This was my first trip on SUPERSEACAT TWO with a car. I arrived down at the terminal quite early at around 06.45 as I had to collect my ticket. When I had booked the trip some weeks earlier the computer reservations system was about to die again and hence I had only been given the reference number. Driving down onto the landing stage there was one complete row of vehicles already waiting.
Boarding of vehicles commenced at around 07.25. I was directed into the bow space. One thing that is very noticeable with SSC2 is that there appears to be more space for passengers to move about between vehicles than on the INCAT craft such as SEACAT ISLE OF MAN when the vehicle deck is quite full.
After parking up I made my way up to the Blue Riband lounge. Weather conditions were perfect, a light breeze and calm sea.
Loadings were good: Passengers: 719 and Vehicles: 136
Departure from Liverpool was 08.13 off Egremont the small chemical tanker SAINT KEARAN passed inbound for the Manchester Ship Canal. The Rock was passed at 08.25 whilst in the channel there was but one solitary inbound vessel Coastal Container Lines COASTAL BAY, inbound from Dublin.
SSC2 advised Mersey Radio she would be leaving the buoyed channel at Q3 at 08.41. Though the weather was fine a haze prevented the Welsh Coast from being clearly visible until the approach to Anglesey. No other shipping came into view, Skerries being passed at 09.55 and South Stack at 10.05. As SSC2 began to cross St George's Channel two unidentified cargo vessels were seen heading southbound.
ISLE OF INISHMORE passed eastbound for Holyhead at 10.59 followed by STENA CHALLENGER at 11.04.
On the approach to Dublin EUROPEAN ENVOY was noted whilst in Dun Laoghaire Harbour could be seen HSS STENA EXPLORER.
Passing the Baily at 11.23, SUPERSEACAT TWO entered the Liffey, off the terminal she performed a port turn and backed on to the linkspan, being secured at around 11.45.
When I arrived at Dublin Port Ferry Terminal on the Sunday evening the ISLE OF INISHMORE was still at the berth. She moved off promptly and shortly after turning and starting to move down the River Liffey, SUPERSEACAT TWO was already in view. She docked promptly.
The 23.00 sailing offered a good load of passengers though only 40 Cars, 2 Vans and 1 motorcycle. Evidence that quite a few of the passengers must have been on the popular day returns.
Departure from Dublin was prompt at 22.55; SUPERSEACAT TWO rounded the Dublin Bay Buoy at 23.08 and made good time across St George's Channel passing off South Stack at 00.20 and close to Skerries at 00.29. Exactly one hour later we passed the Douglas Platform in Liverpool bay and had reached the Bar lightfloat at 01.38.
When SSC2 called Mersey Radio on passing the Bar it was intended that SSC2 would be at the stage by 02.10. Unfortunately the MD&HC rope men had been booked for 02.30 and were still attending to a VLCC berthing at Tranmere Oil Terminal on the other side of the river. Consequently speed was reduced and SSC2 did not berth until 02.27 still almost half an hour ahead of schedule.