#DUBLIN PORT-The former Dundalk Port Company grab-hopper dredger Hebble Sand (1963/757grt), which has been laid-up in Dublin since last Summer, was sold to new owners a month ago, writes Jehan Ashmore.
She remains berthed at the Bulk Jetty, Alexandra Basin, where she arrived from the Co. Louth port on 14 July, two days after the assets, liabilities and operations of Dundalk Port Company were transferred to Dublin Port Company by an order of statutory instrument. Against this background, Dublin Port Company decided to divest in the business of dredging resulting in placing the veteran vessel for sale.
During her career in Drogheda, she was the only dredger to be operated and owned by a port company apart from the suction-trailer dredger Lough Foyle (1979/868grt) operated by Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners.
Hebble Sand, registered in Dundalk has retained her original name since her launch from Richard (Shipbuilders) of Lowestoft for British Dredging. She has been kept in good condition considering a career nearing five decades. To read some of her last contracts undetaken outside her homeport, click HERE.
From a distance some people have mistaken Hebble Sand (PHOTO) to the last of the 'Guinness ships, as she bores a resemblance to the final custom-built stout tanker Miranda Guinness ( PHOTO), taken on her farewell sailing. The vessels shared a similar red funnel and black funnel, a roomy sized superstructure painted in cream above and a dark blue hull. To read more about the last of the brewery tanker-fleet click HERE.
#LECTURES-Paddy Barry will be presenting "Searching for Saints –Skelligs to Iceland" the second of five Winter talks in a programme organised by the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association (DBOGA). The talk takes place this Tuesday evening at 8pm in the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club, Ringsend in Dublin Port.
Those wishing to attend may wish to arrive a bit earlier so to avail of the PYBC's clubhouse facilities, which overlooks its marina in the centre of the port, opposite Alexandra Basin.
The venue is located on the South Bank, Pigeon House Road, Ringsend which can be accessed from the Sean Moore Road that connects the Merrion Strand Road (from the south) and the East-Link Toll Bridge (from the north).
She is operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines (WWL) and was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The new vessel's principle dimensions are (length: 227.8m, beam: 32.26 and a draft of 11.3m) and she has a deadweight (metric tonnes) of 30,900.
The Swedish company together with subsidiaries and partner's, operates a fleet of about 135 vessels. Of these, Wallenius owns or charters around 35. They can carry up to 8,000 cars, or a combination of cars, trucks, cranes, large rolls of paper and rubber or large turbines. They have also transported parts for wind turbines, luxury yachts, complete train-sets and aircraft wings.
Figaro's docking in Dublin today was at berth 33, which is the centre berth of three lining Ocean Pier which has a quayside totalling 410m long. The pier is within Alexandra Basin and is to the east side of this dock which is approached from the port channel opposite the Poolbeg Marina.
After Dublin she continues her global schedule to Bremerhaven (16 Nov), Zeebrugge (23 Nov), Southampton (24 Nov), Baltimore, USA (3 Dec), Savannah, GA USA (6 Dec), Manzanillo, Panama (11 Dec), Auckland (29 Dec), Brisbane in the New Year (2 Jan) and two days later is expected to dock in Port Kemble also in Australia.
Earlier this year the world's largest ro-ro carrier Tonsberg (PHOTO) also part of the WWL fleet, docked in Dublin having entered service in March. She has a cargo volume of 138,000 cubic metres, some 10% greater than the largest ro-ro vessels in service including her fleetmate the Figaro.
The 74,622grt vessel is the first of four Mark V class on order from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Japan. They are capable of handling handle high and heavy cargo such as excavators, bulldozers, wheel loaders and harvesters. Her sister Parsifal followed in September and the final pair of the quartet are due for delivery in 2012.
Crew kitted in similarly bright orange coloured sea safety-survival suits entered the lifeboat before it plunged into the water. The activity was observed through the binocular-scope which overlooks Coliemore Harbour with excellent views across the sound to Dalkey Island, Dublin Bay and Howth Peninsula.
The binocular-scope does not require payment to operate and was unveiled in 2008 in memory of local resident the late Dr. John de Courcy Ireland, the 'father' of maritime Ireland (to read more click HERE). He was for 26 years a honorary secretary of the local RNLI station in Dun Laoghaire and a staunch campaigner of Irish maritime affairs.
Each Monday a routine lifeboat practice is conducted by the 47ft Trent class ALB (all-weather lifeboat) RNLB Anna Livia (info and PHOTO). Last night's drill also involved the new D-class ILB (inshore lifeboat) RNLB Réalt na Mara which was named earlier this year by Kathy Kenny, wife of RTE presenter Pat Kenny.
Under the cover of darkness the crew of the ILB Realt na Mara simulated an 'injured casualty' on the island where the casualty was prepared to be taken off by stretcher from the island's small harbour. From there the casualty was transferred to the larger RNLB Anna Livia which lay offshore. During the exercise, powerful searchlight beams from the ALB provided essential light to assist in the transfer operation.
