Merchant Ships: Bulk Carriers & Container Ships
Bulk Carriers 2013
*Page under construction*
With hundreds of bulk carrier shots taken over the years, this page shows only a small number of examples from my collection. As of last year, I intend to cover individual vessels with their own entries as they appear. Meantime, I`ll try and work back and add a few vessels when time permits with the most recent first...
December 22: Around lunchtime yesterday, tugs Ayton Cross and Svitzer Milford escorted Yeoman Bank downriver after the vessel spent 24 hours discharging a partial cargo of aggregates at Shieldhall. The tide was higher than usual with the water level near the top of the riverside walkway embankment. As can be seen in the shot below, there is quite a bit of erosion along some sections. The 205 metre-long bulk carrier was returning to her base, namely the remote Glensanda Quarry on the Morven peninsula on western side of Loch Linnhe. The `Super Quarry`, which has been in operation since 1982, is operated by the Aggregate Industries group and lies within the 2,400 hectare Glensanda Estate. Granite is mined from Meall na h-Easaiche Quarry which lies high up on the coastal mountain from which it takes it name. In an effort to reduce the detrimental aesthetic impact in such a scenic area, the quarry has been dug downwards into the core of the mountain, around a mile inland.
Controlled blasting usually dislodges around 70,000 tons of granite which is collected by massive dumper trucks and taken to the primary crusher. Thereafter, the smaller lumps are deposited on a conveyor belt which carries them and adds them to the permanent rock pile waiting to be processed at the top of a 1,000ft long vertical shaft known as the `Glory Hole`. Once they`ve fallen to the base of the shaft, the rocks are transferred to a second conveyor and carried for a mile, still deep underground, to the second crusher on the shore next to the deep water jetty. Yeoman Bank and her ocean-going sister ships transport up to 6,000,000 tons of granite aggregates from Glensanda all over the world annually. Despite the vast amount currently exported, it`s estimated that the quarry has reserves to last for up to 100 years.
Later, the German coaster Parma, one of the 40-plus strong Wessels fleet, appeared, heading upriver to Diesel Wharf to collect scrap metal. One of her sister ships, Pascal, had arrived on the 19th to load a similar cargo from the old Lobnitz basin at Renfrew.
14 November: Early morning, conditions were quite blustery following heavy overnight rain. Patches of blue sky had just begun to appear so I went down to Park Quay to catch the big Maltese-flagged bulk carrier N Loire as she sailed past Erskine on her way to Shieldhall. The high tide was only moderate which meant I could safely access the raised vantage point at the water`s edge. A pair of Mallards paddling in the quay`s sheltered section took flight as I walked past and they, in turn, must have startled a Kingfisher that had been roosting on the old stone wall. Sightings of these strikingly colourful birds are rare here and I got an excellent view as it flew in towards the head of the quay, about turned and darted eastwards along the Clyde towards Newshot Island. No chance of a photo though! N Loire had sailed from Varna, a Bulgarian port on the Black Sea, calling in at Belfast en route to drop off a quantity of animal feed. N Loire, with a gross tonnage of 23,100gt, is a new vessel having been built earlier this year. Elbetor (below) left about an hour later, bound for Liverpool. Late in the afternoon Pole Star made a very brief visit to Glasgow before about turning and heading for the Isle of Man.
Yesterday morning, Monday 18 November, N Loire left Glasgow for St Petersburg in Russia. Local tugs attended at the Shieldhall docks late on the night of the 17th but the 189 metre-long vessel had to postpone her scheduled departure due to poor visibility on the river. Fortunately the weather was more favourable in time for the next high tide.
The 225 metre-long bulk carrier Golden Lyderhorn made her way up to Shieldhall early this morning before first light so there was no chance of a photo. 4 November: This morning I walked over to Newshot Island to capture the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier Golden Lyderhorn as she sailed downriver in the sunshine. Despite the overnight frost the fields were still very muddy after days of heavy rain. There was a fair bit of avian activity in the reed bed and on the `island` itself. Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Redshank, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwits, and even Black Guillemot were among the species identified. Tugs Ayton Cross and Svitzer Milford attended at the KGV to assist with Lyderhorn`s departure but they had to wait until Aller, which they had overtaken on their way to the docks, had arrived and manoeuvred into her berth. The 225 metre-long Golden Lyderhorn was bound for Rostock, Germany, after depositing her cargo of animal feed at Shieldhall. Only a handful of geese out of the hundreds that were roosting on Newshot Island took flight when the huge vessel sailed past.
On Wednesday 23 October, the 127 metre-long container ship Norwave made her way to Shieldhall with a cargo of wheat from Bordeaux. It`s very unusual to see these vessels so far upriver nowadays with almost all containers being unloaded at Greenock.
