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Jesse Green Larne Ferry Web – News and History of Shipping operations from Larne Harbour Past and Present is the physical process of transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo. The term shipping originally referred to transport by sea, but is extended in USA to refer to transport by land or air (International English: “carriage”) as well. “Logistics”, a term borrowed from the military environment, is also fashionably used in the same sense.

Latest News

Larne ferries close in 2006 braving some severe weather conditions.
Stena Pioneer arrives at Larne on 27/12/06

Coaster Alexandra S visits Larne
Alexandra S departing Larne on 28/11/06.

Old Ferry News

Updated news is to hand of former Larne ferries Dalriada, Superstar Express and European Trader.
Dalriada pictured during her Larne – Stranraer days in the 1970’s.  Photo: Roy Thornton Collection


Former Superstar Express involved in a Collision

29th November 2006

Presently trading across the Strait of Gibraltar between Algeciras and Ceuta as Avemar Dos, the former Superstar Express was involved in a collision at sea with the Moroccan registered ferry Atlas, which also trades into the Spanish port of Algeciras.  The aluminum built Avemar Dos came off worse in the collision with severe damage caused to her superstructure on her port side and there were a number of people injured onboard.

Pictures of the damage can be seen in the photographs on the following web pages:

Superstar Express pictured arriving at Larne from Troon on 31/7/04.  Under her current name of Avemar Dos she was involved in a collision with the ferry Atlas in November 2006.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Former European Trader Reported Sold for Scrap

18th November 2006

The freight vessel Lina Trader better known as the Larne – Cairnryan route’s European Trader has recently been sold for scrap in India.  Featured on this page in September (see story dated 14/9/06 below) the Lina Trader was recently serving in the Red Sea for El Salam Maritime on the Egypt – Saudi Arabia pilgrim trade.  Her name has recently been amended to Lina in preparation for the voyage to the breakers.

During 2005, in addition to the Lina Trader, the El Salam fleet also included two other former Larne – Cairnryan ferries, the Free Enterprise IV and Pride of Ailsa.  The three ferries remarkably finding themselves once again together as fleet mates half a world away after serving Larne – Cairnryan for a combined total of 19 years. However, in the space of just over one year the three vessels are now gone; the former Pride of Ailsa being sunk in a collision on the 17/10/05 off Port Tawfiq, Egypt; the former FEIV was scrapped earlier in 2006 and now the former European Trader is also off to the breakers, ending local interest in the El Salam fleet.

European Trader seen leaving Cairnryan during the period of service on the Larne – Cairnryan route.  Her latest Egyptian based owners sold her for scrap in India during November 2006.  Photo: Gary Andrews (click to enlarge)

Ex Dalriada Burns in Indonesia

16th November 2006

The former Larne – Stranraer freight vessel Dalriada currently serving in Indonesia was burned out from end to end when she caught fire at Merak Port in Java on the 16/11/06.  The complete news report from a local source is reproduced below.

Indonesian ferry catches fire, no one injured

People’s Daily 10:10 16/11/06

A shuttle ferry serving the busy Java-Sumatra route was completely on fire Thursday morning, but all 135 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

All cargo and vehicles were burned out as firemen struggled to extinguish the fire on the J.L. Lampung ferry at the Merak Port on the western tip of Java island, reported the Detikcom news website.

“All passengers have been evacuated but vehicles were burned out,” port official Ade Syamsuri was quoted as saying.  Firemen used another ship to approach the ferry in their efforts to put out the fire, he said.

The cause of the accident remains unknown.

Source: Xinhua

Dalriada in her Sealink days at Stranraer during the 1970’s, under the name Lampung she was severely damaged by fire on the 16/11/06 while engaged on her current employment in Indonesia.  Photo: Roy Thornton Collection

Pictures of the former European Trader in Egyptian Waters

14th September 2006

Since leaving Larne in 2001 the former European Trader has had a interesting life which first saw her move to the Western Isles of Scotland prior to sale to Egypt.

The ship completed her final sailing on the Larne – Cairnryan route with the 0730 from Cairnryan on the 14/4/01 before being taken round to Belfast for lay up pending sale.  She was sold and moved to the Ullapool to Stronoway on the Isle of Lewis in June 2001 under her new name Taygran Trader.  This service by Taygran Shipping was in direct competition to the established Caledonian MacBrayne service to the Isle of Lewis and ultimately led Caledonian MacBrayne to add their own dedicated freight ship, which currently is the Muirneag, better known as the old Larne – Ardrossan ferry Belard.

This bold move by Taygran to enter into competition with Caledonian MacBrayne in a limited market eventually led to Taygran losing out and they closed with a number of debts hanging over them which included non-payment of harbour dues and a repair bill from Harland and Wolff for work they had done to the ‘Trader prior to her move to Stornoway.  Taygran Trader was laid up in Leith in September 2001 and was sold the following December to El Salam Maritime of Egypt becoming Lina Trader.

The ship joined former Larne ferries Pride of Ailsa and Free Enterprise IV in the Egyptian’s fleet.  She was altered for her new trade which included ferrying pilgrims across the Red Sea.  With no need of an upper freight deck in an area without the shore ramps to make use of it this area was converted to passenger accommodation and extended aft beyond the funnels.  The two pictures below sent in by Will Murray show her in her new form the pictures were taken on two separate occasions in summer 2006.

Two pictures of Lina Trader (ex European Trader) anchored at Port Suez in summer 2006, in the left picture on Lina Trader’s port side is former Sealink ferry St Edmund.  Photos: Will Murray (click to enlarge)

As European Trader inward to Larne from Cairnryan on 14/12/96.  In the foreground coaster Candourity is anchored awaiting the tide prior to her passage up Larne Lough to Magheramorne.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Larne — Stranraer Relief Ship Sold for Scrap

27th May 2006

Since her regular annual stints helping out on thee Larne – Stranraer service during overhauls  and  breakdowns the former Stena Sailer / St  Cybi spent her post Sealink career soaking up the warmer weather in Greek waters as the Theseus.  Heavily altered after her sale from the Sealink fleet in 1992 for her new role in Greece, the St Cybi gained additional passenger accommodation but in recent years she spent her time laid up out of service at Piraeus.  With no prospect of a sale or further trading she was recently sold for scrap and left Piraeus under tow for scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey on the 28/5/06.