Asides the lifeboats, there is plenty of wildlife to observe on the rocky outcrops at Maiden Rock, Clare Rock and Lamb Island, which forms the second largest island after the main island of 22-acres, where a resident herd of goats have been part of the local community for over 200 years.
As for the South Korean built Cumbrian Fisher, she too has close connections with these waters as she was named in Dublin Port in 2005. She is a frequent caller to Dublin bringing bulk liquid products from the oil refinery in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire which is a major supplier, serving the demands of the capital.
Dublin Port has two oil jetties which cater for four tankers, where bitumen, chemicals, liquid petroleum gases, molasses and oil are handled on a 41-hectare zone with storage for 330,000 product tonnes to include 6,000 tonnes of LPG. In addition aviation fuel is frequently delivered to the terminal to satisfy the constant demand for aircraft using Dublin Airport.
Cumbrian Fisher alongside her sister Clyde Fisher where built for James Fisher & Sons and in recent years they have tended to take anchorage off Dalkey Island and off the Nose of Howth. In comparison the vast majority of vessels anchor in Dublin Bay which is divided into quadrants for the purposes of anchorage allocation.
Before the completion of the South Wall in Dublin Port, which considerably improved safer access of vessels entering the River Liffey, it was the relative deeper and sheltered waters of Dalkey Sound which were used instead as Dalkey acted as the principle port for Dublin between 14-17th centuries.
Vessels would convey cargoes which were taken to and fro by lighter to the coast where it was carried by horse and cart to nearby Dalkey before onward travel across the exposed plains to Dublin City.
To learn more about Dalkey's medieval maritime heritage with its relationship with the capital of Dublin in addition the use of Dalkey Quarry in the construction of (Kingstown) Dun Laoghaire Harbour, visit the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. To read more go to www.dalkeycastle.com in addition to further information about Dalkey including the local community council newsletters click HERE.
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In order to facilitate this growth, the draft proposes switching existing berths used by large cruiseships away from unattractive cargo-docks in Alexandra Basin's West and East and at Ocean Pier. Up to three alternative locations were examined and the port agreed that the option identified in the Dublin City Council's Area Plan of the North Quay Extension is the optimum location.
Before any such development, it would require relocating an existing roll-on roll-off terminal (No.3), which is currently in use by P&O Irish Sea for their Dublin-Liverpool service. The company operate three sailings daily on the central corridor route.
The new facility could accommodate two large cruise ships simultaneously and would be much larger than the 43,524grt The World, the luxury resort vessel operated by Residensea, which docked at the North Wall Extension in 2010 (for report click HERE).
The location is on the doorstep to the East-Link Bridge and the neighbouring O2 Arena and Point Village developed by Harry Crosbie, who called for the relocation of cruise callers to be sited upriver.
According to the draft, the closer proximity to the city-centre would provide a stronger presence and a more accessible link with the city. It would also avoid the unnecessary longer bus transfers between cruise berths and visitor attractions in the city-centre and locations in counties Wicklow and Meath.
Construction of facilities for a cruise terminal would expensive as it will involve new quay walls capable of accepting large cruise vessels but this could only be done after dredging the channel to a depth of 10.5m.
The facilities of the terminal are to incorporate a reception, tourist information and interpretive centre, a dedicated entrance for pedestrians, coaches, vehicles and traffic management measures would be implemented.
In addition the site would also require the expensive exercise in re-locating ESB underwater high-voltage cables. The initial costs suggest to develop new terminal facilities and associated works would be in the region of €30m.
Dublin Port Company, state that due to the relatively low revenues generated by cruise ships, such an investment alone could not be justified, however, they could part-fund the development but additional funding would be required from other sources.
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Prior to the launch of the draft masterplan, Dublin Port Company undertook an eight-week consultation process up to May this year, which involved community briefings and meetings from a wide range of stakeholders including business representatives, associations, state agencies, customers and local community groups. Over 220 responses were received to form the 'draft' which is now ready for the current viewing.
Once supplementary submissions are reviewed, the 'final' Masterplan will be prepared and published in early 2012 and will form a framework for future developments at Dublin Port.
Eamonn O'Reilly, CEO of Dublin Port Company said: "It's clear from the 220 responses received during the first phase of the masterplan consultation process that people care deeply about the important role Dublin Port has to play in the future development of our economy and this city".
He added, "It's important, therefore, that all our stakeholders take this final opportunity to view and input on the masterplan. From Customers, exporters and local residents to public bodies, city planners and tourist organisations, everyone's contribution is necessary to help create a shared vision and lasting legacy for Dublin Port."
To view the masterplan, viewing hours are weekdays starting today and running to Friday, 2nd December 2011 from 9.00hrs-17.00hrs at Dublin Port Company, Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1.
Interested parties are invited to make supplementary observations on the draft masterplan in writing no later than Friday, 9th December 2011 to: The Masterplan Consultation, Dublin Port Company, Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1. For further information including a PDF downloadable version of the draft masterplan and SEA, click HERE.
