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martijon

Yesterday's chaos

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What a mess!!  One breakdown on the St Clare, and the whole of the Gunwharf area becomes gridlocked for hours.  When I tried to get into Old Portsmouth at around half three yesterday afternoon the traffic queue went back through Cambridge Road, Museum Road and back onto The Terraces, and even at half eight last night it still went back as far as Ravelin Park.  I can only imagine how the waiting passengers felt when the Victoria of Wight pulled off the route for the hulk at around 7 pm, leaving the service in the hands of the 2 oldest and smallest vessels.  Surely the crew could have run one extra trip, which would have decreased the backlog significantly, particularly on the freight side, (which seemed to consist mainly of the George Jenkins fleet and about a dozen vintage buses).  At one point, cars were being marshalled onto the upper floor of the terminal, only to be brought back down again when eventually they could board a ship.  I came home from Southsea around 3 o'clock this morning and popped past  - the Cecilia was just leaving with 1 mezz deck, packed to the gunwhales and still 3 lanes of car traffic in the terminal with about half a dozen large artics.

On this occasion, Wightlink, you deserve all the flack that gets thrown at you - there didn't seem to be any effort on their part to make things easier for the motorists, some of whom were 5 or 6 hours late away on their booked sailings.  Even the cafe still shut at 9 o'clock!!

Does anyone know what the issue is with the Clare anyway?  She is still at they lay-by this morning, I notice.

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I was one of the affected although not badly compared to others, gossip round the terminal was that St Clare’s seaworthy certificate expired on 4th October and it was noticed around lunchtime. They couldn’t move her without an MCA representative present so she was blocking a link span for a while. I was hoping to get her to travel home to have a look at the certificates as they have to be displayed. If the current certificate was issued on Friday or Saturday it would verify this “gossip”. The gossip was that she was being inspected Saturday morning and would be back in service by Saturday lunchtime,

 I ended up coming back on St Cecelia so couldn’t check the certificate.

I got on a heavily delayed service at 1am. There were people left behind at 1am who’d been waiting since 4pm. The next sailing would have been 3am.

Edited by richwarwicker

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You'd have to laugh at the sheer incompetence if it weren't so potentially serious. Perhaps they should consider a name change - two simple letters would do the trick. 'Might Sink' has a certain ring to it. Ed. 

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VOW could not move much  freight as apparently she is not being loaded with much at present. If they load the freight in the bows she goes too front down so they have to load cars about 50% by the looks of it from when I saw her load with the deck officer only wanting cars until half the deck loaded. Then the freight went on. Hence why she is not an on the hour vessel yet. Not sure what they need to do to sort it out. 

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That doesn't sound too good. Is she too fine lined at the ends I wonder? If so then not much alternative but to put the freight in the middle. With just two ferries taking most of the route's loading now they ought to be balanced in terms of capacity.

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