St Cybi arrives at Larne in March 1991 while on overhaul relief duties on the Larne – Stranraer route.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Northern Star Returns to Irish Sea

8th May 2006

Former Larne – Liverpool ship Northern Star has made a return to the Irish Sea for Celtic Link Ferries on their new venture between Dublin and Liverpool.

Celtic Link Ferries was founded by a group of Wexford haulage companies in late 2004 and they took control of the former P&O route between Rosslare and Cherbourg in January 2005 when P&O decided they no longer wished to continue the service.

Buoyed up by their comparative success at Rosslare, the company have expanded into central corridor operations between Dublin and Liverpool.  They commenced operations with the Northern Star, newly renamed Celtic Star, on the 8/5/06 with the 2130 service ex Dublin.  The timetable sees the ship operate a daily round trip Tuesdays – Saturdays with sailings at 0930 ex Dublin and 2130 ex Liverpool.  Sunday is spent laid up at Dublin with a 2130 service to Liverpool that night while Monday is spent laid up in Liverpool prior to a 2130 sailing in the evening to Dublin.

The name Celtic Star was painted on the ship for her entry into service on the Dublin route for Celtic Link Ferries.  This resurrects the vessel’s old name which was carried while P&O had her chartered for use on Dublin – Liverpool between 1999 and 2002 prior to them renaming her Northern Star and subsequent transfer to the Larne – Liverpool route in January 2002.

Since her withdrawal from P&O service upon the closure of the Larne – Liverpool route in December 2002, Northern Star has seen service in the North Sea for Dart Line between Dartford and Vlissingen as well as most recently in the Mediterranean for Contunav between Livorno and Tunis.

Northern Star running with the name Celtic Star on her hull inbound to the River Mersey on the 17/5/06.
Photo: Ian Collard (click to enlarge)

Northern Star pictured in her Larne days outbound with the 1500 sailing to Liverpool on 1/8/02.
Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Caribbean Connections

26th April 2006

At first glance you wouldn’t think Larne has anything in common with the islands of the Caribbean Sea, in fact you would probably say the two places are completely the opposite.  Spectacular sandy beaches and lovely weather for one place while the other is, well, my home and doesn’t have quite the same sandy beaches or great weather.

One shipping link the two places do have in common is a well known former Larne ferry now busily working away sailing between the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.  Currently trading as Neptunia, the former Larne – Stranraer vessel, better known in these climes as Darnia, was photographed at Fort de France on the 26/4/06 by Jenny and John Williamson during their holiday.

The 1977 built freighter has weathered well despite her many years of toil.  Serving Larne – Stranraer, almost exclusively, from August 1978 until February 1991 the Darnia went on to spend time working in the Baltic, the English Channel and now she is half a world away in the Caribbean.

Neptunia (ex Darnia) at Fort de France, Martinique on the 26/4/06.
Photo: Jenny Williamson (click to enlarge)

In her Larne days, Darnia storms out of Larne Harbour with the 1800 sailing to Stranraer on 8/6/90.
Photo: Aubrey Dale (lick to enlarge)

Immediately after withdrawal from service between Larne and Stranraer, the Darnia was renamed Nord Neptunus by her new owners for further trading in the Baltic.  She is pictured here in Visby under that name and prior to renaming to Neptunia, which took place in 1997.  She returned to British waters twice after her Stranraer service ended, firstly on the Ramsgate – Ostend route on charter to Sally Line in 1993 and then between 2000 and 2001 on the Folkestone – Boulogne route for present owners Marfret.  This route closed in June 2001 and Neptunia was subsequently transferred to Caribbean service.
Photo: Clive Jackson (click to enlarge)

Former Stranraer Servant Bows Out

15th April 2006

It is with increasing regularity that this online journal must record the sad news of an old ferry with Larne connections coming to the end of her working life.  Following on from the scrapping of Larne – Cairnryan vessel Free Enterprise IV in March, her one time Larne – Stranraer rival, Antrim Princess has also passed for scrap.

Built on the Tyne in 1967 for British Railways, Antrim Princess was very much a trendsetter and brought many firsts for the British Railways fleet of the time.  She was their first cross channel ferry fitted with a bow visor and the first of a new breed of diesel powered ships in the fleet replacing the steam turbine installations preferred in the majority of her older fleet companions.  Entering service on the Larne – Stranraer route in December 1967, the vessel had a long and successful career on the North Channel until October 1985.

Her biggest claim to fame was her near disastrous engine room fire which occurred on the 9th of December 1983 while on passage to Stranraer and only a few miles out from Larne.  The fire in her main switchboard knocked out both her engines and her steering leaving the ship drifting in 60 mile per hour winds which were slowly driving her to within half a mile of the eastern shore of Islandmagee.

In a spectacular air rescue 128 passengers and non-essential crew members were evacuated from the ship by helicopters and landed ashore.  Meanwhile back aboard the Antrim Princess her remaining crew fought the fire and managed to restore partial power to the ship.  The naval tug Rollicker got a line aboard the ferry and the next day was able to tow her safely to Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast for repairs.

Following her withdrawal from the Larne route, Antrim Princess was transferred to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company becoming the Tynwald.  She served the Isle of Man until 1990 and was sold for further service as Lauro Express serving routes out of ports on the west coast of Italy to the islands of Sardinia and Corsica as well as the long haul trans Mediterranean route to Tunis .  Most recently she was trading as Guiseppe D’Abundo up until her final charter ended in September 2005.  Following a few months laid up in Naples the ship was sold for scrap in April 2006 (although by 2/5/06 a picture on shipspotting.com revealed she was still in Naples awaiting her final voyage to the breakers).

At Stranraer early in her life, Antrim Princess lies alongside the lay by berth at the east side of the Railway Pier.
Photo: Ian Collard (click to enlarge)

Antrim Princess pictured arriving at Larne on 29/9/84.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Rescue helicopters encircle Antrim Princess as she drifts following her engine room fire on 9/12/83.
Photo: Roy Thornton Collection (click to enlarge)

Gardenia Blooms for Spring

17th March 2006

Since leaving these shores on the 20/7/02 for further service across the English Channel the former European Endeavour is still providing a reliable service for her owners Trans Europa Ferries.  Larne Ferry Web reader Nigel Thornton forwarded some pictures of her arriving at Ramsgate at 1400 from Ostend on the 17/3/06.