The Port Training Programme is comprised of a "Modern Port Management" course and a final dissertation. During this training of trainer's workshop, the senior managers will be trained as local instructors on Modules 1-4 of the "Modern Port Management" course.
On completion of the workshop which ends today, they will serve as local instructors for their respective ports, collaborating with UNCTAD specialists and transferring their acquired knowledge to the participants of the TFT Port Training Programme.
UNCTAD stands for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development which was launched in 1998. The new Train-For-Trade programme strengthens national and regional human and institutional resources for trade and investment as a key to growth for UNCTAD member countries, particularly the least developed ones (LDCs).
Of the foursome, only ENS Tasuja is the odd one out, she is a diving and support vessel whereas the rest are all a combination of minehunters / minesweepers. ENS Tasuja is from the Lindormen-class and was built in Denmark in 1977. She is 44.5 meters long, has a maximum speed of 14 knots, and has a crew of 28.
HNoMS Maaloey is an Oksøy-class minehunter which has a catamaran hull constructed of fibre-reinforced plastic which has a very low magnetic signature. She can carry two ROV's and the same number of rigid inflatable boats (RIB).
Above: The Norwegian Navy’s catamaran minehunter HNoMS Maaloey detonates a sea-mine
She is almost identical to the Alta-class leadship HNoMS Alta which provided escort duties during the official state visit of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, on board the royal yacht K/S Norge in 2006. She arrived in Irish waters, firstly calling to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, where the royal couple boarded the royal yacht at the East Pier. From there she sailed the short distance across the bay to Dublin Port and her last Irish call was to Cork.
ORP Flaming is a mine countermeasures vessel which operates in minesweeping and minehunting. The vessel is designed to trace such devices and make safe fairways for shipping. She can detect anchored mines 1600m from the ship and bottom mines located 600m below the ship's keel. In addition she can lay mines of six different types.
FGS Überherrn is a Kulmbach Class minehunter, in service with the German Navy since commissioning in 1989. She was originally built as a Hameln Class (SM 343) minesweeper by STN Systemtechnik Nord, but was converted to the Kulmbach Class. She has an overall length of 54.4m, a width of 9.2m and a draft of 2.5m and a displacement of 635 tonnes. Armament comprises two, four-cell Stinger missile launchers firing FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles. There are a crew of 37, which includes four officers, 20 petty officers and 13 ratings.
The flotilla are moored two abreast alongside Sir John Rogersons Quay (berth No. 8), which is located on the south quays between the Samuel Beckett and East-Link Bridges. Of the four naval ships, FGS Überherrn is the first to depart on Sunday, the other vessels are to depart on Monday. The vessels will provide an opportunity to view at close quarters a variety of naval architecture design and navies from northern Europe.
With a short-turn around in port, more cruise-goers will be boarding for a mid-afternoon departure, marking the start of a 13-night Canary Islands & Madeira cruise. When she heads out of the port, the first port of call is Falmouth then it's off to Leixoes (Portugal), Agadir (Morocco), Arrecife (Lanzarote), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Funchal (Madeira), Lisbon (Portugal) and Vigo (Spain) before returning to Dublin.
The vessels final end-of season cruise from Dublin is on 25 October, with a 10-night cruise to Nice (returning by air). The interim ports of call are to Falmouth, Leixoes, Lisbon, Cartagena (Spain) Palma and Mahon (Menorca). To read more about this cruise click HERE.
In addition to Dublin calls the former Cunard Countess, also called this season to Cork Harbour. It was during a call last month to Ringaskiddy that another 'Cunarder' the flagship, Queen Mary 2 was also in port on a call to Cobh. To read more of that visit click HERE.
According to the vessels survey schedules, RV Celtic Explorer had today completed fisheries demersal surveys which started in Galway on 23 September. The near fortnight-long survey was conducted in the ICES area VI, under the direction of chief scientist, Dave Stokes.
On Friday she embarks on a herring acoustic survey which is to take place in the Celtic Sea and the south-west. This survey will be under chief scientist Ciaran O'Donnell and is to de-mobilise in Cork on 27 October. To read more about her 2011 survey programme click HERE.
Across Dublin Bay in neighbouring Dun Laoghaire, the 31m RV Celtic Voyager is currently nearing the end of a month-long hydrography survey of the Celtic Sea. The survey had started in Howth Harbour on 17 September under chief scientist Kevin Sheehan. For the time-being she remains moored in Dun Laoghaire prior to resuming survey work which will continue until the vessel de-mobilises in Rosslare in mid-October. To find out more about her remaining surveys for this year click HERE.
On the surveys outlined they are conducted on behalf of Marine Institute scientists, though the vessels are also allocated ship-time for use of third parties. These include government departments and agencies, universities, research institutes and industry. For further information on the research vessels, survey schedules etc can be found by visiting: www.marine.ie/home/Research+Vessels.htm