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 steam locomotive coverage is included on occasions when shipping is quiet.
"SEA HUNTER" at Silloth, 14th Jan 2018
Seen turning in New Dock.
A damp morning with poor visibility for the arrival from the French port of Nantes with wheat.
The general cargo vessel was built in 1990 as the 'SIRRAH'. She has had three name changes since then but that original name & port of registry is still visible on plates at bow & stern. She is now registered in Barbados and forms one of a fleet of nine operated by the Newcastle based company 'Gillie & Blair'.
"SCOT LEADER" at Workington, 13th Jan 2018
Outbound on a grey morning for Varberg, Sweden.
This was the fifth visit of 'Scotline's' ex-ODERTAL, on this occasion with baled wood pulp from Vlissingen.
Built in 2007, the 90m, 4,500ton DWT general cargo vessel was acquired by 'Scotline' in 2016.
The pilot makes a graceful exit from the dock. A slight swell is encountered at the sand bar as the tide has been ebbing for 90min.
"DRAIT" at Silloth, 18th Dec 2017
Just arrived off the port from Ghent via Workington anchorage to await high water.
It's an icy morning with only the brave venturing outside. The cold calm conditions allow for a graceful approach & entry to the dock.
Pilot & Master appear satisfied with progress as the ship passes through Marshall Dock towards the dock gates. The gallery shows the approach, passage through the tidal dock & manoeuvring in New Dock where she is tied-up.
The 3,650tn DWT general cargo vessel belongs to the expanding fleet of the Dutch company 'AMASUS'.
"ARKLOW RACER" at Workington, 16th Dec 2017
Outbound for Glasgow on the morning tide having arrived 4days earlier with cement from Lisbon.
"MEKHANIK TYULENEV" at Silloth, 8th Dec 2017
Inbound from Mukran, Germany on a bitterly cold afternoon.
The vessel had arrived off the Cumbrian coast after a 5day sailing from the Baltic. However storm Caroline was imminent & she needed to seek shelter in Ramsey Bay for 3days before conditions eased sufficiently to dock at Silloth. The 85m 2,650ton DWT vessel is one of a fleet of nine in her class equipped with two deck cranes. She is owned by 'Northern Shipping', a long established company based in Archangelsk, northern Russia.
"MARIE-B" at Silloth, 3rd Dec 2017
Inbound from Antwerp with fertiliser. The 88m long vessel is photographed as it turns towards the unloading quay.
The 3,000ton DWT vessel, built in 1987, is the ex MARIE LEHMANN. She has an unusually straight bow design. The new owners have retained the old livery & conveniently painted the new name off-centre at the stern. The gallery shows the approach to the dock entrance, passing into New Dock & more shots of the turn.
"FURNESS ABBEY" at Silloth, 19th Nov 2017
The ABP-owned tug enters port towing the marker buoy 'Solway' shortly after the arrival of 'EEMS SUN'. She had sailed from Barrow overnight to pick up the marker buoy from its anchorage off Dubmill Point. 'Solway' is the most southerly of three buoys marking the narrow navigation channel at the north end of Allonby Bay.
The tug waited patiently at the dock gates until she had clearance to moor in front of the cargo vessel where there were plenty of volunteers to help tie-up.
"EEMS SUN" at Silloth, 19th Nov 2017
Lining up to enter port on the midday tide having arrived from Les Sables-d'Olonne with wheat.
It had been a 3day sailing from the French port on the Bay of Biscay. Favourable tidal conditions allowed the pilot to make his approach some 20min earlier than normal for arrivals. The vessel, built in 2009 with a DWT of 2,600ton, is managed by the expanding Dutch company 'Amasus'. Conditions are calm with weak sunshine for the approach & entry to port. The ship then turns in the New Dock towards the discharge quay.
"UTTUM" at Workington, 14th Nov 2017
An early morning arrival from Kilroot, NI with furnace bottom ash for the construction industry. 'UTTUM' belongs to the fleet of 50 managed by 'Strahlmann Shipping'. At 2,400ton DWT she is 1 of 10 smaller vessels operated by the company. Photos are courtesy of Phil Christopher. The cement carrier 'CEMISLE' is visible in the background of the dock shot. The calm view towards the Scottish hills is in contrast to the angry skies above the Lake District Fells.
"STRAITVIEW" at Silloth, 12th Nov 2017
Moored alongside the molasses discharge point having arrived the previous evening from Zeebrugge. Belgium.
The Cypriot registered vessel, built in 2007, is 3,500ton DWT & 89m in length. The tanker's cargo was molasses originating from India which had been transhipped from the bulk carrier MAERSK TIMARU (IMO 9718090) at Zeebrugge.
"HENDRIK-S" at Silloth, 9th Nov 2017
Autumn sunshine illuminates the vessel turning in New Dock shortly after arrival from La Pallice, France.
