Solway Shipping    


The news and views of the latest events along the Solway Coast



 SILLOTH         "Zapadnyy" 9th Aug.            
SOLWAY FIRTH PARTNERSHIP      news from around the Solway
With things quiet on the local scene its a good time to check out the live webcam showing  FutureLand the huge Rotterdam container terminal.
Eight days after leaving Workington the convoy (see story below) arrived safely at Middlesbrough and the new home for the cranes at Smiths Dock where the unwanted machinery will be put to good use instead of slowly rusting away from neglect.
Pictures courtesy of John Whitwell and Eric Stamper.

The tug "MTS Indus" arrived towing the barge "Terra Marique" at Workington to remove the last two gantry or portal type cranes at the port, pictured below.  After 30 years in use at the port they have been sold to Middlesborough having been deemed unrequired now that the much smaller mobile type of cranes are used more these days. A short video I made in 2014 of the cranes in use can be found  HERE
With the cranes now loaded on board the "Terra Marique" moves into position in the channel for departure.
The tug "MTS Indus"  is connected securely for the departure on what is a sad and bleak day in the history of the port and leaves only one small mobile crane to unload ship's and a heavy lift crane bought for container traffic which is also under used and who's future must be debatable also. Other yellow coloured mobile cranes on the dockside belong to contractors who use them to unload the numerous ships bringing timber and logs.
The spectacle was watched all along the shore line
A final view as the convoy heads south for the 600 mile journey to the north east port.
An amazing amount of timber for the nearby paper mill (seen on the left of the picture) is slowly but surely becoming quite a feature on the local landscape. Starting behind the black rimmed tank and stretching around the port of Workington onto the right. There must be many thousands  of logs waiting for use as fuel for the mills bio mass boiler to produce power and for use in the manufacture of paper board.
Despite a dredger clearing the entrance channel to the port of Workington in July last year a significant amount of silt is starting to build up again especially over the bar near to the pierhead.
A pilot is an essential part of the maritime scene but probably for most people an essential part they are totally unaware of. Pilot's are highly skilled people, usually ex ships captains, with a deep knowledge of the local ports navigation situation where they are working.
All ships, apart from ones exempted for various reasons, are required to have a pilot on board when entering or leaving a port. To get these pilot's on board the ships specially designed vessels are used, or in some cases helicopters. These pilot boats come in various shapes and sizes but generally they have a high speed and an uncluttered deck with lots of handrails.
It can be a very dangerous job transferring the pilot and requires great skill on the pilot boat skipper, many pilots have been lost overboard during the transfer process so great care is required.
The pictures below show some of the various types of pilot boats in use in different countries.
Barcelona, Spain
Cagliari, Sardinia             
This one is unusual as it has a fixed ladder for the pilot on deck which doesn't require the pilot to board the usual way, that is, climbing a rope ladder attached to the ships side, the downside is that the fixed ladder would be more prone to swaying about in rough weather.
Cherbourg, France
Workington. UK     not all pilot boats are fast,  The "Derwent" doubles up as the port tug.
Gibraltar, UK
Pine Island, BC Canada, Inside Passage.
Ostend , Belgium
Lisbon, Portugal
Victoria BC  Canada
finally, Southampton UK

Local film maker Julia Parks has made an amazing short timelapse film of ships in the Solway Firth ports, watch it  here.

                                 To see more photo's of shipping in the Solway Firth don't forget to check   Cumbria Ship Photo's