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Posts posted by Malc

  1. I remember coming back from Spain on the Pont Aven at the Icelandic Ash-Cloud emergency.  We were 3 hours late leaving Santander as they drip-fed exhausted foot passengers and their suitcases onto the ship.  There were people everywhere!  Don't know if they used the kennels as cabins!!!

  2. On 14/04/2020 at 11:54, colin said:

    Returning, almost, to the topic, the Bête Noir of my youth was the 1960 built St Clair. From Ailsa Shipbuilding in Troon, she was designed specifically for the Aberdeen "north boat" routes, had very fine "destroyer bow" fwd sections, and was the first vessel on the routes to have stabilisers. I say almost on topic, because she was pre RORO with vehicles craned on and off.

    Her design reduced rolling, except when the stabilisers broke off (yes, I was on board), but her fore and aft shape and division of buoyancy made her pitch like no other vessel I have ever been on. A destroyer has length in its favour and a relatively narrow beam by comparison. This horror ship was definitely heading for Davy Jones' locker every time we went down in a trough. Eventually, she shook and shuddered and agonisingly slowly, back up she came. I could not sleep inside the ship, partly due to the foul smell left by others and partly the psychological terror of being cooped up in a coffin.

    Once I reached drinking age, I could join the adepts... Get on board 2 hours before departure, drink yourself insensitive in the bar before the ship got beyond the breakwater, lie down and forget the world. Stewards put blankets over us, and made sure we were securely wedged.


    My first memory of a ferry was of the St Ola in 1953 which sailed from Scrabster to Stromness in Orkney, although I must have been on a ferry from Weymouth to Jersey in 1949 when I was a toddler. 

    Was the St Ola a sister ship of the St Clair. Cars were craned on board.

    It was an extremely rough crossing and i was very sick.  In fact rather than sailing as usual to the West of Hoy, we sailed to Stromness through Scapa Flow.  That crossing did not put me off ferries!

    • Like 2

  3. 3 hours ago, Fine Whine said:

    Pont Aven this morning headed off to Le Havre where she will be effectively mothballed until she gets the all clear to resume sailings - whenever that may be...


    Pont Aven has turned back from her leisurely transit to Le Havre and is now heading at speed to Roscoff. Where then?

  4. 44 minutes ago, G4rth said:

    The projected cost is interesting especially when you contrast it with the cost of HS2. Millions more would benefit at a twentieth of the cost. Turbines in the walls to generate power from a vast tidel pond to help protect the environment. The only downside I can see is Europe would be making a contribution. It's a no brainer HS2 it is.

    How deep is the Channel between Cornwall and Brittany?  That would be some dam!  How many locks would be required to accommodate the volume of traffic using this stretch of water - just look at MarineTraffic!  And compare the suggested cost with Crossrail and HS2.  Perhaps there should be a 'b' after the numbers rather than an 'm' with at least another '0'.  The proposal is a figment of imagination just as a bridge from Scotland to N Ireland is.

  5. The Caravan and Motorhome Club used to release bookings for its sites for the next summer (April on) on a specified day early in December.  Result - chaos with crashed website, a saturated booking centre and very angry members!  Now it releases bookings early each month for the month 12 months in advance in a rolling programme.  Result - much happier members.

    Not the same scale and a somewhat different evolving environment, I know, but big fish can learn from minnows.

    • Like 1
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  6. 6 hours ago, Solo said:

    I was going to comment on all the "Nationalistic shenanigans" on ships not registered here but it seems it would be okay on this one.

    I am not surprised that there are "Nationalistic shenanigans" on Britannia.  Her name encourages it.  But what nationality?  I look forward to hearing about the "shenanigans" at Sail-Aways on P&O's new Iona - Prayer and Meditation?

  7. There's talk in Vigo of a new route starting between Vigo and the UK. Has anyone heard anything about this?  Could be a route for e-flexer 'Galicia' or perhaps just a bit of wishful thinking!


  8. 14 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

    “We are sorry to inform you that your sailing from Roscoff to Plymouth on Sunday 23 June will now depart at the later time of 10:15, arriving in to Plymouth at 14:45. Latest check-in is now 09:30. We are sorry for any inconvenience this will cause.”

    My Father just got this.

    PA's revised timings and ports for the summer are now on the BF timetables.  Revised journeys and stop-overs for those of us far from the ports can now be planned.

