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.
Although several cargo vessels had called at the Glasgow docks since the turn of the year, Fri Porsgrunn, heading upriver on Wednesday 11 January 2017, was the first one I managed to catch on camera. The coaster had arrived light from Belfast and is seen here passing the Golden Jubilee Hospital at Dalmuir on her way to Diesel Wharf to uplift scrap metal. The weather was abysmal so I settled for this poor quality `record shot`from the house. A product of Peters Shipyard, Kampen, Netherlands, she was built in 2000 and initially named Polar Sea. In March 2004, this was changed to Bremer Reeder with her latest identity being allocated in August 2010. Owned and managed by Norwegian companies, she currently flies the flag of Gibraltar.
Monday 13 February: The first tanker I managed to photograph this year was Acacia Noir, an Asphalt / Bitumen transporter which currently sails under a Maltese flag. At 105 metres long and with a gross tonnage of 3,923gt (5,895 dwt), she is slightly smaller than most of the chemical / oil tankers that call in at the Rothesay Dock oil terminal.
Acacia Noir had sailed from Port Jerome in France and local tug CMS Warrior escorted her upriver from the Tail o` The Bank off Greenock to Clydebank.
My first bulk carrier photographed in 2017 was 190 metre-long Bora which sailed upriver to Glasgow on a hazy afternoon on Wednesday 15 February. She dates from 2010 and is a product of the Xinlian Shipbuilding Yard in Wuhu, China. From her IMO Number, (9413901) Bora was previously named Hermann Schoening and sailed under a Liberian flag but her home port is now listed as Limassol, Cyprus.
She is slightly smaller than many of the bulkers that visit the Upper Clyde nowadays and only two tugs, Svitzer Milford and CMS Warrior, were tasked with escorting the cargo vessel upriver and assisting her into her berth at Shieldhall. With conditions being a bit grey I didn`t venture too far and just walked across the fields on the south side of the river to Newshot Island.
There were plenty of gulls and around 30-40 Wigeon, most roosting at the water`s edge and hidden from view until the last minute by the overhanging bank, a serious problem due to erosion. They along with a few Cormorants and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser took flight as the ship approached. Bora had sailed to the Clyde from Dumai, Indonesia, with a cargo of animal feed in the form of palm kernels.
Sunday 19 February 2017: BBC Chartering`s BBC Bahrain sailed past Erskine harbour Just before midday with a deck full of wind turbine components from Campbeltown. Around the same time, management at the CS Wind factory on the Kintyre peninsula which makes the parts informed workers that up to 60 jobs could be lost due to lack of orders. That equates to more than a third of the 150-strong workforce and would be a major blow to the area. The South Korean company had taken over the site on the former RAF Machrihanish airbase less than a year ago and promised to create new jobs. It`s unclear whether the construction of a new factory to build offshore wind power equipment would still go ahead.
BBC Bahrain was constructed in 2012 by Shandon Baibuting Shipbuilding at Rongcheng, China, and is currently owned and managed by a German company although she sails under the flag of Antigua & Barbuda. The 128 metre-long vessel departed the Clyde mid-afternoon on a murky Tuesday 21 February bound for Fenit, a port situated on the north side of Tralee Bay in southwest Ireland.
No stranger to the Clyde, Danish-flagged tanker Ternvag is pictured here on Monday 13 March heading for the oil terminal at Rothesay Dock. She was delivering grades from Brofjorden, Sweden, and was assisted on the last leg of her journey by tugs Bruiser and Svitzer Anglegarth.
The Maltese-flagged bulker Elefsis (IMO: 9118678) made her way up the Clyde on Sunday 19 March with a cargo of animal feed from San Lorenzo, Argentina, having called in at Belfast en route. Built in 1997, she is just under 225 metres in length with a Gross Tonnage of 38,852 (Dwt 72,873). She was initially named Maratha Memory, but this was changed to King Arthur in 2002, then King Coal in 2005. She received her current identity in April 2013.
Below: After a relatively short stay, Elefsis left the city docks on Tuesday 21 March in the afternoon sunshine. There had been a light dusting of snow first thing with greater amounts causing some disruption on the roads elsewhere but it had all but melted from the Kilpatrick Hills by the time the vessel appeared at Erskine. Svitzer`s Ayton Cross and Milford accompanied her as far as Greenock and left her to continue on to Dublin. her next port of call.
Heading for Greenock`s Clydeport terminal on Friday 24 March, RMS Veritas, a Clyde regular, was snapped from Gourock while I was down photographing naval vessels involved in Exercise Joint Warrior. It had been yet another very mild winter and only a dusting of now remained on the Cowal and Luss Hills which forms a scenic backdrop to this stretch of coastline. It doesn`t look as though there was much free deck space on the container ship on this occasion.
This is the Greek-registered bulk carrier Atlantic Eagle passing the Newshot island reed bed at Erskine in the early morning rain on Wednesday 21 June on her way to Shieldhall with animal feed. The `Eagle dates from 2001 and is a product of the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering yard at Geoje, South Korea. The vessel is owned by Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management, based in Athens. She had sailed from San Lorenzo, Argentina, calling in at Belfast en route for a partial discharge of her cargo.
