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Pegpilot

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About Pegpilot

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 25/12/1960
  1. Fair points CVA. It was interesting that my Grandfather fell in love with Greece, always promised my Grandmother that they would go and visit his old haunts, but he could never summon up the courage to face up to those historic demons (yes, I'm not denying the atrocities) and actually go back. Anyway, I will definitely fulfil a promise to myself next year and visit the beaches in Normandy. Having previously visited German coastal positions in Hirthsals, Frederikshavn and Jersey, I don't underestimate the scale of the task we faced at all
  2. I suppose the news channels will move swiftly on after today, which is a shame. They probably won't acknowledge the 6 weeks of hard fighting in Normandy after D-Day as we fought to take Caen - which was initially a Day 1 objective. If you research Operation Epsom and Goodwood you will see how doggedly the Germans fought and how horrendous our losses were. And then a lightning dash through France and another bloody winter on the German border as the Germans rallied once more. Incidentally, whilst this was going on my German maternal Grandfather was in his 40's, commissioned in the Luftwaffe, and running medevac troop trains from Greece through the Balkans to the Vaterland. He never spoke of it (running German transports through Yugoslav partisan territory wasn't much fun) to his dying day. God bless, Opa. But finally, it was a shame that the only vessel they could find to take the Vets to the beaches was registered in Nassau. Makes you wonder what tonnage we could lay our hands on for troop transport if it all kicked off tomorrow. I bet Fred Olsen wouldn't be interested...
  3. Thanks Paully. A shame really. The AAIB has a global reputation for the thoroughness of its work and I presume that the MAIB is similarly well respected Still, I'm sure that the Cypriot authorities would investigate with the same attention to detail...
  4. I presume that in future the MAIB would have no authority to investigate such an incident but involving a Cypriot-registered vessel in French waters ?
  5. I must profess to a degree of confusion about all this. I understand that if port turnround times for vessels go up then you need more ships to maintain a given route capacity. But at what stage does the number of berths become the determinant of capacity rather than fleet size I(my history has involved line capacity analysis for metro railways). At the moment Dover has about 55 daily arrival/departure pairs spread over, I think, 7 linkspans, suggesting an average timetabled linkspan utilisation of about 8 per berth per day or every three hours, apparently comfortable if you're turning them round at a rate of once an hour. But at what stage do you hit the capacity ceiling as berth layover times go up ? Is it 2-hour turnrounds ? 2.5 hours ? How much slack in timetabled berth utilisation can you actually get away with ? Commentary from those of you better qualified on these issues than I very much welcome.
  6. It's such a ruddy awful joke that I'm happy for you to take the blame, CB !
  7. Well if FDFDS is coming to the party, what odds on the "No-Deal Seaways"..... I'll get me coat
  8. Well there's one telling photo out there showing that the warship took a sideswipe on its starboard rear quarter alongside the helicopter hangar, with the rip very much looking bulbous-bow shaped. Seems to suggest that the warship was cutting across the bow of the tanker from left to right and someone misjudged, resulting in an oblique collision.
  9. If state subsidy is involved then they may well be waiting on the outcome of the current Brexit negotiations, as the legality of subsidy within the EU is highly regulated, but after March we will not be in the EU any more and the whole regulatory framework will change. But don't ask me to what extent - my days as an EU policy wonk are now nearly 20 years behind me....
  10. Silly question, I know, but is there no automated traffic warning system installed on these things ? Commercial aviation has TCAS, and even humble glider pilots like me have £500 Flarm boxes on board which similarly give an audible warning of increasing risk of conflict just in case you don't pick up traffic. And yes, I know, it's drummed into us as well as mariners - these systems do not excuse you from the need to look out of the window - the Mk 1 Eyeball is still a fantastically versatile piece of kit !
  11. Interesting topic. I'm also considering a trip away from my normal Baltic stomping ground in favour of warmer climes and I'm thinking about Grimaldi's Barcelona/Rome service as something a little different. Anyone tried it lately ?
  12. But the Rodby route has no long term future, does it ? The tunnel is scheduled to open in 2028, at which the link and its 4 vessels will be redundant. Unless the construction programme is delayed ? Bit I suppose it will give DFDS another route to close.....
  13. Oh, thanks Ryan - didn't realise that the Riga route had stepped up to daily again. The Isabelle is, as you say, quite an old boat, but was until recently Viking Line's Isabella, and having travelled on Viking's similar-vintage Mariella a few years ago I'm sure is well kept. I still remember the great cabin with the huge sprawly double bed I had on Mariella
  14. A couple of pointers from my perspective. Think about doing Stockholm - Tallinn rather than the other way round - that way, you get a lovely early evening cruise through the Stockholm archipelago. As for Riga, certainly worth a visit for a day or two - a wonderful old town, huge sense of history, food market housed in old Zeppelin hangars. But you might want to be careful about your schedule if you do the Riga/Stockholm ferry, as when I did it there were two vessels on the route providing a daily service, but that's now down to one vessel and a service every other day. Rather typical of my luck, I got not one of the wonderful super-ferries but the long-in-the-tooth Silja Festival, which is now in the Med. Gdansk is another fascinating option, but the Sweden boat runs to Nynshamn rather than Stockholm (an hour away by train), and if you want the full-on Superferry experience you'll be disappointed as it's operated by Polferries, and is the old Stena Fantasia, now nearly 40 years old !
  15. I'd recommend the Color Line trip from Bergen, having done it the other way round a couple of years ago. Stylish ferries on board, although you'd be hanging around a while in Hirtshals as Color gets in 8ish (I think) and Norrona doesn't board until 2pm. But if you can dump your luggage, take a trip to the lighthouse in Hirtshals and visit the old German WW2 fortifications. Or do the aquarium which is quite close to the terminal. As for life on board Norrona, we did the de-lux Viking package which included all meals (except lunches on shore days) as well as the shore bus trips. If you do the basic trip, you won't find the café too expensive if you don't want to pay for the buffet in the restaurant - I seem to recall you can get a main course for under 10 quid. Hope that helps, Ryan. Whiteheadplh considered train from Billund but it took hours so he took a hire car and left it at the hotel in Hirtshals, so hire cars must have been dirt cheap at that time of year. Cheers Pegpilot
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