The ship photographer always has one eye on local tide times, and just to cause frustration many of the most interesting ships come & go under the cover of darkness. Some question whether this is a deliberate action on the part of the port authorities?!
Then there's the weather! Somehow the light is never right, too bright or too dark. This can usually be overcome, but driving wind throwing spray in the direction of the camera lens is the big enemy. However for those fearless enough to brave the storm, the reward can often be the most exciting images.
Enough of the excuses, here's where you'll find the latest photos. This is my best attempt at recording recent ship movements, but not a complete one. Apologies for the variable image quality but the sun doesn't shine every day in Cumbria.
Some heritage locomotive coverage is included on occasions when shipping is quiet.
"WILSON ODRA" at Silloth, 31st Dec 2019
The final ship of the year outbound for Ellesmere on a bright afternoon.
The 2,450ton DWT vessel had arrived on the previous tide with fertiliser from Ghent.
Built in 1999, the ex RMS VOEDRE is on time charter to 'Wilson'. A name plate of the previous Duisburg registered RMS VOEDRE was still visible at the stern. She was photographed at the quayside preparing for departure. Shortly afterwards, with the pilot aboard, she was making her way out of the dock into the Solway.
"JOHN - PAUL K." at Workington, 27th Dec 2019
Inbound from Spain.
The 4,250ton DWT vessel had arrived 24hrs earlier from Ribadeo & spent Boxing Day at anchor off the port. She made a graceful entrance on a damp grey morning.
The cargo of baled wood pulp was destined for the Iggesund Paperboard Mill after storage at a dockside facility. The smart=looking vessel, built in 2002 & registered in Delfzijl, is one of a fleet of ten operated by 'ALSTERSHIP' of Hamburg.
At this time of year thoughts turn to those having to work at sea over the festive season. This landlubber is fascinated by life at sea and takes every opportunity to photograph those involved as they go about their daily tasks; they deserve our respect.
MOANA (Papendrecht) 9529190 departing Workington 24th April
As ships sail in and out of our West Cumbrian ports many crews are aware of photographers and give a wave; others must have signed a pledge to never wave!
During the past year no one has escaped attention from the camera. The easy targets have been crew on duty at bow and stern. Other favourites include busy quayside scenes where the pilot, crew & dockside team work together to secure new arrivals.
Here are a few more examples.
"SCOT TRADER" at Workington, 15th Dec 2019
Lining up to enter the port.
Arriving for her 5th visit of the year on the midday tide. She regularly delivers timber products from Scotland and the Netherlands. On this occasion she had sailed down the west of Scotland with round timber from Scrabster.
The 4,600ton DWT vessel was built as PENAFIEL in 2007. She is now 1 of the 15 general cargo vessels operated by 'Scotline'.
She met with blustery conditions at the approach channel before entering quieter waters in the harbour basin.
"EASTERN VIRAGE" at Workington, 15th Dec 2019
Inbound from Sweden.
The 3,600ton DWT vessel was carrying baled wood pulp from Iggesund for processing at the local mill.
The ship was built as the Dutch registered VIRAGE in 2012. She now bears the 'Eastern Shipping' logo and is on time charter to 'Scotline'.
The sailing had taken longer than expected as she spent 2days at Skagen anchorage off northern Denmark.
It was a bitingly cold day for the arrival with snow-covered Cumbrian fells visible in the background. The approach and manoeuvre in the harbour basin were uneventful and she was soon being brought alongside her berth.
"DOUWE-S" at Workington, 11th Dec 2019
Seen turning in the harbour basin.
The Dutch registered (Kampen) vessel was inbound from Aveiro on a blustery morning.
The Portuguese port is a regular source of baled wood pulp for the local 'Iggesund' paperboard mill. Built in 2011, the 3,600ton DWT DOUWE-S is owned by 'Steenstra Shipping' and managed by 'AMASUS'.
Once through the heavy swell at the port's entrance she was turned and reversed into the dock.
"LADY ARIANE" at Workington, 9th Dec 2019
Inbound from Inverness.
