Friday, 20 October 2017

Featuring all the ships that come and go and work at the Port of Dover with further coverage of Ramsgate, Calais, Dunkerque. Email: to send SEA NEWS pix or info.... or click ADD YOUR COMMENT below to post direct, no membership needed.

DFDS and the Maritime Catering Apprentices 4323.
P&O Ferries help children with serious illnesses cross to France 4316.
Port of Dover's Big Christmas Event 4311. Fun for all...
Port of Dover sponsors War Horse 4294
DFDS - Crowned Europe's leading Ferry Operator 4287.
DDC Leader Paul Watkins retires...see 4282 and 4270. Replacement 4328.

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Post 4249
  Ed Connell, Dover Strait
As noted, four warships of Standing NATO Maritime Group One passing Dover this afternoon.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 - 00:03
Post 4248
  Mike J., Dover
Full details of today's warships on Nigel Scutts 'Dover Marina' Facebook page, courtesy of warship enthusiasts in Gibraltar !

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 - 22:57
Post 4247
  Sea News, Dover
Yes indeed Brian 4 navy ships went down the channel around midday.
The visibility was poor and yours truly had several stabs at getting some pictures but with the prevailing atmospherics it didn't work on the long range for me today at all.
But here is one ship anyway, not a great pic by any means.
It appears to me that the four ships were of the Royal Netherlands far as I can tell anyway. That info may not be entirely accurate but I am suggesting this one is....
HNLMS Evertsen (F805)

Here is another image of the Transocean Prospect platform ( see also 4245).
Very long range and hampered by visibility once again.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 - 16:28
Post 4246
  brian, dover
there seems to be 4 frigates/destroers heading down the channel at the moment.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 - 13:05
Post 4245
  Sea News, Dover

Bit of a nasty accident on the main road about 700/800 metres from the port entrance yesterday mid-morning. It's always fairly awful to see a motorcycle lying on the ground. However in this case the rider is up and chatting which is great to see. We have had a number of the other kind of accident in recent and former times where the participants were not so lucky. The police were in attendance ( their car is just out of shot). The rear bumper of the car in front is 'hanging loose'
...but good to see everybody more or less okay.

That's HMS Argyle moving on down the channel at the weekend. Not a great picture as the Navy guys will paint everything grey!

But its passing co-incided with an article in the Daily Telegraph at the weekend. Now, the Telegraph is an organ fully in support of the Conservative Government so that's why the following is more than a bit of a shock...


Con Coughlin, Defence Editor Daily Telegraph
14 September 2017 • 9:30pm

The Royal Navy can only send a quarter of its warships to sea due to spending cuts which have left the armed forces "struggling to protect Britain's citizens", the Telegraph has learned.

Currently 13 of the Navy's 19-strong fleet of Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers are unable to go to sea due to a lack of manpower, fuel and supplies, senior military sources have revealed.

The cuts to defence spending have also severely hampered Britain’s response to Hurricane Irma.

HMS Ocean, the amphibious assault ship that currently serves as the Royal Navy’s flagship, was sent to provide support to the British overseas territories in the Caribbean but suffered engine problems and has now been delayed by a week.

The RAF flew a small number of Royal Marines, Royal Engineers and police to the Caribbean after Irma.
Tonight the source said that Britain's response has turned the Navy into a "laughing stock".
The source said: "The Armed Forces have now been reduced to a level where they struggle to protect...



Following on from Ed's stunning collection re the Blue Marlin
here we are with another ginormous beast moving down the channel yesterday evening around 5PM
....Its a drilling platform called Transocean Prospect and it looked an impressive monster as it slowly made its way was being towed by two large red/white tugs. Maybe one was doing the actual towing with one in attendance ahead of the pack. The tugs out of shot.

Bit of heat shimmer in the second pic when a chap zooms in. That's the coast of France looming large in the background.

Gobsmacked and stunned by that news Mike re the Magellan Strait and the Messina Strait. Cant quite believe it...I have a disposable razor older than 13 years !! That's a great pity...always enjoyed their visits. Nice pictures. I must dig out a picture or two as well in tribute.
Thanks for the info once againSmiley

Brilliant coverage Ed on the Blue Marlin. Great to see that giant in all round actionSmiley


Tuesday, 19 September 2017 - 06:40
Post 4244
  mIKE j., Dover
Interesting pix of the BLUE MARLIN from Ed - was that low-flying cloud obscuring the upper part of the rig's legs ?
Would have been interesting photos taken from the top of the legs !

No sign of any movement of the DOCKWISE VANGUARD AT 2330 on Monday night.
I Reckon that she'll pass Dover about ten hours after leaving Maasvlakte.

