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September 18th PM 2013

CELTIC CHALLENGER sails.

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Celtic Challenger prepares to sail from Yelland Quay.

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Celtic Challenger off Appledore outbound.

mv CELTIC CHALLENGER sailed from YELLAND QUAY at 1745 hrs tonight. The wind was blowing moderate on her port quarter and she was sprung off using a headline and with her Becker rudder the stern was pushed against the wind into the slight flood tidal current, and the head line let go and she was backed off and thrusted to complete the swing.

Her high freeboard made for  a long Pilot ladder. Her Polish Captain was headed for Birdport in Newport to load steel coils for no less than four separate Spanish ports - the first time he has had so many discharge ports in many years of sailing to Spain. He was hoping for better weather since steel coils can shift in bad weather causing a dangerous list.

The 3811 tonnes of Scottish granite and dust were swiftly discharged with JST's newest £500,000 transportable crane rig  - all completed in about 9 hours. The Captain reports that the loader at GLENSANDA can load at up to 6,000 tonnes per hour! so he removed all his ballast, but unfortunately the loader had a breakdown entailing a longer spell alongside. He has been to Bideford on many occasions and said he missed the easy access to the beautiful town. He had worked several years ago on the regular Bideford ship IBERIAN COAST, sadly subsequently lost in the Mediterranean after having been sold.

Arrival at Glensanda was in very strong winds. MV WELSH PIPER is due for the early Saturday morning tide at Yelland.