Monday, 23 January 2017

Featuring all the ships that come and go and work at the Port of Dover with further coverage of Ramsgate, Calais, Dunkerque.. to send SEA NEWS pix or info.... or click ADD YOUR COMMENT below to post direct, no membership needed. Use our SEARCH ENGINE below to find all sorts on the SEA NEWS pages..more than 170 now with more than 3333 nautical posts. Posts welcome. Max of 5 pictures preferred per post. Sea News Editor Paul Boland.

Sea News Dover : Refit News from P&O see below 3413. - A strong future for cargo at Dover see 3374 - DFDS: the 50 year old apprentice..nice story, see 3407 - Two National Awards for P&O see 3405 - also see 3390 as the Port construction moves forward.
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Post 3418
  Sea News, Dover
As I write we are in the grip of thick fog. The lonely wailing pulse shudders out across the harbour in the freezing conditions and the occasional foghorn sounds in the far distance. Visibilty zilch at the time of writing...

The picture above was taken yesterday sunday morning and shows the Dover Marina. It was a tad foggy/misty yesterday but not quite like today, and the picture shows the scene just as the mist was pulling away. In the distance you can see the Castle breaking into view.

Some interesting news now from our colleagues at the Port... Smiley

Record freight shows continuing importance of efficient UK-European trade flows

The Port of Dover has announced another record year of freight traffic as Rt Hon Theresa May MP took the first step to establishing the UK's future economic relationship with our biggest trading partner last week.

The Port handled 2.6 million freight vehicles in 2016 with freight volumes increasing by 32% in just the last four years.

"As we continue to handle more UK trade, the Port welcomes the prime minister's statement on the Government’s headline negotiating position for Brexit. Greater certainty of the broad parameters is a positive step forward," commented Tim Waggott, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover.

He added: "Any changes brought forward to the country's trading relationship need to be mindful of the UK's absolute need to maintain the rapid transit of goods and passengers through Dover and our sister ports on the European mainland.

"The Port and the CBI remain clear that a barrier-free relationship with the EU - our largest, closest and most important trading partner - must be a critical outcome of the negotiations to ensure we make a success of Brexit."


It is vital that we keep those ferries packed with freight going to the European Union.
The Port handles up to £119bn of trade or 17% of the UK’s trade in goods ( see also 3412 )

The arrival of the foggy weather below....

Many thanks Brendan for the post below. Glad you are liking what we do, we have lots more to come too. 55 cycle that's quite impressive.

Monday, 23 January 2017 - 06:25
Post 3417
  brendan charles mcdermott, 49 Cambridge Grove Road Kingston-upon-Thames (
i am a regular reader of your blog i love dover and spent many happy times there as a
lorry driver a holiday maker and about 55 cycle trips which i've made to europe in the last 10 years. best wishes to everyone regards brendan

Sunday, 22 January 2017 - 18:08
Post 3416
  Sea News, Dover
On sunday mornings the Dover Lifeboat comes out into the wider harbour, and oft times travels further beyond, working on all kinds of training sessions and of course making preparations for every type of eventuality. I expect they will be out in action again this morning. The picture below is from last week and is dedicated to the guys from all Lifeboats everywhere....
In the distance you can see one tugboat (Dauntless) and of course the Lord Warden House.

Sunday, 22 January 2017 - 07:21
Post 3415
  Sea News, Dover
Now a bit of light frivolity for a chilly January Saturday..
you will remember the ship-watching foxes we featured previously...
well here we are again.
This chap emerged from the freezing undergrowth yesterday friday to catch some warm rays on the cliff edge, just a short distance away...he warmed his bones under the high bright sun and sure who can blame him in this weather...
he drifted between ship watching and snoozing... with a bit of scratching and yawning thrown in..
Thanks Del, lots more exciting things to come for 2017Smiley

Saturday, 21 January 2017 - 07:43
Post 3414
  Del Styan, Norwich
3412 pic is just great. You should enter it for a competition!

Friday, 20 January 2017 - 23:24
Post 3413
  Sea News, Dover

Release time: immediate

P&O FERRIES will send a total of four ships from its North Sea and Short Sea fleets to the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk this season for major upgrades and re-fit work.

