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SAILING UPDATES: 2020 Latest News


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My son wanted to see the Pont Aven come in and we hung around for the Connemara too. The Pont Aven even gave a blast of the horn as he waved from the round tower. 

Can I just say that’s terrible news about your wife - I for one would like to pass on heartfelt thoughts to you both as I’m sure other Enthusiasts will as well.... Chris

When did they install that massive bird on the mast? Is that to scare the hell out of the seagulls and stop them from pooping on the poop deck?! 😉

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33 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I hope that you are right, the tweet was second hand - re 2 berth cabins, I think they reserve a number for freight drivers and they don't book in advance,

 

 

That seems a slightly iffy source to me David, on board cuisine as superb as ever? Ok the self service is way beyond industry standard (IMHO) but it’s not superb cuisine, nor is it meant to be. 

Re cabins you’re slightly wrong there. 2 berths are never reserved in advance, it’s first come first served for car passengers only, once they’re  gone they’re gone. Truckers have an allocation of 4 berth cabins so let’s say 40  - that could be 40 singles, 40 ménages à 2 or if the sailing is rammed then 40 tight spaces. Full bodied, ripe and fruity but with a slightly stale aftertaste, a subtle blend of U.K., Spain  and Portugal underpinned by strong hints of Eastern European....🤪
 

Chris

 

 

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Do they class coach party passengers as foot passengers? If so. they would need to be processed separately and boarded via the terminal which they have been able to keep closed, (at least at  Plymouth  couldn't get my Club  2 cents extra on my July trip ! boo hoo!)

Also from what I have seen over the past 20 years, I guess that having all spent the time boozing until  the bar shutters went down or in the case of poorly supervised school parties, running wild throughout the ship - social distancing would go out of the window.

It is a shame that small parties or singles like Bridget can't travel until, I guess, March 2021.

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I seem to recall coach passengers (in the days we took groups of school kids over from Portsmouth) used to check-in in the main terminal, reboard the coach and then be driven to the passenger gangway to walk themselves on 

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4 hours ago, David Williams said:

too big

There's no reason why she can't sail to Ouistreham as the berth is now capable of handling all but Cap Finistere. The only issues I can think of is that the linkspan is unsuitable, although doubtful as Honfleur was/is 31m wide... or as she's only a stern loader turnaround times would increase.

It's probably because it's SOMANOR and BAI have enough of the pie with Cap Finistere & Kerry. SOMABRET have Armorique & Pont Aven, spreading the wealth equally between the three group members.

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On 29/08/2020 at 06:49, colin said:

Jean-Marc Roué has told Armorique crew that she is laid up for 6 months. Bretagne also stops early September but didn't say for how long, and Connemara to stop as well.

That makes sense. My parents came back from France yesterday and were scheduled to travel on Armorique in the afternoon but were told 3 weeks ago that they would be moved to the morning crossing on the Pont. Apparently that was due to a lack of passengers and basically the crossing not being financially viable with around 20 paying customers onboard (not sure if that's a direct quote but you get the idea).

It makes sense to reduce crossings if the demand just isn't there.

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7 hours ago, jonno said:

There's no reason why she can't sail to Ouistreham

There are two reasons Jonno - berth compatibility, as you mention, and (if they haven’t yet done the work to widen the turning circle) not being able to turn round inside the harbour.

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10 hours ago, colinschandler said:

Do they class coach party passengers as foot passengers? If so. they would need to be processed separately and boarded via the terminal which they have been able to keep closed, (at least at  Plymouth  couldn't get my Club  2 cents extra on my July trip ! boo hoo!)

Also from what I have seen over the past 20 years, I guess that having all spent the time boozing until  the bar shutters went down or in the case of poorly supervised school parties, running wild throughout the ship - social distancing would go out of the window.

It is a shame that small parties or singles like Bridget can't travel until, I guess, March 2021.

In my case it also depends on the route I use being available.  And the ship concerned obviously.  In my case I do not drive and get picked up in Cherbourg anyway.  My mate would probably not pick me up in Caen as it is too far, he lives near Cherbourg.  If the route does close, that is the end of my days out until I can find another alternative,  I trust the bloke who takes me around, I feel safe with him, and I have had a long term association with him.  So all that is Donald Ducked at the moment unless footies are allowed back.  But being a footi passenger in the route I need to be able to do what I do,  

 

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2 hours ago, Gareth said:

There are two reasons Jonno - berth compatibility, as you mention, and (if they haven’t yet done the work to widen the turning circle) not being able to turn round inside the harbour.

I really need to do some digging on this one otherwise we'll be going round in circles (if wide enough) forever. I've delved fairly deep so far and all the French press releases mention lengthening the berth, widening the entrance to the lock gates and constructing new buildings/pontoons opposite the terminal complex - no specific mention of wideneing the turning circle. All this has been done and finished prior to Honfleur being cancelled, so in my view in the expectation there was sufficient space for her to turn and moor up safely. Visentinis are showing as 1 metre shorter than Honfleur so I can't see where the problem lies. 

I know the Ouistreham Port manager well, I'll quiz him on Friday evening if he's around, it would be nice to get a definitive answer on this one.

Chris

Edited by Fine Whine
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Thanks Chris, yes, it would be good to get a definitive answer to that question, as it is an area of confusion for me.

When the plans to redevelop Ouistreham were first announced, I'm sure that I read that re-siting the training wall along the eastern side of the channel (further east) was integral to the widening of the turning circle.  More recently, I am sure someone has said that the training wall has not been re-sited.  So that's what makes me uncertain whether the turning circle has been widened or not.  But I suppose it still could have, if the details of the plans for doing so changed?

