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den herraghty

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About den herraghty

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  • Birthday 01/11/1960

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  1. P.S. Just noticed the last bit of your post. 27 although I should have gone for the 'bonus' 😢
  2. Back in my distant past I was a booking office clerk for Western SMT then Clydeside Scottish at their depot in Paisley and frequently engaged (during the summer months!) in booking our popular Day Coach Tours. One of these was the 'Trossachs and Aberfoyle' tour which, in it's description, mentioned the Lake. As stated we had been taught that there was only one lake in Scotland and only found out reasonably exactly where it was due to this tour. Never actually got on it though!🤣 Den
  3. Cabin Boy I was responding to this 'bonus question' offered by Neilcvx. In the original quiz (completed the day afterwards) I achieved 22 points. Also, in accordance with time honoured BFE pedant tradition. it's locH not lock. Non Celtic/Gaelic speakers can try using the 'ch' sound from church or 'chucking up my guts on NEX to make it topical 😆 Den
  4. Don't know where you got the idea I was cheating!. I commented on my nationality as every Scottish school child (although I am a waaaay past that stage of life) is taught the there is only one lake in Scotland.Den
  5. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Cabin-boy - I'm Scottish 😀😀😀🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
  6. As no-one else has answered - Lake of Menteith near Aberfoyle! How many extra points do I get?
  7. Am I the only who can't see the Villandry/Valencay video?
  8. Guys, Thanks for taking the time to read my report and for all the welcome comments. Sorry about the fubar at the start - don't know how that happened...... Looking forward to the Galicia/Salamander trip opportunities. Den
  9. ’ve wanted to sample Cap Finistere since she joined the fleet but, as we all know on this site, it’s well nigh impossible to do so as a footie - until this winter. Hi! I My day off falls on a Thursday two weeks out of three so the initial intention was to travel on the 4 December sailing out to Le Havre and back using the excellent BFE offer. Keeping a weather eye on the strike/disruption threads (sorry about the pun!) I decided to hold off a week until I saw how the situation panned out. In either instance I would need to take some lieu time to get to Portsmouth International Port in time for the 14.30 sailing and, having explained the situation, my manager was happy to be flexible about the date. As we all know my original sailing was cancelled “due to weather” so the plan worked. I booked a two berth outside cabin for the sum of £ 74.20 and was allocated 8030 for both sailings. All I had to do now was wait and hope that the forecasted weather wouldn’t spoil my eagerly anticipated trip. My journey to work at 05 dark o’clock on the morning of the 11th confirmed that it was, indeed, windy. I had checked AIS before going to bed the previous evening which indicated CF was on her way and due into Portsmouth roughly on time. Newer colleagues didn’t believe that I was spending all that time/money just to get on a particular ship - sigh! - some people never learn….. The X4 from Fareham dropped me at the Rudmore Roundabout conveniently in between showers and I was quickly checked in. Onwards to the shop for reading materiel - and a wait while the assistant finished her conversation with a port worker - and the Costa Coffee counter which was quite busy. I really wanted a beer to pass the time but on a previous visit I had waited at the bar and was told to join the Costa queue - guess what……...beer in hand - after re-positioning to the “World Marchee” counter - I chilled out for a little while. The area marked ‘Bar’ was firmly shuttered. My relaxation was interrupted by a ferocious five minute squall (with hailstones) which was both loud and impressive! Embarkation was called a little early and security was interesting. It would appear that Le Havre footies are a suspicious lot as, having passed through the archway successfully, we (all 11 of us) were then manually searched - my rolled up sleeve causing particular concern! Once onboard the transfer bus we drove past the open, welcoming ramp of CF and onwards to the gangway tower for the 14.45 Caen service. Some swift tooting from a BF service vehicle and a radio conversation later we were dropped off on the correct ship! Up the escalators and I passed by the passengers leaving luggage to my cabin on 8 deck. I had hardly reached 8030 when the welcome and safety announcements were being made (by a most calm and reassuring male voice) and I noticed that we had started to move - 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Anyone who has read my reports before knows that I like to be on the outer decks with a beer when sailing, so it was a quick hike to the Planets Bar on 7 deck for said libation before heading to the rather wet open area aft on 9 deck. Here I “toasted” HM Ships Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales - one of the first times both vessels had been in Portsmouth together. QE had a Merlin helicopter ranged on deck which seemed to be doing engineering trials. Departure done further exploring is required and the starboard side access to 10 deck is closed. A comment in another thread enquired if the outer areas on 9/10 deck were closed for the winter however the port side access to 10 deck was open and the cafe was too. A couple of hot meals were on offer but I decided to give the