The ferry and logistics company has agreed contracts worth £14 million in total with the yard and other subcontractors, including Kent-based Hartman Marine Services Ltd for work on the engines, Derby-based Landmark Flooring and Manchester-based WDC Creative for the design of the on-board restaurants.

The 32,000-ton sister ships the Pride of York and the Pride of Bruges, which operate on the Hull-Zeebrugge route, will sail to Remontowa this week and next month respectively for major work on their physical infrastructure and passenger areas which will guarantee their future into the 2020's. The Pride of Canterbury and Pride of Burgundy, 180 metre long vessels which can sail up to 10 times a day across the English Channel, will also travel to the Baltic during this quarter for major life extension work.

P&O Ferries services on both routes will run as normal for the duration of the re-fit season as replacement ships have been brought in as cover.

John Garner, Fleet Director at P&O Ferries, said: "We looked at a number of shipyards across Europe for this vitally important work - which will guarantee the future of all four ships into the next decade - and settled on Remontowa for its track record of delivering first class re-fits and the economies of scale generated by taking the ships to the one yard."

"In order to reduce the time that the ships are out of service to an absolute minimum, subcontractors will begin work preparing the car decks and passenger areas as soon as they begin the two day journey to Gdansk. At the yard itself, the ships will benefit from work to strengthen their steel infrastructure, machinery upgrades to the main engines and generators, and blast and paint work to the hulls."

Dawid Piaskowski, Commercial Area Director at Remontowa, said: "Good planning is the foundation of a successful project and we hope that these four ferries are the beginning of a long-term co-operation."

P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium. It operates 20 vessels which carry more than 10 million passengers, 1.6 million cars and 2.2 million freight units every year.

Together with its logistics division, P&O Ferrymasters, the company also operates integrated road and rail links to countries across the continent including Italy, Poland and Romania. A P&O Ferrymasters-owned rail terminal in the northern Romanian city of Oradea, which will facilitate the onward movement of goods to Britain from the Silk Road, became operational last year.


Many thanks once again to the guys at P&O for the latest news above. A most interesting piece there.
The Pictures show top...the Pride of Burgundy and below the Pride of Canterbury..hard working vessels seen here in all weathers.

* *

The Emerald has been in with us during the past couple of days...alas no current pictures but the following two are from our recent archives....


Friday, 20 January 2017 - 06:58
Post 3412
  Sea News, Dover
Pictures above and below of the early ferries powering their way to France 2/3 mornings ago during a blazing but chilly sunrise. A huge boat passes Calais in the can see too the windfarms near Calais whirring away generating earth-friendly energy. Both the ferries featured carry a packed load...let us hope this level of transported freight continues after Brexit... the alternative is too dismal to contemplate....


Thursday, 19 January 2017 - 07:34
Post 3411
  Sea News, Dover
Afon Cefni again, pictured a day or so ago leaving port. She is currently working with the Olympic Triton and the Siem N-Sea on the offshore cable renewal project. Yours truly didn't have a picture of her previously other than a tiny dot long here we are putting that right.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017 - 19:04
Post 3410
  Sea News, Dover
Leaving the European Union will mean a lot of change – nowhere more so than at the Dover and Deal frontline....says MP Charlie Elphicke

The end of unchecked EU immigration will require a beefing up of our border controls. The rising threats of organised crime, trafficking and terror all mean we must invest more in intelligence to keep us safe. Yet at the same time we want to maintain the free flow of trade at Dover – and have smooth journeys for legitimate travellers too.

How could we do it and be ready in two years’ time? I have written to the Home Secretary, proposing we plan now to adopt a visa waiver system for EU visitors. If we charged every visitor £10, this should raise some £250m a year – enough to increase the UK’s Borders Budget by 50%. With this extra money we can boost our efforts at Dover to combat traffickers, terrorists and criminal gangs.

There is a real challenge ahead for Dover. Post Brexit we will need to extend our full border control systems to travellers from the EU to Britain.

The number of visitors and the amount of trade coming through Dover continues to rise. It needs to stay that way. So it is in the interest of both the UK and European Nations that our borders remain open for business.

We must continue to work with our European neighbours to share intelligence and see that proper security checks are made at the borders as needed. This is because we all need to work together to combat organised crime, people trafficking, smuggling and terrorists. Meanwhile, passports must be properly checked on departure. Therefore, systems like the Le Touquet Treaty’s juxtaposed controls at Dover and Calais should be maintained as they work in the interests of Britain and France.