Local Svitzer tugs Ayton Cross, Milford and Anglegarth escorted the bulk carrier Andante upriver from the Tail o` the Bank off Gourock around midday on Thursday 10 August, after she had dropped anchor in Brodick Bay overnight. At 229 metres in length with a gross tonnage of 44,544 (81,615Dwt), she is the largest vessel to appear on the Upper Clyde for a while and brought animal feed to the city docks in preparation for the coming winter. Andante dates from 2012 having been built by SPP Shipbuilding at Tongyoung, South Korea, and currently lists Nassau in the Bahamas as her home port.
Thursday 17 August 2017: Eckert Oldendorff made her way upriver this afternoon as rain was bouncing off the pavements, therefore I settled for this shot taken from the shelter of the car as she passed Newshot Island. The 180 metre-long vessel is the second bulker to deliver animal feed to the Glasgow docks this month with Andante leaving Shieldhall on the previous high tide early this morning.
Eckert Oldendorff had begun her voyage at the Port of New Orleans, USA, and had called in at Newport, Wales, for a partial discharge of her cargo before heading north into Scottish waters. She had spent several days anchored in Brodick Bay before a couple of local tugs, Ayton Cross (above) and Anglegarth, escorted her on the last stage of her journey and saw her safely into berth. Eckert Oldendorff is owned and managed by Oldendorff Carriers of Lubeck, Germany, and currently sails under a Maltese flag. She was built by a Chinese shipyard in 2014.
Sunday 3 September 2017: Built in 2012, by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea, bulk carrier Jaguar Max currently flies the flag of The Bahamas. I`d imagine that the weather would have been much better in Nassau than it was here this morning. I caught the bulk carrier below overcast skies as she passed under the Erskine Bridge accompanied upriver on the last stage of her journey by three Greenock-based tugs.
It`s strange how your mind wanders while trying to pass the time waiting for your subject to appear - this plastic number was lying near the water`s edge at the old Erskine harbour and immediately reminded me of the Jimi Hendrix hit from the late Sixties `If Six was Nine`.
The 229 meter-long vessel has a Gross Tonnage of 44,326 tons (DWT 81,309 tons) and is owned and managed by Athens-based Enterprise Shipping & Trading. She had brought animal feed from San Lorenzo in Argentina, calling in at Belfast en route for a partial discharge of her cargo.
Following on behind was HMS Forth (P222) which was returning from her first set of sea trials. She is the first of three new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) being built by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy. The 90 metre-long warship is based on a proven BAE Systems design which is already in service with the Brazilian Navy and Royal Thai Navy. The patrol ships will provide accommodation for 60 personnel, including a crew of 34. An additional 50 embarked troops or passengers can also be carried. The flight deck at the aft has been upgraded to operate the latest Merlin helicopters and the patrol ships will be equipped with two Pacific 24 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). It is expected that HMS Forth will be delivered to the Royal Navy sometime towards the end of this year.
Around the same time that HMS Forth was berthing at Scotstoun, RFA Wave Ruler (A390), was arriving at the MOD jetty on Loch Striven. Coincidentally, I managed to photograph the Wave-class fast fleet tanker on the Upper Clyde when she was heading downriver to start her sea trials back in August 2005. As can be seen, the weather was far better that day.
This is Dance (IMO: 9360972) plus one at Greenock`s Clydeport Ocean Terminal on a sunny Friday 29 September 2017. Built in 2006, the former container ship then sailed under a Portuguese flag. As of summer 2020, she is now operating as 3 Oak, the new identity probably due to a change of ownership. I don`t know the name of the other vessel.
Tuesday 3 October 2017: Despite appearances, Seabreeze (IMO 9143312) is listed as a General Cargo Ship rather than a Bulk Carrier and like most of them visiting Glasgow, she was carrying animal feed. She arrived on the Upper Clyde on a bright but aptly breezy morning and I snapped her en route to Shieldhall in between warships vacating the KGV Dock, as she passed Newshot island at Erskine. Various naval vessels taking part in the second of this year`s Joint Warrior military exercises (JW 172) had berthed over the preceding weekend to give their crews some shore leave and a Spanish Frigate and four Mine Countermeasure Vessels had delayed their departure until today.
Seabreeze dates from 1996 and is a product of Sekwang Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea. She was originally named Brother Ace which was changed to Tien Hau in January 2003 and received her current identity in April 2011. She is currently owned and managed by Trans Services Maritime which is based at Sevastopol in the Ukraine. She had sailed from Yuzhne, a port city in Odessa Oblast in the south-west of the country.
Several species of birds were roosting beside the riverbank and on the weir beside the Newshot Island reedbed including Lapwing, Redshank, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Cormorant and Grey Heron. The tree-line at the south edge of the inlet provided cover and the chilled-out birds on the weir never budged while I was there. Blue Tits and a small flock of Long-tailed Tits were flitting between the berry-laden branches but were too fast to photograph.