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.
"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.
"ARKLOW ROGUE" at Workington, 14th Aug 2019
Inbound from Lisbon on a grey drizzly morning.
Deliveries of powdered cement by Arklow boats have become a regular monthly event. This was the first visit of the Irish registered ROGUE to Workington. Calm conditions made for a straightforward approach & entry to the dock.
Shannon Class Lifeboat RNLI 13-19 at Workington, 3rd Aug 2019
The 'Dorothy May White' returns to base after attending the annual Maryport Trawler Race.
Her arrival coincided with EASTERN VANQUISH manoeuvring in the harbour basin and entry to the dock.
The 'Dorothy May White' made her way up river to await the safe berthing of the cargo vessel. Seven minutes later she returned to the quayside lifeboat station where she was lifted out of the water by the davit harness system. The all-weather lifeboat was built in Poole and delivered to Workington in 2017. Her water-jet propulsion makes her 50% faster than the Tyne Class 'Sir John Fisher' she replaced.
"EASTERN VANQUISH" at Workington, 3rd Aug 2019
Seen making her approach on arrival from Vlissingen.
The 'Eastern Shipping' vessel is on charter to 'Scotline' to transport timber products. The cargo is baled wood pulp for the local paperboard mill.
She is 1 of 2 identical 'Eastern' ships used by 'Scotline', both of which are regular visitors to Workington, VANQUISH was built in the Netherlands in 2012 at 89m & 3,600ton DWT as BIJLBERG .
The ship was photographed in calm conditions passing the south pier towards the harbour basin where she was turned before reversing into the dock.
"SEA HUNTER" at Silloth, 2nd Aug 2019
Inbound from La Pallice, France.
Seen making her approach and passing into the outer dock with a delivery of French wheat for the mill.
The 3,100ton DWT general cargo vessel was built in 1990 as the 'SIRRAH', the original name is still visible on plates at the bow. She is owned by 'Gillie & Blair' and operated under charter to 'Torbulk', both are UK companies.
"KROKSOE" at Workington, 29th Jul 2019
Inbound from Portugal.
A grey morning with rain in the air for the arrival with timber from Aveiro.
A line was attached to the pilot tug DERWENT for extra control in the approach channel.
The 5,400ton DWT self-loader was built in 2012 as DELTADIEP. She is now 1 of 40 ships operated by 'Schulte & Bruns' of Germany. Once in the harbour basin she made easy work of the manoeuvre into the dock bow first.
"DEO-GLORIA" at Workington, 17th Jul 2019
The suction hopper dredger began work on the approach channel shortly after arrival from Greenock.
The 2,000ton DWT vessel belongs to the fleet of 'Faasse', a Dutch dredging & sand extraction specialist. She was built in 1978 as GANSEGRUND and converted to a suction dredger in 2008. In April 2019 new accommodation, wheelhouse and screening plant were installed. She was photographed at work off the south pier. Later she moved into the basin where there was a dramatic change in the colour over the overflow.
"ARKLOW VENTURE" at Workington, 5th Jul 2019
Outbound on a grey afternoon.
The 5,100ton DWT vessel was seen departing for New Ross after making a delivery of powdered cement from Lisbon.
At present 'Arklow' is providing a regular monthly service from Portugal. Unloading took three days using dockside pneumatic equipment. The 2017 launch of ARKLOW VENTURE from the Royal Bodewes Shipyard in the Netherlands was captured on YouTube video. She is 1 of 8 identical ships built between 2016 and '18.
"CEG GALAXY" at Workington, 26th Jun 2019
Inbound from Corpach on the evening tide.
The 1,300ton DWT vessel arrived in calm conditions with a cargo of sawn timber. The ship recently changed managers to 'Fehn Shipping' from 'Kopervik', where she was named FRIFJORD. She has changed livery but does not yet appear on the fleet list of 'Fehn Shipping'.
The name change to CEG GALAXY at the bow appears to have been done in a hurry. The gallery follows the ship passing the south pier and turning in the harbour basin.
"WILSON ALGECIRAS" en route to Silloth off Workington, 23rd Jun 2019
Seen making her way to Silloth after picking up the pilot. Photo credit Phil Christopher.
