Saturday, 16 January 2021


www.doverforum.com/sea-news
Sea Pictures from DOVER ....



Rising Bridge below :


You can see the new bridge rising there...it towers above the Seasports Centre and the now renamed Dover Patrol Restaurant (formerly the Hythe Bay restaurant...we understand the ownership is still in the same hands). The new marina cuts across the seafront road into the old marina, hence the need for a bridge (a 'bascule' bridge, you might need to look that one up!). Traffic gets paused from time to time to accommodate the incoming/outgoing craft....it was paused at the time of shot as you can guess.... otherwise everybody would......


The advertising truck shown above is obviously touring the roads of a harassed Kent informing everyone about the need for new paperwork now that we have left the EU...as if we didnt know already. But like they say...every little helps...


Below we have a picture of the self-discharging bulk carrier Tertnes leaving the Port of Dover a few days ago. She had just self-delivered a considerable amount of aggregate to pier WD4 here at Dover... here we see her heading back to Norway and the Port of Eikefet...


Tertnes...the self discharging bulk carrier leaves the Port...


Dover Seafront below in the approaching fog.....



The Disney Magic finally moved away on Saturday from its position on the eastern arm Port of Dover. It moved off through the fog, but the situation cleared partially to allow us to capture the shot above...also in the picture, which shows the western entrance to the Port, is one of the Border Force patrol vessels, these vessels are on constant local patrol. The Disney Magic is expected to return after a 'channel run'... ( ...and she has!).



Reuters are reporting that...Trade flows between Britain and the European Union have remained low this week after many companies stockpiled goods in late 2020 to avoid having to cross the new customs border in the first week after Britain left the EU's orbit on Dec. 31. Despite the quieter period..."We are experiencing a high volume of vehicles being refused and delayed at the Ports of Calais, Dunkerque and Dover, due to incorrect paperwork being presented at check-in," DFDS said on Twitter.


The early morning ferry nearing France...
..........you can just about see the rolling hills ...



The spectacular sky above lasted for such a brief few-minute period a couple of days ago, afore long we were shrouded in drizzle and dark skies, skies that have barely lightened since.The Port isn't busy as of yet, the expected new year drama hasn't quite begun, but we wait with anticipation and concern to see how it will all play out post Brexit.

* *

A bit of a grim oul picture now of the departing Nederland Stream ( formerly Nederland Reefer) taken a couple of days ago. The grim nature of the beast however is in keeping with the grim times we find ourselves in yet again, with yet another Coronavirus lockdown. Although there hasn’t been a surge to the EU as of yet.. at the ferry end of things...the reefer cargo ships have been coming steadily and frequently to the Port of Dover over the past few days....


The Nederland Stream looking a little weatherbeaten as she departs the Port of Dover.

THE MEDIA DESCENDS ON DOVER....
Extra picture added immediately below of our Media friends as January gets underway... we continue to witness/enjoy the frenzy of reporting from Dover...Waiting below to send in their reports from the mini pier mid harbour Dover, are a team from TV station France 24. Brexit and its consequences are still fascinating the world it seems.... all round though Dover so far remains quiet.


In the space of one hour midday on New Years Eve we saw four, yes four, media teams in the immediate hundred yards. There were many more too just out of vision reporting from hither and thither, every Dover vantage point seemingly used. They all had the .. ermm 'original' idea of reporting from weary Dover on our final day with the European Union. Dover however was eerily quiet...everyone giving it a miss for fear of holdups. There were no holdups as nobody turned up! ... except the media...and of course they were all very welcome....
(That's ITV News in shot 2, not sure who that is in shot 3)


* *

The Manor Endurance again... not the best quality this time but we couldn't resist the explosive sea...


The Manor Endurance in fine action approaching the Port of Dover.

Manor Endurance... an extra crop pic of this shot now added further below...

Manor Endurance...the windfarm support vessel, seen above approaching the Port of Dover recently, accompanied by some delightful wildlife... cormorants at a guess...

As mentioned... the picture below is a close up crop of the one above, detailing the birds a tad (cormorants !).



* *

TRAFFIC : The good news continues on the local traffic front...the town of Dover is clear and functioning. Much relief to all.
For the non-functioning scenario see pix below.