A crisp winter morning greets the arrival with round timber. She completed the 3day sailing after navigating close to the western isles to avoid the worst of the first named storm of the season, Atiyah. The 3,700ton DWT vessel was built in 2015 for 'Wijnne Barends', she is currently on time charter to 'Scotline'.
She was photographed passing the south pier towards the harbour basin where she was turned before reversing into the dock.
"PROSNA" at Workington, 7th & 9th Dec 2019
Seen unloading peat moss on an overcast morning.
The 3,675ton DWT vessel arrived after an overnight sailing from Dublin.
A new visitor to Workington, PROSNA was built in 1998 as NORTHERN ISLAND and has had several name changes since.
The Gibraltar registered vessel is now is 1 of 4 managed by 'BALTRAMP'. She was photographed in Szczecin Dry Dock in 2015 whilst being prepared for her latest owner (Copyright MarineTraffic).
She departed Workington two days later for Belfast anchorage. She was seen passing the south pier into the Solway where, once about a mile out, pilot boat DERWENT drew alongside for the pilot transfer. Finally the sun came out as the pilot boat pulled away.
"BOTHNIA" at Workington, 13th Nov 2019
Inbound from Aveiro with round timber.
Pilot tug DERWENT attached a line for extra control even though conditions were calm.
The 7,750ton DWT vessel is 1 of 3 owned by a new Finnish company 'Aalto'.
She was built in 2002 as NORDLAND, later changed hands to become VOORNEDIEP before her latest owners took charge in 2018.
She was making her second visit to Workington from Portugal, on both occasions with charred timber recovered from summer forest fires.
The 120m self-loader made a very leisurely approach, manoeuvred in the harbour basin and finally entering the dock bow first; taking about an hour in total.
"ISIDOR" at Workington, 13th Nov 2019
Inbound from Dublin with peat moss.
A calm, grey morning as the 4,200ton DWT vessel arrived after an overnight sailing.
The Danish company 'ECHOSHIP' operates 12 vessels on European routes.
The ship was photographed passing the south pier and turning in the harbour basin.
"VIKING GRIPFISK" at Workington, 4th Nov 2019
Inbound from Campbeltown.
The 740ton DWT well-boat arrived to collect Cumbrian salmon smolts for delivery to West of Scotland fish farms.
The Norwegian registered live fish carrier is I of 9 operated by 'Johnson Marine' of Shetland.
The 40m vessel entered the port without a pilot 2hrs before high water.
She was soon loaded and set sail for Harris on the next tide.
"EASTERN VANQUISH" at Silloth, 29th Oct 2019
Manoeuvring towards her berth in New Dock.
The 3,600ton DWT vessel had arrived from KIlroot on the midday tide with furnace bottom ash. She was making her second visit in 4days. having previously brought wheat from the French port of Les Sables- D'Olonne. The ex-BIJLBERG is under contract to 'Scotline' and is seen regularly at Workington with timber.
Her arrival was followed as she passed Criffel through to being tied up at her berth, a time of about 4omins in all.
"ROVA STONES" at Workington, 26th Oct 2019
Inbound from Dublin with peat moss.
Arriving on the morning tide after an overnight sailing from Ireland. She was met by dark clouds overhead with rain threatening.
It was her second visit to Workington this year, also in poor light on 26th Aug.
She bears the funnel emblem of 'ROVA SHIPPING' and operates under the German 'ESTE' Shipping & Trading organisation. The 3,900ton DWT vessel was built in 2008 as CHRISTINA G.
"TRITON" at Workington, 22nd Oct 2019
Outbound for Santander.
Departing for Spain after delivering baled wood pulp from Aveiro.
Light was fading as she passed the south pier with pilot tug boat DERWENT in attendance.
The Gibraltar registered 4,700ton DWT vessel was built in 2015. The listed owner is 'Tasman Shipping' and she is contracted to 'Amasus'.
"ELKE" at Silloth, 17th Oct 2019
Seen entering Marshall Dock on the afternoon tide.
The Turkish owned cargo vessel arrived from the Georgian port of Poti situated at the eastern end of the Black Sea after a 20 day sailing. Brief stops were made off Istanbul and at the North African port of Ceuta.
Poti is an expanding centre for the export of chemicals for the region, in this case fertiliser manufactured in nearby Azerbaijan.