Gardenia (ex European Endeavour) inbound to Ramsgate from Ostend on 17/3/06.  Photos: Nigel Thornton (click to enlarge)

At Larne in her European Endeavour days she is pictured backing into Larne harbour stern first at the conclusion of a sailing from Cairnryan on the 8/10/95.  In the background Stena Caledonia and Pride of Ailsa can be seen leaving Larne on their respective 1530 sailings to Scotland.
Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Spot the Saint

14th March 2006

A chance view of Genoa harbour on the 14/3/06 revealed quite an unexpected sight tucked up in an out of the way corner.  Quite unbelievingly it was none other than the familiar outline of a saint class ferry, well known in service from Larne in days gone by on the Sealink Stena Line service to Stranraer.  The one in shot is Ibn Batouta known better around Larne as the former Stena Antrim and before that in her English Channel guise of St Christopher.  Sold from the Stena Line fleet in 1998, the vessel passed to Limadet of Morocco for service across the Strait of Gibraltar on the Algecrias to Tangier route and presumably she was making this visit to Genoa for a refit.

Many thanks to Nigel Thornton for passing on his daughter’s handiwork.

In centre of shot with the red funnels and Limadet Ferry along her hull is Ibn Batouta (ex Stena Antrim, ex St Christopher) pictured in Genoa on 14/3/06.
Photo: Nigel Thornton Collection (click to enlarge)

In her more familiar guise to Larne folk as Stena Antrim, pictured here arriving at Larne with the 1600 service ex Stranraer on the 2/4/95.
Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Free Enterprise IV Scrapped

8th March 2006

Free Enterprise IV, the Larne – Cairnryan favourite for 10 years from 1976 to 1986, finally has bowed out of service and has headed for the breakers in India.  The ship, which for quite some time held the record for the fastest Larne – Cairnryan crossing prior to the advent of fast craft Jetliner in 1996, was sold by her Egyptian owners El Salam Maritime of Egypt in February this year and arrived at Alang beach for breaking on 8/3/06.

The Dutch built ship was the first of 5 sister ships built for Townsend Car Ferries (later Townsend Thoresen) between 1969 and 1974.  Initially serving Townsend Thoresen routes based in Dover the ship moved to the North Channel service for the summer of 1976 proving to be a popular addition with the travelling public.  For 10 years she remained predominantly at Larne but generally spent the quieter winter months sailing on the Felixstowe – Zeebrugge route on overhaul cover.  Replaced at Larne in July 1986 by Ionic Ferry (II) the vessel returned to Dover service for a year prior to being sold from the fleet in 1987.  After her service in British waters she was to see further service in the Baltic and would later end up in the Red Sea on service between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The FE4 recently caused quite a stir in the local Larne press after an article in the Larne Times mistakenly identified the vessel as the El Salam ship Al Salam Boccaccio 98, which sank in the Red Sea on the 2/2/06 with heavy loss of life.  Local ferry expert Gary Andrews put the paper right the following week correctly stating that the former Larne based Free Enterprise IV operated for El Salam as the Tag Al Salam and was not in fact the doomed ship after all.  However it seems that at the time of the loss of Al Salam Boccaccio 98, El Salam were making preparations to sell the Tag Al Salam for scrap, thus bringing to a close an illustrious 36 year career of ferry operations in Northern Europe and Africa.

Free Enterprise IV seen at Larne in November 1979 has recently passed for scrapping in India.
Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Ailsa Princess To Sail Again

24th February 2006

Former Larne – Stranraer ferry Ailsa Princess looks set to see service once again.  The vessel had been laid up in Piraeus since February 2005 under the name Express Adonis and with a certain amount of cannibalism of her onboard equipment for spare parts for other ferries it seemed she would end up scrapped.  However this has not been the case and she was sold in January 2006 to Indian owners.  Despite India’s prevalence in the scrap market it appears that the new owners are not scrap dealers but have some further use for the vessel.  She was renamed New Caribbean Princess at Piraeus around the 20/1/06, reviving her Princess origins on the Stranraer route.  Hopefully further news on the vessel’s future will soon come to light

Two views of the former Ailsa Princess laid up at Drapetsona under her new name New Caribbean Princess in early February 2006.  Alongside her is Vitsentzos Kornaros, the one time P&O vessel Viking Viscount which served Larne – Cairnryan for two relief spells in early 1988 and 1989.  Photos: Nikos Thrylos (click to enlarge)

Rathlin Sails

23rd January 2006

Ever since her parting good bye after 8 years service at Larne on the 11/9/00, news of the former Pride of Rathlin has been difficult to come by.  However a webpage has recently come to light that shows a small picture of the ship in her new guise of BSP III.


As for what the text says I have no idea (translations are welcome) but the small picture on the page showing the view overlooking the aft end of a ferry unmistakably shows the poop deck of the former Pride of Rathlin, proving that the stalwart continues to sail after all.

Thanks to Gary Andrews for passing on the link.

A vintage view of Pride of Rathlin departing Larne with her 1130 sailing to Cairnryan on the 6/8/95.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

See the Bulletin Board for more details on all the Latest News stories involving Larne shipping


Southerly Gales Stop the Shipping

5th December 2006

Southerly gales over a 4 day spell beginning on the 30/11/06 caused major havoc with the ferry schedules from the port of Larne.

Worst hit was the Larne – Fleetwood service, which was only just getting back to normal after the westerly gales at the end of the previous week.  Stena Pioneer on arrival at Larne at 0630 on the morning of the 30/11/06 failed to berth due to gales in the harbour gusting in excess of 50 knots and heavy seas inside the port helped on by an extremely high tide.  She turned and went back to sea waiting off Larne for a moderation in conditions.  She did get into port at 0950 to discharge her cargo and reload but by the time she set out for Fleetwood at 1330 she was too far behind schedule to make the tide.

After the departure of Stena Pioneer on the 30/11/06 Stena Seafarer made it to Larne with her inbound 0300 ex Fleetwood sailing at 1440.  She discharged and reloaded unaccompanied freight putting back to sea at 1900.  With Stena Pioneer delayed and waiting on the tide off Fleetwood the Stena Seafarer anchored off Larne and didn’t leave the area until 0700 the following morning when a free berthing slot became available at Fleetwood.  The ‘Seafarer effectively took up the Stena Pioneer’s run for the next day after the ‘Pioneer had fallen behind schedule when she missed the tide.

Following Stena Seafarer, the Stena Leader berthed at Larne at 2000 on the 30/11/06.  She discharged, reloaded and sailed at 0025, passing the ‘Seafarer at anchor off Larne.