* *

MOTIS NEWS - BOXING DAY DOVER TRAFFIC UPDATE....

- The A20 & Manston Airport are now clear of vehicles.
- Still significant numbers of Vehicles on the M20
- The Ferries and Eurotunnel are running an optimised timetable to help remove the back log
- Covid testing continues on the M20 and also in the Buffer zone at Port of Dover
- Lydden Hill race circuit (CT4 6RX) is also available for Testing for Vehicles below 7.5 Tonnes only (no HGV's)
- No Negative Covid Test within the last 72 hours= No Travel

Certainly looking more positive there.....that will cheer us all up in Dover.
Many thanks to MOTIS once again for the info...
...and a huge thanks to all those who are working hard to clear the backlog. Smiley


The Pride of Canterbury ferry heads to Calais early on Christmas Day...



Ferry heads for Calais in the early gloom of Christmas Day
The Port remained open and the ferries worked all through Christmas day to try and clear the backlog....
although having said that, this particular ferry doesn't look terribly packed...but it may just be the early light.

Motis News: Christmas Day latest....

The Traffic Situation in South East Kent is improving and definite progress is being made. However due to the sheer volume of Vehicles in the Backlog this will inevitably take some time to clear.

- A20 Main road through the Town of Dover is now Clear of traffic - This was a key point to resolving the issue as allows
Vehicles access to the port when they are released from Manston Airport / Operation Brock/Stack and traffic to be managed
properly.
- 800 Military Personnel were deployed last night to increase testing capability. This seems to have improved the situation.
- The Ferry Operators and Eurotunnel are running a robust timetable to deal with the back log (full credit to all for re-staffing on
Christmas day to clear the backlog).
- Whilst there is still some way to go, we believe that the process is now in a good position to manage the reduction of the
back log as quickly as possible.

- Note, No NEGATIVE Covid Test = No Travel, Please don't attempt travel to the port without one. Testing continues at
Manston Airport & on M20 (join queue at Junction 8).
- UK Government advises no vehicles to travel to Kent at the moment.

Many thanks to MOTIS for sending through the info above.



* *

Dover on Christmas Eve below...


Port of Dover Traffic Surge :

The great lunge towards the Port gates above...yes you are seeing it right, illegally from both sides of the carriageway the vehicles push to move forward. The picture above was taken at 07.53 on Christmas Eve morning, amid horrendous gridlock all around the town and increasing desperation.

Since then the overall situation has improved somewhat with the authorities working hard to restore some order.
The BBC are estimating that we are up to more than 6,000 trucks now...so quite a backlog to clear....
and the Covid tests still apply.

* *

Dover: Truck drivers abandon their vehicles to demonstrate at the Port gates amid the chaos....


Frustrated truck drivers march towards the Port entrance...as the weary wait goes on...


Latest: Port of Dover is re-opening slowly, but everyone travelling must have a valid Covid test. Mass testing has begun. Because of the testing it will take quite some time to clear the backlog...we now have up to 4,000 trucks waiting...waiting... Only EU nationals are allowed to travel we understand.

* *

Port of Dover: France and other EU countries have closed their borders to the UK for 48 hours. This is due to the new Coronavirus variant sweeping the southeast UK. No trucks will leave Dover but the inward operation is still running....but the issue is whether trucks bringing supplies inwards will want to come for fear of being trapped in the UK. There have been calls for an extension to the Brexit deadline due to the ongoing chaos.

Overnighting below..... trucks laid up for the night.


Sleeping Trucks everywhere......at Dover:
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps naively said yesterday there were 170 trucks queuing at Dover. That of course was inaccurate spin, we can see that many from our window here, the BBC more accurately estimate 900 trucks queuing (latest estimation 1500, now 3000 and growing).... we have sympathy for all those drivers stuck.


See also the OPEN LETTER from Port of Dover CEO
Doug Bannister further down page...


* *

Also the Port responds to funding shortfall....Note in particular paragraph 3 below re funding detail ....