rather cold looking steward a reason for being there and had another pint. He joined me a few minutes later looking wistfully at BDS riding at anchor in St Helen’s Roads - kind of like he was wishing he was on her. Back into warmer areas and more exploration. Restaurant du Port didn’t open until 17.30, Petit Marche supplied me with some refreshments to keep me going and it was off to bed in a deliciously lumpy sea for a couple of hours! Arriving at the restaurant I was warmly welcomed, opted for the beef burger with stilton (negative stilton) for dinner, a nice bottle of wine with good service to complete the experience. Le Havre was reached on schedule and, after a short wait at reception on 7 deck it was down to the car deck and the bus to the terminal. Thankfully the foot passenger arrival experience has improved since my last visit when it was “off ship - up stairs to the P+O aerial gangway - along gangway to immigration - down to ground level et vv”. Now it’s on a bus - immigration - exit to the delights of Le Havre on a December night. Speaking of which I had a wander into the city. I did fancy a quick ‘pression’ but I found myself looking into the two bars I came across somewhat similar to an urchin in a Charles Dickens’ novel. Whilst people seemed to be enjoying themselves - they weren’t for me so I returned to the port and the brightly lit CF. Departing Le Havre was much of a ‘lesse faire’ experience. Border Control turn up, check passport, no security, on bus, on board - simples!. Departure beer was from the ‘Finisterre’ midships on 7 deck for a slightly late departure. Once outside the harbour it was time for bed. Scheduled arrival in Portsmouth was 07.15 so the announcement around about then that we had been delayed ‘due to congestion at the port’ and apologies etc…. was a welcome one. Alongside just after 08.00 there were several BF HI-VIS jacketed personnel being briefed whilst I had a ‘petit formule’ in the Finisterre bar. Called down to Reception on 7 deck about five minutes later - we had to wait for about twenty minutes before we could disembark. Bus to terminal and a firmly closed arrivals hall. Eleven (again!) of us waited until Border Force personnel turned up and were closely scrutinised by personnel (BF - why have you spent two hours in France; ME - because I wanted ’to go on CF’; further questioning and I was let go.) I’ve been on four ‘Superfasts’ now. One from Rosyth - Zeebrugge with the cruise experience (evacuation drills etc) and StenaSuperfast VII/VIII from Cairnryan (Stenafied) and I don’t think I would want to cruise to Spain on this ship. Admittedly it was off season, a route it doesn’t normally operate on but!!!!!!!!!!! Good to have another ship to my collection! Thanks for reading and comments are always welcome! Den
  10. HHV Thanks for your comments. I have indeed got it wrong about the restaurant on Tycho Brahe (as well as her nationality!) I've just checked the FORSEA website and the restaurant I saw advertised in the terminal was LAT 56 (Hamlet). Really sorry about getting your hopes up that TB's restaurant had re-opened. As for Moby Corse, I'll remember that information for next year. Thanks again Yours Aye Den
  11. Gardian Done! See Voyage reports and I appreciate feedback as always Den
  12. At the request of another member here's an expanded version of my recent post in Other Ferries I’m just finishing a week off work and, as usual, did some travelling. I didn’t have any “must do’s” on my list - apart from maybe travelling on Moby Corse. I know she has a limited season so wasn’t too surprised when I couldn’t find her on the Moby timetable. Next idea was ferry hopping on the Konnigsee criss-crossing between Germany and Italy - but I couldn’t find flights that suited me so I decided to pursue my second favourite hobby flying! I’ve got enough points already this year to keep my status with British Airways so I could look around and fly something different. First up was LEVEL - one of the low cost IAG offshoots - to Vienna. This was thwarted as they decided to cancel the route from the end of August - meh!! As a result, some searching lead me to finding one of those offers which you have to look twice at and try to find out what the catch is. This was with Turkish Airlines from VIE to the Nordic capitals for £ 145 one way in economy (I know - I had to look up what that means) and worked the other way as well which was more suitable. Flying from Copenhagen offered the choice of two wide bodied aircraft and and a 2h30 minute transfer time in the new Istanbul airport which is why I found myself on a Norwegian Air International Boeing 738-800 conducting a bumpy landing into Copehagen Kastrup and the basis for this report. I had no firm plans for my afternoon and evening in Copenhagen but knew that this would be the only opportunity to get some ferries in. Quickly through border formalities and on to the rail station I found that I had missed the hourly Oresundtag through train to Helsingborg so made my way to Malmo Central to see what I could pick up there. Sweden has re-introduced border controls when travelling to the country and on-board announcements indicate this - although there were no checks carried out in my carriage. There was a Swedish Railways high speed train (SJ Snabbtag) departing 20 minutes after I arrived which gave me a chance to look round this rejuvenated station. The first time I was there it was very much run down and not a welcoming arrival into the country. Now it is thriving with several restaurants/shops and a lively vibrant feel. A comfortable journey ensued (aided by a beer from the Bistro) and I was soon alighting at Helsingborg