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Tonight’s “2200 Le Havre - Portsmouth” sailing must be one of the shortest-lived sailings marketed by BF!

It was added to the schedules, to be operated by BDS, just before the New Year after BF sent BDS to Le Havre instead of Bilbao.  But it has just been “cancelled” on the BF sailings updates page!  I make it about three days, therefore, that this departure has been in existence before disappearing! 😉

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Here's my pics of pont aven and armourique   

For all al the stick she gets, Armorique is a very handy member of the fleet for BF.

I was on the Pont Aven from Roscoff  to Plymouth yesterday morning (having also arrived on her from Cork) - there was a technical issue and also an electrical issue (stopped serving any hot breakfasts

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Today's PA departure from St Malo has been brought forward to 19:00 instead of 20:30. I can only assume that the combination of very low tides and swell is the reason for the earlier departure. 

We're travelling on her tonight. It should be a lively crossing. 

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Pont Aven’s been off the berth taking shelter over in the lee of St Quay Portrieux for most of the day.  Don’t know whether the berth needed to be vacated for another vessel (wouldn’t normally be the case on a Tuesday) or whether conditions at St Malo have made it unsafe to stay on the berth.

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The French updates page is saying there is a link-span problem in St Malo which is the reason for her early departure this evening. It may also be why they are holding her offshore. Equally the Rapide's schedules have changed due to the weather so there might be a connection there too. Ed. 

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8 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

The French updates page is saying there is a link-span problem in St Malo which is the reason for her early departure this evening. It may also be why they are holding her offshore. Equally the Rapide's schedules have changed due to the weather so there might be a connection there too. Ed. 

The Rapide probably bashed into it in the high winds!

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

The French updates page is saying there is a link-span problem in St Malo which is the reason for her early departure this evening. It may also be why they are holding her offshore. Equally the Rapide's schedules have changed due to the weather so there might be a connection there too. Ed. 

The bar staff confirmed my theory. With such a low tide and swell, the risk of grounding is high especially in St Malo where there's only a narrow channel for ships of this size. 

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Yes, the tidal range at St Malo is massive - even bigger than St Helier.  It can reach 13 metres at Springs.  So a heavy swell at the bottom of a Spring tide is potentially bad news at St Malo.

When St Malo started to be used as a ferry port there were groundings frequently.  Armorique had a torrid first couple of years in that respect.  I am sure that GPS has helped a lot since those days.

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That doesn't sound good - we're only half an hour from the original departure time that was brought forward, seemingly on grounds that the original time would have been too risky.

Edit:  Just checked the tide times, and Low Water at St Malo today was 1346 UTC, so that will be the reason for coming off the berth during the day.  However, 1913 UTC is High Water so the earlier departure time cannot have been anything to do with Low Water.

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2 hours ago, hf_uk said:

Armorique is in Plymouth this evening (rare occasion), but I reckon she will cancel tomorrow as well. Just a hunch.

I do hope not, we're booked to sail on her tomorrow and don't fancy the dreary four hour slog to Portsmouth instead of the the leisurely half hour run to Plymouth. 

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Is berth 2 the smaller one usually used by Condor?  Surely Pont Aven can’t fit in there can she?

Edit: AIS shows Pont Aven on her usual berth.  So does that  mean it was the smaller berth out of action?  That would explain PA needing to vacate her berth during the day.

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5 minutes ago, crechbleiz said:

Just been informed that PA will sail at full speed and Dock early but disembarkation will be as scheduled. 

Sounds sensible.  Any idea what the delayed departure is due to crechbleiz?

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Forecast for Wight-Portland-Plymouth tonight is WNW force 9, increasing force 10 later.  Going to be a choppy night for sure, and just about the worst wind direction for strong winds at St Malo.  Wishing you a safe crossing crechbleiz - it should get better the further towards the UK coast that you get.

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I’m going to be delayed returning to the uk

 

SMS

We are sorry to advise that due to bad weather, your sailing from Santander
tomorrow has been delayed. Embarkation will still be on Wednesday but now 
between 18:00 and 20:00 after which the ship's door will close. Departure is on
If this amended sailing time is not suitable, please call 0044 648637 for advice and alternatives. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused.
Edited by Northern_Si
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3 minutes ago, Macc2010 said:

on AIS its showing as ETA in Portsmouth for 05.00.

I'm sure that Pont Aven will aim to get across to the lee of the Isle of Wight as quickly as she can (although I'd be surprised if she were able to make full cruising speed in a heavy sea).  She might even go and take shelter in Poole Bay before heading round to the east.  But I'd also imagine that there will be limits to how early she could actually dock in Portsmouth due to availability of mooring parties.  (It used to be the case that the Portsmouth CFP used to pretty much shut down to shipping between midnight and about 6am).

So I would imagine that they will get across into sheltered waters as quickly as possible but then have to hang around a bit before they can actually enter Portsmouth harbour and berth.  5am sounds feasible.

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According to the on-board screens she's doing 25knt. That's impressive. She is rolling gently. I've always found PA being a fairly good sea keeper at full (design) speed and remarkably vibration free. 

I know a few people may object but... My findings are based on regular crossings in all sorts of weather. 

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She was doing over 20 knots after leaving St Malo but has slowed to around 16 now according to Marine Traffic. She is currently between Guernsey and the French coast and the track shows her heading for the passage east of Alderney. Queen Victoria is due in Southampton tomorrow morning at 4.30am but for now seems to be taking shelter in the lee of the Cotentin. Her predicted track shows her heading into the Solent via the Needles so perhaps PA will do the same if she dashes across to Poole Bay as Gareth says. Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy
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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

I'm sure that Pont Aven will aim to get across to the lee of the Isle of Wight as quickly as she can (although I'd be surprised if she were able to make full cruising speed in a heavy sea).  She might even go and take shelter in Poole Bay before heading round to the east.  But I'd also imagine that there will be limits to how early she could actually dock in Portsmouth due to availability of mooring parties.  (It used to be the case that the Portsmouth CFP used to pretty much shut down to shipping between midnight and about 6am).

So I would imagine that they will get across into sheltered waters as quickly as possible but then have to hang around a bit before they can actually enter Portsmouth harbour and berth.  5am sounds feasible.

Compulsory tug assistance until tomorrow morning at the earliest. There will be linesman available, unless they delay the inbound 'Bengeula Stream' too.

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