PORT OF DOVER RESPONSE TO PORT INFRASTRUCTURE FUND ANNOUNCEMENT

Keeping the nation’s trade flowing should be a partnership effort. The Port of Dover has worked positively together with both UK and French partner agencies located in the port, to establish the requirements for maintaining a smooth flow rate of traffic through the port following Brexit under the special arrangements of the joint UK-France Le Touquet Treaty, which is an international agreement that governs the provision of juxtaposed border controls in Port of Dover.

Indeed, this work was presented to the UK Government a year ago, with the rationale for a specific project concerning the outbound border controls to be government funded. The port was encouraged to seek funding via the Port Infrastructure Fund to deliver it. This was based on the identified and agreed need for additional French passport control booths to compensate for slower transaction times and a reordering of controls within the port to enable any non-compliant traffic to have been detected before reaching the French control. It also catered for further EU immigration system changes in 2022.

The Government’s own border planning assumptions, as well as those of French counterparts, were predicated on that work and in good faith the port applied for £33 million of funding, but at the eleventh hour the Port has only been offered just one tenth of one per cent of what was needed. For the primary gateway handling unitised trade with the EU, to reach this conclusion so late in the piece undermines so much work by all parties in preparation for the end of the Transition Period.

The port wishes to reassure customers and our community that it will continue working hard to keep traffic flowing, having already shown its resilience by doing so throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic and more recently as businesses choose Dover in order to stockpile ahead of the end of the Transition Period. Dover will still provide the highest frequency, highest capacity and therefore ultimately the best supply chain resilience as the closest point to Britain's largest trading partner, but the lack of financial support will make a smoother transition more difficult. This should and still could be avoided as we continue to seek support from Government ......
but the clock is ticking.

ENDS


THE DISNEY MAGIC STORY CONTINUES at the PORT OF DOVER.

The Disney Magic pictured above in the approaching gloom.
As you can see the weather was turning rough...the Disney Magic, a short time later, moved away from new pier WD4 above to a more secure footing on the eastern arm Port of Dover.


BORDER FORCE VIGILANT at the PORT OF DOVER

Border Force Vigilant returning to the Port of Dover through the mist.
The Border Force RIB following along behind towing a migrant dinghy....
Recent pictures....





The Spirit of France:
The picture above is actually one from the past, one from our own archives....yours truly was reminded of it when seeing it recently on Google. We're using it again today as the picture sums up the current weather situation quite well...ie very rough in the Channel..... but the ferries keep right on going...


Dover: Rising Sun dramatically encircling a ship early morning on the Dover Straits ...



Indian registered tanker Jag Lokesh waiting offshore recently for a crew change ...



Border Force Vigilant seen above returning to the Port of Dover in recent 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.

DISNEY at DOVER

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....

* *

OPEN LETTER FROM DOUG BANNISTER, CEO, PORT OF DOVER




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.

* *


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Post 198
  howard mcsweeney, dover
lovely autumn day up at st martin's battery, not so nice below.

a good day to be a pasty faced landlubber.





Wednesday, 23 October 2013 - 19:09
 
Post 197
  PaulB, Dover
HALF TERM ideas below from DFDS. Picture shows The DFDS ferry CALAIS SEAWAYS departing Dover early yesterday morning just after sunrise.

TOP THREE EUROPEAN HALF TERM PICKS FOR ALL THE FAMILY... FROM DFDS
_______________________________________________________________

Treat your kids to a last minute short break with DFDS Seaways. The award-winning ferry operator has put together its top three destinations in France and Holland to help keep the kids occupied this half-term:

SmileyNausicaa Aquarium
For those looking to treat the kids to an altogether aquatic trip, hop across the Channel for a day trip to the Nausicaa Aquarium in Boulougne-sur-Mer, a short 30-minute drive from the ferry terminal at Calais. The aquarium is home to over 4.5 million litres of water as well as marine animals such as rays, turtles, African penguins, sea lions, tropical fish and sharks. The centre provides information about the wildlife in French and English and visiting children will be able to impress the teachers with newly learnt French animal names.

With child tickets to the aquarium starting from €10,45 and ferry crossings from Dover and Calais starting from £14.50 each way for a car and up to four passengers, half term is a great time to hop across the Channel for a day trip.

