in the US and Freshfields in the UK.
Royal Caribbean said it had no plans to improve the terms of its own merger proposal. However, the company's advisers said it had not yet given up as the deal now has no cash element and Royal Caribbean believes this may prove unpopular with P&O shareholders. A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said: "We've got many months to see what we might do. We will see how the market reacts."
P&O Princess hid its disappointment at failing to secure the deal it had originally wanted but conceded that the revised Carnival offer was more attractive to shareholders. Peter Ratcliffe, the chief executive, said: "We sat down and looked at the two offers and believed Carnival's was the superior one financially."
The creation of a dual-listed structure gets around the problem whereby UK shareholders might have been unhappy holding shares in an American listed company.
Jamie Rollo, an analyst at ABN Amro, said: "I think it's game set and match to Carnival. There aren't any hurdles left so it's just a question of time."
The dual-listed structure will see the Carnival and P&O boards have identical members, with the combined companies managed by a unified executive team. The members of this team have yet to be decided and Mr Ratcliffe declined to say if he would stay on. "Nothing has been decided. I tend to focus on the immediate task in hand," he said.
Carnival said there would be minimal job losses and there is limited overlap between the two companies. P&O Princess will keep its head office in London and its brands, such as Princess Cruises and Swan Hellenic will be retained. Under the dual-listed company structure P&O Princess will be listed in London and Carnival in New York. However, Mr Ratcliffe said the combined group was likely to be called Carnival in the United States and Britain.
P&O has paid the $62.5m break-fee to Royal Caribbean for pulling out of their merger. The southern European joint venture between the two companies will also be terminated on 1 January.
The deal is expected to be completed in the first three months of 2003. It must be approved at P&O Princess' shareholders meeting on 14 February.
JHL'S COMMENT: The news that Carnival has further strengthened its monopoly will no doubt be greeted with dismay by some shipping enthusiasts. There are many on Merseyside who will never forgive Carnival as parent company to Costa Crociere for walking away from the COSTA CLASSICA job directly leading to the collapse of Cammell Laird.
CLIPPER RACE 2002
Due to adverse conditions the start of the Clipper 2002 race from the Albert Dock, Liverpool due to commence on the afternoon of Sunday October 27, has been postponed until Monday afternoon - October 28.
SWANSEA MARITIME MUSEUM
The twenty five year old Swansea Maritime Museum closes this weekend to make way for a new £30 million National Waterfront Museum.
Construction work on the new museum will commence early 2003 and is part of the local council's attempt to make Swansea one of the top waterfront cities in the UK.
The city was chosen over three years ago as the location for the national museum after a nationwide search to replace a developing site in Cardiff.
The Grade II listed building, which was built as a warehouse in 1904, will be incorporated into the new glass-fronted building.
The 20,000 exhibits which are stored at the marina site will be put into storage for two years while the new site is built.
When completed the national museum will have about 200,000 exhibits but there will also be interactive activities with the emphasis on visual designs.
The new maritime museum will come under the control of the National Museums and Galleries of Wales and end years of uncertainty about a home for the national collection of artefacts.
In June 1999, the Welsh Office rejected criticism of the demolition of the Cardiff Bay site in a damning report by the Welsh Affairs Select Committee.
The Cardiff maritime museum had hosted a number of exhibitions, including a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the car in Wales.
It held permanent exhibits illustrating the history of Wales's industrial docklands and coal mining in the Valleys.
The collection has been housed at Nantgarw near Cardiff since the closure.
MARITIME & COASTGUARD AGENCY
A Russian owned cargo ship anchored in Torbay on Saturday October 26 after a major rescue operation in heavy seas off the South Devon Coast.
The Cypriot-registered BOTHNIA STONE lost power and sent out a mayday which was picked up by Brixham Coastguards on Friday night.
It had to shed more than 1,000 cubic metres of wood into the sea as it listed badly in storm force nine winds.
Accompanied by lifeboats from Plymouth, Guernsey and Alderney and a rescue helicopter the vessel made its way into harbour at approximately 0800 on Saturday.
The Russian freighter's crew had managed to restart the ship's engines after it became stranded during gales in the English Channel.
They sent a mayday call at 21:50 BST Friday saying the ship's engines had stopped after being flooded with sea water 25 miles south of Start Point, Devon.
However, the 20-strong crew ignored coastguard requests to be winched off the vessel and instead managed to restart their engines.
The crew dumped 700 cubic metres of timber, which helped to reduced the list on the boat from 40 to 20 degrees.
Coastguard watch manager Rodger Brimacombe said: "The French Coastguard are warning shipping of the dangers posed by the timber, and our colleagues in Falmouth Coastguard are also making similar warning broadcasts in their area."
The Coastguard and Plymouth lifeboat were sent out to assist and a rescue helicopter was shadowing the boat to safety.