Britain faces a number of serious threats at the border. As the Calais Jungle camp grew, the number of migrants being smuggled in the backs of lorries trebled. Add to this people traffickers and rising numbers of people turning up in small boats on the beaches and small ports of Southern England. They amount to a changing border security challenge that must be answered to prevent people breaking into Britain through the Port of Dover or the beaches of Deal – and to stop those who would seek to do us harm.

For faster checks at Dover, investment is needed in modern systems. We must make sure we have enough officers. By adopting a US style visa waiver system we can fund the investment we will need to make in our border controls.

By taking action now we can be ready to have strong borders immediately on Brexit. Borders where we still enable legitimate tourists and trade to flow freely. Yet borders that are strongly policed so we can crackdown on threats to our security.


As Charlie talks above there once again about protecting our me an excuse to use this pic of the Border Force in action. Don't get too excited however, the Gotheborg tall ship is NOT back in the harbour...NOT, but this is a picture I took previously but had long forgotten about until amazingly I came across it on GOOGLE a few days ago while searching for something else altogether...worth another look. VALIANT in action between the sailing boats...

And now following along from Mike's pix in previous post
here is another shot this time from reader Patrick Simmons of the Olympic Triton taken a couple of evenings ago..
Well done Patrick Smiley

Nice post Mike good to see those shots below..all excellent from our 'inshore correspondent'. Smiley
And great coverage from Ramsgate too from our 'roving correspondent' Sarah H in the post below that. Smiley

Exciting times. PaulB.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017 - 08:00
Post 3409
  Mike J., Dover
The OLYMPIC TRITON was joined on the power cable repair job [post 3387] a few days ago by the similar but curiously named SIEM N-SEA [recently renamed from SIEM STORK].

Both were photographed from Samphire Hoe on Monday - a long way off & the photos have been ruthlessly cropped..

With the SIEM N-SEA is the HOLYHEAD BAY returning to Dover after one of her ‘taxi’ runs.

Further to the Customs Watch House photo in Paul’s post 3405 I remembered that I had a couple of closer-upper sea-level views taken back in June.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 23:15
Post 3408
  Sarah, Ramsgate
Relief Lifeboat "Margaret Jean" returned to Ramsgate today.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 19:23
Post 3407
  Sea News, Dover

A Great Story from DFDS....

In September 2016, 50 year-old Patricia graduated as an Able Seafarer as part of DFDS’ Apprenticeship scheme. The scheme usually takes in 18–24 year olds but when Patricia, who was working in the catering department on board, decided she wanted to progress further in her career and incorporate it with something she loved, she applied for DFDS’ second ever intake of apprentices in 2014 and was one of DFDS’ ten apprentices to graduate this year.

Below and attached is a Q&A with Patricia about her experience as an apprentice. We thought this could inspire others in the area, who may feel they are too late to make headway in their careers.

Patricia Brizuela, aged 50, based in Dover

Which DFDS ship are you currently working on?
Dover Seaways

Which apprenticeship have you completed – deck or engine?

How did you hear about the apprenticeship and what attracted you to the scheme?
I have always been passionate about the sea and wanted to pursue a career in the area, so I decided to look for opportunities on board ferries.

When working for DFDS as a stewardess on the Delft Seaways, I was always looking for ways to work in the deck department. I was speaking to one of the Captains who told me all about the apprenticeship scheme which DFDS offered and I was immediately interested in applying.

Why did you choose to do the apprenticeship specifically with DFDS?
Having worked for DFDS previously, it seemed like the next logical step to expand upon my skill set.

What were you doing before you joined the scheme?
I worked as a stewardess, looking after passengers in a primarily customer service role.

Could you describe a typical day at work as an apprentice?
I start the day by exercising at the on board gym a couple of hours before my watch begins. The working day starts when we arrive at the port and go to our mooring stations, where we learn about the mooring manoeuvres and help the AB’s (Able Seamen). We are also taught procedures for anchors and tugs.

Loading and discharging is a key part of my duties, this includes ensuring the ship is stable to proceed, preparing the deck for cargo to be loaded and unloaded and ensuring all team members are safe at all times.