SmileyFuturoscope
For a futuristic half-term break in France, travel to Futuroscope, a fun-packed theme park located just outside Poitiers. Sail to Normandy from as little as £54 each way for a car and up to four passengers with DFDS Seaways. With two routes to the region - Portsmouth to Le Havre and Newhaven to Dieppe – you have plenty of choice for departure times and ports. Both French ports are approximately a four-hour drive from the futuristic amusement park, which is home to high-adrenaline rides such as The Little Prince, an interplanetary journey, and the Dances with Robots experience, a supercharged robot party.

Dining at the park is also a 21st century experience, which should please parents as well as children; forget the usual fast food, Futuroscope boasts Le Cristal, molecular style cuisine. The chefs have used the region’s finest ingredients and combined them with the theatre of molecular gastronomy to create some show-stopping dishes.

SmileyAmsterdam Zoo
For a short half-term getaway, take the children to the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam, which is home to over 900 species of animals. DFDS Seaways runs two-night mini cruises sailing from Newcastle, from only £62 per person based on four people sharing a cabin. A two-night mini cruise with DFDS Seaways includes two nights’ accommodation onboard in an en suite cabin; return coach transfers from the port near Amsterdam to the Artis Zoo and entrance tickets.

During the crossing, passengers can dine in one of the delicious onboard restaurants such as the all-you-can-eat buffet in the 7 Seas Restaurant, the Blue Riband a la carte restaurant or the Explorer’s Steakhouse. While the children enjoy the play area, adults can try their luck in the onboard casino, take in a movie at the cinema or relax in one of the bars and soak up the live entertainment, before retiring to their comfortable en suite cabin for the night, arriving refreshed and ready for sightseeing in the morning.

Max Foster, passenger director at DFDS Seaways says, “There is a lot going on in France and Holland this half term for parents looking for new places to see and explore. And the beauty of taking a ferry is that your holiday starts as soon as you board, with dedicated children’s facilities, as well as a range of restaurants and bars serving delicious food, there is something for everyone onboard.”

DFDS Seaways sails up to 44 times a day between Dover and France with routes to both Calais and Dunkirk, twice a day between Newhaven and Dieppe and once a day between Newcastle and Amsterdam and Portsmouth and Le Havre.

To take advantage of these offers, book now or to find out more information, visit www.dfds.co.uk or telephone 0871 574 7235.

* *

My little girl, now all grown up, still loves all those suggestions above. Loves Nausicaa and you cant keep her away from zoos and animals...so there you are. Nice ideas there and definitely on the pace.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 - 05:49
 
Post 196
  PaulB, Dover

In the past 5 or 7 days there has been a staggering array of fast turnaround cargo ships in. As there is only one terminal for cargo they seem to have organised it very well. Slick indeed. Just in the past days we have had Lady Rasisce, Lady Korcula, Megallan Strait, Esmerelda, Santa Lucia, Star First, Hope Bay...so some going there.

The poor ould Pride of Burgundy has been in the wars recently so probably in need of a workover. Well spotted there Ed. Nice shot too of the dunes. Ive only been to Dunkerque once as I mentioned before, but it has a bit of everything from the industrial, to the dunes, to the fab harbours, not to mention some excellent bars and bistros. Will be returning for sure. Enjoyed the DFDS ferries too. Have some pictures to put up of Dunkerque showing some of the industrial aspect. I myself like all that industrial landscape, it all adds to the fascination, but for those who arent too sure, there is a most interesting town beyond anyway.

I will fetch out some of those pictures shortly.

Also FAMILIES, please see the half term ideas below from My Ferry Link.
I'm a great fan of Le Touquet myself. Been there many times at the Westminster for a bit of that old world charm and indulgence. Great dunes there too.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 - 06:59
 
Post 195
  howard mcsweeney, dover
yet again a great all round selection of photos and must draw attention to paul's comments about the turn round time, it is not just the ferries but containerships and cruise ships that experience a slick operation here in dover.

Monday, 21 October 2013 - 20:13
 
Post 194
  Ed Connell, Dover
Pride of Burgundy passing Dunkerque West this morning on her way round to Dunkerque East for drydocking after suffering damage when she had a steering problem on Saturday night and collided with the pierhead entering Calais.





