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Finished With Engines: Irish Sea Shipping is now closed to new updates - J.H. Luxton Photography - Transport, Industrial History, Regional Photographs UK & beyond

Liverpool to Dublin - May 22, 2004

Photographs by John H. Luxton 2004

SUPERSEACAT TWO had the previous evening experienced problems with its ride control system. This had resulted in the 19:00 sailing to Douglas being delayed by almost three hours. One therefore wondered if there would be any knock on effect on the Saturday sailing.  

I arrived at Liverpool Sea Terminal fairly handy. However, it soon became apparent that SUPERSEACAT TWO's problems had not been resolved with passengers being advised of a 30 minute delay whilst further repair work was undertaken.

With a good load of passengers  [563] and vehicles [140] to load SUPERSEACAT TWO finally got away at 10:08 - thirty eight minutes behind schedule.

With SUPERSEACAT TWO delayed SEACAT ISLE OF MAN which had arrived  on schedule at 09:30 was forced to prowl the river waiting for SUPERSEACAT TWO to clear the landing stage.

As SSC2 ran down the river it was interesting to note the coaster LOACH, owned by Campion High School, was being worked on. A few weeks earlier she had been lifted bodily out of Sandon Half Tide Dock and placed on the quay wall.

The Rock was passed at 10:24.

On the starboard side the control tower at Seaforth was flashing the white caution light, indicative of a large inbound vessel.

Approaching from Q1 could be seen ACL's ATLANTIC CARTIER.

She was passed at 10:38 on Crosby Bend.           

Liverpool Bar Lightfloat was passed at 10:57.

Passengers were advised of an ETA at Dublin of 14:30 due to tidal conditions the crossing would take a little longer than  

A smooth run along the North Wales coast followed. Visibility was very good. The Isle of Man being clearly visible to the north. SSC2 passed eight miles north of Skerries at 12:23.

NORBANK passed east bound for Liverpool on the port side at 12:50 followed three minutes later by BRAVE MERCHANT.

To the north RIVER LUNE was noted at 13:02 about one mile to the north heading towards Heysham.

To the north west running up the Irish coast was an interesting looking vessel with a superstructure which suggested it was a cable ship.

To the south a Deirdre class patrol vessel could be seen approaching. It being presumed to have been the Irish Naval vessel which had escorted the USS LA SALLE out of Dublin earlier in the day.

A Polish freighter the WECKCHA passed across the wake of SSC2 at 13:45.

Commissioners of Irish Lights tender GRANUAILE could be seen heading from the north with several buoys on the stern at 13:55.

At the same time as GRANUAILE was observed SSC2 passed Kish lighthouse to port.

The Baily was passed at 14:00. SSC2 slotting in just in front of containership B.G. IRELAND also in bound for Dublin.

Poolbeg lighthouse was passed at 14:10. As SSC2 drifted up the fairway a jet skier appeared. It was obvious he wanted to show off his prowess to the approving audience standing on the open deck of SSC2.

However, he soon fell off between the stern of SSC2 and the approaching B.G. IRELAND. He remounted and scurried away to some calls of derision from a no longer impressed audience.

SUPERSEACAT TWO arrived on berth 49 at Dublin Port at 14:23, almost one hour behind scheduled.

In Alexandra basin the massive bulk of the OCEAN HIGHWAY car carrier almost completely obscured Carnival Corporation's ROYAL PRINCESS, whose presence was only determinable by her funnel.

On the south wall the large bulk carrier CLIPPER VALOUR was berthed. Ahead of these were two smaller container ships belonging to Coastal Container Line and B.G. Freight Lines.

After a smart turn around at Dublin, SUPERSEACAT TWO departed just 13 minutes behind schedule with 294 passengers and 94 vehicles at 15:13.

Poolbeg Lighthouse was passed at 15:22.

Out in  the Dublin Bay the CIL tender GRANUAILE could be seen alongside the Kish Lighthouse.

Standing on the open deck of SSC2, my father who was travelling with me said he had seen a disturbance in the water to the stern. Training the binoculars on the rapidly receding patch was rewarded by the sight of a large creature, which I would appear to have been an ORCA momentarily break surface displaying its prominent fin.

At 15:55 JONATHAN  SWIFT passed east bound for Dublin on the starboard side, meanwhile on the port side NORBAY passed eastbound also heading for Dublin.

Back on the starboard side at 16:05 STENA ADVENTURER passed by followed eleven minutes later by the ULYSSES.

At 16:22 LINDAROSA passed on the port side bound for Dublin.

Passing off Dublin Bay at 17:04 an unidentified Stolt tanker approached from the south.

At 17:05 Skerries Light was passed and an unidentified container ship could be seen heading west.

Shortly after passing Lynas the profile of what appeared to be Ramsey Steamship Company's BEN VARRY appeared coming from the direction of Amlwch.

Liverpool Bar Light Float was passed at 18:30, with Queen's Channel entered at 18:37.

As SSC2 approached New Brighton the Belgian fishing vessel SANDRA was passed.

SSC2 being was on Liverpool Landing Stage at 19:15.


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