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Fine Whine

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About Fine Whine

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  • Birthday 24/04/1959
  1. Cork to Santander route set to launch

    HT, Have you ever been to Roscoff? Adding a second roro berth is far more complicated (and expensive) than meets the eye.... Chris
  2. Cork to Santander route set to launch

    And has been for a wee while, or so I've been led to believe..... Chris
  3. So if all goes to plan the WB Yeats will be floated out on Friday, just over 4 months to the day since work started on her in the construction hall. Looking forward to following Honfleur’s progress.... Chris
  4. Cork to Santander route set to launch

    Hurrah.... Back from holiday, back in Roscoff! Our local rag Le Télégramme is saying this morning she will be sailing under a Cypriot flag with a European crew (non French). Jean-Marc Roué is making it very clear the uncertainties of Brexit means risk taking has to be kept to a minimum and they can't afford the new route to lose money. BF have committed to tranferring to the French flag within a maximum of 3 years, assuming the route is a success. They have been completely transparent and discussed the plan with the Comité d'Entreprises (a group of employees from within BF representing the whole workforce) as well the CFDT union, both of whom have given the green light. So in a difficult market place this is an innovative and I would say brave decision on the part of BF, and great news for us in Roscoff for all the reasons cited so far. It looks to me as though she will arrive here on Tuesday mornings, probably after Armorique has unloaded and cast off again before the 15h00 afternoon sailing to Plymouth so around midday or 13h00; we'll know more in a couple of weeks. Chris
  5. St Malo Dockers’ Strike

    I spotted this on the car deck of Pont Aven as we disembarked in Portsmouth this morning - I reckon it’s a spare engine for Barfleur, just in case ....🤣 Our Christmas starts tomorrow and lunch with all the kids, Christmas Day with parents then up to Heathrow on Boxing Day to fly to the Western Cape for some warmer weather, fabulous food and wine and the odd G&T. So can I wish everyone a peaceful and alcoholic Christmas, and of course an exciting New Year. Chris
  6. Agreed Gardian, I’ll send you a PM in the morning with a few “insider” tips though..... Chris
  7. St Malo Dockers’ Strike

    I agree with all of that Colin, with one proviso. Having boarded PA this evening 45 minutes before sailing time and probably the last vehicle on (early boarding was a success) I was met by at least 20 orange jacketed BF staff to my left, and a group of half a dozen dockers to my right wearing yellow boiler suits with a red middle bit and the word “Docker”on the back. Team Orange jumped to attention and directed me to park, Team Yellow stood back and stared moodily. Once dogs were safely ensconced in kennels I returned to the car deck to find Team Yellow rushing around as 2 unaccompanied trailers were being loaded, parked and secured while Team Orange were sharing an apparently hilarious joke. I’ve had a chat with the purser this evening who confirmed the dockers main remit is to load/unload unaccompanied freight and one of their current gripes with BF in St Malo is a larger ship (PA) means more freight which means more work....? He confirmed the actions of the past few weeks were wildcat in nature, so they could sail serenely out of Portsmouth on Friday evening with assurances in place, only to find the playing field was no longer level the following morning and strongly refuted the suggestion they would leave the UK knowing customers on a predefined trip would have their return crossing so drastically altered. Apparently the dispute is still ongoing with the chance of disruption at any time. His view however is that as there will be very few day trippers in January then the likelihood of it happening after Christmas is low. Callous or what........🤬🤬🤬 Chris
  8. And the liver Yohann....
  9. Barfleur lengthening ?

    Nor in the medium term either. As I said in a previous post BF would be very happy if she poodled across on her current schedule for many years to come.
  10. Bretagne

    As I said I've my 2 dogs with me - they'll sort out any revolting dockers....
  11. Bretagne

    I'm doing my final trip of the year from St-Malo this evening on PA with our 2 dogs in the kennels, although I'm struggling to find where I've put the muzzles...? Yes I prefer Bretagne too but her 2 berth cabins tend to sell out quickly and anything larger puts up the cost - it's already over £200 (one way) as it is! Chris
  12. Barfleur lengthening ?

    I can only relay what the Chief Engineer told me Jonno; ok he speaks out of his belly and was chewing gum at the time, but I'm pretty sure I understood what he was telling me, and that was she is underpowered in abnormal situations, ie violent winds from the wrong direction. And Mr B. said the same thing! I agree with you about the Wartsila 8R32D not being obslete though; I know tiddly squat about engines apart from if they start that's great, if they don't I call a mechanic, but looking at their website yesterday it mentions over 4500 having been produced so I wouldnt have thought spare parts are a problem. The next time I see him I will double check the displacement theory... Chris
  13. Our local Super U in Saint-Pol-de Léon has an excellent fresh meat counter and they'll prepare anything you want and tend to know what they're talking about. I prefer to support small businesses wherever possible, but there are good and bad butchers just as there are good and bad supermarkets. And I have to say kgst the wine you mention is an excellent choice with red meat, I must go looking for it! Chris
  14. Barfleur lengthening ?

    Back on topic.... I've had 2 conversations in the last 24 hours that for me have settled this one once and for all. Yesterday we had the recently retired Chief Engineer from PA in, a big, jovial fellow who is happy to talk about BF vessels until long after the sun has gone down. We discussed all the current fleet, scrubbers, engines, breakdowns, even the reason why the old Duc de Normandie rattled so much at the stern. I asked him directly about Barfleur and her difficulties in strong winds and a resumé of his answer is as follows. She was as we know designed and built specifically for the Poole -Cherbourg route, specifically the Truckline brand rather than BF, and on a tight budget. Reading the excellent blog about her construction it all seems to have been done in a bit of a rush due to shipyard constraints, and when she eventually put to sea there were indeed dead weight issues (spot on HT). She wasn't unstable as such, but sat too low in the water even unloaded, so by the time a full load was on board she could have been dangerously close to grounding on the approaches in and out of Poole Harbour. The additional 9 metre section mean't she floated higher in the water at the same time giving more garage space, more cabins and the cafe area midships. The problem was she was fitted from the outset with engines that weren't over generous on power to keep costs in check, and as the decision to lengthen her was taken after she had been assembled it was impossible to fit something more powerful in the timescale allowed. So in his opinion she is underpowered, especially when manoeuvering in strong winds, even though she had her bow thrusters upgraded in the early 2000's. This was confirmed today by Mike Bevens who is on his farewell call to Roscoff, and as predicted needed some Cloud Factory Sauvignon Blanc for Mrs B.! I took the opportunity to wish him well in his new appointment at Sawday's from all of us at BFE..... Chris Call of nature? Ed. No, customers Ed