Monday, 21 October 2013 - 12:19
 
Post 193
  PaulB, Dover (dover7@msn.com)


SOME IDEAS FOR HALF TERM from MY FERRY LINK
_________________________________________

Autumn half term holiday breaks from £311 for a family of four.
Book now with Dover-Calais ferry operator MyFerryLink

For families still looking for a last minute getaway during half-term, Dover-Calais operator MyFerryLink has some great suggestions. There are several family-friendly destinations all within easy reach of Calais, meaning once you set sail the fun can begin.

MyFerryLink’s two superferries have plenty on board to keep kids entertained. The Playzone is an enclosed children’s soft play area for two to eight year olds and is located adjacent to Le Relais self-service restaurant, where parents can relax with a coffee or meal whilst watching their kids. There are also free-to-use microwaves in the seating area of the Relais, so parents can warm up baby milk or special food for the kids.

SmileySainte Croix Animal Park - two day break from £311 for a family of four
Set in 120 acres of beautiful parkland, in the centre of the Parc Régional de Lorraine, the Sante Croix Animal Park is home to more than 1,500 animals from 100 different species. The animals, which roam free in large enclosures, include bears, lynx, bison, several packs of wolves and deer. There’s plenty of entertainment: a train tour and opportunities to watch the animals being fed. A one night stay in a Mongolian yurt, equipped with beds, and a living area as well as two days’ entry to the park and meals in the park restaurant costs just £239 for a family of four for the night of 28 October 2013. The total cost of the break, including return ferry crossings with MyFerryLink, is £311 for a family of four (£77.75 per person).

SmileyParc Astérix – two day break from £429 for a family of four
Located just north of Paris, is the popular theme park, Parc Astérix based on the stories by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny. The park features a number of attractions, including the largest roller coaster in Europe. Try out the ‘Tonnerre de Zeus’ – climb to the top of Mount Olympus and take off on a dizzying descent of more than 30 metres, reaching a speed of over 80 km/h with double humps, spirals and aerial turns. There are plenty of rides for younger members of the family and six worlds to visit including Egypt, the Vikings, ancient Greece and of course, Gaul. Shows available at the park include ‘the legion is recruiting’ and a dolphin and sea lion show. Prices start from £357 for a one night stay for a family of four in the park’s themed Hotel des Trois Hiboux. Prices include breakfast and two days’ entry to the park for the night of 28 October 2013. The total cost of the break, including return ferry crossings with MyFerryLink, is £429 for a family of four (£107.25 per person).

SmileyPierre & Vacances Résidence Le Phare, Le Touquet – four nights from £397 for a family of four
Just over an hour’s drive from Calais, Le Touquet is a fantastic destination for all the family with its elegant boutiques, adventure water park, horse-riding and cycling. Pierre & Vacances, Résidence Le Phare, Le Touquet is within easy driving distance of a number of fun activities, including the Nausicaa ocean centre. A family of four can save 25% on a four-night midweek break, staying in a self-catering studio apartment from Monday 28 October to Friday 1 November for just £325. The total cost of the break, including return ferry crossings with MyFerryLink, is £397 for a family of four (£99.25 per person).

A return Dover-Calais crossing for a car and up to nine passengers with MyFerryLink is available from just £65 based on 28 October departures. MyFerryLink operates 16 daily crossings on the Dover-Calais route. Fares for a car and up to nine passengers start from £29 each way any duration.

To find the best fares, visit www.myferrylink.com or call 0844 2482 100

* *
The Black Watch always seems to be unfortunate with the weather. Here she is leaving a day or so ago heading out into a grim blustery evening with menacing weather outlook. No pink gins on the foredeck in prospect this time. There seemed to be a fair amount of passengers onboard nevertheless, sturdy legged veterans to a man..or woman..

Top pic in this post shows My Ferry Link's Rodin arriving in harbour two days ago, a little after sunrise.

Monday, 21 October 2013 - 07:13
 
Post 192
  PaulB, Dover
Sunday morning and its departure time already for the Star First. It only came in yesterday ( see previous post ) and already away. That is less than 24 hours to unload that full cargo and reload with another full cargo and off to Antwerp.That has got to be one heck of a slick operation they are running there.

Another picture to follow..a wider view of the same departure. Here we are...