The crew looked happy to be arriving at Silloth after their 3,700mile sailing.
The 3,700ton DWT vessel was built in 1993 and has changed ownership several times. She is now Panamanian registered and listed under 'Regency Ship Management' of Istanbul.
The gallery shows passage into New Dock where she was turned and brought alongside in readiness to begin unloading.
"ARKLOW FUTURE" at Workington, 12th Oct 2019
Inbound on a bright morning with good visibility.
Making the regular monthly delivery of powdered cement from Lisbon. Arklow boats currently have the contract with the Portuguese supplier. The 90m, 5,000ton DWT vessel was built in Spain in 2008. Unloading was completed in about 3days using pneumatic pumping equipment on the dockside. The gallery shows the vessel making her approach to the port and passing into the harbour basin from where she entered the dock bow first.
"MARIE B" at Silloth, 12th Oct 2019
Entering Marshall Dock on the midday tide.
The 3,000ton DWT general cargo vessel was inbound from Lithuania with fertiliser.
She is the ex MARIE LEHMANN built in 1987. This was her first visit in new livery. Her arrival was greeted with sunshine and showers as she manoeuvred off the port awaiting high water.
Passage into Marshall Dock and onward into New Dock was straightforward.
"SØRDYRØY" at Workington, 8th Oct 2019
Inbound from Oban on a blustery morning.
The 600ton Norwegian registered live fish carrier was built in 1966 as KROSSANES. 'Froy Shipping' is now listed as the operator.
Salmon smolts are transported from Cumbrian freshwater farms by road to the dockside where they are transferred to the 'well' of the carrier. The cargo will be taken to fish farms in the west of Scotland and as far north as Shetland.
The pilot carefully positioned the 50m vessel as it approached the port entrance. Once in the calm of the harbour basin she passed through the dock entrance and was berthed alongside MIGDALE, another live fish carrier already being loaded with smolts.
LMS Jubilee Class "LEANDER" at Flimby, 28th Sep 2019
The final steam excursion of the season on the Cumbrian coastal route heads south towards Workington.
The loco was built in Crewe in 1936, withdrawn from service in 1964 and rescued from Barry Scrapyard in 1972 for restoration.
It was a popular attraction at many steam galas until 2012 when it was withdrawn for a major overhaul. It is now back working regular excursions on the west coast mainline.
The Cumbrian Coast Express is steam hauled between Carnforth and Carlisle with diesel electric in charge between London Euston & Carnforth.
It headed south on a glorious sunny afternoon; even the crew had time to enjoy the coastal view south of Maryport (photo credit Paul Messenger, Facebook Maryport Past & Present page).
"AURORA" at Workington, 19th Sep 2019
Outbound for Aughinish, Ireland.
Calm conditions for the afternoon departure of the 118m, 7,750ton DWT self-loader. She had arrived 2days earlier with a mixed load of round timber & wood chips from Aveiro, Portugal.
It was the second visit this year for the Finnish registered & owned vessel. In February she delivered a similar cargo from the same port.
The formerly named VEENDIEP was acquired by 'Aalto Shipping' in 2018. The company is based in Turku and operates a small fleet of three ships.
"ARKLOW FLAIR" at Workington, 16th Sep 2019
A first visit for this member of the 'Arklow' 'F' series of 5,000ton DWT vessels. This popular class of ship has been gradually added to between 2006 & 2011 and now totals ten.
Arklow boats make regular monthly deliveries of powdered cement from Lisbon. Cargo is discharged via dockside pneumatic equipment into storage silos. The gallery shows the approach & passage into the harbour basin. In the background can be seen the jack-up platform vessel MPI ADVENTURE at work on the Robin Rigg Wind Farm.
"VERITY" at Silloth, 13th Sep 2019
Approaching the dock entrance on the midday tide..
The 3,400ton DWT vessel was inbound from La Pallice, France with a full load of wheat.
The Isle of Man registered freighter was built in 2001 as ESTIME. She is now operated by 'Faversham' who own nine other similar sized vessels.
The gallery shows her entering Marshall Dock and onward into New Dock where she was turned and brought alongside.
