Friday, 27 November 2020
Sea Pictures from DOVER ....

See the OPEN LETTER from Port of Dover CEO Doug Bannister further below....

Border Force Vigilant seen here returning to the Port in the past few days...we believe the Border Force rib powering alongside contained some migrants as several incursions were reported on the day.

The Disney Magic resting tranquilly at new pier WD4 Port of Dover, the tranquility making a change from all the recent rough weather...while in the foreground the Harbour Patrol Boat meanders along keeping everything safe and secure... In the far distance you can just see the Vasco da Gama cruise ship heading for Portugal.

Below...the Sun Rising through the drizzle on the Dover Straits

Yes the Sun rising through the drizzle... it begins to climb over we look across the ever busy Dover Straits.

This picture taken a few moments before the one above....

November Sky - Dover Seafront

Dover Seafront November:
Striking evening sky as we look along Dover Seafront at sundown.....

The Disney Wonder:
The Disney Wonder pulled away from Dover on the recent saturday heading for Funchal we understand...
.......a rough ol' trip in the prevailing conditions....

Dover Harbour: something of a rare site this...fog shimmering across the surface in this way, as shown above. Picture taken on a recent chilly but dazzlingly bright and sunlit morning.

" smoke on the water, fire in the sky "


The Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic

If you quietly wish upon a star, hoping for even more wondrous magic in Dover,
...well you might just end up with two Disney's....

Fire on Western Heights

Something of a forced picture taken on friday night of the fire on Western Heights here in Dover. It seems a stray rogue firework caused it, setting scrubland alight. Four fire engines were in attendance we understand. The picture is of poor quality taken through the darkness, but it gives the general gist as we look across the rooftops.

Full Moon over Dover....

The 'Blue Moon' over the Port of Dover in recent times.
Look at that rugged terrain...

* *


Dover is the right choice for business and consumers now more than ever

The United Kingdom Major Ports Group (‘UKMPG’) has issued a ‘briefing paper’ intended to encourage businesses to transfer cargo away from the Short Straits, the UK’s most vital link to European markets.

The paper points out that the Short Straits, which includes ferry links between Dover and Calais, as well as the Channel Tunnel, has a 60% market share of ‘British-Continental EU trade’. The Short Straits has achieved this market share because it is the right choice for business. Indeed, the paper acknowledges that the routes businesses use today are the right ones and the reason businesses choose the Short Straits is simple; it offers the most time efficient, cost effective and resilient access to international markets, delivering an estimated £3 billion saving for British businesses and consumers compared to alternative routes.

Our own independent analysis (Oxera 2018) has previously suggested that it would cost around £2.7 billion to take just 20% of our existing traffic in order to pay for new ferries operating on longer and slower routes. Importantly, these new ferries do not exist today and need to be built. With shipyard capacities and construction lead times, delivering such a fleet of new ferries holds significant lead time.

The UKMPG paper suggests that other ports might have capacity to take up to 60% of Short Straits traffic now, but acknowledges that this requires both Government and trader support for this offer of ‘resilience’ to be possible. Exponentially, this suggests that the cost to businesses and ultimately the consumer could be up to around £8 billion.

For Port of Dover, when looking at the overall UK Trade Resilience we take a systemic view – across ports, vessels, capacities, frequencies, operating models and traffic management schemes. To focus only on port capacity is terribly one-dimensional.

The geographic advantage that Port of Dover holds with the UK’s largest trading partner means that a single vessel can complete up to five round voyages in a single day, making our ferries hugely productive assets. Further, our operating model delivers an average inbound dwell time at our port of just five minutes, providing unparalleled port efficiency.

Other operating models, for example containers and unaccompanied trailers may have inbound dwell times from several hours to even several days, adding inefficiency to the system-wide supply chains. For those routes with longer sea voyages, a single vessel may only make a single round voyage in a day – meaning to replicate the capacities and frequencies offered via Port of Dover would require five times as many vessels.

The UKMPG paper admits that a ‘short term’ constraint might be the availability of additional ferries to handle the trucks being encouraged to divert to other routes, whilst also citing wider capacity issues on the southern North Sea corridor.

The report is right to focus on resilience as we approach the end of the Transition Period, but what resilience do you have if you are sending traffic to ports where the ferries do not exist? Neither is that a quick fix. The market dynamic is important here. In fact, rather than investing in new ferries, operators at some of the alternative ports have actually been closing these longer routes with tonnage moving back to the short routes as that is what the market wants – Dover has of course kept going throughout the pandemic. This dynamic applies to the European side too, with the majority of freight vehicles choosing to route through northern France to Calais and Dunkirk as it is simply closest.