Early on the afternoon of 6 October, the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Bosphorus King left the Shieldhall Docks escorted by Tugs Ayton Cross and Anglegarth. he is seen here passing the Golden Jubilee Hospital on her way down the Clyde. Her next port of call is unknown. Usually I get a wave from those on board passing vessels but there was just an inkling that the crew of the Bosphorus King weren`t quite so friendly! I just can`t think what gave the game away! Having said that, they`re probably a great laugh at parties! ....and the wee guy on the right is obviously still saving up for a hat that fits him.
19 August, The Cyprus-flagged bulk carrier Sea Resolute left Glasgow this morning after spending several days unloading her cargo of animal feed at the Shieldhall Docks. She was escorted downriver by Tugs Ayton Cross (above) and Svitzer Milford (below), seen here making their way up the Clyde to assist with the 225 metre-long vessel`s departure. I headed across the fields east of Newshot Island to catch Sea Resolute sailing past. The resident herd of around forty cows apparently thought I had a few tasty cattle-snacks in my rucksack rather than camera gear and charged over. I wasn`t having much luck, as cycling along the Riverside Walkway earlier, I`d been chased by an aggressive boxer dog that was determinedly trying to sink its fangs into my ankles! Fortunately, after around 400 metres of furious pedalling (me, not the mad dog!), it eventually gave up and trotted off, just before Musketier, a Gibraltar-flagged cargo ship, appeared on the scene. Back at Newshot Island, just after avoiding a complete encirclement by the cows, I inadvertently almost stood on a well-camouflaged Snipe that was sitting in a shallow ditch near the riverbank. I got a great view of the bird as it shot into the air. Around fifty geese were grazing on the fields and they took flight as the huge bulker sailed past. Ayton Cross led the way downriver, taking Sea Resolute as far as the Tail o` the Bank off Greenock. Next stop Dunkirk!
Heng Shan Hai
July 10: Local Tugs Svitzer Milford, Anglegarth and Ayton Cross were on hand earlier today to escort Chinese Bulk Carrier Heng Shan Hai upriver to the docks at Shieldhall. I wandered down to the fields adjacent to Newshot Island to catch them passing Clydebank. The 225 metre-long bulker had sailed from San Lorenzo, Argentina, via Southampton and Dublin before arriving at Glasgow to unload the remainder of her cargo of animal feed. I spotted another tern, possibly the same one seen yesterday near the Bridgewater Shopping Centre, and managed a shot this time. As far as I`m aware, it`s fairly unusual for these birds to venture so far upriver.
Wednesday 20 June: The Glensanda based bulk carrier Yeoman Bank left Shieldhall late evening after a brief visit to the city. She had arrived the previous day and spent less than 24 hours unloading a partial cargo of aggregates at the docks.
On the 20th, Svitzer Milford and Ayton Cross escorted the 204 metre-long vessel dowjn the Clyde as far as Greenock. The trio are pictured here passing the Riverside Walkway at Erskine.
May 10: This afternoon the 210 metre-long bulk carrier Ultimax arrived at Shieldhall, Glasgow, with animal feed. She is pictured here en route, passing Bowling harbour. She was preceded by Cemisle, a regular visitor to the City`s docks.
I remained on the harbour wall after the bulker had passed, hoping to catch a Fort William bound steam engine. My aim was to photograph the train against the backdrop of the Kilpatrick Hills but it was overdue, and suspecting a longer delay I gave up waiting. I`d just started to cross the railway station bridge when the train, an impressive steam double-header led by No.62005 Lord of the Isles with a diesel engine tagged on at the rear, shot into view! Luckily I managed to snatch a few shots.
Ultimax set off from the city docks during the early afternoon of 14 May.
Good to see someone so happy at their work! Maybe the guy out on the gangway isn`t quite as enthusiastic though!
Yeoman Bank, which usually operates from Glensanda Quarry near Fort William, is seen here on 28 April 2013, heading back out to sea after a visit to Glasgow.
The barge below, now loaded with a huge gun barrel-like pipe from Babcocks at Renfrew, had made a short trip down the Cart to Rothesay Dock on the north side of the Clyde the previous afternoon, towed by Tug Dutch Pioneer and assisted by a couple of workboats. I didn`t manage to capture the `flotilla` passing underneath the raised bascule bridge at Renfrew so had to settle for these shots. I headed over the fields opposite the Titan Crane once Yeoman Bank had passed.
The Ferris Wheel below is in the background and not part of the package! Workboats Mary M and Julia M (below) were returning to Greenock.
Pictured here passing Newshot Island at Erskine around midday on 29 January is Crimson Mercury. The 200 metre-long Panamanian-flagged vessel had dropped anchor in the Firth of Clyde between Saltcoats and the Isle of Arran to ride out the stormy weather which had battered the west coast over the previous few days.