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Gareth

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And strangely BDS is not doing her end of week trip to Le Havre this week either. I wonder if the port is closed for repairs or something. Bretagne will be doing a one-off trip Portsmouth to Le Havre on the 7 December before being laid up for the winter. Ed. 

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Etretat is not appearing on the list of ferries on the Fleet Tracker. Or onthe Tracker itself.

 

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On AIS Etretat has gone through the Ushant channel and then turned back through again before turning for Brest.  Officer training?

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In fact it looks like she spent a while alongside in Brest. Either she was picking up some of BDS's passengers who are still stranded after being offloaded two weeks ago and taking them a little further down the coast or she's been chartered for some specific transport job (like Armorique was earlier in the year). The only thing I can think of would be an old submarine that the navy wanted to move from Ile Longue down to the German Submarine Pen museum in Lorient. She's now leaving Brest but I can't see it taking her two days to get where she's going. Ed. 

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This must be some sort of charter.  Maybe military?  She berthed at the roro berth at Brest and is now making passage to somewhere else.  Watch this space.....

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No sailing for 'Etretat' listed on PIP until November 26th.

'Etretat' appears to be heading for L'Orient.

Edited by TonyMWeaver

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

This must be some sort of charter.  Maybe military?  She berthed at the roro berth at Brest and is now making passage to somewhere else.  Watch this space.....

According to BF on Twitter, she's off for a 'Technical Stop'.

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That would explain why her tracker has been switched off and her last position dates back to the end of the afternoon yesterday. Ed.

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Underway again now out of Lorient, being shadowed by the pilot boat..Wonder how the armoured cars got on up the ramp 😜  mind you I reckon the Foreign Legion would have found her facilities to be cruise line standard 🤣

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Etretat is now tied up alongside in Le Havre, but she's not at the ferry berth. I therefore assume something is happening with the berth or the linkspan this week which explains her absence, and subsequent charter to the military, and also explains why BDS has diverted to Cherbourg for her usual Friday rotation. Ed. 

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Quite possibly. Although it is also worth noting that the ferries at Le Havre aways come off the berth when they are laying by for an extended length of time.  At the xmas and NY shut-downs, for example, the ferries don’t stay at the berth.  So I wonder if there is a general preference at Le Havre for the ferries not to stay on the berth if they are there for a few days.  Why, I’m not sure.  Possibly higher berthing fees at the roro berth than alongside the jetties?

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I've no idea if this is connected or not but I've found various references online to tenders issued earlier in the year (with submission deadlines in July) for work on the sewage and water treatment systems at the port in Le Havre as well as for general cleaning, clearing and refurbishment of the locks and other structures. If any of that work is currently underway then it might be impeding acres to the RORO berth, hence the suspension of BF services. Ed.

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2 hours ago, David Williams said:

Given we are now on 'maybes'. maybe there is some work required to support Normandie. 

It happens regularly.  And Normandie has berthed at Le Havre without problem before.  Should be no work necessary.

I suspect that it’s probably more to do with the authorities not wanting the access to the pilot boat area hampered for longer than necessary.

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BDS had to come off the berth at Cherbourg this afternoon as it was rather busy up there. Stena Horizon, Oscar Wilde and Barfleur were all in so BDS went out into the channel to wait for her berth to become free. Ed. 

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Well, at Cherbourg that’s unusual, and traffic related.  But at Le Havre they come off the berth regardless of traffic (of which there is not a lot).  Le Havre seems to be the only BF continental port where ships do not lie on the roro berth for extended periods of time.

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