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Voyage Report: Sea Containers


by John H. Luxton

08.30 Liverpool to Dublin

10th October


Commander: Captain Cowin

Weather: Overcast, occasional drizzle and rain

Sea State: slight

 Following the lively weather on Friday I thought it was time for another trip on the LADY OF MANN! However, the weather was to be more of a dismal rather than lively.

The LADY departed promptly from Princes' Landing Stage at 08.30 with 297 passengers, 55 cars, 3 motor cycles, 3 vans and a car and trailer. Across the river in the Alfred Lock two Howard Smith tugs peered over the tops of the lock gates awaiting the change in level. At Seacombe Landing Stage the MOUNTWOOD waited to commence the first ferry sailing of the day.

Passing down river SEACAT ISLE OF MAN was noted in Langton Dock. In Gladstone Lock the Whittaker tanker WHITKIRK was preparing to enter the river and journey up stream to the ship canal. The cargo vessels in Seaforth Dock were dominated by the vast bulk of the ACL ATLANTIC COMPASS.

There were a few ships in front as the Lady hurried down the channel on the ebb. First the bulker SEA GRACE was overtaken at Q2 buoy and just approaching the bar the CAST Line container ship CAST LYNX was also overtaken. In bound just one vessel had been passed, the coaster VOYAGER. At the Bar [09.25] a medium sized tanker was overtaken on the port side her name was not clearly visible but looked like YARUP 6. Someway to the north a tanker could be seen moving along side the Liverpool Bay OSI.

With Captain Cowin in command it was obvious that his preferred northerly route would be followed which takes the ship far out from the coast. An uneventful crossing to Dublin followed. Off Anglesey an Island Class naval patrol vessel appeared to stern and followed for some distance before heading South West towards Holyhead. P&O's IBEX was seen at around 13.30 heading east bound.

Arrival at Dublin was 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 14.45. The LADY OF MANN had followed chartered Continent Ireland Line container vessel JANE up the Liffey. Several vessels noted on previous visits were to be seen including Rheintainer Line's RHEIN MASTER B&G Line's KATHARINE B.

16:30 Dublin - Liverpool


Commander: Captain Cowin

 Weather: Overcast, rain from around 19:00 to 22:00 strong breeze

Sea State: moderate

Before departure at 16:00 the chartered P&O SEAHAWK passed by enroute to Liverpool. Departure from Dublin was prompt at 16:30, though the driver of an old Morris hauling a rickety trailer nearly missed the ship. The LADY sailed with 281 passengers, 62 cars, 3 vans and 2 cars and trailers.

As the ship passed out into Dublin Bay an impressively dark purple sky brooded over the Wicklow Mountains. To the front the LADY was starting to gain on the SEAHAWK. At 17.31 Stena Challenger was passed on the starboard side heading west bound followed a few minutes later by ISLE OF INISHMORE. At 17.57 MERCHANT BRILLIANT passed west bound on the port side. At 18.16 a west bound P&O ship was just about visible - presumably the BUFFALO.

At 18.25 the LADY overtook SEAHAWK which was taking the southerly route to Liverpool. Her scheduled arrival time being around 01.00.

The LADY of course started heading north easterly.

I then went off to get some food. Later, when I went outside again, the weather had deteriorated it was raining, the wind had strengthened and it was now dark. I spent much of the time now leaning against the engine room exhaust vent on the car ramp. A fine, warm place on a wild night watching the spray and rain being carried by the wind over the stern as it whistled over the rear funnel/mast assembly.

Visibility was rather poor and not until the rain eased off sometime after 21:30 was it possible to work out one's exact location. Douglas rig makes a fine sight at night with its bright gas flare. The Bar was passed at 22:11 the Lady confirming arrival on the stage at 23:15. As the LADY ran up the channel the moon began to break through the clouds and shine on the water. Ropes were on the Landing Stage at 23:17.


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