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Gareth

BFE Staff
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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. Well NEX is in the middle of her annual refit at the moment do not really available. Agree with you on the general issue though, they will be well rid of Etretat when they can. For my money the replacement ought to be a rebuilt (with passenger accommodation added) Cotentin.
  2. So, last day of sailings today for MSM before being taken out of service for her scrubbers. Overnight tonight Caen-Portsmouth and then when she gets to Portsmouth in the morning she is done. Will be interesting to see where she goes. You'd think that if she was off to Cherbourg to de-store then they'd have probably slotted in a commercial sailing Portsmouth-Cherbourg (rather than Caen) tomorrow morning. As there isn't one in the schedules I'm more inclined to think she will not be heading to Cherbourg first. In which case directly to Santander I guess? And as they've arranged for her last stop to be at Portsmouth I wouldn't be surprised if the plan is for her to ship some freight down to Santander as she goes. As they did with Barfleur. Especially with Etretat out of service, will her sailing on Saturday be cancelled or taken by BDS if they cannot repair Etretat in time? Must be a case for taking a load down on MSM.
  3. Gareth

    Normandie day trip

    Quick couple of questions as I am about to sample Normandie for the first time this weekend: 1. Will the restaurant still be offering the buffet at the end of September or does this count as the off-peak season referred to by an earlier poster meaning that the buffet will not be available? 2. Some of the Commodore cabins appear from the diagram to be behind the lifeboats. Are these noticeable inferior to the Commodores further aft that have an uninterrupted view outside?
  4. Absolutely. High speed is a complete white elephant.
  5. Thanks, yes indeed Nick. However (correct me if I'm wrong), at that time they still retained Havelet as a poor weather backup to the Express. If I remember rigtly they used to keep her in Weymouth at berth 1 for the purpose. So they did have backup to Express having problems.
  6. Indeed, there's only space for one operator to the Islands. BUT: When else in the history of services to the Islands has the UK passenger service been provided by a single vessel? Can't think of any. It's all well and good restricting to one operator, but it cannot be good for the islands for that one operator to have nowhere to go if their one and only passenger vessel has problems. Should be a condition of the license to operate that Condor should have to provide more than one craft.
  7. Picture was posted on DFE of her on the beach at Aliaga at end of July. By mid-August they were well into her, so she will be long gone by now.
  8. I'd take those with a pinch of salt. In both cases the "estimated departure" is exactly a month to the hour after their arrival in the port.
  9. Anna Mur has now finished her long tour round the west coast of France and along the north coast of Spain, and has now joined the main south-bound shipping lane off the west coast of Spain. She's only been managing 10 knots though so slow progress. At least a couple more days I reckon before reaching Gibraltar.
  10. Ah ok. Well in terms of the future, I reckon they would do well to get hold of a second ship with a similar size to Clipper but perhaps with a bit more by way of passenger accommodation. Shouldn't be putting all their eggs at Poole into the basket of a single fast craft. In fact, I would be surprised if ConLib is not the last fast craft brought in for use to the CI. That's what's in my crystal ball anyway!
  11. Do you really reckon they might? Is this something they are actively considering then? (I wasn't aware this was even on the table).
  12. Clipper's Portsmouth operation is primarily a freight service. The majority of freight carried by Clipper will not want to divert to Poole, and I'd have thought that ConLib would not have the capacity (even when running alongside the Goodwill) to cater for it all if she replaced Clipper at Portsmouth. I'd also have thought that ConLib would struggle to manage two round trips a day from Portsmouth - a far cry from the days when Express and Vitesse could both manage two trips during the day comfortably and still overnight in Poole or Weymouth. ConLib barely manages two rotations a day even from Poole for some reason, and is only able to do so by sailing from Poole at the ridiculous hour of 0300.
  13. Ah, ok. So starting to make some sense then. There was a group of passengers who had been double-booked and were not going to be let on. They blocked passengers who were supposed to be taken, and police had to be called delaying the sailing. Delay could have resulted in the St Helier call coinciding with low water so to get there (and out again) before missing the tidal window they sailed without the passengers who were supposed to travel but who had been blocked by the ones that had been double-booked. That ties the two stories together. So the tidal restrictions issue was not the primary reason here, it was a knock-on consequence of the main issue. Which was that Condor had double-booked a group of passengers. They could have done without this.
  14. Yes I'm confused about that too. Seems like two separate reasons that are not compatible with each other. We can take an easy look at the tidal constraints story - what time was this sailing scheduled? Low Water St Helier today is at about 17.30 and is a 3.6m predicted height of tide. This makes it probably about half way between springs and neaps, and St Helier has low waters that are a good deal lower than that. If the sailing in question was this morning's 0930 from Poole then ConLib was scheduled into St Helier between 1400 and 1500, getting her in and out some two and a half hours before low water. Sailing to Jersey was via Guernsey. In other words - one could take the view that the tidal restrictions excuse was bunkum! There was no need to have been concerned about it if they were running on time and with low water when it was today. And even if they were running late, they could always have reversed the Jersey and Guernsey calls to get into St Helier earlier. It is very easy for ferry companies to hide behind things like "weather" (if there is wind blowing) or "tidal restraints" (if sailing out of ports such as St Malo, St Helier and Newhaven) even when they are not the real reasons for the thing they are trying to cover.
  15. Dear oh dear! This year is turning out to be a real chapter of accidents for Condor.
  16. NEX has arrived into Dunkerque pretty well bang on 1530 local and looks to be heading straight into the shipyard.
  17. Yes, shortly about to enter the Dunkerque approach channel. AIS is giving 1330 UTC as the scheduled arrival time, which actually means 1530 local. However unless she needs to wait for a pilot I suspect she will be in earlier than that. I guess she will probably have to slow down at the Dyck bouy. As far as next year's schedules are concerned they are available on the BF website. NEX's season next year looks to be virtually identical in length to this year's, although unlike this year there will be no Le Havre visits (those sailings going to Cherbourg instead) and clearly no need to stand in at Poole at the start of the season. Otherwise identical to this year, starting end April and finishing start September.
  18. For clarification, she has not put into Santander and is not on course to do so. Currently about half way between Bilbao and Santander about 8 miles off the coast at La Sorrozuela.
  19. Just on a slight tangent, relating to the relationship between the two companies. There was a BF-Condor tie-up much more recently than the BCIF days, when BF used to run a daily morning round trip from Poole to Cherbourg using Condor Vitesse. It was marketed as a BF service, with BF essentially "chartering" the vessel each morning before she then ran for Condor to the CI in the afternoon. Can anyone remember what the circumstances were that led to the termination of this agreement? Did BF just not want to run her opposite Barfleur, did Condor need her for more CI trips or was it because there was a falling out of some sort between the companies? (If the latter then that could have a bearing on topic under current discussion).
  20. About 20 miles north of Bilbao this morning and heading slightly south of due west.
  21. She's heading inshore. Currently SSW of Pte de Raz and due west of Pte de Penmarche, heading on a course more or less towards La Rochelle, so they are clearly intending to maintain a course that keeps her some 20-30 nm offshore. Prudent in my view.
  22. Fair enough. But then the question is begged, where is this outfit going to get a modern fast craft from?
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