Merchant Ships: Bulk Carriers & Container Ships
Bulk Carriers 2014
With hundreds of bulk carrier shots taken over the years, this page shows only a small number of examples from my collection. I now intend to cover individual vessels with their own entries as they appear. Meantime, here are some bulkers that visited the Clyde in 2014, the most recent first...
Around midday on 9 November, Hong Kong-flagged Hai Lu made her way upriver to Shieldhall. She had sailed from San Lorenzo in Argentina via Belfast where she`d dropped off the first batch of animal feed with the rest destined to help Scottish cattle through the winter. Conditions were superb with sunny skies and not a breath of wind so I wandered over the fields adjacent to Newshot Island to catch her passing the Titan Crane at Clydebank.
A flock of 30+ Redwings were feeding on the berry laden trees next to the reed bed while nearby several hundred geese had settled on the grass, all taking flight as soon as they spotted me, possibly having mistaken my telephoto lens for a shotgun - with Christmas just around the corner they can`t be too careful! A flock of Lapwings were flushed from their roost over on the Dalmuir side as Hai Lu approached.
The fields weren`t nearly as flooded as I`d expected after so many recent prolonged spells of rain and the large pools provided some photogenic reflections.
Just upriver, the Russian tanker Ierax, which arrived on 4 November, was still at Rothesay Dock. Most of the tankers visiting the Clydebank Oil Terminal are in and away within 24 hours.
Hai Lu dates from 2004 and is a product of Imabari Shipbuilding of Marugame, Japan. She is currently managed and owned by Cosco Qingdao of Qingdao, China. Dimensions are 224 metres-long with a gross tonnage of 39736 tons (76629 tons dwt). She was originally named Nord Mercury, then in January 2008 she was renamed Avoca. She has been sailing as Hai Lu since February 2012.
On 14 November 2014, despite a miserable morning, the rain stopped, the wind speed dropped to zero and the skies cleared so I took the opportunity to photograph Hai Lui`s afternoon departure from the Erskine Bridge. According to her AIS destination she was now bound for Murmansk. Earlier, before things brightened up, I saw several Roe Deer feeding at the edge of the Newshot Island Nature Reserve. They weren`t as shy as usual which allowed me to get a few grainy shots with my compact camera before they darted off.
The exceptionally mild temperatures had fooled the gorse pushing through the fence of the Erskine Bridge`s pedestrian walkway into blooming, obviously erroneously sensing that springtime was here already.
There were even a few midges in the air, catching the last rays as the sun gradually dipped toward the horizon. Svitzer`s Ayton Cross and Anglegarth escorted the huge bulk carrier downriver, rippling the almost perfect reflection.
Sun Vil II
The heavy rain began just as the Cayman Islands-registered Sun Vil II sailed into view under the Erskine Bridge on the afternoon of 3 October. A Kingfisher flew by, skimming the water, right below me at Park Quay as the bulker sailed past, then a few minutes later, darted by in the opposite direction towards Newshot Island, soon disappearing out of sight.
Svitzer`s Ayton Cross, Anglegarth and Milford escorted the huge ship upriver to Shieldhall and helped her berth. Sun Vil II was built in Japan in 2013 and is owned and managed by Athens-based Equinox Marine.
Two Danish Navy warships, Frigates HDMS Peter Willemoes (F362) and Hvidbjoernen (F360), (Polar Bear in Danish), both participants in the forthcoming Joint Warrior (JW142) NATO exercise, were in the adjacent KGV Dock. The `Polar Bear` had arrived the previous day, while Peter Willemoes arrived today around lunchtime.
June 23: Early this morning the Glensanda-based bulk carrier CSL Thames left Shieldhall after a brief overnight visit to Glasgow to discharge aggregates. I took these shots just after she passed under the Erskine Bridge. Svitzer Milford tagged on at the stern to escort her down to the Tail of the Bank off Greenock.
Bulk Carrier EGS Crest, which arrived at Glasgow`s KGV Dock from Ravenna, Italy, in the early hours of Wednesday 18 June left on the afternoon of the 20th, conveniently reaching Erskine at half-time during the Costa Rica v Italy World Cup game. I headed down to snatch a few photos just after the Central American team scored what turned out to be the winning goal.
EGS Crest was built in South Korea in 2011 and is owned by LMS Ship Management of New Orleans, USA, however, she`s managed by Hong Kong based Wallem Ship Management. She flies under the Marshall Islands` flag. Clyde Clipper was heading in the opposite direction and slowed up at Newshot Island as the 175 metre-long vessel passed on her way to Bilbao in Spain. Ayton Cross took the lead with Svitzer Milford on the stern.