Remember the unusual-looking reefers MAGELLAN STRAIT & MESSINA STRAIT that used to be regular Dover visitors ?
Both 13-year old ships were beached at Alang, India in late August for breaking-up.

A pity to see them go, they made an interesting change from the modern reefers which all look pretty much the same & neither the STRAITs or the modern reefers look as attractive as the 'classic' reefers which were [for me anyway] much more elegant vessels.
But that's progress . . . . .

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 - 00:11
Post 4243
  Ed Connell, Dover Strait
Heavy lift ship Blue Marlin seen at distance in the Northeast lane today bound for Norway carrying an oil rig.

Blue Marlin transporting the damaged destroyer USS Cole back from Yemen.

Blue Marlin delivering BP platform Thunder Horse to Corpus Christi in Texas from South Korea via the Cape of Good Hope.

Blue Marlin arriving at Pearl Harbour with sea-based X band radar destined for Adak Island in Alaska.

Monday, 18 September 2017 - 12:54
Post 4242
  Ed Connell, Dover Strait
Baltic Klipper at the DCT today.

Monday, 18 September 2017 - 12:04
Post 4241
  Sea News, Dover
The Artania's Lifeboats

Yes the Artania lowered her lifeboats into the immediate waters on...ermm which morning...yes on Saturday morning and you can see them pictured above there. They appeared at one point to be transferring 'victims' from one boat to the other, no doubt all part of a vital procedure. It was of course just an exercise. Unexpectedly some of the boats were similar to rather nice white cabin cruisers...which I thought was unusual but..if they get the job done then that's the main thing. It all looked very efficient.
See other Artania pix in 4237.

Below we leap forward to Sunday morning and its Dover's very own RNLI lifeboat returning to harbour in scintillating style as she blasts through the shimmering water. The guys were out on their usual sunday morning exercise routine.


Monday, 18 September 2017 - 06:11
Post 4240
  brian, dover
your welcome paul,all is fine hear.Smiley

Sunday, 17 September 2017 - 15:59
Post 4239
  Sea News, Dover

That's the giant car-carrier Cygnus Leader of the NYK Line moving on down the channel yesterday saturday around midday. She was on her way to Turkey and possibly further on to the FarEast afterwards. These are great long distance beasts...not everyone's cup of tea designwise but still an impressive sight.

Thanks re info below Brian. Hope all good with you. Yes indeed you may well be right re the filming but no doubt we will find out for sure in the coming days.


Sunday, 17 September 2017 - 15:43
Post 4238
  brian, dover
probably another run of the " tunnel" they have used it on the last run of the program.

Sunday, 17 September 2017 - 07:31
Post 4237
  Sea News, Dover

As promised there we are above with pictures of Artania arriving with us in super bright conditions yesterday morning saturday The great autumn spell of cruise arrivals goes on apace.. so we are delighted to see Artania back with us once more. Weatherwise...well it makes a change above re how the weather looks today...quite foggy and dismal as I write. More than a touch of the autumnals these days. Didn't summer end very fast...

Well done Mike with the post below. Sorry to hear you froze your assets down Admiralty Pier but it was worth it. I understand its Disney filming down the pier, so I heard anyway, but how accurate the info is I don't know.
Nice pictures.

Good to hear from you Dave over there in Broadstairs.
Great to see those pictures of the former Lifeboat. Well done with that post...enjoyable for sure.


Sunday, 17 September 2017 - 06:06
Post 4236
  Mike J., Dover
A long increasingly-chilly vigil on the Admiralty Pier on Friday afternoon waiting for the departure of the HELENIC from Cruise-1 on completion of her cargo of [mostly] piles.
Thank goodness Mel’s Cafe at the turret was open for coffee & bacon rolls.
The HELENIC eventually sailed about 1730 for Rotterdam.

If you were thinking of a nice stroll up the Ad.Pier next week - forget it !
The whole pier will be closed from 2100 Sunday 17th until 0800 Monday 25th due to filming activity & on Friday afternoon the Cruise-1 area was littered with lights & cables & vehicles & generators etc. with some sort of structure being built in front of the Cruise-1 building.
Security was very coy about what was being filmed.
Anglers who often come a long way to fish off the Ad.Pier & who are unaware of the closure are going to be VERY browned-off, as is the caff which will lose a week’s business.