Now here's the thing..no sooner had the Star First departed than along pops another cargo ship to slip into the vacant slot. The one here now at this moment is called the Lady Korcula, no picture I'm afraid, and she is currently discharging her cargo at the terminal.
Trade is definitely on the up, never seen it quite so busy before.

Sunday, 20 October 2013 - 14:23
 
Post 191
  PaulB, Dover
That's an interesting one Howard. I can see them now. Well spotted. I wonder what's afoot.. as they never store containers there. Perhaps it is in fact a new storage idea or else they need the content for a new building project right there in that location.
Will be fascinating to watch.

Yes and all Seatrade containers too. Here below is some of the very latest batch of Seatrade containers being offloaded from the Santa Lucia a few days back at the Cargo Terminal..maybe they are the very same batch.

Yesterday saw the arrival of the Star First with another vast load of containers but this time mostly of the Seaco variety.
The Star First is a regular caller. Here she is in the pic below slipping into Port. The two tugs were on hand to assist.

And now to put the finishing touches to the few items about the Norman Spirit..currently showing at the tip top of the page and with the extra gratuitous showing of Kelly Brook further down the page! The ship is now of course called the Calais Seaways.
Here we are with a couple of pictures of the ferry taken in yesterdays drizzle. Not of hugely great quality because of the conditions so reproduced small.
Why it says Calais Seaways with the Le Havre piece added below I dont know..why Le Havre ?
but thought it interesting.

The Black Watch left last night just as it was getting dark. Tried for a few pictures, will have a look at them later to see if any are worth reproducing.

Sunday, 20 October 2013 - 08:10
 
Post 190
  howard mcsweeney, dover
probably a simple answer but why are these seatrade containers loitering on the old hoverport site when they are normally unloaded at the far end of the eastern dock?





Saturday, 19 October 2013 - 14:21
 
Post 189
  PaulB, Dover
Through the darkness as i write i can see that the Black Watch, she of the norovirus reputation, is back in today. Arrived a short while ago in a blaze of sparkling light. Hopefully all is well on board and all went well on its recent voyage. This picture showing below obviously wasnt taken this morning as it is still fairly pitch black out there as i scribble..but was taken earlier this very month. She has been constantly working so might be in need of a wee bit of a refresh this time of year.

While we are briefly reflecting (see pic at top of page) on the short lived amalgamation of LD Lines and DFDS on the Dover-Calais route..this picture below was taken on the launch day of that service. It shows none other than actress Kelly Brook donning the nautical cap..and as they say, if the cap fits! Popular demand insisted that this picture be used Smiley or to put it another way, any old excuse.


Saturday, 19 October 2013 - 06:58
 
Post 187
  PaulB, Dover (dover7@msn.com)
Yes okay Howard.
The pics are a dover.uk.com/doverforum exclusive so will be fine on the wildlife thread.
There is a bit of a story behind those. About 7 or 8 years ago when they were taken several newspapers wanted them and a national press agent rang me up too. Not entirely sure why..perhaps there was a shortage of wildlife pictures those days, there are plenty nowadays, or maybe it was the fact that the seal was actually on Dover Beach. Fairly unheard of before or since although you do occasionally see one swimming around but never on the beach.

The original full size pictures are lost. An awful MESh computer which was relatively new collapsed completely and without warning. Whatever happened to MESH..they were awful. Gone and I can understand why. I always had American brand computers before and now since...my one mistake was MESH.

Friday, 18 October 2013 - 07:52
 
Post 186
  howard mcsweeney, Dover
i am going to have to lift those 2 great photos paul, a must for the "wildlife sightings" thread.

Thursday, 17 October 2013 - 19:07
 
Post 185
  PaulB, Dover (dover7@msn.com)
Howard..Yes it is truly extraordinary how they get it all to work. Looking at the trucks.. well they remind you of a train, with a never ending line of coaches. It never stops. It is particularly noticeable in deep mid winter how it all hangs together..how they get it all to work then is amazing , but they do.

Jan yes indeed i mentioned the seal in a post below a day or so ago and here she is. I just assume its a she somehow... was certainly more than surprised early one morning several years ago to see this delightful creature stretched out on the beach right here below my window in central Dover...fab.
Nodding off !!Smiley
Aware now that I'm there. Was very careful not to disturb so withdrew at that point. LovelySmiley Pictures copyright PB.


