Sunday 6th March 2016 0345 hrs


mv ABERDEEN which was delayed at Sharpness for nearly a week because of rain showers which stopped work unloading her cargo  of fertilser, arrived at the Bideford Fairway buoy at 0200 hrs this morning.

Bideford Pilot boat with Thom Flaxman helming and Keith Stevens were there to meet her and  put Pilot Roger Hoad safely aboard at about 0215 hrs. in the vicinity of the Bar Buoy. Conditions with the mod to fresh Northerly winds were lively, and the boarding was carried out on the starboard side of the vessel.

The ship handled very well in her ballast condition and draft of 3.2 metres. Her 'flap' rudder enabled a turn in her own length in the limited river width, on the 4.5 metre tide, at Bideford Quay. The ship is 88.3 metres long with a beam of 12.4 m and a Gross Tonnage of 2451. She will load 2960 tonnes of best North Devon Ball clay in two grades for CASTELLON in Spain, and will have a draft of 4.8 metres on departure.

The young Captain, from  North Russia close to Finland, who has worked for the German company for ten years, spoke perfect English. His crew were a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian nationals. He says that the company have ocver thirty ships.

She will commence loading on Monday morning with the TDC crane and would normally take two days, but the road closure between Bideford and Torrington will increase the time taken for the lorries so possibly it will take a third day.

ABERDEEN on a previous visit to Yelland with Stone Norman Hardaker.