As of summer 2020, any non-military nautical traffic photographed on the Clyde, including Fisheries Protection and Border Agency vessels, will be listed on a single Merchant Shipping page. A combination of less ships coming upriver to Clydebank or the Glasgow city docks, currently further reduced as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, and less opportunity for me to get out and snap any vessels that do appear, means that it`s no longer worthwhile creating individual pages each year for bulk carriers, tankers, container and general cargo ships etc. The vessels will be listed in chronological order with the most recent entry at the bottom of the page and links will be updated in due course.
There had been very little traffic on the upper Clyde since the turn of the year but on the afternoon of Wednesday 13 January, Princesse Oui, the first bulk carrier to visit Glasgow in 2016, made her way upriver. The Panamanian-flagged vessel had sailed from Nikolayev in the Ukraine with a hold full of animal feed having called in at Belfast en route.
Princesse Oui was a fairly new vessel having been completed in 2015 and has a Gross Tonnage of 21,185 tons (33,375 Dwt) with a length of 180 metres. She is currently operated by Hiroshima-based Hinode Kaiun KK, Japan. The usual trio of Svitzer tugs, Anglegarth, Milford and Ayton Cross, provided escort from the Tail o` the Bank off Greenock and assisted the `Oui to manoeuvre safely into her berth at Shieldhall.
Despite a clear and frosty morning, it had begun to cloud over by the time these vessels appeared. Following weeks of wet and windy weather, Scotland is now in for a long-overdue cold spell with some welcome sunshine. Hopefully the wintry conditions will encourage a wider variety of birds to come to our feeders. A couple of days ago a flock of 9 Yellowhammers, the most I`ve ever seen in the garden, swooped in to peck at some of the spilled seed.
The Chinese-built bulker Burgia had been scheduled to dock at Shieldhall on Sunday 7 February but the move was delayed until the following day due to gale force winds. She had been riding out the worst of the recent stormy weather in Arran`s Brodick Bay and sailed up to the Tail O` the Bank on the Sunday evening where she dropped anchor. Svitzer tugs Anglegarth, Milford and Ayton Cross escorted the 225 metre-long vessel upriver on Monday morning and assisted her into her allocated berth.
Operational since 2010, Burgia is a product of the Jes International shipyard, Jingjiang, and is currently owned and managed by a German company. She had brought animal feed from San Lorenzo in Argentina via Belfast on this occasion. Her next port of call was Hamburg. Typically, around 40 minutes after Burgia had passed under the Erskine Bridge the sky cleared and the low cloud began to break up, turning the Kilpatrick Braes into what would have been a striking backdrop.
Burgia headed back downriver on Monday 15 February under sunny skies. It was a superb Spring-like afternoon with next to no wind resulting in some nice reflections on the river. Conditions underfoot weren`t as bad as expected, quite surprising considering the vast amount of rainfall over the past couple of months. My sudden appearance disturbed a Heron that was trying his or her luck at the edge of the Newshot Island reed bed and there were around 150 geese in the adjacent fields which soon took to the air. I passed the time waiting for the bulker to appear by watching small flocks of Oystercatcher, Wigeon and Goldeneye flying past, most heading downriver.
Riverbank erosion along this stretch of the Clyde`s south bank was even more noticeable than last time I was here with large chunks of earth having been dislodged by tidal action. The river level was quite low, but with much of the remaining edge undercut, great care needs to be taken if venturing out here for photos around high water. The same Svitzer trio escorted Burgia to the Tail O` The Bank where the Pilot boat Gantock took over, following the big bulker down the Firth as far as the Cumbraes.
There had been a fair amount of maritime activity on the River Clyde during the last week in March with numerous vessels calling in and / or departing over the Easter holidays. Visitors to Glasgow included Ijsselborg, Nordik Erika, Aasfjord and cement carrier Cemisle, all of which ended up at the KGV Dock. Also on the south bank, Meteor and Antje K berthed at Shieldhall, while Perle, a coaster, filled up with scrap at Diesel Wharf on the opposite side of the River.
Meteor left Glasgow on Tuesday 29 March and I managed a few shots as she passed Erskine. Abis Breskens, with a deck full of wind turbine components, sailed up from the Tail o` The Bank off Greenock to slot into the berth vacated by the bulk carrier. I assumed the wee tug Biter was making its way upriver to assist the Dutch cargo vessel on its arrival at Shieldhall.
Meteor was built in 2010 by Oshima Shipbuilding, Japan. She is owned and managed by Hamburg-based Orion Bulkers and currently sails under a Liberian flag. She had delivered animal feed from San Lorenzo in Argentina, calling in at Belfast en route. The bulker, almost 225 metres in length with a gross tonnage of just under 43,000 tons (82,589 Dwt), was escorted by Svitzer Tugs Ayton Cross and Anglegarth. Meteor was bound for Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands.
