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About kenw

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  • Birthday 15/05/1950

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  1. kenw

    BF Confirm Charter of 'E-Flexer'

    Very different – the same way ships have been built from the days of the Mary Rose if not before. These days they call it integrated building (hull and superstructure) – ie start with the length of the keel, add frames and then add skin and interior, working upwards until you reach the top. As opposed to modular block shipbuilding, as deployed for BF's Honfleur, the new aircraft carriers and other projects we've seen in recent years. Large sections of hull and superstructure – blocks – are fabricated (often off site) and then welded together on a slip or drydock. In some cases – as we've seen recently at Flensburg – many of those blocks originate at yards some distance away. Naming no names but... the supplier needs to make sure they are built to the correct specs for an accurate fit on delivery!
  2. kenw

    New Terminal for Santander

    Jonno, thanks for the directions to the new location. So we will disembark yards from seafood heaven! Wonderful. Next item on the agenda: check nearby hotels.
  3. kenw

    New Terminal for Santander

    So where exactly are they planning to build the new terminal? CAT, the big logistics group, last year acquired Sintax, which operates on the adjoining site. [Navigation tip: head more or less south past the current terminal, passing the Barrio Pesquero – do not go ashore for lunch at Los Peñucas. Next is the bulk terminal – cereals, IIRC, but I think traffic is slow these days. The next group of wharves serve the big automotive logistics site. This used to host two companies, CAT – one of the big names in logistics – and Sintax, a Spanish co. Last year CAT acquired Sintax and earlier this month they announced that they were going to rationalise their Santander operation. So does this liberate space for a mythical mega-ferry terminal? Or are they proposing a site even further inbound, alongside the marina and the airport? Has the port of Santander been taken over secretly by a company which builds or operates dredgers? Or maybe by the authorities in Bilbao who want to vanquish a competitor? Aaaaarrggh
  4. kenw

    Black Friday Deals with BF

    For those in France there are deals outbound TO the UK and return. See http://www.brittany-ferries.fr/ Haven't yet investigated / compared with what's on the UK site.
  5. kenw

    New Look Revealed

    Surely the point of the new logo is to remind us that BF is Europe's largest group of ship-owning farmers. A great bit of one-upmanship at the next Salon International de l'Agriculture: Jacques: Have you bought a new tractor? To which Yannick gives him a look: Tractors? Everybody has tractors. We've got three new ships...! Game, set and match to the Breton farmers.
  6. kenw

    We need to talk about speed...

    OK, just a quick look-up. Shortest navigable Portsmouth – Santander = 532nm At 22kt that's 24:12, so allowing mooring & manoeuvring assume 25–26 dock to dock. Depending, of course, on tides, traffic, weather etc Wind up to 26kt and you could probably go d-t-d in 21–22. Incidentally my superyachtie friends tell me that they have delivered a boat from Ocean Village to Bilbao in 19:30. They had lunch as the IoW disappeared and arrived in time for a late breakfast. It was "a bit bumpy sometimes" but the boat had to be prepped for a wedding next day. The owner, the father of the bride, insisted on "maxima, maxima".
  7. kenw

    New BF Fleet Tracker

    Maybe it's my Magic Mouse (iMac cordless) but the zooms and pans seem a bit lumpy. Anyone else seeing that?
  8. On our local route Ouistreham – Portsmouth I probably eat in the selfservice most often. No complaints about price – a lot of the eateries at either port will probably charge the same or more. And although it is selfservice, when staff see me struggling with walking stick and tray of meal with a bottle of wine they almost always take over and carry it to a table. That's the kind of service that makes us love BF – and the food is usually more than half decent. My film crew colleagues Jerzy and Keith, who do the run more often than I do – and if they are in their big truck sometimes have a day hanging round at one end or the other waiting for deck space – say they prefer to eat on board rather than the port – particularly at Portsmouth. As for airline / airport food, I haven't tasted either since my last business class flight a few years back. The offerings on ground or airborne I've had since were barely edible on health grounds – long periods without eating are not recommended for folk like me with diabetes.
  9. kenw