The 1/12/06 provided some respite for the ships as conditions moderated somewhat but more was to come on the afternoon of the 2/12/06.  Stena Pioneer, still running behind after missing the tide on the 30/11/06, made it to Larne on the afternoon of the 2/12/06 at 1715.  With winds picking up she reloaded unaccompanied freight and left Larne at 2020 but didn’t get far as the conditions were so bad that she sailed for shelter in Belfast Lough.  Following along behind was Stena Leader which arrived at Larne at 2100, she also reloaded unaccompanied freight and sat alongside Continental Quay until 0645 the next day, she ended up joining Stena Pioneer sheltering in Belfast Lough.  By the evening both ships had made it to shelter off the NE coast of the Isle of Man and it wasn’t until the 4/12/06 that the Stena Pioneer made it to Fleetwood.

On the morning of the 3/12/06 Stena Seafarer made it into Larne at 0715 with the 2200 ex Fleetwood after having battled her way through the gales and heavy seas during the night on her way north.  She also back loaded unaccompanied freight like the other two ships but remained alongside not departing Larne until 1020 on the 4/12/06, there being no point in going to sea when the other two vessels had to make it into Fleetwood first.

By the 5/12/06 services began to return to normal until the next gale.

Larne – Troon freight sailings by European Mariner also suffered some cancellations and severe delays.  She was almost 4 hours late arriving on the morning of the 30/11/06 due to the weather and whilst she was loaded that evening to depart at 1900 she delayed her departure until 0400 the next day when conditions had moderated.  That evening she made it back to Larne at 1615 and sailed again on schedule at 1900.  On Saturday the 2/12/06 she berthed on Curran Quay at 0650 and commenced weekend lay up on that berth, her sailing on Sunday the 3/12/06 at 1900 was cancelled due to adverse weather and it wasn’t until her 1900 sailing on the 4/12/06 when she returned to service.

Cairnryan sailings continued to operate throughout the period of inclement weather but vehicle deck space was at a premium as a number of Stena’s Belfast – Stranraer sailings were cancelled on the 30/11/06 and again on the 3/12/06 due to adverse weather.  With the large loads on offer requiring extra lashings to be applied to cater for the poor weather turn round times were extended causing the ships to fall behind schedule and by the 1/12/06 both ships had settled down 1 trip behind schedule, sailing on the opposite roster to usual.  They continued on the wrong roster into the next week.

Stena Pioneer pictured sheltering in Belfast Lough off Bangor in the company of Mersey Viking and RR Shield.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Stena Seafarer departing Larne at 1020 on the 4/12/06 bringing Fleetwood services back to something resembling normality after some extreme weather over the previous few days.  Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Cairnryan Port Development Public Inquiry Opens

30th November 2006

The public inquiry into the proposed enlargement of Cairnryan port to accommodate Stena Line’s service from Belfast – Stranraer route got underway on the 30/11/06 in the community hall in the village.

Scheduled to last until early January 2007, the inquiry will hear submissions from expert witnesses involved in the project and will provide a forum for opponents of the proposed development to ask questions.  Once the inquiry is over and subject to a ruling by the Scottish Executive approving the proposed development work, the project will be granted a Harbour Empowerment Order allowing the building work to proceed.

Looking back through the Larne Ferry Web archive, the proposed development work at Cairnryan was first announced in May 2003.  Its doubtful anyone involved would have thought things would have taken quite this long to get this far.  Also surprisingly Stena’s proposed new terminal at Belfast has not been started yet and this has no known publicly announced opposition to its development.

Coaster Calls

28th November 2006

Coastal cargo vessel Alexandra S arrived at Larne at 1300 on the 24/11/06 with a cargo of limestone chippings.  Discharge commenced after the weekend had passed on the 27/11/06 and was completed in time for the ship to leave the next day at 1600 bound for Troon to pick up her next cargo.  Local tug Sarah McLoughlin assisted on pilot boat duties on both the inward and outward passages of the coaster.

Alexandra S arriving at Larne on the 24/11/06 with a cargo of limestone chippings.  Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Alexandra S departing Larne light ship for Troon with Sarah McLoughlin in attendance on 28/11/06.  Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Weather Makes its Mark

23rd November 2006

The latest ferry news from the port of Larne has been dominated by the prolonged period of gales that has caused disruption to sailings.

Larne – Fleetwood sailings operated by Stena Line have been most effected with all three vessels having to miss sailings to regain schedule.  Strong westerly winds in the middle of the Irish Sea caused some lengthy sailings as ships were weather routed along the Irish coast in order to protect the cargo from damage.

P&O sailings between Larne and Cairnryan were also hit by gales and European Highlander felt just what a wind tossed Irish Sea can generate when she was hit by a freak wave on her 0730 sailing from Cairnryan to Larne on the 21/11/06.  The wave damaged the starboard section of her forward cow-catcher and when she got into Larne at the conclusion of that sailing loose sections of the steel work were removed by the local engineering contractors.  This operation was carried out alongside at MacKean Quay using workboat Noleen McLoughlin and resulted in a two and a half hour delay to the European Highlander’s schedules.  Sister ship European Causeway was also delayed by 1 hour as the time Highlander spent getting her damaged cowcatcher removed the Causeway had caught up on European Highlander.

Both Cairnryan ships were to be hard pressed for the rest of the day as Belfast – Stranraer sailings by Stena Line were cancelled due to adverse weather resulting in extra traffic for the Larne – Cairnryan route.  Both ships had recovered all lost time by the following morning.

European Mariner’s sailings on the Larne – Troon freight route also suffered severe delays both due to the weather and from a technical problem which prevented her sailing from Larne on the 19/11/06 for 3 hours.  She battled on enduring some heavy weather which resulted in round trips in excess of 20 hours instead of the usual 12 hours.

This bow on shot of European Highlander shows her missing section of cow catcher on the starboard side.  The structure was removed after being loosened by heavy seas on the 21/11/06.  Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Tanker Deliveries

13th November 2006

Ballylumford Power Station received two diesel oil deliveries in recent days brought in by coastal tankers of the Fisher fleet.

First to arrive was Shannon Fisher on the 3/11/06.  She berthed at the A jetty at 0840 on arrival from Milford Haven, departing again at 1730 once discharge was completed.  Following her on the 13/11/06 was fleet mate Milford Fisher, which arrived from Milford Haven at 1500, sailing later that evening after discharge at 2315.

Below are a few pictures showing Milford Fisher’s arrival on 13/11/06.

