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Bulkers from South America And Europe Anchor in Dublin Bay Await Exact Same Basin Berths

17th November 2018
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Bulk-carrier Luzon having sailed originally from Argentina, south America, recently discharged a part-cargo firstly in Belfast, before calling to anchor in Dublin Bay (as above) yesterday. Note on the cargo deck, the red crane-grabber buckets alongside the five cargoholds, where at No. 5 hold, the hatch covers are partially open. The photo of the bulker was taken off-centre to reflect the port side anchor chain stretched beyond the bulbous bow high out of the water. Bulk-carrier Luzon having sailed originally from Argentina, south America, recently discharged a part-cargo firstly in Belfast, before calling to anchor in Dublin Bay (as above) yesterday. Note on the cargo deck, the red crane-grabber buckets alongside the five cargoholds, where at No. 5 hold, the hatch covers are partially open. The photo of the bulker was taken off-centre to reflect the port side anchor chain stretched beyond the bulbous bow high out of the water. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#DublinBay - Two bulk-carriers currently anchored off Bulloch Harbour in Dublin Bay, one from South America, the other from mainland Europe, both await docking in the capital's port, but exactly at the same basin berth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The larger of the bulkers, Luzon at 55,657dwt had sailed originally from Argentina from where the ship loaded agricultural products, however the near 190m vessel had recently first called to Belfast Harbour. Upon completion of a part-cargo discharged in the Ulster port, the bulker made the short passage down through the Irish Sea to Dublin Bay. 

Later today, the Liberian flagged Luzon is due to dock in Dublin Port around midnight at Alexandra Basin to discharge the remains of the cargo. The dry-bulk / break bulk common user facility in the basin along Alexandra Quay West is located adjacent to the large silos of the disused Odlums Flour Mill, having closed in 2012.

Afloat will have more to report on plans for the former flour building which dominates the port's largest basin located east of the entertainment venue, the Three Arena. Previously, known as The Point Theatre housed in the original building from where a former port-related railway depot existed.

The 2010 built bulker Luzon is just a year younger of the second bulker, Arklow Manor, of 14,990dwt, which is the leadship of six 'M ' class bulkers built in 2009 at the Mokpo Shipbuilding Ind. Co., Korea. The 134m bulker had sailed from the French inland Port of Caen in Normandy, reached via the Canal de Caen à la Mer, which links to Ouistreham, 15 kms downstream, on the English Channel.

At Ouistreham is where a terminal custom-built for Brittany Ferries opened in the mid-1980's to operate a route to Portsmouth, UK, served currently by Normandie and Mont St. Michel. On an occasion involving a ferry and related taxi trip to Caen, a fleeting glimpse of a distinctive green hulled Arklow Shipping 'R' class 4,933dwt cargoship shortsea trader was spotted in the Port de Commerce de Caen-Ouistreham.

The recent call of the 'M' class fleetmate to Caen reflects the range in dwt, though ASL have larger bulkers, representing the biggest ships of the fleet and under the Irish flag with the 'S' class pair each of 34,905dwt.  The older of the pair, just over a year ago Arklow Spirit made a maiden call to the capital port. The deepsea bulker having anchored previously in Dublin Bay along with the smaller Arklow Marsh, another sister of the six-strong M class bulkers dating to 2010. 

On completion of discharging Luzon in Dublin Port, two days later at the exact berth (No.30) is where Arklow Manor has been allocated to dock. Over the years Afloat has reported on the facility in Alexandra Basin in handling animal feed, fertiliser and grain.

A sister, Arklow Meadow (see, coverage/photo incl. old Oldlums Mill) had dry-docked in the State's then largest such facility (220m) until the marine business operator was forced to close in 2016, due to plans by Dublin Port Company to in-fill the dry dock. This is to facilitate increased quayside capacity for the €227m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) project, phase one of the Port's Masterplan. The project permits larger cargoships and cruiseships to enter and meet the demands expected in the future of the capital's port.

As alluded before the distinctive green hulls of the ASL fleet, however the vast majority of bulkers use black, blue, grey and red. In design terms, Luzon's five cargoholds are equipped with cranes mounted between the hatches. Whereas, Arklow Manor with one less cargohold, is dependent on port handling grabber cranes that scoup and dump whatever traded cargo is carried.

Published in Dublin Bay
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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