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Voyage Report: Stena Line


by Charlie Tennant

10.00 Stranraer to Belfast - February 27, 1999

Access to the vessel which was berthed at the conventional linkspan was via the vehicle deck. Embarkation 10.09 with departure at 10.26 due to the late incoming arrival.

STENA GALLOWAY  was waiting off for the berth to be vacated. PRIDE OF RATHLIN was seen berthed at Cairnryan. Sometime later an unidentified larger P&O Freighter could be seen in the distance outbound from Larne.

On entering Belfast Lough we were passed by SEACAT SCOTLAND closely followed by STENA CALEDONIA both making for Stranraer.

The outer berths at Belfast Harbour were occupied by DART 4 and a couple of smaller container vessels. The Harland & Wolff dry dock was occupied by what looked like an oil rig support vessel. HSS STENA VOYAGER was at her berth with work continuing to her starboard side which was sporting a number of large fresh fibreglass patches some reaching below the waterline.

Arrival was at 12.08 after reversing into the conventional linkspan where we disembarked via the vehicle deck and then by coach to the terminal building.

Although the sun was shining when we left Stranraer it soon became wet and wild. As a result the open sea part of the crossing was the roughest I have experienced on a fast craft (Was it the weather or the craft?) so much so that my specs are now at the bottom of the Irish Sea. Fortunately I was
carrying a spare pair!

12.20 Belfast to Stranraer

Back to the linkspan by coach with embarkation again via the vehicle deck. Departure at 12.44. On leaving Belfast Lough PRIDE OF RATHLIN was visible in the distance heading for Larne and shortly afterwards we were passed by we were passed by STENA GALLOWAY then in mid channel by SEACAT SCOTLAND  both inbound for Belfast.

STENA CALEDONIA was visible ahead of us and was overtaken entering Loch Ryan and followed us into Stranraer. EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR was berthed at Cairnryan. Arrival was at 14.30 and disembarkation was again via the vehicle deck.

The return crossing was calm with sunshine all the way. It is amazing the difference a few hours or I suppose a few minutes makes on the Irish Sea.

Charlie writes that STENA LYNX III is almost completely white all over apart from name, home port and a metre long red stripe on the nose cone which appears to have escaped repainting. There is no STENA or LYNX branding


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