Saturday, 16 September 2017 - 23:31
Post 4235
  Dave, Broadstairs
Re post 4230:
Ramsgate had its very own Clyde Class lifeboat. 70-003 'City of Bristol' O/N 1030 was based at Ramsgate from 1988 as the Fishery patrol vessel 'John v Storey'. Originally based at Clovelly from 1975 relieving 70-001 which subsequently went into the relief fleet. I served on her for 2 years as YTS deck hand from 1989 - 1991. I believe she is now up in Scotland as the 'Gemini Explorer'. The second image is her as the 'John v Storey' but already sold to Scotland but prior to conversion.

Saturday, 16 September 2017 - 18:39
Post 4234
  Sea News, Dover

Building Up a Head of Steam: well probably smoke in actual fact but who can resist a good headline ! This is familiar DWDR tug Afon Goch leaving the port late in the day Friday. She was leaving a trail of smoke as you can see which caught the eye. Then looking at our AIS friend it appears she was leaving the Port of Dover...perhaps for good. Last seen heading for Ramsgate with a final destination marked down as Lowestoft.... while a solitary figure gazes on from the Admiralty Pier.
PS: Cruise ship Artania is in with us today and looking good - will have some pix to follow in the morning all being well.

Saturday, 16 September 2017 - 15:11
Post 4233
  Mike J., Dover

Error in my post about the heavy-lift ship - name should be DOCKWISE VANGUARD.
Sorry !

Vic - no problems seeing where they are going on the DOCKWISE VANGUARD - the bridge is on top of the accommodation block on the left of my first photo & has an excellent view ahead & also aft over the ‘cargo deck’
A long climb if the lifts up from the maindeck pack up !

She has now loaded the crane barge & is visible at -
add https:// to get the webcam link to work.

Saturday, 16 September 2017 - 10:08
Post 4232
  vic matcham , Dover
I have never seen a ship like that before I would like to see it when lifting and the hight of it how high do you have to be to drive it and being on the wheel? TO SEE WHERE YOU ARE GOING thank you for showing it to us.Smiley

Saturday, 16 September 2017 - 08:16
Post 4231
  Sea News, Dover
On Thursday evening in poor light with heavy cloud the coastguard helicopter was spotted about 2 miles offshore. She was hovering and circling over a small specific area so was clearly searching for something. She was so low at times that her draught was kicking up spray from the water. Yours truly hasn't been able to find out what it was all about, so if anyone knows do let us know.
Time of pictures 18.15

Long range picture above there and you can see the action. In the shot below a seagull flew into the line of zoomed vision as I looked through the lens yours truly a bit of a fright for an instant as I didn't know what had happened...but it was just the proverbial seagull.

Just zooming out on the scene below as a little late sunlight came through the clouds..

And below the general wide view of the scene at the time. The helicopter is actually at surface level in the far distance beyond the harbour and between the two barges Wadden 1 and Wadden 4 as it were...but not really visible in this shot as we have to reduce the size on here. But the pic shows the general situation at the time weatherwise etc etc

Fascinating post below Mike from Rotterdam. Don't miss that one.Smiley
Excellent stuff! Will watch for that lift vessel for sure.
Great to see those (former) Lifeboat shots.

Saturday, 16 September 2017 - 06:21
Post 4230
  Mike J., Dover
Back in August 2014 post 961 showed the bizarre heavy-lift ship SEAWISE VANGUARD which has sneaked past Dover in darkness at least three times since then.

Another chance may be coming up in a few days.
She is currently moored in the Maasvlakte, the artificial harbour/island at the mouth of the Maas at Rotterdam/Europort where I photted her under stormy conditions on Monday.
She is waiting to load a very large crane barge for scrapping in China.

View from ahead. the bridge & accommodation block is on the left.
The four structures topped with cranes can be moved sideways to suit the load.

Views from astern.

The loading operation was supposed to have started on Sunday but was
delayed by the recent bad weather.
I hear that the loading may have started today & securing the load will take a few days.

Lets hope this time that this most unusual vessel passes Dover in daylight & that photos can be taken.

On the same day, whilst driving up to Europort for the P&O ferry to Hull ferry we paused for a break at Stellendam, on the coast south of Rotterdam & came across a former RNLI lifeboat amongst the many fishing vessels in this small harbour.

A quick consultation with the ‘Sea News’ resident RNLI guru revealed that 70-001 was a former ‘Clyde’ class boat, the CHARLES H BARRETT, which was retired by the RNLI in 1988 & after some time in the UK moved across to Holland & acts as a ‘trip boat’ at Stellendam.
She looks immaculate, although in a non-RNLI paint job, & is moored alongside the preserved Dutch lifeboat KONINGIN JULIANA.
Thanks Sarah !

Friday, 15 September 2017 - 23:43
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