Larne pilot Phil O’Brien boards Milford Fisher from Sarah McLoughlin helped by Davy Ferran.

Milford Fisher inbound to Larne on 13/11/06.  Photo: P. Garrett click to enlarge

Milford Fisher inward to Larne.  Photo: P. Garrett click to enlarge

Milford Fisher alongside Ballylumford A.  Photo: P. Garrett click to enlarge

Rough Weather Delays Sailings

31st October 2006

A day of north westerly gales on the 31/10/06 caused some severe weather delays to Larne based ferries with the winds making berthing conditions in the harbour extremely difficult.  Stena Seafarer, European Causeway and European Mariner all spent periods waiting off the port limits as the gales prevented berthing.

At 1230, European Causeway failed in her first attempt to berth at Larne at 1230 at the conclusion of her 1030 sailing from Cairnryan.  She put back to sea and made a second attempt to enter the harbour at 1335.  Assisted by tugs Sarah McLoughlin and Noleen McLoughlin it took European Causeway over 30 minutes fighting against the off shore wind before she made it alongside her berth.

The European Causeway’s 1330 sailing from Larne subsequently ran late as a result, not getting away until 1530.  By this time however the wind speed was easing down and the 2 hour delay was recovered by the next day.

Stena Seafarer also attempted to berth at Continental Quay after the ‘Causeway’s failed attempt at 1300 with the two tugs assisting.  She also failed to berth at this time and was forced to put to sea again.  She made her second attempt to enter at 1830 and this time made it alongside successfully.  The ‘Seafarer turned round and sailed to Fleetwood with her regular 1600 sailing from Larne at 2100.  She made up all the lost time extremely quickly and her 1600 sailing from Larne the next day departed on time.

The following vessel, Stena Leader faced the full fury of the gale during her passage north with her 1000 service from Fleetwood and didn’t get to Larne until 2350.  She didn’t quite regain schedule as quickly as Stena Seafarer, taking until the evening of the 4/11/06 before she got back onto her normal schedule.

European Mariner appeared off the port with her 0230 sailing from Troon at 1430, she remained outside the port awaiting conditions to moderate and berthed on Curran Quay at 2000.  She discharged and reloaded for Troon, departing with her normal 1900 sailing at 2245.  Thanks to her regular daily lay up in Larne she picked up all lost time and her 1900 to Troon the following day departed on time.

Pictured below are a few shots taken on 31/10/06 showing the Larne ships battling hard against the high winds.

Stena Seafarer makes her approach to Larne with European Causeway leaving after missing the berth on her first attempt.  Right shot ‘Seafarer returning to sea again after the north westerly winds prevented her coming alongside.

Two shots of European Causeway’s second attempt to berth blown by north westerly winds running from left to right of shot.  This time she made it into port.

European Causeway sailing from Larne at 1530

European Highlander inbound at 1530

Galway Fisher Oil Delivery

23rd October 2006

Coastal tanker Galway Fisher arrived at Ballylumford A jetty on the 23/10/06 at 0845 with a cargo of diesel oil for the power station.  The tanker arrived from Milford Haven and was escorted into port by pilot boat Sarah McLoughlin.

Discharge of the oil cargo was completed at 1600 and the vessel sailed at 1700 bound for Milford Haven.  She was assisted in her swing off the jetty by Sarah McLoughlin which also collected the pilot once the tanker cleared number 1 buoy outward.

European Mariner on Windmill Duty

22nd October 2006

Since her return from damage repairs European Mariner has been kept busy with her regular weekend windmill charter work.  Over the weekend of 21st-22nd October she completed another cargo run, importing six of the extra long trailers loaded with windmill towers into Larne.

European Mariner sailed from Larne at 0955 on the 21/10/06 to load in Campbeltown once she discharged from her inbound Troon freight sailing.  She carried  a number of flat bed trailers on this outward journey, some of which were loaded with concrete blocks.  The vessel spent the night in Campbeltown and returned to Larne at 1610 on the 22/10/06 with the windmill parts.  These loads were discharged and the ship back loaded freight for Troon, sailing slightly later than scheduled at 1920.

Seafarer Lets Pioneer Take a Break

17th October 2006

Stena Seafarer slotted into the usual Larne – Fleetwood schedule of Stena Pioneer to allow her fleet mate to undergo some planned maintenance work on her engines over a four day period.  The Stena Pioneer completed service on the 14/10/06 and laid up in Larne on Curran Quay after her arrival from Fleetwood at 0855, Stena Seafarer subsequently took over the ‘Pioneer’s run departing at 1330 later that afternoon.

Stena Seafarer remained on the ‘Pioneer’s roster until the morning arrival from Fleetwood on the 17/10/06.  The ships changed over at Larne that morning with Stena Pioneer departing at 1040 on her run and Stena Seafarer following at 1535 re-introduced on her own roster again after it was cancelled for three days while she was busy covering for the ‘Pioneer.

For the record the following sailings normally operated by Stena Seafarer were cancelled while she was operating the schedule of the Stena Pioneer:

15/10/06: 1600 ex Larne
16/10/06: 0300 ex Fleetwood, 1600 ex Larne
17/10/06: 0300 ex Fleetwood; ‘Seafarer subsequently reintroduced to roster at 1535 17/10/06

Stena Pioneer laid up in Larne for maintenance on 16/10/06.  Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Mariner Returns to the Fray

16th October 2006

Freight vessel European Mariner brushed aside her recent ills and returned to full service again on the Larne to Troon freight route on the 16/10/06, the route being closed since the 0230 sailing ex Troon on the 2/8/06.

The ship had been out of service to undergo repairs to damage caused after she collided with a steel piled perch at Troon harbour while attempting to berth at the Ayrshire port in the early hours of the 3/8/06.  The main repair work centred around fixing her damaged starboard propeller shaft, the work being carried out by Birkenhead based North Western Ship Repair.

After a lengthy spell in dry dock at Birkenhead European Mariner was moved into the wet basin facility at the yard on the afternoon of the 13/10/06.  She departed the wet basin two days later on the 15/10/06 around 1800 bound first for Campbeltown where she arrived on the 16/10/06 to pick up a windmill cargo for Troon.  She returned to Larne at 1825 that evening and re-entered service on the Troon freight route sailing at 2010 from Chaine Quay (Stena Pioneer was undergoing maintenance work at her usual berth on Curran Quay).

