Wednesday 18th September 2013

Celtic Challenger berths

Two rivers checking boarding position last evening .
 mv CELTIC CHALLENGER was boarded at 0500 hrs in rough sea conditions (wind blew West 30 to 40 knots during the night) the Pilot R. Hoad being put aboard by Cox John Pavitt and Relief cox Thom Flaxman between the Bar buoy and Middle Ridge buoy. Visibility was good for the boarding in the dark, but rain squalls followed for the passage upriver and for the mooring to start with at the exposed YELLAND QUAY.

The decks of the ship were swept by the sea at times as she was deeply laden with a stone and stone dust cargo, so timing for boarding the Pilot is important. Visibility was moderate in the fully enclosed bridge on board the ship after her rough trip from Scotland the master reporting squalls of force 10 at times and the windows were salt covered.

She steered better at half speed, but at low speeds needed constant corrections to maintain course using the engine and rudder. The ship was well run and the mainly Polish crew spoke excellent English. She was berthed starboard side too and all fast by 0600hrs.

She will be discharged and ready to sail tonight at 1715 hrs all going well, using the JST crane and four of Notts Contractors lorries.

The Master reports that she will next sail to Birdport, Newport South Wales to load steel coils for Spain. The Pilotage operation took from 0340hrs until 0730 hrs total.