The vessel, one of three owned by 'Steenstra Shipping', is managed by 'Amasus'. At 3,100tons DWT she is typical of the general cargo vessels delivering wheat on short European routes. The sailing from the Bay of Biscay had taken 3days, arriving in good time for the mid-afternoon tide. The gallery covers arrival off the port to manoeuvring towards the unloading quay 30mins later.
"SCOT PIONEER" at Workington, 2nd Nov 2017
Inbound from Iggesund, Sweden with baled pulp blocks.
Arriving as the morning tide ebbs away after a 7day sailing from Sweden via the North Sea, Pentland Firth & West Coast of Scotland. Ships from Scotline's fleet began regular deliveries from the Skärnäs Terminal in February; this is the seventh of the year, and the fourth by PIONEER. The general cargo vessel was built in 2006 as 'HARNS' with a DWT of 3,600ton & 90m length. Scotline took over ownership 2yrs later.
"EEMSHORN" at Workington, 2nd Nov 2017
Outbound for Dublin after delivering pipework from Spain. The photo is courtesy of Solway Shipping. The website contains a wealth of information including details of upcoming arrivals.
The Dutch registered vessel (Delfzijl) was built in 2008 and is one of a fleet of 173 operated by 'Wagenborg'. At 110m & 6,000ton DWT she is one of the larger vessels to be handled by the port recently.
"FOKKO UKENA" at Silloth, 2nd Nov 2017
Hazy autumnal sunshine to greet the arrival from Antwerp. Below she is seen turning towards the unloading quay.
Built in 2007, the 3,600ton DWT vessel is one of Vertom's expanding fleet of 75. The gallery shows a text-book approach past Criffel & passage into New Dock in calm conditions. She is then turned & brought alongside the south quay where her cargo of fertiliser will be unloaded.
"STROOMBANK" at Workington, 31st Oct 2017
An early morning arrival from Portugal. There's drizzle in the air for the final leg of the three & a half day sailing from Aveiro.
Regular deliveries of baled wood pulp are received from Portugal for processing in the local paperboard mill.
'STROOMBANK' was built in 2009 at 90m length & a DWT of 4550ton. She is one of the smaller of eleven vessels owned by 'POT SCHEEPVAART' of the Netherlands, a shipping company established almost 100yrs ago. The gallery shows passage into the harbour basin where a turn is made before reversing into the dock.
"CEMGULF" at Workington, 20th Oct 2017
Outbound for Belfast at midday.
CEMGULF, built as a general cargo vessel in 2001 is the latest vessel to be converted to a bulk cement carrier by 'BALTRADER'. The 100m vessel is equipped with pneumatic discharge equipment capable of handling up to 250tons per hour. This delivery from Lisbon was the third since conversion in 2016. The gallery shows the vessel passing the south pier on a blustery afternoon.
"ARKLOW ROGUE" at Workington, 17th Oct 2017
Seen dockside unloaded & awaiting departure on the midnight tide. She had arrived 3days earlier with furnace bottom ash from Moneypoint Power Station, Ireland. Her departure had been delayed by ex hurricane Ophelia.
"TANJA" at Silloth, 5th Oct 2017
Inbound from Nantes passing Criffel in the background.
Seen arriving on the midday tide after a 3day sailing from the French port with grain. The Cyrpus-registered vessel is owned by the fleet management arm of 'Forsa Shipping' based in Klaipeda, Lithuania. She was built in Germany in 1989 with a max deadweight of 3,300ton. After a 24hr turnaround she was on her way to her next port of call, Belfast.
"RICHELIEU" at Workington, 1st & 3rd Oct 2017
Two sets of photos. Firstly inbound from Dublin with moss peat on a blustery morning.
The 3,800ton DWT general cargo vessel is one of over one hundred owned by 'Briese Shipping' of Germany, Once clear of the choppy waters at the port's entrance, the vessel was able to manoeuvre as normal in the harbour basin. Two days later, conditions weren't much improved for the departure to Brest. Photos show the ship in ballast passing the south pier.
LMS Jubilee Class "LEANDER" at Whitehaven, 30th Sep 2017
A steam interlude with the rare sight of LEANDER on the Cumbrian coast line. The loco is seen at Whitehaven station on the return leg of the Cumbrian Coast Express from London Euston to Carlisle.
There's a brief halt while the crew obtain permission to enter the single-tracked Corcickle tunnel. The 3min halt is popular with enthusiasts to take their close-up photos. LEANDER will continue as far as Carnforth where a diesel-electric will be swapped for the onward journey to Euston.
The wreath on the smokebox door is in respect of the recent death of a colleague from East Lancs Railway.
The loco which was built in Crewe in 1936 was withdrawn from service in 1964.
Like many others it was moved to Woodham Bros scrapyard in Barry from where it was recued in 1972 for restoration.
It was an attraction at many steam galas until 2012 when it was withdrawn for a major overhaul. It is now back working regularly on the west coast mainline.