European Mariner outward from the Mersey at 1830 on 15/10/06 after completing repairs at Birkenhead.  Photo: Ian Collard (click to enlarge)

European Mariner back at Larne on the 16/10/06 for the first time since the completion of repairs to her damaged propeller shaft.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Seafarer Shores Up Stranraer Service

9th October 2006

Fleetwood freight ferry Stena Seafarer took time out from her duties on the Larne service over the period 7/10/06 to the 9/10/06 so she could provide relief cover on the Belfast to Stranraer route.

The ship temporarily finished Fleetwood operations once she had completed discharging in Larne from the 0300 ex Fleetwood service on the 7/10/06.  Stena Seafarer then left for Belfast at 1350 and took up sailings to Stranraer with the 1900 service from Belfast operating a two ship service alongside the former Larne – Stranraer legend Stena Caledonia.

The vessel remained on the Stranraer route all weekend to cover a maintenance lay up for HSS fast craft Stena Voyager, which was out of service at Harland and Wolff’s Ship Repair Quay in Belfast after completing her 0455 sailing from Stranraer on the 7/10/05.

Fast craft operations recommenced on the Belfast – Stranraer route on the 9/10/06 when Stena Voyager sailed from Belfast at 1730 to Stranraer.  Stena Seafarer had earlier stood down from the Stranraer route in order to return to service on the Fleetwood route and she re-entered service with the 1600 sailing from Larne on the 9/10/06.  The Larne – Fleetwood service lost two sailings due to the absence of the ‘Seafarer – the 1600 ex Larne on 8/10/06 and 0300 ex Fleetwood on the 9/10/06.

For the record, Stranraer sailings operated by Stena Seafarer were:

1900 ex Belfast

0100 ex Stranraer
0730 ex Belfast
1300 ex Stranraer
1900 ex Belfast

0100 ex Stranraer
After discharging in Belfast proceeded light to Larne arriving on Curran Quay at 1000.  Re-entered Larne – Fleetwood service with the 1600 sailing to Fleetwood.

Fuel Oil Tanker at Ballylumford

8th October 2006

Ballylumford Power Station took delivery of a fuel oil cargo from the tanker, Alia, which arrived at the station’s B jetty at 1210 on the 7/10/06.

Alia arrived at the anchorage site in Belfast Lough during the afternoon of the 6/10/06 and was forced to miss the next high tide later on that evening as her allocated tugs, Svitzer Marine’s Belfast based tugs Willowgarth and Norton Cross, were busy with a job in Belfast at the same time.

With her tugs available for the following high tide at 1140 on the 7/10/06, the local pilot was boarded in Belfast Lough at around 1000 using Maria McLoughlin.  Norton Cross hooked on at Alia’s bow and Willowgarth to her stern just outside the approach channel to Larne and they both assisted the tanker into the jetty where she was all fast at 1210.  Line running at the berth was carried out by Noleen McLoughlin and David F.

With discharge complete, Alia departed Ballylumford at 2020 on the 8/10/06.  Norton Cross and Willowgarth again provided tug power to assist the tanker off the berth.  Sarah McLoughlin then returned the pilot to shore once the tanker had cleared the channel outward.

Alia’s Facts and Figures from www.equasis.org

IMO number: 9259903
Gross tonnage: 23676
Year of build: 2003
Flag: Liberia
Ship manager: SEAARLAND MANAGEMENT, Delflandlaan, Amsterdam NETHERLANDS

Alia arriving at Ballylumford assisted by Norton Cross and Willowgarth.  Photo: LFW (click to enlarge)

Alia at Ballylumford B Jetty on 7/10/06.  Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Leader Late

8th October 2006

Stena Leader was delayed after one of the vessel’s crew was injured during cargo operations.  The ship was prevented from leaving Fleetwood for around 4 hours with her 1000 sailing to Larne on the 4/10/06 to allow the injured crew member to be treated and subsequently taken to hospital.  The ship arrived in Larne that evening at 2215 instead of the usual 1800 and was turned round to depart at 0200 on the 5/10/06.  With the ship heavily booked for the next few days there was virtually no opportunity to shave time on turn rounds at either port and the ship remained around 4 hours late until Monday 9/10/06 when she caught up on lost time with a quick turn round at Fleetwood in the morning and at Larne that evening.

Stena Leader, seen here at Larne on 10/9/06, suffered long delays after a crew member was injured on board the ship.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Express Delivers a Positive 2006

5th October 2006

P&O fast craft Express completed her summer service on the Larne – Troon and Larne – Cairnryan routes with the 2020 sailing ex Troon on the 2/10/06 under the command of Captain Stohlberger.

Looking back at the LFW archive, the ship had an even better year reliability wise in 2006 compared to 2005 with the number of sailings cancelled due to technical failures reduced.  It will be interesting to see if her traffic figures report a similar positive performance to the reliability record.

After completion of her summer season the craft remained at Larne loading stores and other essential items required by the ship’s technical staff to carry out overhaul work during her winter lay up.  With the appropriate gear loaded, the ship left Larne for the last time in 2006 at 0850 on the 5/10/06 bound for Belfast, commanded on this occasion by Captain Val Plant.  She berthed at Donegall Quay later that morning for lay up until her dry docking, which is scheduled for February 2007.

Express pictured at Donegall Quay, Belfast on 5/10/06 after arriving from Larne for winter lay up.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Page last updated on 05/12/06

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Photo Album: New Year 2007

European Highlander at Larne on 1/1/07. Click here to see more pictures taken on 1/1/07


The Larne Ferry Web Photo Album, a collection of photos with extended captions showing Larne shipping past and present.  Pictures will change roughly every two weeks and contributions of pictures are always welcome send them here

This edition: New Year 2007
Updated: 01/01/07

European Highlander at MacKean Quay Larne for New Year.  This ship and running mate European Causeway had a rough end to 2006 with both ships completing their scheduled sailings for the year behind time due to severe gales.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Stena Pioneer alongside Curran Quay for New Year lay up she is loaded with unaccompanied freight loaded on the 30/12/06 and ready for her first sailing to Fleetwood in 2007 at 2200 on the 1/1/07.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

European Mariner resting for New Year at Chaine Quay.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Stena Seafarer laid up for the New Year at Continental Quay resting under the rainbow.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Port of Larne just before 1330 on 1/1/07 with left to right: Stena Seafarer at Continental Quay, Europeaqn Mariner at Chaine Quay, European Highlander preparing to depart from MacKean Quay and Stena Pioneer at Curran Quay.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