On the evening of 9 May, Shieldhall-bound bulker CSL Clyde passed Arklow Freedom, one of the distinctive green and white coasters of the vast Arklow fleet, close to Dumbarton Rock. The Arklow vessel had just left Glasgow and was on her way to Bayonne in France. Once again, I chose the convenient location of the Riverside walkway at Erskine to catch the bulker on her way upriver. She returned to her base at the Glensanda Quarry the following day.
Panamanian-flagged Union Anton left Shieldhall early evening on 8 May, and made her way down the Clyde escorted by tugs Bruiser and Ayton Cross. One of the local Magpies was engaged in a bin raid at Erskine`s Riverside Walkway car park as the ship sailed into view!
The 175 metre-long bulk carrier was built in 2010 at Hakodate Dock, Japan, and is currently owned and managed by Union Commercial who are based in Athens, Greece. She had delivered animal feed from the city of Nikolaev in Southern Ukraine and was heading down the Firth to await further orders. By 9pm the following evening, she was making steady progress northward and was passing the west coast of Harris in the Outer Hebrides.
Shortly before Union Anton set off from Shieldhall, the coaster Joy passed Newshot Island, arriving light from Waterford.
On 1 May, the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier King Milo sailed under the Erskine Bridge on her way to Shieldhall to discharge the remainder of her cargo of animal feed at the city docks. She had sailed from San Lorenzo in Argentina via Belfast. The 225 metre-long vessel was built in 2012 by Oshima Shipbuilding of Saikai, Japan, and is currently owned and operated by Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Ore Transport.
The weather was superb on Sunday 23 March and ideal for a drive along the Clyde Coast. First stop was the Haylie Brae above Largs where a short path from the parking area leads to a viewpoint overlooking the town providing a wide-ranging panorama over the Firth, its islands and hills. A UK Border Agency Cutter was heading slowly south past Great Cumbrae. The gorse was starting to bloom and Skylarks were singing overhead, above the path.
The only vessel at the Hunterston ore terminal was the Cypriot owned and managed bulk carrier Orient Champion. With a gross tonnage of almost 64,000t (115,000 dwt), she was built in 2010 by New Century Shipbuilding of Jingjiang, China. Further south, several other large bulkers were anchored in Irvine Bay awaiting their slot.
March 15: The latest bulk carrier to call in at Glasgow with animal feed is Bianco Venture, having travelled from the Port of Constanța in Romania, via Istanbul and Belfast. I may have walked onto the Erskine Bridge to catch the visitor passing underneath had the weather been better but Park Quay was handy on such a grey day.
Sailing under a Panamanian flag, this vessel was built in 2004 by Oshima Shipbuilding, Saikai, Japan, and was originally named Bianco Pescadores. She received her current identity in 2007 and is now owned and managed by Bidsted, a Danish company. The `Venture is 175 metres long with a Gross Tonnage of 19,828t (33,773dwt). A few raindrops made their way onto the lens before I noticed!
On 2 March, UK-flagged Graig Rotterdam sailed under the Erskine Bridge on her way to Shieldhall. She was built in 2012 by the Jiangdong Shipyard, Wuhu, China. The vessel is 180 metres long with a gross tonnage of 24,187t, 34,898dwt. She is currently owned and operated by Graig Ship Management of Cardiff.
Svitzer Tugs assigned to assist with the bulker`s arrival were Ayton Cross and Anglegarth. The water level was quite high with much of the usually accessible ground at the old Erskine Harbour mouth flooded over. Sailing in the opposite direction, heading back to Greenock, was passenger ferry Island Princess.
March 1 2014: This afternoon, the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Cape Elise finally arrived at Greenock`s Inchgreen Repair Quay for a full inspection. The 289 metre-long vessel, with 21 crew on board, had lost her main steerage in heavy seas off Ireland en route to Hunterston with a cargo of 164,740 tonnes of coal in early February. She was eventually taken under tow by Anchor Handling Tug UOS LIberty but continual stormy weather in the Atlantic resulted in very slow progress. After discharging her load at Hunterston, she was towed up the Firth on Thursday 27 February and temporarily dropped anchor off Greenock.
In this `bow-on` shot from the James Watt Dock, below, the Invergordon-based Tug Kestrel can be seen, in between the local tugs, assisting with the move. She headed home once the huge bulker was safely tied up.
Below: Following the necessary repairs, Cape Elise was due to depart Inchgreen on the afternoon of Sunday 23 March. I intended to get a few distant shots from Lyle Hill as she sailed past, however, there was a delay of around an hour so I settled for another batch from ground-level.
A brief stop at Inchgreen revealed that the attendant tugs, namely Svitzer`s Ayton Cross, Anglegarth and Milford, plus Serco Marine`s SD Reliable and SD Resourceful, were all in place and crewmen were standing by to release the mooring ropes but there was still no movement. I didn`t hang around and typically, the huge bulker set off soon after I left, bound for the Puerto Drummond Coal Terminal in Columbia.
