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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. My prediction: You can be fairly confident I think that there will not be much change to CF's timetable this autumn. Pont Aven will probably be down to a single round trip from Portsmouth to Santander I would think, probably out on Tuesday mornings and back on Wednesdays with a St Malo rotation at the weekend allowing Bretagne to cover Roscoff at the weekends while Armorique is covering MSM. BDS not sure about, but can't see any reason why they would change her timetable. Etretat don't care about. . Just speculation so treat this with the contempt it probably deserves!
  2. Leopards and spots. Perhaps if the French mentality was different these guys may still have secure jobs at a thriving SeaFrance.
  3. Makes the timing of the afternoon north-bound sailing very civilised! Arrival in Portsmouth c 1930, plenty of time for onward travel after disembarkation cf getting in at 2130. The reason that there is one day a week when Caen drops down to 2 sailings is so that both vessels keep the same weekly schedules, including MSM taking the Friday night departure from Portsmouth. I presume also that this day is crew changeover day.
  4. Looks like the BDS did go inside of Ushant yesterday. And right now her course back north looks like she may even be intending to take the close-in route through Raz de Seine.
  5. That must be on the Wednesday sailing I would guess? Every other day she doesn't even get into Portsmouth until 1820!
  6. Are you sure? (If so why are the MCA investigating?)
  7. I think it's the masters that get the ticket, not the ship (?). For that to happen they need to make a few passages that way with the pilot on board and then get certified - so it's going to be tricky if they're not going to venture that way in the first place. What I don't know is whether the certification of a master is valid only for the ship it was achieved on or whether it is valid for all ships. The usual training ground for Ushant pilotage appears to be on Cap Finistere on her Monday morning passage through the area (when she has plenty of time), so if the certificate is valid for any ship then presumably the BDS masters would need to make some passages on Cap Finistere to get their ticket? On the other hand, BDS is being given plenty of time for her Bilbao passages (I think the south-bound passage is scheduled for something approaching 30 hours on the timetable, far more than Etretat) so maybe they're just not going to bother and just send her outside?
  8. The strong currents are only really in the Little Russell and the Alderney Race as far as I am aware. Around most of the islands they are more like 4 or 5 knots.
  9. Ok, quiz question. At 0m56s there is a BF ferry in the background. Which ferry, and where is it? (The location doesn't look like anything you would normally expect, and I don't think it is a current member of the fleet). My guess: Tregastel in an unusual view at Roscoff. Unless you think it's conceivable it could be Bretagne?
  10. I guess it also depends how fast you tend to drive on the motorway. The roads should be relatively clear on a Sunday morning. (p.s. Interesting that you have chosen to sail from Plymouth over Portsmouth given your starting point.....)
  11. Personally I'd use the M4/M5 route as that will probably be quicker. The A303 would, I'd have thought, be a much slower road and the route would involve being on it for a substantial part of the journey.
  12. But atmosphere or sea, it still ends up being returned to the environment.... (Most of the SO2 and NO2 in the atmosphere would just end up dissolving in rain drops and being returned to the sea in any case, albeit some of it via rivers etc...)
  13. So the scrubbed gases are basically just pumped straight back into the sea then? That kind of defeats the object doesn't it?
  14. Yes, the drying out is one reason why I said a lot of money would need to be spent. (ie including dredging). The Needles Channel can actually be avoided though, by using the North Channel just outside the fort at Hurst Point, which I'd have thought an IoW-sized vessel would be able to do. I agree with you though, a financial non-starter.
  15. Without going as fast west as Poole, Christchurch would probably be the only option. Would need a lot of money spending to turn it into a ferry port, and the crossing time to Yarmouth would be a good hour at least. But it looks far better road connected than Lymington, and could be quite appealing versus Lymington for traffic coming from the west. I wonder if it has ever been considered?
  16. Indeed, fabulous photos. And encouraging to see the upper vehicle deck of BDS so full too. The demand is clearly there for the Le Havre route.
  17. Yes it will be, same as the cooling water for the engines.
  18. Indeed, especially given recent industrial relations mess in Caen. BF do not want to be connected with this.
  19. Strong opposing tides my aunt. Talk about clutching at straws, never heard such a ridiculous excuse. [For one thing, on the cross-channel routes between the CI and Poole the tides are not opposing or favouring, they are across the path. For another, even if they were, "strong" in the case of tides equates to about 4-5 knots, negligible for a craft that cruises at 40. I know tidal streams around the islands can locally get up to 7-8 knots, but not over a distance significant enough to affect passage times]. It really bugs me when ferry companies try to fob us off with this sort of nonsense.
  20. It definitely get's choppier in the Dover Straits and the Southern North Sea than it does in the Western and Central Channel for the same wind strengths. Combination of deeper water and generally smaller tidal streams. Plus the Dover Straits sees the two main tidal systems around the country (NE-going on the flood through the Channel and SW-going on the flood through the southern N Sea) meeting each other and causing a confused sea.
  21. I know which I'd prefer if I was an islander - after all, if speed is important you take the plane.
  22. Indeed, ships roll. Fact of life and part of their appeal, not something they can be criticised for.
  23. That's not particularly relevant is it. In the supply and demand equation, there is not much else like her on the supply side and you'd think that there might have been one source of demand for her somewhere in the world during the x years she spent lying idle, economic crisis or not. The economic crisis did not affect the whole world equally.
  24. On the other hand, if you buy a ticket for a ferry crossing you expect to be able to use the dining facilities advertised in the company literature without having to make arrangements to do so in advance.
  25. I'm surprised the states were happy to grant the tender for an operation modelled around a single fast ferry with just a glorified freighter for backup support as a conventional ship. Sure I can see why having a fast ferry as part of a package would be attractive, as long as the package also provided for a reliable passenger service using a proper ferry. But to put all the eggs in the fast ferry basket, and then only to have one of them, seems very short-sighted to me and I'm surprised the islanders were happy to go with that. Just my two cents, with apologies if that view causes offence. Edit: I wonder if Condor ever considered asking themselves why the 102 was sat around in Australia for so long without anybody being interested in her......
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