All EU-facing UK ports will be under the same rules – there will be a standard process and transaction applied everywhere. We know from examples elsewhere, such as ‘Operation Wellington’ on the Humber, which anticipates using parts of the M62 and M180 as holding areas for HGVs, that if there is disruption it will be everywhere. The report itself admits that there is already a risk of disruption at these alternative ports due to new systems for HGVs. Therefore, on top of this, sending more traffic to ports that do not even have the ferry capacity will make the situation far worse and create far less resilience for UK trade.

In contrast, the traffic management regimes for the Short Straits are tested and proven – in short, we know they work. For example, the recent national security operation that affected all ports with additional screening and searches left around 4,500 lorries in Operation Stack. When the security operation ended, Dover had cleared all queuing traffic and was back to normal operations within just 12 hours. Nowhere else could do that. It would take weeks with the current vessel capacities and frequencies available elsewhere. For UK trade resilience, supply chains must have the confidence in managing periods of disruption, and crucially recovery and restoration of normal flows as swiftly as possible – both areas in which Port of Dover has excellent credentials.

As we all navigate the massive economic difficulties caused by COVID, and the uncertainties as we approach the End of Transition, it is right to showcase the incredible efforts of the maritime sector, and the excellent ports that we have across the nation towards ensuring supply chains are robust and functioning well.

Come what may, we will keep working to keep the nation supplied with the essential goods people need at this difficult time and give all businesses wherever they are the benefits of Dover’s unrivalled service. This is what we do all day, every day.

Indeed, as the Maritime Minister said on a panel discussion with us only the other day regarding the national trade network; ‘you have to have goods and people moving around freely. So if you are to have parts moving quickly and efficiently across the Channel, and through Dover, and through the country, you have a much easier opportunity for companies that might exist in the Midlands or in the North to get involved in whatever that industry is.’

The report says that the UK has not always been reliant on the Short Straits, harking back to pre-Single Market days. Equally, the UK has not always been reliant on the internet and same day/next day/just-in-time deliveries, but it is now.

A vision that takes the UK backwards is not the vision of the future we want to see. We need one that backs consumers and businesses everywhere for the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. We feel that we should celebrate our impressive, modern and efficient supply chains across all ports and modes throughout the nation.

For Dover, we fully appreciate the essential role that we conduct for the nation, and will continue to take our responsibility with all of the due care and attention the British people would expect of us, which is why Dover will remain the clear market choice.

Doug Bannister, CEO Port of Dover.


Sea Pictures from DOVER ....

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Your Comments (Newest First):
Post 239
  PaulB, Dover
Well done Phil and Howard with that one. Cracking view from up there. Terrific wide sweep. Smiley

Friday, 8 November 2013 - 14:54
Post 238
  howard mcsweeney, Dover
one from our wildlife photographer phil smith taken last week.

Friday, 8 November 2013 - 10:53
Post 237
  PaulB, Dover
SmileyYou dont need to go to these lengths to get your Christmas drinks in anymore... no sir..
( I hope someone managed to retrieve that barrel ! )

A brief note from HMRC yesterday confirmed the following..

If you are thinking of going across the Channel or North Sea to replenish beers, wines, spirits or tobacco products, there are no limits on the amounts of duty and tax paid goods you can bring back personally from another EU country, as long as they are for your own use. You may, however, be asked questions at the UK border if you have more than:

· 110 litres of beer,

· 90 litres of wine,

· 10 litres of spirits

· 20 litres of fortified wines,

· 800 cigarettes,

· 200 cigars,

· 400 cigarillos or

· 1kg of tobacco

You have to establish these quantities are genuinely for your own use.
If from outside the EU a different criteria applies.

Generous allowances indeed..90 litres of wine! That would be one heck of a Christmas !! But would you remember it afterwards!!? Smiley

Friday, 8 November 2013 - 07:22
Post 236
  howard mcsweeney, Dover
interesting mix of photos there, well done to the harbour board people for making such an effort with the shell shocked passengers.

the choir was great stuff with a thread on the main forum.

