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geoffc

ETRETAT: Technical Problems (Bretagne resuming service early / Armorique covering for Etretat)

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MSM is going off after the summer season through to the end of the current schedules, and then that just leaves PA and Armorique for next year.

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Possibly - worth noting that she did not actually dock at either, just came quite close in which, given the weather, could well have been to pick up and drop off a pilot.

 

 

I remember a couple of years, or so, ago when Pont Aven first started using the Oussant channel...so presumably before all Captains had earned their pilotage certificates, we sailed close in to Roscoff to pick up the pilot but I don't remember calling in anywhere to drop off the pilot, most likely happened when I was tucked up in my cabin.

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That's interesting Andy, thanks for the update, and it does make some sense. Currently, though, nothing showing on the freight timetables to indicate Etretat coming back before 25 May and the freight sailings are showing as finishing when Armorique finishes on 13 March. No doubt these schedules will be updated before too long.

 

Still nothing on the schedules. The freight timetable still showing nothing after Armorique finishes until May. Meanwhile the sailings updates page continues to say that "Etretat is currently operating a freight-only service between Portsmouth and Le Havre" while Etretat sits quietly at lay-up next to Normandie Express.

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Armorique has called in at Roscoff this morning en route from Bilbao to Portsmouth. Curious, I wonder why that is. You'd think that a crew change call would be unnecessary as her current schedule involves spending all day on Fridays at Le Havre. Last week she had Roscoff as an AIS destination whilst on passage up Biscay from Bilbao, but as far as I could tell did not actually put in there, she just continued on a normal passage to Portsmouth once she had turned the corner past Ushant. So a Roscoff call was thought of but not carried out last week, but this week she has actually called in and is on the berth there at the moment. Anyone have any insight into this?

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Armorique has called in at Roscoff this morning en route from Bilbao to Portsmouth. Curious, I wonder why that is. You'd think that a crew change call would be unnecessary as her current schedule involves spending all day on Fridays at Le Havre. Last week she had Roscoff as an AIS destination whilst on passage up Biscay from Bilbao, but as far as I could tell did not actually put in there, she just continued on a normal passage to Portsmouth once she had turned the corner past Ushant. So a Roscoff call was thought of but not carried out last week, but this week she has actually called in and is on the berth there at the moment. Anyone have any insight into this?

 

The majority of the Arm crew is probably based in Brittany hence the change of crew in Roscoff.

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Did the Armorique sail from Plymouth last night (13th March) or was it the Bretagne, on the fleet finder it said the Bretagne was in dock? Just wondered as my son went over last night.

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Curiously, Etretat is now on her way to Cherbourg.

 

Her Le Havre freight sailings up until her drydocking are now on the freight website. Re-entry into service is scheduled for Thursday 19th ex-Portsmouth, and she is basically rostered for overnight from Portsmouth, teatime from Le Havre Monday to Friday, with the weekend lying over in Le Havre.

Edited by Gareth

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Etretat on Cherbourg-Portsmouth this week !

 

Well, Gary, I don't know whether that was tongue-in-cheek or whether you are saying you know something about what is happening. Certainly nothing in the schedules to convey that Etretat is undertaking some Portsmouth-Cherbourg sailings, and I had assumed you were being light-hearted with that. BUT......Etretat is now sitting on berth 4 at Cherbourg with an AIS that is giving a destination of Portsmouth, ETA 2145 this evening! So this is looking more like a scheduled sailing than a re-storing visit!

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Interesting, thanks Andy. Is this to pick up some of the traffic that would normally have routed through Poole? Or maybe just BF using an opportunity to test the market?

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We've seen both LD and DFDS pull out also the two Stena ships serving Portsmouth and Zeebrugge. Maybe there is now a debate to be had regarding Cotentin and using her in a freight only capacity?

 

Surely LD's decision to pull out of the Irish and Spanish routes has had a knock on effect too? Both ICG and Stena have seen percentage increases on their Rosslare/Dublin-Roscoff/Cherbourg routes. We've also seen BF respond with Baie de Seine.