Thursday, 17 October 2013 - 16:21
 
Post 184
  howard mcsweeney, dover
that photo taken from the cliffs sums up dover port, nose to tail traffic with loads more trucks waiting to board.

somehow it all goes like clockwork, unless there are problems in france the ferries leave and arrive on time and there are very rarely any serious hold ups.

a triumph of organisation and a credit to all those who work in the port.

Thursday, 17 October 2013 - 15:12
 
Post 183
  JanT, Dover
It is always good to know these exercises take place. When crossing the channel safety may not be in the forefront of ones mind when your heading for sunny climes.
Gosh yes it would be really good to see the seal pics again, we never think that we would see these animals in our watersSmiley

Thursday, 17 October 2013 - 12:24
 
Post 182
  PaulB, Dover

THE PORT : KEEPING US SAFESmiley

Emergency services and key agencies from across Kent will take part in a major emergency exercise next month at the Port of Dover.

Staff from various organisations, volunteers and specialist equipment will be seen in action at Europe’s busiest ferry port on Saturday 9th November dealing with a marine incident. The exercise will commence mid-Channel with an incident on a ferry heading for Dover. This will allow multi-agency emergency procedures to be extensively tested.

The Port will remain open throughout the exercise, which is being organised by the Port of Dover, the Kent Resilience Forum and a number of other partners as one of a number of significant exercises planned to examine multi-agency planning and preparedness at this critical UK gateway.

Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said: "Responsible for over 12-13 million passengers, almost 5 million vehicles and £80 billion of trade each year, such exercises are vital to ensuring that we can effectively and professionally deal with potential incidents in the best way possible for our customers and for UK plc. Working with our partners in Kent is extremely important to us and crucial to the resilience of our operations. We take the safety and security of the Port and our customers very seriously and such exercises are an essential part of that. I would very much like to thank all our business partners for their assistance."

P&O Ferries is providing a vessel in order that the exercise can be run as realistically as possible. Kent Police will be working together with Port of Dover Police in responding to the mock incident. Dover District Council will take responsibility for a Survivor Reception Centre in a nearby area to look after the affected customers (played by volunteers).

Nadeem Aziz, Chief Executive of Dover District Council said: "We are very pleased to be actively involved in this important exercise, and to be supporting this major partnership project. It is vital for the success of the Port and its role in both the immediate community and the wider district that we work effectively together and stay prepared."


* *

Still enjoying the wildlife report and pictures below. My only encounter with wildlife was on the beach below my window here on Dover seafront. Gazing out one morning sleepy eyed..expecting to see the usual bits of seaweed or the odd seagull and there she was...a seal nestling on said beach. Still in dressing gown I ran down and approached the beach slowly to get a few pix. I will try and dig them out later...about 6 or 7 years ago now.

PS: the top picture in this post was taken yesterday in the early sun..twas a lovely day up on the cliffs.
However would have ideally needed a helicopter for a bit more elevation Smiley....as in second pic shown.
This second picture immediately above was from DHB previously.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 - 08:49
 
Post 181
  JanT, Dover
Wow Ed the email made Really interesting reading, had not realised any of that happened and along with the great pictures.Smiley
Just goes to show that when we cross the channel nature is all around us, and sometimes we just don't realise it.Smiley

Tuesday, 15 October 2013 - 11:47
 
Post 180
  PaulB, Dover (dover7@msn.com)
Gosh! marvellous stuff there Ed.. both article and pictures. A huge well done to Graham Ekins. Great shots! I had no idea re wildlife. Have only been to Dunkerque the once, this year it was, to see the Tall Ships but loved it there. Its a real mixture of everything..will definitely be going again.

GrahamSmiley

Tuesday, 15 October 2013 - 10:51
 
Post 179
  Ed Connell, Dover
These are the photos copyright Graham Ekins which accompanied the article below:

Short-beaked common dolphin


Short-beaked common dolphins


Gannet


Kittiwakes on Dover Harbour wall


Tuesday, 15 October 2013 - 10:28
 
Post 178
  Ed Connell, Dover
We often get British and French naturalists travelling who observe the birds and sea creatures from the Bridge. Here is an interesting email just received:

MARINElife blog: DFDS vessel Dover Seaways

Dover - Dunkirk 5th October 2013

Weather: Eastbound: Force 1-3, E-NNW with light, high cloud and some slight haze;
Westbound: Force 1-2, NNW clear with light, high cloud and a slight haze

Some fascinating and surprising sightings of both dolphins and birdlife were among the highlights of a very busy survey.

