Friday 27th April 2012

Baltiyskiy-202 berths at 2205hrs. oldenburg cancels sailing for Saturday.

mv BALTIYSKIY 202 was berthed safely by Bideford Pilot Roger and boat crew John and Thom tonight at 2205hrs on the last possible tide until Wednesday next weeks rising tides.

Little water was available for her passage upriver and for the swing off the berth here at Bideford as the quay already had a 90 metre ship alongside (her sister ship) and the Oldenburg etc. She had less than 10 metres clear at each end. her draught was reduced to 2.9 metres giving reduced grip for the propeller.

She will load next Thursday with logs for Wismar. This is the first time that two maximum sized ships have berthed on a minimum sized tide. Her sailing draught will be around 4.3 metres meaning that she could sail on Friday 4th of May. her sister the Vasiliy Shukshin will load a more dense cargo of clay and will have a draught of 4.9 metres meaning that she is likely to sail on Saturday 5th May at the earliest.

The river is still swollen with rain water which has the effect of raising the level of the tide earlier at Bideford enabling an earlier berthing of the ship, but without the benefit of a flood current to help her swing. (These Russian ships are not so manoevrable as other vessels). The brown flood water from the two rivers forms its own stream at the estuary entrance and is clearly visible divided from the incoming seawater. The predominance of fresh water has an effect on the draught of the ship making her float deeper in the water since it is less dense than full salt water.

The Captain and crew (including lady cook) are all Russian. The Captain has been to Bideford just once before and is quite young. He was very pleased to be in port again.

ms OLDENBURG has had to cancel her sailing to Lundy because of forecast North Easterly winds which make laying alongside the jetty at Lundy  a difficult exercise. Helicopters will be provided for staying passengers. Subject to the forecast she will sail to Ilfracombe next Monday for the weeks trips to the island.VasiliyShukshinApr12
Vasiliy Shukshin
 Photo by Thom Flaxman taken  this morning passing under Bideford Atlantic Highway bridge.

Baltiyskiy 202 Photo by Thom Flaxman of Baltiyskiy 202 at sea at dusk just before putting the Pilot aboard.

A long but satisfying day for TDC Piloting/Harbour staff.

Appledore lifeboat has assisted a non local fishing boat (crabber) onto the spare RNLI mooring tonight.