The 3,600ton DWT vessel is on time charter to 'Wilson'. Registered in Malta, she was built in 2010 with the same name. A first time at Silloth with fertiliser from Lithuania.
"LONGBEACH" at Workington, 23rd Jun 2019
Inbound from Aveiro, Portugal on a grey afternoon.
The 4,500ton DWT vessel was delivering baled wood pulp for the local paperboard mill. Aveiro is a regular source of this material for the mill.
Built in 2010 as KAPITAN ZHIKHAREV, she has had a number of name changes before joining the 'Lohmann' fleet in 2018. The gallery shows her entering the harbour basin where she was turned before reversing into the dock.
"THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE BY RAIL" at Whitehaven, 14th Jun 2019
Two Class 37 diesel-electric locomotives haul participants between Ravenglass and Fort William on day 2 of the challenge to climb Snowden, Scafell Pike & Ben Nevis. The train was photographed during the brief halt at Whitehaven to surrender the single line token on the overnight journey north.
At the head of the train were Class 37's 37419 'Carl Haviland 1954 - 2012' and 37402 'Stephen Middlemore 23.12.1954 - 8.6.2013'. Both were built more than 50yrs ago by English Electric at Newton-le-Willows and are now in Direct Rail Services' pool of locos.
Below, the driver of 37419 is seen at the token machine. Three minutes later the train pulls away.
"WILSON BRUGGE" at Silloth, 14th Jun 2019
Seen turning towards her berth on arrival from Spain.
The general cargo vessel arrived on the morning tide after a 9day sailing from the Mediterranean port of Sagunto with fertiliser. She made her approach in bright sunshine with threatening dark clouds in the background. The Maltese registered, 3,700ton DWT vessel is on time charter to 'Wilson', the large Norwegian operator. She was built in 1996 as 'NORTHERN LARSNES'.
It was all hands on deck at bow & stern as the pilot & master turned the vessel in New Dock and brought her alongside.
"EVITA" at Workington, 6th Jun 2019
Outbound for Norway.
Three days after arriving from Aveiro with logs & wood chippings the ship departed on the afternoon tide. The 7,700ton DWT vessel again had difficulties manoeuvring in the harbour basin as she did on arrival, see item on 3rd Jun below. This was surprising as at 108m she is not the longest ship to visit the port recently. She became cornered along the RNLI pier and needed a line from the pilot tug to pull her away. Thirty minutes later she passed the south pier and into the Solway as normal.
"HANNA" at Silloth, 5th Jun 2019
Seen powering out of Marshall Dock on the afternoon tide.
The 3,800ton DWT vessel was built in 2006 as BLUE BAY. She is now part of the 'Lohmann Shipping' fleet.
The new visitor to Silloth had brought French wheat from Bordeaux.
The gallery shows her at the quayside preparing for departure through to her passage into the Solway. She waited for orders at Whitehaven anchorage before heading north to an unspecified destination.
"EVITA" at Workington, 3rd Jun 2019
Inbound on a blustery afternoon from Aveiro, Portugal.
A new visitor with timber for the local paperboard mill. Aveiro is a regular source of fuel for the mill's biomass boiler.
The 7,700ton DWT Madeira registered vessel is operated by the Estonian company 'Amisco'. A line was attached to pilot tug DERWENT for extra control on the approach.
DERWENT applies some pressure at the bow.
Once in the calm of the harbour basin the vessel appeared to have propulsion problems. The gallery below follows progress. An anchor was dropped as a brake in front of the harbour wall. The pilot tug then helped her turn but the vessel drifted out of position. With the tide ebbing the 6.8m draught vessel became stuck on a mud bank. Eventually after spending 50min in the basin she was towed towards the dock entrance and reversed into the dock.
"ARKLOW RULER" at Workington, 22nd May 2019
Outbound for Glasgow.
Making her second visit to the port with powdered cement from Lisbon.
Bright calm conditions for the late afternoon departure 2hr after high water.
At 4,900ton DWT, 'RULER' is 1 of 9 of Arklow's 'R' series.