Sat 6th April 2013

CELTIC FORTUNE berths at Bideford

mv CELTIC FORTUNE berthed at Bideford at 0330hrs alongside.

Her draught was 3.1m and the tidal height made 4.2 above Bideford Datum. Her all Russian crew of six had sailed from FOYNES SW Ireland where they taken a cargo of Potash for fertiliser from BARCELONA, Spain.

The ship together with her sister ships has excellent visibility from the bridge, and is very manoevrable with her flap rudder. She steered with engine stopped for some quarter of a mile - which seems to be the exception with more modern vessels, which tend to be beamier. She was berthed at High Water swinging off the town quay at slack water, there being no fresh water flow in the river. The night has been flat calm with no wind, clear visibility and very dark with no moon or reflected artificial light from clouds. Temperatures are very low, but without the biting wind.

It was a first visit for her Master, but the Chief Ofiicer has been here on several occasions. A block and tackle was delivered to the Harbour Office yesterday which was collected after berthing so that the crew can move one of the bulkheads later today to facilitate the loading of three grades of Ball Clay. It is encouraging that Spain is still buying Ball Clay despite Clay company expectations that they would not buy any at all a year ago.

The ship will load on Monday and Tuesday with some 2700 tonnes of Ball Clay on a draught of 4.7m even keel to sail on Wednesday am tide (0641hrs tide 0615 sailing time.) Pilot Boat crew John Pavitt and Thom Flaxman, Pilot Roger Hoad.

mv OLDENBURG sailed to anchor off the FAIRWAY BUOY at 0300hrs passing the inbound CELTIC ship off the shipyard. She will sail to Ilfracombe to load passengers at 1000 am to sail to LUNDY.

mv BALDER sailed from Cork at 2200hrs last night and is giving an ETA for the FAIRWAY BUOY of 1600hrs close to High Water at YELLAND her destination to load logs for WISMAR, GERMANY. (2,100 tonnes). Loading willl commence and should finish on Monday next. The ship will sail on the Tuesday am tide at 0540 AGW.