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.
Sunday 21 January 2018: Unfortunately it was too dark to capture African Lunde, the first bulk carrier to visit the city docks this year, on Friday 12 January when she made her way upriver just before first light. The weather wasn`t too favourable when she got underway on the afternoon of Sunday the 21st but I managed a few grey shots as she passed the Titan Crane at Clydebank in the rain. The tugs had been waiting at Shieldhall for a couple of hours before African Lunde was ready to sail by which time the heavy snow, which caused Glasgow Airport to close for a short time until the runway was cleared, had turned to a persistent drizzle.
African Lunde is a fairly new vessel having been built in 2014 and had delivered animal feed from San Lorenzo, Argentina. As is often the case with these deliveries, she had stopped-off at Belfast en route for a partial discharge of cargo. On her way out to sea, the bulker passed the inbound Panamanian-flagged cargo ship Y.Dadayli at Dumbarton Rock but it was too dark for a shot of the smaller vessel by the time she reached Erskine.
African Lunde is just a fraction under 200 metres long with a gross tonnage of 34,769 (61,320 dwt) and currently sails under the flag of Singapore. She is one of JebMur Shipping`s fleet of bulk carriers which range from 25,000 to 55,000 dwt in size. JebMur was formed in 2008 when Transpac teamed up with Dubai based MUR and the operator`s vessels make frequent sailings between North America, the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand as well as visiting other locations around the globe. A wide range of cargoes including fertilisers, sulphur, rice, scrap, soda ash, steel products, coal, sugar and various types of ores are regularly transported. African Lunde`s next port of call after Glasgow was Dunkirk, France.
I`ve included a short video clip for the first time, shot hand-held with my new bridge camera therefore it`s a bit sticky and shaky in places. Hopefully the quality will improve as the year goes on, especially if the weather`s decent enough to set up a tripod. It can be surprisingly difficult to find free royalty-free music for use on personal websites but fortunately my video editing program has a few suitable tracks available.
Monday 29 January 2018: Panamanian-flagged Kmarin Busan made her way up the Firth of Clyde overnight and continued upriver on the morning high tide, reaching Dumbarton Rock just as dawn broke. It wasn`t a bad start weather-wise but with a shower potentially spoiling shots as she sailed past Erskine, I sheltered under the bridge and initially caught her from there. Her slow progress allowed me just enough time to get to the riverside walkway near the Bridgewater Shopping Centre before she drew level.
This bulk carrier is a relatively new vessel having been built in 2014 in China by Jiangsu Hantong Ship Heavy Industry at Tongzou. Like the majority of these vessels that visit the Clyde these days, she is 200 metres long but brought animal feed to Shieldhall from the Port of Dumai, a city located on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, rather from South America which seems to be the usual source. She had called in at Amsterdam en route.
As advertised in huge letters on her hull, Kmarin Busan is owned by South Korean company KMARIN and managed by Pusan-based Dongjin Intec. KMARIN`s primary role is supporting global energy and as of May 2017, the fleet consists of 49 vessels including 4 Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carriers, 4 VLCC Supertankers (Very Large Crude Carriers) plus 13 conventional tankers. Twenty-nine bulk carriers and 3 container ships are also on the inventory and many of the company`s vessels are regularly chartered out to cargo owners and other international operators. KMARIN`s website is worth a look, plus it has the facility to see the current whereabouts of all their ships: www.kmaringroup.com.
On Sunday 11 March 2018, Yeoman Bank delivered aggregates from Glensanda Quarry to the Shieldhall docks. She is one several large `Yeoman`bulkers based at the super quarry on the west side of Loch Linnhe on Scotland`s West Coast. The `Super Quarry`, which has been in operation since 1982, is owned and managed by the Aggregate Industries group and lies within the 2,400 hectare Glensanda Estate on the Morven peninsula.
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 each time 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.
Glensanda`s ocean-going bulk carrier fleet transports up to 6,000,000 tons of granite aggregates 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. In these shots, taken in October this year from the Oban - Mull ferry, Yeoman Bontrup, (below) had dropped anchor offshore while waiting to berth at the super quarry. Sister ship Yeoman Bridge (above) was alongside the quay, loading up.