European Highlander passes the Stena Seafarer with the first sailing of 2007 from Larne – the 1330 to Cairnryan.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Well on her way now, European Highlander passes perch number 2 on her way out of Larne with the 1330 to Cairnryan.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

Larne Ships elsewhere: A Look at Superstar Express in service from Spain (UPDATED)

Some shots of the former Superstar Express now working across the Gibraltar Strait as Avemar Dos.  Feature updated with shots from September 2006. Click here

The Port of Larne has been graced with 3 different fast craft engaged on P&O’s Larne to Scotland fast ferry services.  Inaugurated in June 1996 the fast ferry crossing between Larne and Cairnryan was established by the monohull vessel Jetliner.  Capable of 35 knots the Norwegian built Jetliner was able to complete the crossing to Scotland in 1 hour, 30 minutes faster than the next fastest competitor at the time, Seacat Scotland on the Belfast – Stranraer route.  The highly marketable route was an instant success but early promise was tainted somewhat by Jetliner’s poor mechanical reliability which began to show only 1 month after the route opened.  Technical problems dogged the craft throughout her service at Larne up until her withdrawal in 2000 at the finish of her charter to P&O.  Jetliner later moved to further service in Indonesia and is now laid up there – an expensive commodity that her current operators can no longer afford to keep in service.

With the Jetliner’s poor technical record something was needed to restore customer confidence in the Larne – Cairnryan route.  This came in the shape of Superstar Express, which after a good performance on P&O’s Portsmouth – Cherbourg route was replaced there by the larger fast craft Portsmouth Express and was thus spare to come to Larne and take over from Jetliner.   Superstar Express took over at Larne on the 18/4/00 with Jetliner bowing out of service the previous day.  With the Superstar Express’ superior reliability compared to Jetliner, confidence in the fast craft option from Larne began to filter through to the travelling public to such an extent that fast craft services from Larne were expanded in the 2003 season when Superstar Express combined crossings from Larne to the Ayrshire port of Troon in her itinerary as well as the established Larne – Cairnryan service.

The Superstar Express lasted one further season on the Troon and Cairnryan routes before bowing out of service from Larne with a weather delayed crossing from Troon on the 19/9/04 which did not arrive in Larne until the early hours of the next day.  In September 2004, after a fleetwide review of operations, P&O announced the closure of three of their four services from Portsmouth.  This left the Cherbourg Express (ex Portsmouth Express), still with a number of years left to run on her charter, with no dedicated service for the forthcoming 2005 summer season while Superstar Express, whose charter was renewed annually, could be dispensed with at the end of the 2004 season. Thus, the craft that had replaced Superstar Express in Portsmouth in 2000 was also now going to replace her on the North Channel.

Restyled Express although marketed as P&O Express, the former Cherbourg Express made her debut on the North Channel on the 18/3/05 with the 0715 sailing to Troon.  Meanwhile, Superstar Express spent the winter of 2004-2005 laid up at Birkenhead awaiting a buyer or another company to charter her.  With the summer season almost over Buquebus bought the vessel and in early August 2005 she moved from Birkenhead to Algecrias for refitting and renaming to Avemar Dos prior to starting service on the Algecrias to Ceuta route.  Larne Ferry Web reader Seamus McAllister caught up with Avemar Dos in November 2005 during a crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Three scenes showing the Avemar Dos manoeuvring at her berth and alongside.

An equivalent view of Superstar Express alongside in Larne during May 2002.
Photo: Larne Ferry Web (click to enlarge)

A few views of the interior of Avemar Dos shows only superficial changes from her days on the North Channel as Superstar Express.  Seamus writes, “the SSE has been reupholstered and although the crossing time to Morocco is one hour (same as Larne – Cairnryan) the onboard services were limited – the restaurant is now a tea bar and the shop never opened during the crossing. In fact the aft end of the ship was closed off to customers with steel shutters.”

Above: Two views of the interior of Superstar Express taken in 2003.  Photos: Jimmy Dowey (click to enlarge)

The familiar profile of another ex Larne ship, the Le Rif better known in these parts as Galloway Princess / Stena Galloway alongside in Algecrias.

Following on from this article Richard Seville forwarded a set of pictures of the Avemar Dos taken in September 2006.  Richard reports that the vessel now shows little of her former P&O heritage and is looking in need of a good clean up after a hard season.  The former Fables restaurant at the forward end of the main passenger deck is now a branded Telepizza outlet complete with their bright red colour scheme.  This offers similar fare to what Fables did with drinks and snacks available rather than full meals in light of the short crossing, and unsurprisingly given its name the outlet specialises in pizzas.  Towards the after end of this deck the former reception desk on the starboard side is closed and out of use while the Coffee and Choc Dock is now a Buquebus Travel Agency.  The shop remains at the extreme aft end of this deck on the starboard side but was closed to passengers.

The upper passenger deck of the craft is now designated a First Class area whereas in her P&O days this housed the main bar area and was open to all passengers apart from the Club Class lounge area to starboard.  This lounge was only accessible on her North Channel sailings on payment of a supplement, which during her last season as Superstar Express in 2004 the Club Class upgrade was priced at £7 per person on Larne – Cairnryan sailings and £10 per person on Larne – Troon sailings.  This former Club Class area is reserved as a VIP lounge on Avemar Dos and now sees very little use.

All pictures below taken September 2006 by Richard Seville click on image to enlarge

The staircase between the two passenger decks on Avemar Dos looking upward towards the First Class area.

The main passenger deck showing the former Fables Restaurant area, which is now a branded Telepizza outlet.

The upper passenger deck looking forward towards the main bar.

The former Club Class lounge aboard Avemar Dos is now a reserved VIP lounge

Avemar Dos at speed on another crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar

Le Rif in September 2006 clearly showing her new enclosed bridge wings

Superstar Express now in service as Avemar Dos.  Photo: Richard Seville

Magheramorne in 1996

Aubrey Dale looks at some of the ships that made 1996 a busy year for the jetty at Magheramorne.  Click here

LFW has already touched upon the subject of the jetty at the former Blue Circle cement works at Magheramorne, about 25 minutes sailing  time past Larne.

The origin of Magheramorne as a port goes back to 1794 when the proprietor of the Magheramorne estate began the quarrying of limestone for local consumption although it was to be another 10 years before he began to export his limestone and import coal.