transport interchange. FORSEA is the current operating name for the twenty minute crossing to Denmark. There are three passenger carrying ferries:- Aurora af Helsingborg/Tycho Brahe (Swedish Register) and Hamlet (Danish Register - not unsurprisingly). All three are near sisters and the two Swedish vessels have a battery capability as advertised by large decals on the hull. There was a fourth freight only ferry - one of the Superflex class. During my crossings the vehicle decks seemed to be full. For such a short crossing the vessels are very well equipped with a full service restaurant, cafe, truckers lounge, bar and duty free area. Tobacco sales are only permitted in the first ten minutes of sailing from Helsingborg; alcohol in the last ten (obviously the other way round on the return!). When I last travelled on the route (in the Scandline era) they advertised a lunch cruise so I enquired about this at the ticket office and was issued with a ticket costing 168 SEK. The normal return costs 95 SEK so its quite a good deal. Adjacent to the booking office in the terminal are notices indicating service times on board each of the vessels (although the one for Hamlet was missing). Midweek Aurora has ‘Waves’ restaurant open from 12.00 - with enhanced times on Tycho at the weekend. Fortunately Aurora was the next departure. Embarkation is via a dedicated Passenger Access system onto the main passenger deck. Paper tickets are clipped whilst regular travellers utilise a swipe card reader. ‘Waves’ is situated on the upper passenger deck at the ‘Danish’ end of the ship with a seperate bar adjacent to the entrance. Warmly welcomed I was shown to a table overlooking the ‘bow’ and introduced to my Italian born stewardess. I was offered the choice of the buffet or a la carte menu. When I explained that I had the buffet ticket and, presumably only one round trip to use it on, I was delighted to be told that I had as long as I wanted and to relax and enjoy the trip(s), So bottle of wine ordered I settled down for two round trips by watching the passenger only ‘Perilla’ of Sundbusserne pitch her way across the sound. Both of my crossings were interspersed with heavy squalls and the occasional wave breaking over the harbour walls. As well as myself, there were three other parties in the restaurant. An extended family adjacent to me, a group of four senior citizens and a large group having a celebration. When I asked if it was worth having the restaurant open I was told that this had been an exceptionally quiet day and that at weekends they were normally full. The buffet itself seemed a little uninspiring - that may be because I joined the ship at 14.10 two hours into service and the other diners were using the a la carte service - but there was the usual Nordic selection of cold cuts; salmon and dill sauce; fried fillets of fish; a meat option - not entirely what it was though! - potatoes/veg; brie and a rather moreish cake. Two questions here:- Are you supposed to eat Brie with the ‘skin ‘ on and is three pieces of cake ‘just to make sure I like it’ too many? The ‘thumps’ of the ship meeting the waves on the departures from Denmark were more pronounced - enough to make the glassware and crockery rattle - and the movement gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling of being at home. (I spent 20 odd years on and off afloat and just love being in a ship in lumpy seas). During the call in Helsingor the food had been cleared away and my stewardess enquired if I wanted another bottle of wine - stating that the buffet would be upgraded after 17.00. At 285 SEK a time I politely declined and settled my bill. As we arrived in to Helsingborg I noted that the Hamlet was still alongside when we should have met her in mid channel, the vessel being ten minutes late on a twenty minute frequency. Disembarkation was swift and the Border Control point was closed so it was another hassle free entry into Sweden. Twenty minutes later and the ticket machine had relieved me of 56 SEK for my final crossing of the day. Foot passenger wise this was rather quiet - but the vehicle deck was full. A sub one hour train trip and I was back in Copenhagen for a night stop and my eagerly anticipated Turkish Airlines flights. I hope you have enjoyed reading this, that it was not tooooo long and may have given you some travel ideas! Den
  13. During a quick flying trip of Europe (LGW - CPH -IST -VIE [TRAIN] -BTS -LTN I had time to sample the FORSEA service between Helsingborg and Helsingor. Having been there before I knew there was a Lunjss Kryss available.and after paying 168 SEK (less than £ 20) at the ticket office I was off on a double round trip on M/F Aurora af Helsingborg. The ticket allows you to have offerings from the buffet (in my case smoked salmon, dill sauce; double helpings of fried fish (I'm Scottish.....) potatoes and a dessert. Coffee and wine (extra) made a pleasant couple of hours out. Happily (for me) all the crossings were a little bit bumpy😀 The other vessels (Tycho Brahe/Hamlet) offer the same but on a limited - evening -basis. If you get the chance do it! You can spend (most of the day )sailing between the two with this ticket! Den
  14. Really sad to hear about this. Whilst serving in HMS Broadsword, taking part in the peace keeping operations off the Balkan Coast in 1993-94, he organised a variety show which visited all of the RN/RFA ships involved. Some of my younger colleagues didn't (initially) understand the ethos of it - but were all on their feet singing, dancing and thoroughly enjoying themselves at the end. A great loss to the Naval community Den
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