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I don't know whether it got done or not, it was part of a larger scheme that still seemed to be ongoing at the start of the year - The cost of the Honfleur turning circle was 2.9 Million Euros.

More details are http://ouistreham-rivabella.fr/grands-projets/reamenagement-avant-port/

http://www.normandie.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/amenagement_avant-port_ouistreham_191108.pdf

 

 

Edited by David Williams
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There is no reason why Connemara can not sternboard out of Ouistreham, she will fit on the berth. If you look at Maritime Charts for Ouistreham, it certainly looks like Connemara has room to turn.

Edited by TonyMWeaver
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4 minutes ago, TonyMWeaver said:

There is no reason why Connemara can not sternboard out of Ouistreham, she will fit on the berth.

There is usually a moderately strong cross-tide running across the approach channel into Ouistreham.  If you ever watch the ferries leaving the harbour you can see that they are usually having to crab at an angle that can sometimes be up to 15 degrees.  I think trying to depart Ouistreham stern-first, and reverse all the way out if the approach channel, would be quite dangerous in all but slack water conditions.

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2 minutes ago, Gareth said:

I think trying to depart Ouistreham stern-first, and reverse all the way out if the approach channel, would be quite dangerous in all but slack water conditions.

Which is why they do berthing trials. But to be fair, It's unlikely Connemara will ever been needed on that route anyway.

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6 hours ago, Gareth said:

There are two reasons Jonno - berth compatibility, as you mention, and (if they haven’t yet done the work to widen the turning circle) not being able to turn round inside the harbour.

It'll be the linkspan as the anti collision area has been modified and the quay lengthening work, essentially just another mooring bollard and fixed fender, has also been completed. I've also noticed that the port access has had subtle changes too. HGV's entering the port are now wholly separated from the marshalling lanes.

Lots of work going on over the otherside of the river & canal entrance too.

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

Thanks Chris, yes, it would be good to get a definitive answer to that question, as it is an area of confusion for me.

When the plans to redevelop Ouistreham were first announced, I'm sure that I read that re-siting the training wall along the eastern side of the channel (further east) was integral to the widening of the turning circle.  More recently, I am sure someone has said that the training wall has not been re-sited.  So that's what makes me uncertain whether the turning circle has been widened or not.  But I suppose it still could have, if the details of the plans for doing so changed?

I'm sure a few of us discussed this a couple of years ago? The thread has images of the terminal and anti collision area. If I remember we were all surprised to note that the anti collision area was over 200 metres?

Yeah I agree an answer would be good, in the humble words of one of Dirty Harry's collared bank robbers lying in a doorway... "hey maaan, I gots to know!"

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1 hour ago, Eddies said:

his may well may have been covered, how ever on the news today it has been reported about Le Havre being closed.

"The shipping company Brittany Ferries is reducing its crossings between France and England as planned and is taking partial unemployment measures. This Monday morning, the last boat from Portsmouth docked in Le Havre. The line is now stopped until further notice."  - To me, that reads suspended.

Both 'Connemara' and 'Bretagne' appear to be anchoring off Le Havre for the time being with 'Bretagne' heading back in at 10:00 tomorrow morning and 'Connemara' returning to the linkspan tomorrow at 13:30.

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On 04/09/2020 at 12:54, TonyMWeaver said:

Portsmouth Harbour will be closed to all inbound and outbound vessels on Monday from 14:45 until 16:40 (Approximately) due to the departure of 'HMS Queen Elizabeth', it's unknown at this time if it will affect the departure of 'Mont St Michel' or whether Brittany Ferries will plan on moving her departure forward.

In the end it seems HMS Queen Elizabeth didn't leave today as planned due to positive COVID-19 tests on board. This is from the BBC:

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The Royal Navy says a small number of crew tested positive for Covid-19 on board the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth - delaying her planned departure from Portsmouth this afternoon.

The BBC understands fewer than 10 crew were taken off the carrier and have been put in isolation ashore.

The Navy says the delay to her departure would be short and she is still expected to set sail within the next few days.

A Royal Navy spokesperson says: “A small number of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s personnel have tested positive for Covid during routine preparation for sailing.

"Those affected have been isolated and are working with the NHS Test and Trace system to ensure the virus does not spread further.

"The crew will continue to follow appropriate health guidelines and the HMS Queen Elizabeth will depart once their status has been confirmed.”

------

Ed

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1 minute ago, Cabin-boy said:

In the end it seems HMS Queen Elizabeth didn't leave today as planned due to positive COVID-19 tests on board. This is from the BBC:

 

Yes, it was announced at 14:00 that departure was postponed. She's currently due to depart Tuesday at 16:00

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2 hours ago, Eddies said:

This may well may have been covered, how ever on the news today it has been reported about Le Havre being closed.

Sorry it's in French, how ever the link is:

https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/normandie/seine-maritime/havre/dernier-ferry-britanny-ferries-quitte-portsmouth-havre-ce-7-septembre-1870562.html

I think it's a strategic mistake of Brittany Ferries, to want to focus everything on one port. People will find other solutions (Ouistreham / Portsmouth is only a partial solution). BF would do better to keep only one boat at Ouistreham and maintain a minimum service with CONNEMARA between Cherbourg, Portsmouth and Le Havre.

For the time being, the temporary closure of the Le Havre/Portsmouth route is benefiting from the subsidized competition from Dieppe/Newhaven and Calais. As for Cherbourg, it made more sense to maintain a shorter and more northerly link than Ouistreham.

Edited by LHCity
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