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eagleeye

Goodbye St helen

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Evening All,

Surprised that she sailed the Biscay? Impressive if she did for such a relatively small and high sided vessel.

 

It's the only way out of the Channel into the Mediterranean, though, so not much of a choice - the three Wight Class vessels did fine

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She didn't really cross Biscay proper. She hugged the French and Spanish coast all the way round, never more than about 30 miles offshore. Took about 3 days to do it if I remember rightly, and also waited a number of days for the weather window to make the passage.

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There is a Dutch company which specialises in delivering non-deepsea vessels worldwide. Maybe they were involved.

 

No, she sailed under her own steam not in company.

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No, she sailed under her own steam not in company.

 

As I understand it this firm provides a crew with the necessary specialist expertise to navigate vessels not designed for the open sea on delivery voyages where going on the open sea can't be avoided. The example given was taking an estuarial type ferry from Greece to new owners right at the very tip of South America for service across the Straits of Magellan. Not a voyage many would care to undertake in such a vessel but how else do you get the ferry there? Probably a lot cheaper than a heavy lift ship I would guess!

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No, she sailed under her own steam not in company.

 

I meant there is a shipping company -- I believe it's Dutch -- which provides a specialist crew with the necessary technical expertise to sail non-deepsea vessels on delivery voyages worldwide. Probably cheaper than a heavy lift ship. The example of the kind of work they do was taking an estuarial type ferry from Greece to new owners at the very tip of South America for further service across the Straits of Magellan

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I realise there are probably much better photos to be found elsewhere, but here's just a few I took when I was in Sardinia back in May.  Both ships look very good and very well cared for

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13 minutes ago, adicat said:

I notice prows down before berthing and the flap seems to be extended all the time.

Fortunately most of the rest of Europe isn't as insanely obsessed with risk mitigation as the UK.

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One can only imagine the surveyor during her annual survey.....

(In best Italian accent) "So Captain..where eez ziss Neeeedles Park zis talks about?"

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On 08/09/2018 at 07:50, adicat said:

I notice prows down before berthing and the flap seems to be extended all the time.

Yes, the flaps have been disconnected so they just hang loose all the time. The prows are down so that they can gauge the correct place to drop the prow, but it is all very reminiscent of the Broad St slipway days - once the vessel is moored there is a general chaotic exodus of foot passengers and vehicles at the same time - none of this stopping the traffic so that footies can board safely.  Interestingly they only park traffic 2 abreast on each side and on the mezz decks, which has cut down vehicle capacity, though it makes it a lot easier to get in and out of cars,  It also means they don't have to sort the load first - vehicles board in the same order that they turn up, with cars, trucks, lorries all mixed up.

The crossing takes around 35 minutes, so is much the same as their original crossing time - at Portovesme the port is in the middle of a large industrial area which is quite run-down - the ships berth her stern inwards, turning as they approach the berth.  At Carloforte, the terminals are literally right on the main road, which can cause delays with disembarking traffic.  It is possible to sit outside at a pavement cafe and the vessels berth about 60 feet away, this time bows inwards - see photos below.  There was always a police officer in attendance to help the traffic flow.  There are 5 berths on the seafront at Carloforte, as other vessels which sail to alternative destinations berth as well - when 2 ships were unloading at the same time, it was quite chaotic, to put it mildly.

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Wow! Great to see the pair of them still so recognisable from their time on the Solent, and if we're honest they look like they are looking after them better than Wightlink did, at least towards the end. I would imagine Cecilia will follow them soon enough, and presumably Faith as well. In the second of the interior shots above, I'm trying to place where that is...it looks like the upper passenger deck but they seem to have enclosed the stairwell for some reason.

Interesting that the Needles advert had survived, what about the murals at the front of the main lounge? I seem to recall St Catherine had an artwork of the lighthouse there, I can't remember what Helen had though, or even if they survived to the end of Wightlink service anyway.

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Yes, that is the upper lounge - it was locked while I was on board, due to low passenger numbers (on both ships) - and from what I can remember, the artwork is still there, at least on the Catherine (GB Conte)

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Wow - fantastic photos.

Looking smarter than St. Faith was a few weeks ago in my opinion.

Does anyone know the reasoning why the partition has been built in the upper lounge, I'm assuming it's to do with fire regulations and the stairs?

 

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This morning St Cecilia finished at 1020 but instead of going empty to the hulk went out the harbour. Is she off for refit and another Summer with Wightlink or was that a farewell very quietly done or just some other reason?

Edited by adicat

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