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10:30 Liverpool - Douglas May 2, 2004

by John Luxton 2004

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN departed early at 10:15 lightly loaded with only 138 passengers on board.

Captain Duggan advising  passengers that the 2.5 hour crossing would take place in "perfect SeaCat weather.

This was my first trip on SEACAT ISLE OF MAN this season. It was noted that spring loaded "western saloon" style "flip-flap" doors had been installed to separate the 1st Class area on the starboard side.   A more substantial pair of similar doors separated the Blue Riband Lounge from 1st Class. Whilst the larger doors do provide a greater degree of privacy particularly for Blue Riband Club members they do appear to present the cabin crew with something of a hazard when passing between Blue Riband and First Class with loaded trays. 

One wonders if the bigger doors would have been better separating First Class from the remainder of the starboard side seating with the smaller doors separating First Class from Blue Riband. 

These doors also provide something for unsupervised children to mess around with!

As SCIOM ran down river it was interesting to note that the former coaster LOACH which is berthed at the old Sandon Dock entrance had been lifted completely out of the water on to the quayside. 

FUNCHAL was at West Langton having brought in a short overnight cruise from Larne. Tug CANADA was heading for Langton Lock whilst ROYAL IRIS OF THE MERSEY was operating the Mersey Ferry service. Currently the only serviceable ferry.

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN Passed Rock at 10:30 where there appeared to be a yacht race getting under way.

There was no inbound traffic apart from the tanker SEAFORD which passed in Crosby Channel. 

Q1 was passed at 10:50. 

There followed and immediate reduction in speed. Trinity House Tender PATRICIA was along side the Liverpool Bar light float. 

Though a couple of miles away the wave of a fast ferry can still carry a considerable distance and SEACAT ISLE OF MAN maintained a reduced speed until well clear of the area.

  Just visible in the mist at the Bar Anchorage was BACOLINER 1 inbound for Seaforth Container Terminal.

At 11:12 Gulf Offshore's CLYWD SUPPORTER was passed on the starboard side stationed south of the Offshore Installation.

A quiet run to Douglas followed with arrival, despite the speed reduction in Liverpool Bay, still 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 12:45. 

On Victoria Pier berth #2 was the Hunt Class Minesweeper HMS COTTESMORE on a courtesy visit.


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