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Voyage Report: Sea Containers


by John H. Luxton

28 June 1997

08.30 Liverpool to Dublin

16.30 Dublin to Liverpool

Commander: Captain Cowin

This is my second trip on the new Liverpool to Dublin service. As we all know the weather around the British Isles has not been too kind of late. Loadings appear to be building up now with reasonable vehicle loadings in each direction. The baggage tractor appears to have been repaired and whilst the Land Rover was noted at the Liverpool Sea Terminal it was not used.

Much of this trip was undertaken in moderate visibility and in winds ranging from force 4 to 6, sea state - moderate.

Outbound loadings:

Vehicles: 84

Passengers: 356

Crew: 56

There would have been a van and trailer - but for the fact its loading was refused due to the length of the trailer making loading impossible at Dublin due to the tight 90 degree turn required.

Principal outward timings and sightings:

Liverpool: 08.34

The P&O Pandoro chartered SEAHAWK was noted in Gladstone Lock preparing to depart for Dublin.

CAVE SAND dredger in-bound Crosby Channel from spoil ground

Bar: 09.28

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN noted in bound [07.30 ex Douglas]

Several ships anchored at Bar including tanker JERNAVIK.

Crescent Shipping's BRENTWOOD passed outbound at 09.33.

When passing the Hamilton Company's DOUGLAS field rig the rig supply vessel SEAFORTH EXPLORER was noted.

Visibility closed in though the Skerries light off Anglesey was

visible at around 11.40.

12.55 a Heysham bound Merchant Ferries vessel was passed.

13.07 P&O's IBEX passed on horizon to port side on Dublin - Liverpool sailing.

Dublin Bay Light: 14.05

Howth Light: 14.22

Speed reduced at 14.40 pilot boarded from Dublin Pilot 2 - DODDER.

Dublin arrival 6 minutes early at 14.54.

Around Dublin port the following vessels were noted:

SIR JOSEPH BAZALGETTE - the Dublin Corporation sludge boat at its berth off the power station. The container vessels KATHARINA B, JOHN BLUHM, HERM J. The JOHN BLUHM departed as the LADY berthed. Also noted in the distance was the cruise liner SONG OF EUROPE or at least I think that was the name I could make out! On the south bank of the Liffey were the Bell Lines INISHOWEN and the Bugsier Line ANJA II.

Boarding of the LADY commenced at around 15.50. At around 16.10 the INISHOWEN departed and passed the LADY OF MANN. The ANJA II moved off her berth and was to follow the LADY OF MANN out.

 Unlike my previous trip the pilot was boarded for the outward journey. On the 14 June the LADY had sailed without the pilot and had departed early. This time the pilot boarded for the short journey out to the end of the Liffey breakwater which is around one mile, before being retrieved by the busy little pilot cutter DODDER. The LADY was ready for sea before 16.20, though waiting for the pilot meant departure was not until the scheduled 16.30 as the DODDER had been attending to other vessel movements.

Just before departure the SEAHAWK [OSLO], on charter to P&O and seen earlier that day in Gladstone River entrance sailed past. This vessel has been noted as one of the most difficult ships to photograph on Merseyside as its arrivals and departures have usually been in the early hours of the morning.

Return Loadings:

Vehicles: 77

Passengers: 276

Crew: 56

Principal return timings and sightings:

Dublin: 16.30

16.37 Pilot dropped.

16.40 ARPA coaster noted at anchor Dublin Bay

16.55 HSS STENA EXPLORER noted leaving Dun Laoghaire 50 minutes late.

Howth Head: 16.55

17.35 Merchant Ferries vessel noted on Heysham - Dublin sailing.


17.40 ISLE OF INISHMORE noted on Holyhead - Dublin sailing.

Visibility closed in

Skerries Light: 20.04

20.30 Unidentified BLACKBOXES coaster noted heading North East.

21.03 ACL vessel noted outbound from Liverpool - ATLANTIC CONVEYOR.

Bar Light: 22.10

Liverpool: 23.18

Eighteen minutes were lost in the crossing, possibly due to more choppier sea conditions which were prevalent for much of the journey until around 21.30


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