23.00 Dublin - Liverpool
Friday 29 May 1997
Commander: Captain Marenco
My return from Ireland was to be somewhat delayed. Returning to the terminal at around 21.00 ISLE OF INISHMORE was still at the berth. I had parked up to go into the cafe, however, it soon became apparent that the 23.00 sailing would be delayed as the departure/arrivals indicator was showing SSC2's arrival as being 00.15. At around 21.45 as the ISLE OF INISHMORE moved off I drove round to the vehicle check in. After checking in an announcement was made indicating that SSC2 would arrive at 00.00.
This she did. Loading was completed by 00.45 and ropes were off at 00.50. SSC2 departed with 524 passengers and 103 vehicles. As we moved off we followed the CONNEMARA out of the harbour, well I didn't actually see it, I heard about it in the radio. Also in the vicinity was the ALOMA approaching from the southwest.
SSC2's late running had been caused by engine problems earlier in the day. Much of the lighting in SSC2 had been dimmed for the journey, contrasting with my last journey on the 23.00 ex- Dublin early in May.
At after 03.00 traces of dawn were becoming visible in the sky and at 03.16 the EDINBURGH CASTLE passed by heading westbound on her delayed and shortened cruise from Liverpool.
As it slowly became lighter the Bar was passed at 03.45. A LPG tanker was seen passing outbound, whilst the pilot launch SKUA headed back up the channel. Another outbound tanker was seen and several other unidentified vessels including a small fishing boat.
SSC2 overtook the inbound MERSEY VIKING heading for Langton Lock, finally berthing at the Princes Landing Stage at 04.25.
When SSC2 left Dublin she was 1hour 50 minutes behind schedule, on her arrival in Liverpool the deficit had been reduced to 1 hour and 35 minutes behind schedule.
Obviously business continues to be brisk on this route. A small onboard change noted between my outward journey on Monday and my return journey on Friday is that the whiskey display in the shop has been moved to the storeroom, so as to provide more space for displaying cigarettes.