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SuperSeaCat Three

Liverpool to Dublin and Return May 11, 2002

Photographs © John Luxton 2002

08:15 Liverpool to Dublin

I arrived at the Pier Head around 07:15. There were already quite a few people in the building, with the usual weekend groups in evidence. After picking up my boarding cards I made my way to the departure lounge. The security guard at the door had intercepted too chaps carrying cans of beer and was pointing out they must finish their drinks before entering the lounge and that all alcohol they were carrying would have to be conveyed on the luggage trolley. Its good to see positive steps being taken to discourage the "lager lout" brigade.

Going down onto the landing stage to board SSC3 it looks as though she has damaged her belting in a couple of places, one area of damage corresponding to the position of the most northerly fender on the stage. 

Departure 08:10 with 91 vehicles and 425 passengers.

There were no vessels in Crosby or Queen's Channels. 

Rock passed 08:30, Crosby 08:39, Formby 08:48 and Q1 08:50.

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN passed inbound between the Bar and Q1 at 08:52. 

South of Liverpool Bar a chemical tanker and RMS freighter were at anchor.

SUPERSEACAT THREE took quite a northerly track passing to north of Douglas Rig and a around two miles south of the Liverpool Bay OSI which was passed at 09:15.

Out in the bay there was quite a good swell running from the North West of about 1.5 to 2m though the ride was fairly smooth. As the journey progressed the sea smoothed considerably.

Around 09:41 there was a course change to a more westerly direction - the Isle of Man visible to north.

10:30 passed off Skerries. 

First officer advised a speed of 33 knots due to tidal conditions giving an arrival time at Dublin of 12:30.

I took a wander around the ship which appeared quite busy in main saloons. In the bar the music playing appeared rather loud! 

10:55 a freighter could be seen heading from North East.

11:18 Norse Merchant Ferries RIVER LUNE[?] passed eastbound for Heysham.

11:33 SUPERSEACAT THREE reported her position as 25 minutes from Baily

11:48 Container noted ship running down coast from north.

12:01 Passed Baily light

12:07 Point India

12:15 Royal Navy Frigate F93 HMS ST. ALBANS had slotted in someway behind SSC3 passing the Bar Buoy at same time as SSC3 passed Poolbeg lighthouse.

Dublin Port tugs CLUAIN TARBH and DEILGINNIS passed outbound to meet HMS St.Albans as SSC3 passed North Bank. JONATHAN SWIFT followed behind on her 12:15 sailing to Holyhead.

SUPERSEACAT THREE was on the berth at 12:28, however,  HMS ST ALBANS was still some distance behind, and it was debatable if one would end up having to disembark before she passed.

Fate fortunately came to the rescue! There were technical problems with the passenger gangway and it was to be some minutes before foot passengers could disembark. In fact just enough time for the tugs and ST ALBANS to drift past and enable one to get some photos. Just as ST ALBANS passed by the announcement was made that foot passengers could disembark via the stern ramp.

The passenger gangway was functional again in time for departure, with boarding commencing around 12:55. 

13:15 Dublin to Liverpool

13:20 SUPERSEACAT THREE let go with a load of 336 passengers and 103 vehicles Running out past Poolbeg the regular assortment of work boats were gathered around floating platforms. Peering through the binoculars revealed what LÉ RÓISÍN at Dún Laoghaire's East Pier.

13:40 rounded Baily.

13:46 Kish Light.

14:25 HSS STENA EXPLORER passed west bound

14:45 Large gaff rigged sailing vessel heading east bound brown sails.

15:00 South Stack

15:15 NORBANK westbound for Dublin

First officer's voyage update indicated a speed of 32 knots off Skerries.

15:25 DAWN MERCHANT passed west bound for Dublin

15:29 Broadsword Class Type 22 - 3 Frigate HMS CUMBERLAND F85 passed heading west.

15:55 just east of Lynas A low air draught Chemical tanker ABBA [?] headed west bound. Off the Welsh coast could be seen an eastbound Arklow low air draught coaster.

16:28 Cargo ship SEASPRAY passed east bound. 16:35 passed to south of Douglas platform. Around the same time we passed the CIT chemical tanker FREDERICK FAIRFIELD [?]. To the north east a large tanker could be seen in the vicinity of the Liverpool Bay OSI.

16:48 Passed south of the Liverpool Bar.

16:53 Q1

As SSC3 approached Crosby bend NORBAY could be seen in bound passing the Radar Tower at Seaforth.

17:11 SSC3 passed C23 and reduced speed.

17:34 Secure at Liverpool.



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