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Voyage Report: Sea Containers


by John H. Luxton

Liverpool to Dublin

30 July


Commander: Captain Albiston

This was my first SeaCat trip to Dublin having travelled on the LADY OF MANN on several occasions it would make an interesting comparison.

Departure from Liverpool was at 11.01 with a good load of 434 passengers - I missed the car count but would estimate it to be in the high seventies.

There was no traffic in the channel outbound, the captain left the channel at Q3 buoy passing the Russian freighter DOBRUSH at anchor to port. An unidentified coaster was also visible and the P&O BUFFALO was passed to starboard outbound to Dublin.

A line parallel to The Bar was passed at 11.35 and Llandudno at 12.10. The route being followed on this day was somewhat between that recorded by myself on my first three LADY OF MANN voyages and that taken on the LADY when captain Kinley was in command. In other words it passed south of the Douglas gas field, but not as far south as Captain Kinley's course recorded on the 19 July.

Passing off Anglesey a Shell Tanker the SUNETTA and another tanker ALANDIA SURF were noted at anchor in Amlwch Bay. The Anglesey coast was followed some two miles or so off shore. Skerries light was passed about two miles to port at 13.04. A patch of low cloud cloaked Holyhead Mountain though South Stack Light became visible to port at 13.14.

No further shipping was seen except for a north bound coaster some miles off Dublin Bay which was heading north. On entering Dublin Bay - James Fisher's tanker TILLERMAN was passed heading out bound from Dublin followed by MERCHANT VENTURE on her sailing to Heysham.

Dublin Bay [Kish Light] was passed to port at around 14.35 and Howth Bailey Lighthouse at 14.46. Shortly after passing Poolbeg light and passing inside the breakwater the Dublin Pilot boat LIFFEY deposited the pilot aboard at 14.57.

Berthing at Dublin was bow on to the linkspan and was completed at around 15.10. Other ships noted where the HYDRO which was berthing, west of the terminal. COASTAL BAY and JAN BECKER were to be seen in the container berths to the east of the terminal. On the south side of the Liffey the dredger SANDFISHER was seen along side which was the sand barge SPLIT ONE. In the western container berths was the YVETTE and beyond that was the cruise liner SPLENDOUR OF THE SEAS her departure time from Dublin being 17.30 hours.

Dublin to Liverpool

30 July


Commander: Captain Crellin

Crews were changed at Dublin with Captain Crellin taking command. Departure was at 16.27 with a load of 381 passengers, 73 cars, 1 car and caravan, 1 van and two motor bikes.

The Stena HSS STENA EXPLORER was noted having radioed into Dublin control at 16.18 in-bound from Holyhead, somewhat behind schedule.

On departure from Dublin the SEACAT ISLE OF MAN passed the SPLIT ONE on its way to the dumping grounds. Shortly after passing Bailey Light at 16.49 the inbound MERCHANT BRILLIANT was passed to port.

At 17.04 the BUFFALO on its Dublin bound sailing from Liverpool was passed to port.

South Stack light was passed at 18.12. Off Amlwch an unidentified tanker was noted.

As the Bar was approach North West Water's sludge carrier CONSORTIUM 1 was noted heading outbound. The Bar was passed at19.48.

In the channel Shell's SUNETTA was overtaken on its way to Tranmere stage, followed by James Fisher's CABLEMAN. Outbound HERM J and KERSTEN were noted on their Dublin bound sailings for Coastal Container Line. The tugs HOLMGARTH and NORTON CROSS were heading down river presumably to rendezvous with the SUNETTA.

Also outbound were IBERIAN VAS and another coastal vessel, but I can't decipher my notes!

Arrival at the Landing Stage was slightly late at 20.34.

All in all an interesting trip which proved that there is yet another variation possible on the Liverpool to Dublin route!


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