    Harbour Tour with Bateau Ville du Havre II

    I've just been prompted by someone who doesn't normally take an interest in freight to explain TEUs. Simple translation for passers-by: 20ft containers or their equivalent (ie 1 x 40ft box would count as 2teu). More details without getting technical See Wikipedia And if you do want to know more about giant container ships (ULCS) this article is a good place to start.
  10. kenw

    Harbour Tour with Bateau Ville du Havre II

    For everyone here this is a must. Like the Ferry Man we did the Port 2000 trip. If you've never been close to a big container ship from sea level, it will be a revelation. Havre is of course one of Europe's biggest container ports, so there's always plenty of traffic wha Take a look at Maersk Hangzhou, which at 15,226teu is "small" for an ultra large container vessel. She was delivered earlier this year (Maersk's 2nd generation Triple-E class – of which the most recent, also new this year, is Mumbai Maersk – can carry >20,000teu.) Vital stats are 353m LOA x 53.5m with draft 15m and measures 153,744 GT. Built by Hyundai. We saw her on 30 September and she left the following day. At the time of writing (Saturday 6 Oct) she is en route to Tangier, having been in and out of Felixstowe. Tech note: This is the first H-class I've seen close-up and I was interested to discover that unlike the Triple E they are single-engined.
  11. kenw

    Catch the Tram

    LiA trams etc provide an excellent service. We used it extensively for three days of ship and city spotting (see other posts in this section). A single ticket is €1.80, which is valid for an hour if you need to change – and is valid on tram, bus and funiculaire. For €4.20 you can buy an all day ticket, again valid on all three types for unlimited travel. Ticket machines at the tram stops and the bus station take cards, notes or coins.
  12. kenw

    Migrant Issues at BF Ports

    The accepted pronunciation among the Caennais seems to be 'Oui' [as in 'yes']...'stram' IIRC Riva-Bella was at one time separate but the official entity is now Ouistreham Riva-Bella. This is one of the many local communes which make up Caen la Mer. This Communauté Urbaine or agglomération is the local planning authority and provides most of the local services such as libraries, refuse collection etc. It also oversees the Twisto bus service and the redevelopment of the tramway. NB if you haven't seen our new Alexis de Tocqueville library [pictured] - a few yards beyond the city centre marina – it's well worth a look. Not just a fabulous building, but a busy centre that combines the traditional books-based work with lots of other activities. And just another reminder why we live here: it's even open on most Sunday afternoons.
  13. Thanks, guys I've been gazing at the plan of Jules Verne for a couple of days and am still none the wiser – yes there are lifts, and the legend refers to both the Metro and RER. But what / where / how does one connect to the other? That's what I was trying to work out. Curiously, after a couple of email exchanges with SNCF Relation Clients, the relevant web page updated to show a couple of alternatives via Rouen - just time to grab a coffee as we change trains. But I can't imagine local business users who go to Paris regularly for meetings will be happy – the date in question is a Thursday! Thanks again Ken
  14. Dear all A long way off course (!) but I'm hoping someone here may know. What's the connection from the Jules Verne terminal to the Metro? Haven't been to La Défense by Metro for years and never used the bus station. But we will have bags, and I'm not good with stairs. (Ligne 1 takes us directly to Gare de Lyon, from where we take the TGV to Marseille). On the day we are travelling, there are no direct trains from Cherbourg & Caen to Paris - unspecified "travaux" to blame. The alternative route is via Le Mans – about double the journey time! So considering Ouibus as an easier alternative. TIA Ken
  15. kenw

    Ship-spotting in Le Havre - any suggestions?

    Thanks, folks We've postponed until end-August since I've caught a very snuffly cold – I don't think les Havrais would welcome an extra couple of tons of paper hankies!