Thursday, 7 November 2013 - 20:18
Post 235
  PaulB, Dover

DFDS Seaways, the award-winning ferry operator, is helping passengers get into the festive spirit this December by offering a fantastic free €10 voucher to spent at Auchan hypermarket in Dunkirk. With only 2,000 vouchers available passengers need to book quickly to make sure they don’t miss out. To take advantage of this fantastic offer, travel needs to be booked by 6 November. The offer is valid for travel to Dunkirk between 1 and 18 December, but passengers can return to the UK any time before 2 January 2014.

Summing up....

• Free €10 voucher to spend at Auchan hypermarket in Dunkirk
• Special offer code - ESTOCK
• Only 2,000 vouchers available so book early to avoid disappointment

Passengers can book a return crossing for a car and up to four passengers on a return sailing between Dover and Dunkirk for just £29 each way.

France is renowned for its amazing food and drink and at Auchan passengers will be spoiled for choice. They can find a huge array of regional produce and famous French brands. And what’s more, many products are significantly cheaper than in UK supermarkets, especially champagne brands like Bollinger, quality French cheese and Cognac.

So make Christmas extra special this year and spend less too!
DFDS Seaways operates 24 sailings a day between Dover and Dunkirk. The ferries offer excellent onboard facilities and with the crossing taking just two hours, passengers can relax and enjoy the journey. Dunkirk is 30 miles north of Calais and is close to France’s excellent motorway network, which makes it a convenient gateway to Europe.

For more information on DFDS Seaways’ routes to France and to view the latest offer, visit ..

PICTURES: top shot shows the Dunkerque Seaways ferry arriving in Dover Harbour after one of its many crossings. Bottom shot is of the tall sailing ships in one of Dunkerque's many harbours..pictured at the end of the day a few months back. Fascinating town and we will have more on Dunkerque ( Dunkirk ) in future days.

* *

Thanks for that info Ed. Looks like that is indeed the explanation re the smoke/steam as we have heard nothing further regarding any problems.
Glad to see yourself and Colette enjoyed the Choir as did everyone else who watched. Marvellous for the town to be seen in such a light. A feelgood programme for sure.

Colette I bet it was a bit extreme weatherwise down at CT1 for the past few days. Rough oul weather and no mistake. The Port seem determined to look after the owners of those damaged cars which is great to see..and of course so do Fred Olsen themselves.

Thursday, 7 November 2013 - 06:21
Post 234
  ColetteB, Dover
Although it was a very long day yesterday at CT1, the Port of Dover & Fred Olsen Cruise Lines did a terrific job looking after the cruise passengers whose cars were affected by the storm. The occupants of each car had a dedicated member of staff looking after their needs from arranging accommodation to hired cars etc. Both debark & embark were delayed somewhat due to all manner of circumstances but the staff did a brilliant job making everyone as comfortable as possible & all went very well indeed.

Loved the choir programme on Monday night, it was great to see the P&O staff all getting together & singing their hearts out under the direction of Gareth Malone. It certainly was a real plus for Dover, if I didn't already live here I would be wanting to visit , it was a great piece of marketing for us, a real feel good factor for sure!!!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013 - 14:49
Post 233
  Ed Connell, Dover
At a guess, I think it might be steam being vented off by the bunker barge Syros. The heavy fuel oil (HFO) being supplied has to be kept at a very hot temperature. Maybe there was a problem with one of the huge boilers performing this function.

What a brilliant series The Choir is. It amazes me how people can be coaxed to produce such beautiful harmonies in such a short time, and how brave they all are. The programme with the P&O choir was fascinating and was a wonderful advert for Dover. Super photo from Paul as usual showing them on the seafront, our man on the spot.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013 - 10:20
Post 232
  PaulB, Dover
The Fred Olsen Braemar battled back to harbour yesterday...running late in the eternal rough seas which are a never ending feature of seafaring life at the moment. The passengers of course will have faced the added misery of seeing their vehicles wrecked when they got back here to Dover ( see down the page for the DHB pictures and report ).

Yesterday about 1.30 in the afternoon, and several seafront people drew my attention to it with their consternation, large quantities of smoke started billowing from the direction of the Braemar while it was being attended to by Syros the oil tanker support vessel.

I thought.. oh no, not more bad luck for the Fred Olsen line.
Unsure as I write as to what caused it, but have never seen this happen before so here we are with the pictures anyway.
Not great quality as only had my tiny camera at the ready...but take a look and you can make your own mind up as to what the problem might have been.