When the ferry is moving we usually undertake maintenance of the ship, including chipping, painting, greasing and splicing. We’re also taught how to assist with steering the ship and being on bridge watch - which is important for navigation.

What is the main thing that you’ve learned during the apprenticeship?
We have taken part in numerous college, online and on board training courses, which I have really enjoyed as it has enabled me to gain new skills.

The main thing I’ve learnt is how to work safely, taking care of myself, my colleagues and passengers. "Safety first" is not just a sentence in a maritime environment, it is the philosophy that rules each and every day on board.

How did you find the adjustment to working shifts and living on board a ferry?
Having worked as a ferry stewardess, I found the adjustment relatively easy as I was already used to living on board and working in shifts.

What have you enjoyed most about the role?
Being part of a team that helps with the operation of the ship and playing a key role within the deck department.

What has been the biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was the throwing of the heaving line – which is 50ft long.

What are your ambitions for the future? Can you describe what you’d like to do next?
I would like to become an Officer of the Watch, for which I will need to learn the duties and responsibilities of the Quartermaster. I also need to work towards acquiring the required bridge sea time to be eligible to take the OOW exams.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m a keen sailor and have sailed yachts for the last 20 years. I have my own yacht which I really enjoy spending time on; sailing for me is a way of life.

What do your friends and family think about your apprenticeship role?
They’re very happy that I’m able to pursue my love for the sea through my career.

About the DFDS Apprenticeship Scheme

The DFDS Apprenticeship scheme focusses on creating opportunities for young people in Dover and the surrounding area. DFDS offers two apprentice schemes; the Deck Scheme which sees students qualify as Able Seafarers, working in the deck department as a watchman and assisting with loading and unloading the ship; and the Engine Scheme which sees apprentices work towards becoming Marine Fitters within the engineering team, which is responsible for maintaining and repairing the ships.

The apprenticeships are offered in partnership with the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), the shipping industry’s central body for promoting and developing sector-specific education and training skills.

* *

Great work Patricia...well doneSmiley.. Many thanks to the team at DFDS.
A couple of extra pictures below now of the Italia Reefer arriving with us on Sunday (see also post 3404)

Well done with that picture below Ed from that's what happened to Saga Sky...
Hope the annual Delft Seaways refit goes well over there...

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 08:03
Post 3406
  Ed Connell, Dunkerque
Saga Sky at the Damen shiprepair yard in Dunkerque today. Still under repair after the damage suffered during her collision with the stone barge off Samphire Hoe. French ETV Abeille Languedoc in the background. As seen from Delft Seaways which entered drydock this morning for her annual refit.

Monday, 16 January 2017 - 11:23
Post 3405
  Sea News, Dover

Release time: immediate

P&O FERRIES' 4,000 employees are celebrating this week after the company won two prestigious awards for being Britain's leading ferry operator.

Voted for by the general public and travel industry experts respectively, the two accolades were part of the Globe Travel Awards 2017 which were presented at a ceremony attended by 1,100 people at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

P&O Ferries was named Britain's Favourite Ferry Company in a category voted for by readers of the Daily Mail.

P&O Ferries also beat a number of other operators to be named Best Ferry Company in a category voted for by readers of Travel Weekly, the country's leading travel trade magazine.

Janette Bell (pictured), Managing Director of P&O Ferries, said: "We were delighted to win these two awards which were voted for by the people who know our ships and services best."

"Our company is 180 years old this year and we have always believed that travelling by sea should be fun. We believe that the journey is just as important as the destination, something which sets us apart from a budget airline."

"Not only are our ships a reliable and efficient way of getting to the continent, there is also far more for our customers and their families to do on board. We have shops stocked with fragrances, alcohol, confectionery and toys with up to 50 per cent off high street prices. We also have a range of restaurants with spectacular views to suit all tastes and all budgets."

"Together with the outstanding customer service provided by our crew, it helps to explain why we have once again been voted as Britain's number one ferry company."

P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium. It operates 20 vessels which carry more than 10 million passengers, 1.6 million cars and 2.2 million freight units every year.

Together with its logistics division, P&O Ferrymasters, the company also operates integrated road and rail links to countries across the continent including Italy, Poland and Romania. A P&O Ferrymasters-owned rail terminal in the northern Romanian city of Oradea, which will facilitate the onward movement of goods to Britain from the Silk Road, became operational last year.