"BURGTOR" at Silloth, 5th Sep 2019
Awaiting high water off the port.
The 3,400ton DWT vessel was inbound from Londonderry with furnace bottom ash for the construction industry. She was built in 1989 as PORT LIMA and has since changed hands several times before joining the 'Strahlmann' fleet in 2004. The German group operates more than 50 vessels of up to 7,500ton.
The ship was photographed manoeuvring off the port before making her entry to Marshall Dock.
"SPANACO RELIABILITY" at Workington, 4th Sep 2019
A late afternoon arrival from Portugal.
A blustery afternoon as the general cargo vessel made her approach with a delivery of baled wood pulp from Aveiro.
The 5,000ton DWT vessel was built in 2007 as LISA C. She changed hands from Carisbrooke to Spanaco in 2014.
She was photographed passing the south pier into the harbour basin from where she entered the dock bow first and was tied up at the north quay.
"WILSON LIMERICK" at Silloth, 28th Aug 2019
Positioning herself to enter port.
Blustery conditions greeted the arrival of the 3,800ton DWT vessel from Klaipeda. She had completed the sailing from Lithuania in 7days via the North Sea & Pentland Firth.
Built in 2012 as RMS BREMEN she has been on charter to 'Wilson' since 2017 but hasn't yet acquired their livery. Despite a strong southwesterly the pilot made easy work of the approach & entry to the dock.
The gallery shows the ship manoeuvring off the port, passing into Marshall Dock and being brought alongside.
"ROVA STONES" at Workington, 26th Aug 2019
Inbound as the light fades.
The new visitor to Workington was carrying baled wood pulp from Figueira da Foz, Portugal. The 3,850ton DWT general cargo vessel was built as the CHRISTINA G. in 2008; she is now owned by the 'ROVA Group'. Lighting conditions were challenging for taking photos as she approached the south pier and passed into the harbour basin.
"SMN EXPLORER" at Workington, 26th Aug 2019
Passing the south pier inbound from Fraserburgh.
Arriving at sunset on the Bank Holiday Weekend after setting out 5days earlier from the east of Scotland.
The gallery shows her turning in the harbour basin before reversing into the dock.
"GERMANICA HAV" at Silloth, 19th Aug 2019
The fully loaded coaster arriving off the port.
It was a blustery afternoon for the arrival from the Baltic port of Vierow with German wheat.
The ship made a cautious approach as she reached Silloth from Workington anchorage to allow the departing FLUVIUS AXE to pass safely (see item below).
GERMANICA is 1 of 16 ships operated by 'HAV' of Norway. The fleet have been regular visitors to Silloth, this being the first of 2019.
The Kingstown registered ship looked to be in good condition with the brightly coloured national flag of St.Vincent & the Grenadines flying proudly at the stern.
The gallery below shows the approach and careful manoeuvre to enter the outer dock.
"FLUVIUS AXE" at Silloth, 19th Aug 2019
Exiting Marshall Dock into the Solway.
Outbound for Belfast having unloaded fertiliser from Rouen, France.
The 3,200ton DWT vessel is 1 0f 12 owned by 'EXE Shipping' based in Devon.
The ship was built in 1998 as ARKLOW SEA and has changed hands a number of times with name changes of BBS SEA & PS SEA. She was photographed pulling away from the quayside, passing through the dock entrance and powering away into the Solway.
"BRITANNIA" at Whitehaven, 14th Aug 2019
About to enter Brantsy tunnel after a brief stop at Whitehaven.
The BR Standard Class 7 was on the return leg of 'The Lakelander' from Crewe to Carlisle organised by 'Saphos Trains'. It was the first visit of BRITANNIA to the Cumbria Coast Line.
The train arrived at Whitehaven exactly on schedule. During the four minute halt a crewman obtained a token from the cupboard on the platform to allow entry to the single track tunnel.
The loco was built in 1951 and withdrawn after only 15yrs service. She then had several moves during preservation until being restored to main line operation in 2011. Problems with excessive vibration were reported by crews in 2015. After major work to the frame, axleboxes & wheelsets carried out by 'London & North Western Railway Heritage' at Crewe in 2018 she is now back on main line duties in immaculate condition.