The Bulk Carrier Pomorze was snapped as she passed Newshot Island at Erskine on the afternoon of Friday 23 March 2018. She was built in China in 2008, a product of Xingang Heavy Industry, Tianjin, and currently sails under the flag of the Bahamas. She is owned and managed by Polish company Polsteam and was bringing animal feed to Glasgow from the Ukrainian port of Odessa on the Black Sea. Her passage disturbed fairly large flocks of Wigeon and unidentified small waders at the reed bed which took to the air to find a quieter roost.
This summer's prolonged heatwave has devastated crops across Europe, leaving some countries facing their worst harvests since the end of the Second World War. The searing weather, especially in central and eastern Europe, has forced countries that usually export food to import it for the first time in decades. It means that with UK wheat crops already down 12%, the price of bread and associated products will likely soar, plus British dairy and sheep farmers will have to try and source animal feed for the coming winter from further afield.
With the crops failing, stockpiles of grain are being used up early in an effort to keep the animals alive. Although Scotland is not as badly hit as other parts of the UK, we`re likely to see in increased number of bulk carriers on the Clyde bringing animal feed for distribution during the second half of the year. Federal Ruhr, made her way upriver to Shieldhall around midday on Friday 27 June, with supplies from Montreal, Canada. Registered in the Marshall Islands, she is a fairly new vessel having been built just last year.
Xin Xiang Hai
Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Xin Xiang Hai appeared on the Upper Clyde just after first light on the morning of Monday 19 November, bound for Glasgow`s KGV Dock with a cargo of animal feed. Her journey had originated in the Port of New Orleans, USA, but she had part discharged her load at the Port of Bristol in England before sailing north. The 190 metre-long vessel was built in 2013 and has sailed under the following names prior to her current identity being allocated as a result of the latest change of ownership: Xin Xi, Huantong, Wanhuoqiu and Xil Xiangohai.
It was a very gloomy start to the day with overcast skies and some light drizzle but there was just enough light for a few grainy pictures by the time she reached the mouth of the River Cart. The Titan Crane, on the site of the world famous John Brown`s Clydebank shipyard, can be seen above with the entrance to the town`s Rothesay Dock pictured below.
These shots were taken slightly upriver at the Braehead Shopping Centre. The latest Royal Navy OPV HMS Trent (below left) is being fitted out at BAE Systems Scotstoun yard while her sister ship HMS Medway is currently out in the Firth of Clyde on sea trials. The adjacent photo shows Svitzer tug Anglegarth at the entrance to the KGV Dock, waiting to assist with the bulker`s arrival. Xin Xiang Hai left the Clyde late on Wednesday 21 November bound for the Tyne.
Federal Yukina brought a cargo of grain to Glasgow on Friday 21 December, the shortest day of the year. Typically for Scotland, the weather on the run-up to Christmas was dismal with overcast skies and heavy rain. Even though she passed Erskine about 09:30 hrs it was very gloomy requiring a high ISO number to get usable shots.
There are now a dozen Clydesdales overwintering in the field next to the Riverside Walkway, just north of Bridgewater Shopping Centre. The hungry horses do okay with treats throughout the year but they look forward to lots of additional munchies during the Festive Season. Needless to say this one was disappointed when she saw that my bag only contained a camera!
Tidal action and wakes from passing vessels continues to erode the embankment all along this stretch of the River Clyde. This large section has now been swept away and it looks as though it won`t be long until the grass bordering the gravel track will disappear too. Although the situation has been steadily deteriorating over the past few years there hasn`t been much in the way of remedial work to repair the damage and prevent a recurrence.
Hong Kong-flagged Federal Yukina had sailed from Windsor, Ontario, via Montreal and was escorted upriver to Shieldhall on the last stage of her journey by a trio of local tugs. She was built in 2010 by Oshima Shipbuilding, Saikai, Japan, and is owned by Tokyo-based Daiichi Chuo Marine. She is a fraction under 200 metres in length and has a Gross tonnage of 20,465 tons (DWT 35,868 tons).