As I said not great quality but there we are anyway..shooting into the midday sun. Was there a fire onboard? You know what they say..there's no smoke without.... but I dont know. The ship left harbour last night at 7.25pm heading south. Several of my neighbours were onboard, one expressing concern earlier in the day about the notorious Bay of Biscay in the current conditions...oh dear! and the weather forecast is none too good for today either.

Jan and Kevin..
The Choir was certainly hugely enjoyable. Great PR programme for Dover and P&O. Great stuff!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013 - 07:30
Post 231
  Kevin Charles, Dover
Really enjoyed the P&O choir with Gareth Malone. The programme was also great PR for Dover.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013 - 21:35
Post 230
  JanT , Dover
Totally agree the Choir was a really good watch,not often you can say that about televison these days.

It also showed some great shoots of Dover and even a glimpse of CalaisSmiley

So good luck to the P&O Choir, you could see through the program that they were enjoying it, looking forward to seeing how they progressSmileySmiley

Tuesday, 5 November 2013 - 16:31
Post 229
  PaulB, Dover
Well The Choir aired last night at 9pm on BBC2 and it was truly truly an excellent fully-rounded feelgood programme..and it's not often you can say that nowadays. It was warm, funny, and very musical. It showed all the best things about the Dover area in fine colour, in fine style, and in glorious sunshine too. All the best of the town featured strongly, the white cliffs, the seafront, the sea itself, the port, the ferries and even Calais got in on the act. But mostly it featured a brilliant and happy looking P&O staff who sang their hearts out for Dover and beyond.

Understated TV personality Gareth Malone, choirmaster extraordinaire, brought the best out of the singers in such an enjoyable way and they will now go forward in the competition. It was a true delight to see the area shown in such a splendid and happy way. If anyone missed the programme then it is recommended that you catch up with one of the latest facilities for doing so. A definite thumbsup for this one...


EARLIER in the day they previewed the programme on BBCTV Newsroom Southeast. Ian Palmer did a cracking and jolly report about The Choir which more than encouraged all to watch....and...they presented yours truly with something of a minor scoop when I got the picture below, because as I gazed vacantly out to sea pondering life and the universe.. I suddenly heard harmonious singing emanating from just below my seafront position. It was none other than a section of the choir itself doing its bit for BBC Southest. And here they are...

That's Ian Palmer and cameraman in the foreground of picture capturing the moment for BBCTV.
And now a quick burst of the Charles Trenet classic. Cough cough...just clearing the vocal chords first and away we go..

"somewhere beyond the sea
somewhere waiting for me
my lover stands on golden sands..."

Tuesday, 5 November 2013 - 06:43
Post 228
  PaulB, Dover

P&O Joins in the fray...this programme is showing tonight ( MONDAY) Nov 4 and a very popular programme it is too.
Loving the Entente Cordiale (see below for detail)

* *

The Choir: Sing While You Work Returns to BBC Two Monday 9pm Smiley

Choirmaster Gareth Malone OBE is returning to BBC Two for a second series of The Choir: Sing While You Work. The eight part show will see five British organisations put through their choral paces in an effort to be named the best workplace choir. And this year, the contest gets tougher with new musical challenges and a brand new line-up of world class judges.

In series two, we welcome Birmingham City Council, P&O Ferries, Sainsbury's, Citi the bank and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service to the stage to showcase their vocal abilities.

Birmingham City Council boasts an array of talent; from singing traffic wardens and social workers to park rangers and leisure centre managers. But, in a climate of large-scale redundancies and unprecedented cuts, can a choir bring some joy to the workforce?

P&O Ferries’ choir features ships officers, chefs, stewards, warehouse & HQ staff from both sides of the channel, Gareth is on a mission to unite the business through song. In a first for the series, he challenges the choir to perform in both French and English - a musical entente cordiale!
The Spirit of Britain and the Spirit of France.

Sainsbury's’ choir includes a store manager, lorry driver, lawyer, shelf stackers, cheese and wine buyers and loyalty card manager! We also meet Alex, from head office, who performs for the first time since a house fire damaged her vocal chords. Gareth's goal is to bring harmony between the high flyers and the shop floor.

Citi, a leading global bank, provides Gareth's biggest challenge to date. The banking industry has been vilified for the economic crisis, would Gareth face corporate barriers ? In a bid to achieve his goal, the choirmaster sets to work on creating the series' most diverse choir consisting of 11 nationalities: private wealth bankers, a cleaner, a trader, security and a senior banker from the iconic Canary Wharf tower.

At Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Gareth finds himself scaling training towers and battling smoke filled rooms to meet the firefighters and support staff behind the operation. Although the service is well-versed in life or death scenarios, can they all be heroes when faced with their first vocal performance?

In the first five episodes we follow the choirs through their auditions and rehearsals to their first judged performance in front of hundreds of their work colleagues and bosses. The last three episodes will comprise the quarter-final where the choirs sing classical for the first time, the semi-final, where gospel and soul provide a new challenge for the remaining four choirs’ and the grand final, where the last three choirs will sing for the trophy.

Judging the choirs this year will be the oft time composer to the royal family, Paul Mealor, world class soprano Sarah Fox and awarding winning gospel conductor Ken Burton.

Gareth Malone OBE comments: ''It's been amazing to return to Britain's workplaces for a second series of The Choir: Sing While You Work. I've pushed the choirs even harder this year and the musical standard has been even higher, with some truly outstanding performances.''

Emma Willis, Acting Head of Documentaries adds: “Gareth Malone has proven time and time again that he is the nation’s favourite choir-master. We’re delighted that he’s returning to BBC2 to whip Britain’s business choirs into shape.”

* *

Some heavy waves during the night Howard but the latest bout of tough weather seems to have passed through with just minimal delays. Yes indeed re the tugboats, they were in action again.

Sunday, 3 November 2013 - 07:36
Post 227
  howard mcsweeney, Dover
i can honestly say that i do not envy the tug boat crews, whatever they are paid can never be enough.

hopefully the threatened gales will not materialise,

Saturday, 2 November 2013 - 20:00
Post 226
  PaulB, Dover
As you can imagine things have been very tough for those keeping the harbour running and for those working on the ferries. Even the spell of tranquility mentioned in yesterday's posts didnt last jig time..the sea became very rough again soon after, making conditions very difficult once again...with I believe more to come at the weekend ( See WEATHER WARNING at top of page for Sat Nov 2 ..UPDATE : Now removed. Gales all passed by without too much further upheaval ).

In the latest DHB Press Release now further down the page...the Port thanked the staff and gave a particular mention to the guys manning the tug boats. These guys get the ferries in and out in these woeful conditions, and also do the necessary with the cargo ships and so on. Here are a couple of pictures for and of the tugboat guys...these were taken in the past couple of days.

Tugboats Dauntless and Doughty in the thick of the action. How Dauntless hasnt submerged in the top shot I'll never know. But of course they are tough vessels and ready for everything. Doughty in the second shot guiding the Dover Seaways into position in the fierce wind and the turbulent seas.

Friday, 1 November 2013 - 07:22
Post 225
  ColetteB, Dover
Delightful Indeed!!!!! great photos too. Just popping down to the Seafront now, hopefully I will see the lovely Thor Heyerdahl before she departs Smiley

Thursday, 31 October 2013 - 15:04
Post 224
  PaulB, Dover
SmileyWell done with those pictures lads. Yes all is tranquil-ish for the moment but with some collateral damage as we have seen below in the pictures.

The delightful German sailing ship Thor Heyerdahl, which arrived here yesterday, is still in harbour as we speak. It moved into the inner harbour for a time yesterday but moved back out again a relatively short time later for some reason. She is still here and very visible if anyone wants to see it.
A couple of pictures to add to the collection.

The picture above was taken earlier in the day.
The one below is from the afternoon with the changing light. Look at the one below and see the sailors in various locations on the masts. Particularly note the guys top right. A head for heights required, and sturdy sea legs too of course.

I wont give you another rendition I wont..oh well

Twenty men on a dead mans chest
yo ho ho.... "

Thursday, 31 October 2013 - 06:45
Post 223
  John Mavin, Dover
The weather certainly has settled - for the meanwhile at least. Here the Spirit of Britain heads out into the Channel, which looks remarkably serene for the time of year.

However, along the seafront signs of Monday's fun are evident. I'm sure these trees were upright a few days ago.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 - 20:44
Post 222
  howard mcsweeney, dover
a much loved visitor to dover, taken from the castle earlier.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 - 18:25
Post 221
  howard mcsweeney, dover
following on from jan's post and the d.h.b. press release it looked this afternoon like the storm never happened.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 - 18:23
Post 220
  JanT, Dover
Looking at how calm it is today its hard to believe the weather could be so destructive, pictures below certainly show how dramatically it can all change.

I certainly would not put away them brooms just yet DHB.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 - 14:38
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