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Would have thought there would have been other local tugs attending during the operation, but no apparent movement yet to signify definite activity.
As of now, it appears AYTON CROSS accompanied STRATHORD as far as the Tail o’ The Bank, and then at around 1730hrs returned to base – leaving STRATHORD on her own with the barge.
Was surprised that there was no on-going support – seem to re-call on previous similar operations that two tugs were involved on the journey to Rosyth?
ETA Rosyth - 1000hrs, 1st May.
The island wasn't as big as I expected it to be.
It shouldn't be too long now before one of the lower blocks is moved to a barge for its trip round to Rosyth.
Light and visibility were quite poor.
SHIPAIS website does not recognise her, either as at anchor or under way.
Anyone any ideas?
Speed still around the 6 knot mark – ETA Rosyth now moved back to 3rd May
Winds in the area are from the north, 14 knots.
Speed over the last few hours reduced to between 4.5 and 5 knots.
Wind is north-westerly, 16 knots.
Her course has taken her over toward the French mainland, being currently only about 8 miles west of Boulogne-sur-MER.
Present course is almost due north, which will take her across and up through the busy bottle-neck in the Dover/Calais area.
Winds in the area are south-westerly, 22 knots.
Winds in the area are westerlies, around 18 knots, she continues to average around 6 knots.
ETA Rosyth now around mid-day Saturday.
Marine Traffic had her “off-air” from 1409hrs yesterday until 0720hrs this morning - distance travelled in that time was about 40 miles, so an average speed of between 2 and 2.5 knots.
Present position is 12 miles off the coast, 20 miles north of Grimsby – ETA Rosyth given as 1300hrs tomorrow which seems very unlikely.
Winds are coming from the north-east, 14 knots, which might be what is hampering progress?
Hadn’t picked up on the “escort” factor, as was watching on “My Fleet”.
Again, breaks on updated positioning put YORKSHIREMAN has been assisting since at least early hours this morning – we don’t know if it’s weather or mechanical problems that has given rise to the assistance?
YORKSHIREMAN appears to be back in Grimsby harbour.
ETA Rosyth now showing as 0700hrs UTC tomorrow – with about 70–odd miles to go, seems reasonable – needs to maintain a speed of just over 6 knots to meet that target.
Winds there are 30 knots easterly, so would imagine they’re waiting for more favourable conditions to move up river.
Minimal information, still not showing on Marine Traffic or Ship AIS.
Marine Traffic appears to have on-going problems tracking these tugs, Ship AIS has intermittent success.
Winds seem to be abating, Will watch over the next few hours for any developments.
STRATHGLASS on the other hand stayed out in the estuary until around 0300hrs this morning, when she headed upriver averaging 4 or 5 knots, got as far as Dalgety Bay around 0730hrs then reversed course and is now heading back to the outer estuary. No time at turn-around to have handed over the barge to another tug. Returning speed is around 7 or 8 knots.
Still has “restricted manoeuvrability” status, still showing Rosyth as her destination.
I’m guessing STRATHGLASS still has the barge - think we need “eyes on the ground” or some insider information – any offers?
Been doing a bit of checking and comparing the tracks of the various tugs, and have come to what I think is a plausible sequence of events.
Would seem STRATHDON and STRATHGLASS worked in tandem to bring the barge into the Forth estuary.
Sunday seems to have been spent manoeuvring as described above (No. 24) – STRATHDON then moves into Leith Harbour around 1930hrs, whilst STRATHGLASS (presumably with the barge in tow) continues the manoeuvres throughout the night.
Around first light on Monday, STRATHGLASS sets a course to move upriver.
The tug FIDRA, based in the Forth estuary and which has on more than one occasion assisted in moving these barges carrying Carrier sections, now enters the scene. She leaves Leith Harbour and rendezvous with STRATHGLASS at 56.05 degrees N, 3.07 degrees W at approximately 0520hrs on Monday morning.
The two proceed upriver in close proximity, STRATHGLASS reverses course on reaching Dalgety Bay and exits the scene, FIDRA continues on to Rosyth arriving about 0830hrs, where presumably she off-loads the barge then returns to her base at Braefoot Bay.
Unsure as to when FIDRA took over the tow – best guess is the point where STRATHGLASS reversed course near Dalgety Bay.
And that’s my last word on the matter – honest!
The next two shots show Prince of Wales in the building dock, with scaffolding surrounding the forward island but with her quite clearly taking shape. Northlink's Orkney and Shetland RoRo ferry "Hamnavoe" is also in for a bit of tlc by the looks of it, and giving some scale to the carrier's size.
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