LIVERPOOL - DUBLIN
4 July 1998
Weather: Overcast/drizzle clearing off Welsh coast
Wind: Westerly 15 knots, wave height 1 metre
Boarding of SSC2 began promptly at around 07.20. Departure was prompt at 08.15. Prior to departure the small coastal tanker DELIA passed by outbound. SSC2 sailed with 639 passengers.
Security was more obvious on this trip with a security guard making regular appearances in the Blue Riband Lounge, obviously part of the measures to avoid its invasion by lager louts as reported last month! Three security guards also appeared to be present on board. In the past I have only usually seen two.
The crossing was quite uneventful; passing Llandudno at 09.23 a small chemical tanker was visible closer inshore. Passing Skerries light at 10.10 SSC2 headed off across St.George's Channel towards Dublin Bay. Irish Ferries ISLE OF INISHMORE passed eastbound at 11.05, followed shortly behind by STENA CHALLENGER. The LEMBITU [chartered to P&O] on her morning sailing from Liverpool was overtaken to starboard shortly afterwards. The Kish was passed at 11.28 whilst HSS STENA EXPLORER was seen at 11.32 heading out of Dun Laoghaire.
Shortly after passing the Poolbeg light a rather interesting small sailing vessel was to be seen NIAMH CRONAN heading outbound from the Liffey. Sailing up the Liffey, the cruise ship MINERVA could be seen up stream. Also visible were container ships COASTAL ISLE, PLANET V and RHINE MASTER. Sludge boat SIR JOSEPH BAZALGETTE was at her berth.
DUBLIN - LIVERPOOL
4 July 1998
Wind; North Westerly 15 knots, wave height 1 metre
Though passengers and vehicles were loaded promptly, departure was delayed for a few minutes, as it was feared that some vehicles for shipment might have been held up by a road accident near to the dock gates.
Departure was at 13.03. MERCHANT VENTURE, inbound was passed in the approach channel. Shortly after rounding the Dublin Bay Buoy a small chemical tanker was seen to be heading northbound.
South Stack [14.35] and Skerries [14.42] were passed. STENA CHALLENGER AND ISLE OF INISHMORE could just be made out at their Holyhead Berths whilst we then overtook P&O's eastbound EUROPEAN ENVOY. Off Wylfa power station the small tanker VITA THERESA could be seen heading for the Mersey. At the Bar PETRO AVON and another tanker could be seen awaiting the tide.
Passing the Bar at 16.05, LAGAN VIKING was not that far behind approaching from the northwest on her daytime sailing from Belfast. No traffic was passed in the Queens or Crosby Channels, though as SSC2 slowed down the small barge like craft BLACK ABBOT OF MERSEY, usually to be seen berthed near the Duke Street Bridge in Birkenhead Docks, was seen in the river off New Brighton. SSC2 berthed at 16.49 just as the Mersey Ferry WOODCHURCH came alongside the ferry stage.