PICTURE ABOVE: From left, TV star David Walliams: P&O Ferries MD Janette Bell: Olly Wenn, managing director of category sponsors, the travel web firm Zolv, and Lucy Huxley, editor of Travel Weekly.


Many thanks to the team at P&O for the information above. Congratulations to P&O Ferries. Smiley
Just adding an extra pic here from our archives by way of celebration...
The Pride of Kent from the gorgeous Calais beach on a bracing day.

* *

As promised here is an extra picture of the Custom Watch House, shows it off a little bit better, with Tug Doughty playing the starring role in the foreground.
See also the previous posts... 3398, 3400.

Nice shots of the Italia Reefer below Ed...great stuff! Smiley

Monday, 16 January 2017 - 07:26
Post 3404
  Ed Connell, Dover
Italia Reefer at the DCT today.

Sunday, 15 January 2017 - 19:03
Post 3403
  Sea News, Dover
Following along from the previous post, here we are with another picture of the inshore visitors, the City of Oslo once again and Crown Opal to the left. There were many others too as mentioned in the previous post. The Crown Opal has actually called in to Port here previously but she was heading further afield this time.
The Crown Opal.

Sunday, 15 January 2017 - 09:00
Post 3402
  Sea News, Dover
Because of the recent bad weather, tidal surges and whatever, there have been a number of ships coming in close to shore here at Dover. These ships in turn being met by our pilot boat which takes off the relevant pilots left 'stranded' on board the various vessels due to the aforementioned weather difficulties at the continental ports. Here we have pictures of one of those ships...its the City of Oslo vehicle carrier.

Comes in close to Port..
After a considerable time and a little further out in the channel, you can see our pilot boat Director doing the necessary up close...
The pictures are a bit pushed, straining every pixel as the ship by now was a fair way out. You can see Boulogne in the background with the magnificent Cathedral there at the top of the hill. Also in shot .. the Larne Light Vessel..

A day earlier and here we are with Director ambling by the 'observation tower'. Never a dull moment!

Thanks Colette , yes all change coming down the line.
Thanks for all that info Mike...and the pictures too.
Will look up the history of the building Custom Watch House...very striking building, might have a better picture tomorrow.
Guys I never knew that shelter had such an exciting history..well I never. Will pay more attention to it in future.

Interesting re P&O logo, on a separate issue will have a press release to pin from P&O tomorrow.

Sunday, 15 January 2017 - 06:39
Post 3401
  Colette B, Dover
Great News to hear from The Port of Dover that the DWDR development is forging ahead. With the first stage of construction underway, this is just the beginning, Monte Carlo, Watch Out! Smiley

Construction also seems to be taking shape at the St James's development with girders for the New 6 Screen Cineworld complex already in place. Smiley

Good News all around for 2017 Smiley

Saturday, 14 January 2017 - 22:01
Post 3400
  Mike J., Dover
The new P&O hullside logo looks & little weird to me, I wonder what was wrong with the 'old-fashioned' one ?

I suppose it is the result on spending many thousands on 'consultants' - image is everything !

The building by the old train ferry berth in Paul's photo is the old 'Customs Watch House' built in 1909 & now as used as offices by the concrete company whose operations will be going elsewhere when DWDR gets going.
It's a 'listed' building - do a Google on 'customs watch house dover' & all will be revealed.
Looking at the latest DHB video it appears to survive in a little walled-off compound next to what seems to be a much smaller boatyard incorporating the old Jetfoil terminal.
All architect's visions at the moment of course !

Re Paul's pix of the shelter work - in Bill Bryson's 'Notes from a Small Island' there is a hilarious description of him, in his student days, bedding down in the shelter after coming off a ferry late at night & being unable to find lodgings - a cold night & he put some spare underpants on his head to keep warm which he forget to remove in the morning.
A lot of comments about Dover, too, well worth a read, a very funny [& shrewd] book.

A pity that the repair work on the shelter is being done by a Dartford company rather than a local firm, hopefully the local firms are all too busy.

Saturday, 14 January 2017 - 15:24
Post 3399
  Sea News, Dover
The famed White Cliffs of Dover looking even whiter than usual at the moment...all very frozen. Not too many people taking a stroll up there right now as you can see. Brrrrrr...

Saturday, 14 January 2017 - 15:05
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