This is Glasgow-bound Interlink Verity photographed from the Riverside Walkway at Erskine around 1pm on February 18 2014. The vessel, which is registered in the Marshall Islands, is currently owned and operated by Mid Atlantic Bulk Carriers of Hamilton, Bermuda. She had sailed from the Romanian Black Sea Port of Constantza to deliver a cargo of maize.
Relatively new, Interlink Verity was built in 2012 by Huatai Heavy Industry in Nantong, China, and has a gross tonnage of 24,168 (37,163 dwt). A trio of local tugs escorted the 190 metre-long bulker upriver while the Port Tender Torch followed on behind.
Merchant traffic east of Greenock had been fairly light since the turn of year, apart from the bulkers delivering animal feed to the KGV Dock. The latest, Ionic, sailed upriver on what was a typically wet and grey winter`s afternoon on 21 January. The Port Tender Torch had been working on this stretch of the Clyde and tucked herself in against the north bank at Bowling Harbour to allow the large vessel and attendant tugs to pass.
The 34,456 gross tonne (58,468 dwt) Greek owned bulk carrier was another new one, having been built the previous year by a South Korean shipyard and was making her first visit to the Clyde. Anglegarth was tied on at the stern. The other tugs involved in the operation were Svitzer Milford and Ayton Cross.
January 13: Hong-Kong-flagged Bulk Carrier Genco Reliance made an early morning departure today, passing Park Quay at Erskine just after sunrise. She had arrived at Shieldhall after dark on 10 January so there was no chance of a photo on her way in.
New York based Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd transports iron ore, coal, grain, steel products and other dry-bulk cargoes worldwide. Excluding the vessels listed under their subsidiary Baltic Trading Ltd, they own a fleet of 53 vessels with a combined aggregate carrying capacity of approximately 3,812,000 dwt. Baltic Trading operates an additional fleet of 9 dry-bulk carriers.
Ayton Cross and Svitzer Milford escorted Genco Reliance downriver as far as the Tail of the Bank and left her to continue on to her next port of call, Herøya, a peninsula in the municipality of Porsgrunn, Norway. It takes its name from the Norwegian word for hare due to the huge number of these animals that once inhabited the region.
Riad Ahmedov (below) appeared later in the morning bound for Glasgow with more animal feed. She was built in 2007 by the Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, and currently sails under a Maltese flag.
January 6: Another bulk carrier on another wet and windy day: The 225 metre-long Panamanian-flagged CMB Sakura made her way upriver early this afternoon after weathering recent storms anchored in the Outer Firth off Troon. I took these shots from Park Quay at Erskine and although the water level was far higher than usual the current wasn`t excessive. Any higher or faster though and I wouldn`t have opted for this spot, even wearing wellies due to the wash generated by such a huge ship. Another photographer was at the other side of the quay on the walkway.
CMB Sakura, which was the first bulker to visit Glasgow in 2014, has a gross tonnage of 38,891 tons (75,765 Dwt) and was built in 2006 by Sanoyas Mizushima Shipyard, Kurashiki, Japan. She is owned and operated by Toshin Kisen / East Bulk Shipping of Imbari, Japan.
Construction work was ongoing at the Dalmuir Sewage Works on the opposite side of the river. Thanks to the sterling efforts of these guys and their predecessors, the days of `unmashed` deposits entering the Clyde to prove a danger to shipping are long-gone!
Following the atrocious weather over the New Year period, the departure of Panamanian-flagged bulker Pretty Ivy was delayed until 5 January.
The spring tides, combined with gales and long periods of heavy rain during the 2013/2014 Festive Season caused major flooding, disrupting transport throughout the UK with Wales and Southern England being particularly hard hit.
The 180 metre-long bulk carrier was the last ship to visit Glasgow in 2013 having made her way up the Clyde early on the morning of 29 December while it was still too dark for a photo. She had arrived from the Ukrainian port of Odessa on the Black Sea having discharged part of her cargo of animal feed at Dublin before continuing to Scotland.
Unusually, with two of Clyde Marine`s tugs engaged with the arrival of a tanker at the Finnart Oil Terminal on Loch Long, one of SERCO Marine`s tugs, SD Dependable, made her way to the city to assist Ayton Cross and enable Pretty Ivy to get underway before the weather deteriorated again. This is the first time that I`ve seen a SERCO vessel, usually exclusively involved in MOD work, assist with a non-military movement but it`s good to know that the crews will help out their Clyde Marine counterparts if and when commitments allow.
Pretty Ivy was closely followed by Cement Carrier Cemisle, a regular visitor to the KGV Dock. She was heading for Dublin. Her passing didn`t interrupt a labrador`s fun at the old Erskine Ferry slipway. He can be seen swimming back clutching his ball firmly in his teeth on the right of the following shot.