    • Like 1

  9. 25 minutes ago, straightfeed said:

    Coming from Exeter direction down the A38 we take Embankment , go left just before Charles Church roundabout to the Barbican area and then left at the Duke of Cornwall to Milbay. So we skirt a block from C Church roundabout. What do you think Bisnick? Any problems for us? We take the 0800 to Roscoff. on the 28th of this month..



    I think that is signed to the Ferry, but for light vehicles only.

  10. 18 hours ago, David Williams said:

    BF are starting to communicate in advance, let's hope it continues

    6 June 2019

    We are looking forward to welcoming Pont-Aven back to service on 14 June. Ahead of her return, we have published a revised timetable for sailings operating between Plymouth and Santander and Plymouth and Roscoff. These changes to departure and arrival times have been made to compensate for reduced Pont-Aven operating speed this summer.

    Most involve revised departure/arrival times of up to two hours. However please note, for certain sailings leaving Santander, Pont-Aven’s departure has been delayed by four hours, leaving at 19:15 instead of 15:15. All customers affected by changes will be notified in advance of their sailing.

    For revised timings please visit our ferry timetables.


    Interesting that the revised PA timetables are only revised up to mid-July.  Thereafter it still shows PA's Santander Monday departure going to Portsmouth.  Could be that BF need to assess how PA's revised timetable is working before revising further.  

    Watch this space!

  11. 4 hours ago, JohnMustow said:

    We are also booked on the 15th July sailing and fully expect to arrive in Plymouth which will be a new experience for us, we just hope that disembarkation will be smooth with minimal delays (previous posts suggest not). We have changed our onward destination from our son in Bedford to our daughter in Woolacombe to make it easier for us.

    I hope to be on that sailing too.  Provisional timings given to me by BF are departing Santander at 19.15, arriving Plymouth at 15.45.  Just in time for the Plymouth rush hour traffic!

  12. 44 minutes ago, jonno said:

    I didn't think there was much in it in terms of mileage to Edinburgh, 50 or so? Time wise I always felt that travelling north from Plymouth it was the M5/M6 junction which was the stumbling block and that's mainly due to M5 50mph limit around J1&2. I know a lot is said about the A38, me included, but heading out of Portsmouth the M3 J9 at Winnall and bypassing Winchester can be really bad and the usual restrictions on the M42 which are more to do with noise and emissions frankly do my head in.


    Sure, there's not a great difference of mileage from Scotland to Plymouth or Portsmouth.  However when your getting on in years and retired it is not a question of getting behind the wheel and driving for at least  8 or 10 hours straight to your destination.  You're on holiday, meant to be enjoying life, not knackering yourself!  So knowing when the boat leaves and arrives is important in planning the journey as well as the route and where to get a good night's sleep.  After several very bad experiences with the top end of the M5 and the M6 till past Manchester, I now favour an east coast route using M42 and A42 and A1/A1M. 

    • Like 1

  13. 5 minutes ago, James210700 said:

    Having spoken to Brittany Ferries last week and again in an email this week, Pont-Aven will be sailing from Plymouth not Portsmouth.

    Screenshot 2019-06-05 at 10.42.44.png

    Well, that's one bit of the equation solved!

    Can anyone remember the '3-engine' timings between Plymouth and Santander?

  14. 13 hours ago, hf_uk said:

    Once Pont Aven is back of course, she will have to prove that she can maintain the 'new' season schedule to Plymouth instead of Portsmouth. I believe she only made one rotation before the rudder problem,so I imagine they will be keen to get a week or two under their belt to see if it is workable on 3 engines...

    Will it be Portsmouth?  The timetable still says so with the original timings, rather than the immediate post engine problem ones.  Those of us who are not within striking distance of either port and with much longer distances to travel to get home (Edinburgh) or get to the port need to arrange hotel rooms and it would be good to know which route we will be taking and boat times!

    Just checked my booking from Santander on 15th July and it still says Portsmouth.

  15. Not just foot passengers. For those with longer journeys to and from Scotland, changes to hotel bookings and planning will probably be required.  Wonder when a revised timetable will be issued? Do the current Plymouth to Santander timings not assume that speed will be 23/24 knots rather than the proposed 20 knot max?


  16. Coming back through Roscoff on Monday evening, there were 3 lads (looked quite well dressed) hanging around the vehicle waiting area when we arrived.  They scarpered when the gendarmes arrived.  The gendarmes checked under and in each artic and caravan/motorhome as well as keeping a weather eye open for return of the lads.

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