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ARMORIQUE: Storm delay in Plymouth

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It appears Armorique made two failed attempts to dock stern first in Millbay earlier tonight. The reason remains unclear although the local weather was/is apparently extremely gusty. There was no sign of tugs. She turned unusually early, gave up, headed off to the East rather quickly and then upon second attempt got far closer to the berth but then started to swing in at the bow quite quickly... then headed off on her normal course out of the sound and after heading directly West for a bit is now a fair way off the coast pas Penlee point. The local weather appears to be worse if anything...

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My kids at port tell me the ferry bashed the quay at each attempt and they have gone looking for a pilot ...............

 

 

That's interesting. From what I was told she never came close to actually making contact with the quay, but it looked extreme from some angles, especially for those people who are used to her regular maneouvers locallly.

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It actually makes sense - she usually docks bow first, but today/recently stern first. The wind was unusually high and of course her vertical bulk is incredibly forward-heavy... essentially 12 decks at the bow. So coming into Millbay tonight she was battered by the winds on the bow. I heard she has just successfully berthed with the aid of one tug (on the bow), so I guess that was a good test. There have been many reports of other ships struggling getting into Millbay in adverse conditions, but usually due to lack of sufficient lateral power. Armorique will have no trouble in high winds usually entering Plymouth but I guess her oversized forwards surface area means her bow-thrusters struggled in tonight's winds going in stern first.

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My son is on this ferry. They finally boarded 2.5hrs late at 0030hrs and are due to arrive in Roscoff at 0830hrs British time. They were given complimentary drinks.

 

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Looks. Like she might have been having problems berthing at Roscoff this morning too. Not docked yet overnight from Plymouth, spent some time circling off the port and now possibly even looking like she has given up trying to get into Roscoff and heading somewhere else. If so....presumably either St Malo or Cherbourg, but given that she's almost certainly off to Cherbourg anyway for Christmas after unloading I wonder if she is going there straight away? We shall see....

 

Edit: BF updates page says she is going to have another go at berthing at Roscoff at 1300.

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Sitting waiting to collect my son in Roscoff. They blame bad weather and now low tide for the delay. Hmm? I thought Roscoff was all tide access! They had to get a Plymouth pilot, so probably not one of her normal skippers, and/or not yet licenced for Plymouth? Will find out who is Commandant.

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Yes Normandie is off for her rest and scrub-up. Not back in action now until after the NY. However, she would have been off to Cherbourg for Xmas even if she was not having a rest, so as to vacate the berth at Ouistreham for MSM when she gets in for her Xmas break this afternoon.

 

I'm still intrigued as to what the Xmas layover plans are for Pont Aven. Surely she's not going to stay at Portsmouth....is she?

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I'm still intrigued as to what the Xmas layover plans are for Pont Aven. Surely she's not going to stay at Portsmouth....is she?
Yes, Christmas and New Year layover in Portsmouth for the Pont-Aven, along with the Commodore Clipper and Commodore Goodwill. Her next sailing is from Portsmouth to St Malo on the 27th December.

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Sitting waiting to collect my son in Roscoff. They blame bad weather and now low tide for the delay. Hmm? I thought Roscoff was all tide access! They had to get a Plymouth pilot, so probably not one of her normal skippers, and/or not yet licenced for Plymouth? Will find out who is Commandant.

 

It's spring tides, not sure what time low is today but we've been in Roscoff when she has left the berth for low water and then come back in, so she wouldn't have much water to work in.

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SThey had to get a Plymouth pilot, so probably not one of her normal skippers, and/or not yet licenced for Plymouth? Will find out who is Commandant.
If a tug is used in Plymouth a pilot must also be taken, even if the master has a pilot excemption certificate.

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Ok, so Pont seems to be staying at Portsmouth and Armorique is showing no signs of moving away from Roscoff so looks like she is staying there. Both of those quite surprise me, I was expecting both of them to go to Cherbourg. (Pont because I can't imagine the crew will be happy stuck in England over Christmas and Armorique because it is a long haul from Roscoff to Ouistreham on Boxing Day. Plus its very exposed at Roscoff as we know from this morning). Anyway, assuming these two are not moving to Cherbourg, the BF fleet has now shut down for Christmas. So Merry Christmas to all those involved in operating them.

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It was not spring tide yesterday. Coefficient only 87. Commandant was Bergaro (spelling???) and by all accounts seemed very hesitant .....

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Much better to be hesitant than overconfident and bash a hole in the side. With all that unbalanced windage the ship must be quite difficult to handle in a gale. Good seamanship consists of knowing when not to chance your arm.

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Indeed, and there will also be the issue of wave height in the approaches at LW. Waves can reduce the depth of water at the bottom of the trough quite significantly, and if the depth is already marginal then you don't want to be bumped on the bottom by a deep trough.

 

Interested to read the report that the berth at Roscoff needs dredging - surprised only because I thought that the bottom at Roscoff was rocky rather than sandy.

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