Pictured here at the Clydeport container terminal at Greenock on Tuesday 16 May are the container ship Nicolas Delmas and general cargo vessel Spaarnegracht. The latter vessel left for Baltimore shortly after this shot was taken. Nicolas Delmas, a product of the CSBC shipyard at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, dates from 2002 and is registered in the Bahamas.
18 May 2016: It had been a while since I`d cycled over to Bowling and set off in the morning while it was still dry. However, it was raining by the time I`d reached the Erskine Bridge. I arrived at the canal basin just as Ronez, a small cement carrier, sailed into view, heading for the KGV Dock with a cargo from Brunsbuttel in Germany. She was built in 1982 by Netherlands company Scheepswerf Van Goor.
Wu Zhu Hai
On Tuesday 17 May 2016, Wu Zhu Hai headed upriver to Shieldhall on the morning high tide. She had deposited the first part of her cargo, which I presume was animal feed from South America, at Belfast en route. There was a nice reflection at Erskine harbour which lasted until the first of the escorting tugs sailed past. Wu Zhu Hai was built in 2008 by the Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard Group and sails under a Chinese flag. She is currently owned and managed by Cosco Bulk Carriers.
Along at Braehead, the Glasgow City Council workboat St Mungo had just tied up at the jetty. The bulker`s captain, Clyde pilots, and tug crews teamed up for an impressive 3-point turn, using the KGV Dock to pivot the 225 metre-long Wu Zhu Hai round and face the opposite direction before coming alongside the wharf.
Another product of Japan`s Oshima Shipping, the bulk carrier Federal Yukon is pictured here passing a few chilled-out horses at Erskine on September 15 after vacating her berth at Shieldhall. She had sailed from Montreal, Canada, and delivered animal feed, thought to be wheat, in preparation for the coming winter. Autumn usually sees several of these large vessels arriving with similar cargoes. The local horses didn`t seem too impressed with her passing and three remained fast asleep, even when I walked into the field.
Tuesday 1 November 2016 was a superb day with no wind and a clear, almost cloudless sky. The bulk carrier Santa Francesca and general cargo ship Eastern Virage both made their way upriver around midday. Had the vessels showed earlier, they would have made an impressive sight sailing under the Erskine Bridge where a stretch of low-lying mist was created by the rising sun as it warmed the river.
Santa Francesca is registered in the Marshall Islands and is a shiny new ship, having been built just this year. She is 200 metres-long and has a deadweight of 61,250 tonnes with a gross tonnage of 34,810. The bulker was overtaken by Eastern Virage near Dumbarton Rock. The faster moving coaster, which dates from 2012, now sails under a British flag and was bound for Rothesay Dock with a hold full of soda ash from Gdansk, Poland. She is a product of the Bijlsma Shipyard at Lemmer, Netherlands, and was originally named just Virage.
Santa Francesca had sailed from Dumai, a city in Riau province on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The vessel made stops at Amsterdam and Dublin discharging animal feed there before she reached the Clyde to unload the remainder at Shieldhall. As usual, a trio of Greenock-based Svitzer tugs escorted the huge ship on the last leg of her journey to the city docks and assisted her in berthing safely, She stayed until Saturday 5 November, and headed back to Dublin before the fireworks started - a few hours later an she`d have passed the public event taking place below Dumbarton Castle which would have made a fine send-off.
On the morning of Saturday 12 November, Svitzer tugs Ayton Cross, Anglegarth and Milford accompanied the Liberian-flagged bulker Agia Pisti upriver from Greenock. The 225 metre-long vessel had sailed from San Lorenzo in Argentina calling in at Belfast en route to deposit animal feed for the coming winter.
I caught the procession from the Riverside Walkway at Erskine just before the rain came on. Agia Pisti has a deadweight of 72,493 tonnes and was built in 1999. The gross tonnage is 37,689.
This burst ball at the water`s edge was a painful reminder of Scotland`s World Cup qualifying hopes after a disastrous 3-0 defeat by the `Auld Enemy` England at Wembley yesterday. Not really a surprise though!
After a couple of aborted departures, possibly due a technical issue, Agia Pisti finally sailed from Glasgow around high water, late afternoon on Monday 22 November. I had intended to get a few shots from the bridge but, unfortunately she reached Erskine as the light began to fade. Next port of call was Klaipeda, Lithuania.
The last bulk carrier to visit the Glasgow docks in 2016 was Glensanda-based Yeoman Bank which appeared on the morning of Wednesday 28 December escorted by CMS Warrior and Ayton Cross. The former tug, tied on at the front of the ship, was travelling upriver stern-first, the first time I`d seen this occurring here. Conditions were fairly calm leading to a decent reflection not only on the river, but in the flooded pools in the adjacent fields.
This 205 metre-long self discharging bulker was delivering aggregates from the remote Glensanda `Super Quarry`which is located on the Morven peninsula, on western side of Loch Linnhe. The site, which has been in operation since 1982, is operated by the Aggregate Industries group. Granite is mined from Meall na h-Easaiche, a coastal mountain and 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 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.
At least one of the Glensanda-based vessels usually makes a visit to Glasgow each year.