After a trouble-free drive down to Dover from Essex I met Jack at Dover station and then drove to the DFDS terminal. In just a few minutes we were enjoying a coffee while waiting to board the DFDS Dover Seaways. Once on board we had a very enjoyable lunch in the staff canteen before joining Captain Daniel Cook and officers on the bridge where we were made very welcome. As we left Dover harbour we were able to see the first of many Gannet and a flock of mainly adult Kittiwake feeding a few hundred metres from the breakwater.

A few minutes later we had views of the first of eight Harbour Porpoise. Viewing conditions were ideal with little wind and a lightly overcast sky. Mid-channel we had a Balearic Shearwater closely followed by a Great Skua, both heading steadily south.
Then about 500m ahead we saw a small group of seabirds circling with a Great Black-backed Gull on the sea. This was the first sign of a feeding group of cetaceans. As we moved closer to them we realised that they were four Short-beaked Common Dolphin, a rare sight on this survey route. They swam towards the ship before diving into the depths.

As we turned north a few kms off the French coast we had the first of 140 Common Scoter migrating south. Some of these birds may winter as far south as the shallow waters off the north-west African coast. We also came across several small groups of adult Little Gull their grey underwings clearly visible in the excellent light conditions. Close to Dunkirk harbour we passed an adult Pomarine Skua still with tail spoons closely followed by a juvenile Arctic Skua, an Arctic Tern and several Sandwich Tern. All of these birds were heading determinedly south. We also had several views of Harbour Porpoise and a Common Seal before we entered the dock.

Once the Dover Seaways had docked we went out on deck to check the harbour with the use of a telescope. On the southern side of the dock we saw 35 Great Crested Grebe, some were still in summer plumage. The number of Cormorant had decreased from the previous month, presumably as this continental sinensis race are highly migratory and many had left for wintering grounds in southern Europe and north Africa. We were surprised to see 155 waders of five species, the most common were 100 Dunlin and most unexpected were three Bar-tailed Godwit and eight Sanderling. Close to the ship were a Stonechat, a few Starling and several Jackdaw.

As we left Dunkirk harbour four Meadow Pipit briefly flew alongside while a superb male Peregrine Falcon passed the bridge before heading south, presumably a northern migrant. As we travelled south parallel with the French coast we saw two Razorbilll and a Guillemot while several more Little Gull passed the ship. By mid-channel the number of Gannet heading south had greatly increased, a high proportion of which were brown juveniles. We also saw several more Great Skua, adult Great Black-backed Gull and four Little Gull heading steadily south-west.

After finishing the recording we thanked Captain Daniel Cook and his officers for their excellent hospitality and interest in what we had been seeing on the survey. We would like to thank DFDS for providing continued support for this important survey route.
Graham Ekins and Jack Allum, MARINElife Research Surveyor (Registered Charity No. 1110884)

Cetaceans

Harbour Porpoise 8
Short-beaked Common Dolphin 4
Common Seal 1

Seabirds

Common Scoter 135
Gannet 152
Cormorant 124
Great Crested Grebe 35
Balearic Shearwater 1
Great Skua 8
Pomarine Skua 1
Parasitic (Arctic) Skua 1
Black-headed Gull 34
Common Gull 12
Herring Gull 74
Lesser Black-backed Gull 13
Great Black-backed Gull 61
Kittiwake 73
Arctic Tern 1
Sandwich Tern 6
Guillemot 2
Razorbill 2

Birds recorded in Dunkirk Harbour

Redshank 2
Bar-tailed Godwit 3
Oystercatcher 45
Dunlin 100
Sanderling 8
Stonechat 1
Starling 10
Jackdaw 9
Magpie 1
Woodpigeon 2

Land birds recorded from ship

Meadow Pipit 4
Peregrine Falcon 1


Tuesday, 15 October 2013 - 02:01
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