The estate was sold in 1824 and the new owner expanded the operation by building new kilns and wharves.  His venture seems to have been a success and by 1834, 342 vessels, of 13,936 tons, are recorded as trading to Magheramorne in the limestone and coal trades.

By 1839 no fewer than 902 vessels of 24,132 tons were engaged in the trade.  Excluding Sundays this would mean that the harbour handled almost 3 ships every day.  This is a bit deceptive by today’s standards in that the average tonnage of each ship would have been 27 – somewhat below the comparable figure for a coaster (or even a tug) in 2006.

In the early part of the 20th century the British Portland Cement Company built a factory at Magheramorne, using the local limestone to make cement.

The factory, under a number of names, continued production on the site until 1989.  By then it had become out of date.  Rebuilding was considered too expensive and there was another factory at Cookstown, Co Tyrone which could continue to supply the local market with additional product imported as and when required.

Magheramorne was not the only harbour on Larne Lough.  In addition to Larne there were the Bank Quays on the Bank Road.  Later known simply as the Bank Quay it was owned by Howden Brothers Limited which, in turn, was owned by John Kelly Limited the Belfast shipowner and coal importer.  Howdens engaged in the same trade as its parent.  The Bank Quay handled occasional import cargoes for Kilwaughter Chemicals.

My introduction to Magheramorne came in the mid-80’s when the cement factory was still making cement.  Ships of the Stephenson Clark fleet brought cement clinker and Ramsey Steamship Company and Glenlight boats loaded bagged and bulk cement.

The pattern continued after cessation of manufacturing on the site but bagged and bulk cement was now being imported rather than exported. There was also an occasional cargo of stone loaded out for the Channel Tunnel project and some imports of coal.

In 1995 with the decline in the coal market and the end of the working life of the cranes, the Bank Quay closed.  This had a positive effect on Magheramorne in that the mineral cargoes handled for Kilwaughter Chemicals were diverted there.    This was to bring a variety of non UK-flag vessels to Magheramorne for the first time although it was to be a few more years before the changes became completely apparent.  The cargoes diverted included marble chips, china clay and silver sand.

Another closure was that of nearby Carrickfergus in April 1996. I had hoped that some of its cargoes (other than coal and liquids which had gone to Belfast) might end up at Magheramorne but (with one exception) that was not to be.

As sometimes happens, you see something but the passage of time is needed before you appreciate it or understand it in its historical setting.  1996 was like that.  It was to be a vintage year and one never to be repeated although I did not know it at the time.

It started with the Arklow Mill   (IRL 1988/1524) on 13 January loading stone.

Arklow Mill opened Magheramorne’s arrivals log for 1996 and is pictured here loading stone at the jetty on 13/1/96.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

The next noted arrival was the Ronez (1982/870) on 27 February with bulk cement.

10 March produced the Danica Violet (DK 1986/1290) probably with marble chips – one of the “new” cargoes and on 18 March the Conformity brought china clay.  Next was the Sanguity (1984/1892) on 25 March with bagged cement.   March was rounded off with the Fosseland (BHS 1979/1059) on the last day of the month with an unidentified cargo.  Four ships in one month was quite something!

6 April saw the Arklow Moor (1990/1524) to discharge what I was told was fish meal – a Carrickfergus cargo which was not repeated.  11 April brought the Bure (1969/347) with silver sand.

Bure loaded with a cargo of silver sand approaches Magheramorne jetty on the 11/4/96.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Next was the Birling on 4 May (1977/2795) with cement clinker. She berthed with assistance from the Maria McLoughlin. 11 May had the Rosethorn (1982/1213) with a part cargo of silver sand. The Ben Ellan (IoM 1981/538) brought bulk cement on 24 May and the Ben Vane also had bulk cement on the 30th.

Birling seen arriving at Magheramorne on the 4/4/96 with a load of cement clinker.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Ben Ellen at Magheramorne discharging bulk cement.  Normally ships had to slide well up the jetty toward shore when discharging using the jetty’s powder suction equipment.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

6 June saw the Sociality (1986/1992) with bagged cement.  The 14th had the Lancing (1976/1943) with cement clinker and the next day the Ben Maye (IoM 1979/548) brought bulk cement.

The jetty’s crane is busy working to discharge Sociality’s cargo of bagged cement on 6/6/96.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Lancing alongside Magheramorne in the process of discharging cement clinker on the 14/6/96.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

20 July saw the Commodity (1975/559) with china clay.

August was another good month with four ships noted. First on the 1st was the Union Titan (BRB 1986/1543) with marble chips.  The Bure returned on 7th with bagged sand.  The Portland (1980/909) brought bagged cement on 11 August and the Ben Maye had bulk cement on 19th August.

Two of the four recorded arrivals in August 1996 seen alongside at Magheramorne.  Left is Union Titan discharging marble chips on the 1/8/96, while on the right Portland is in with a cargo of bagged cement on 11/8/96.  Photos: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

September was even better.  The 7th started with the Athinoula (Pa 1974/1454) with marble chips, the Rosethorn had bagged cement on the 15th.  The Ben Maye departed on 19th after discharging bulk cement and was back on the 21st with more of the same.  The 28th had the Daniel (NL 1996/1990) to discharge bagged cement.

Rosethorn at Magheramorne on the 15/9/96 loaded with bagged cement.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Ben Maye at Magheramorne with bulk cement on the 19/9/96, the first of two recorded cargoes of bulk cement she brought into Magheramorne in September 1996.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Daniel at Magheramorne unloading bagged cement on 28/9/96.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

October was quiet with only the Beate (DEU 1969/1223) and another cargo of marble chips.

November was slightly better with the Caravelle (NL 1972/999) with bulk cement and the return of the Ronez on 16th and the Ben Maye on 30th – both with bulk cement.

December, traditionally a quiet month for the building trade, produced five calls by four ships. The Ben Vane (IoM 1977/541) had bulk cement on the 7th and the Ben Maye had the same product on 14th.  The following day the Candourity (1975/559) joined her with china clay – a tight squeeze given the length of the jetty.  The Ronez had bulk cement on 22 December and returned on 28th to complete the year with yet more of the same.

A year to remember.

Caravelle at Magheramorne with bulk cement on the 16/11/96.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

Two for the price of one; Ben Maye on the right ahead of Candourity both at Magheramorne on the 15/12/96.  Ben Maye on this occasion in with bulk cement and Candourity just arrived with china clay.  Photo: Aubrey Dale (click to enlarge)

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