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These few days of Cherbourg sailings look like they're pretty much exactly following the timings of the Le Havre schedules - teatime departure from Cherbourg, overnight return arriving back in Cherbourg 8am local. So it appears like she is on her normal Le. Havre schedule but using Cherbourg as an alternative port for some reason. Does anybody know if there is a reason why Etretat can't use Le Havre and is using Cherbourg instead at the moment, or is this a completely free decision by BF to divert her? Is the Le Havre linkspan out of action for instance?

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Well, Gary, I don't know whether that was tongue-in-cheek or whether you are saying you know something about what is happening. Certainly nothing in the schedules to convey that Etretat is undertaking some Portsmouth-Cherbourg sailings, and I had assumed you were being light-hearted with that. BUT......Etretat is now sitting on berth 4 at Cherbourg with an AIS that is giving a destination of Portsmouth, ETA 2145 this evening! So this is looking more like a scheduled sailing than a re-storing visit!

 

Its freight only so wont be on the public schedule. Probably on the freight website though?

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No, the freight schedules were what I was referring to - nothing there. Wouldn't expect anything on the passenger website as these are freight-only sailings, but surprised there is nothing on the freight website. The Le Havre sailings from Thursday are there.

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Less than three weeks to go now before Etretat comes off service for her dry docking and repair of her stabilisers. And the time interval between her last sailing before refit and her first sailing back in action is only three weeks (including destoring, restoring and passage time to and from the yard). Which makes me think she must be going somewhere pretty local. Does anyone know where Etretat is going for her refit? Seems to me it must be one of Brest, Dunkerque and Le Havre itself - although I can't help thinking that the timing of Etretat going into dry dock is going to coincide very closely with Barfleur vacating her drydock, but surely Santander is too far away for such a short period off service (?).

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Less than three weeks to go now before Etretat comes off service for her dry docking and repair of her stabilisers. And the time interval between her last sailing before refit and her first sailing back in action is only three weeks (including destoring, restoring and passage time to and from the yard). Which makes me think she must be going somewhere pretty local. Does anyone know where Etretat is going for her refit? Seems to me it must be one of Brest, Dunkerque and Le Havre itself - although I can't help thinking that the timing of Etretat going into dry dock is going to coincide very closely with Barfleur vacating her drydock, but surely Santander is too far away for such a short period off service (?).

 

I think I read somewhere on Twitter that she's going to Gdansk but I could be wrong...

Edited by sness

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Thanks sness - I had assumed that Gdansk was ruled out on account of distance away v time off service. Given the trip to and from Gdansk is a good 3 days each way, and more if they are saving fuel (like with Bretagne), if it is Gdansk I reckon that will only leave about a week of actual attention in the yard. Given that this is not only a routine overhaul but also a fittng of her new stabilisiers I would have thought a week would have been not long enough. So it will be interesting to see, but thanks for the intel.

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Well, looks like you're right sness. Etretat (having completed her last sailing this morning before going for her refit) is showing as heading off to Gdansk with an ETA on Sunday. She'll be passing her new running mate heading the other way at some stage (or even meet her in Gdansk at this rate!). I'm sure the crew will be pleased to get stabilisers again.

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Etretat well out into the North Sea now....but oddly looks like she changed course a couple of hours ago and currently aiming straight for Esbjerg!

 

(No doubt just trying to find an optimum angle to the waves to minimise rolling in the North Sea without stabilisers, but it does look interesting).

Edited by Gareth

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Etretat is now in the English Channel and due into Le Havre this afternoon (after BDS has sailed) following her refit in Gdansk. When she re-enters service tomorrow (2315 Le Havre to Portsmouth) BF will finally be up to full strength for the summer, and will also finally have completed a most substantial refit season. Over this Autumn/Winter/Spring, since last October we will have seen 7 dry dockings in total, 5 of them involving major work or refurbishment. Three ships out for three months each for scrubbers (Normandie, CF and Barfleur), one total refurbishment for new role with BF (BDS), one for fitting of new stabilisers (Etretat). As well as the two more routine dry dockings of PA and Bretagne. BF have spent a lot of money in the shipyards this season and this must be up there with one of the most exhaustive refit seasons they have ever had. Only just over 4 months and it will be MSM's turn. A real vote of confidence for the future and I hope BF find it has been money well spent. Not to mention that I suspect that from tomorrow will be operating the largest fleet they have ever operated (?). Good on them, and welcome back Etretat.

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