Shipping Lines - BBC Pacific

It was a morning of contrasts. The western end of Montrose Basin was blanked out by a low-lying bank of mist, while towards Ferryden in the opposite direction there were patches of blue sky and spells of bright sunshine.

By
John Aitken
Sunday, 10th April 2022, 3:00pm
Shipping Lines - BBC Pacific

UNSETTLED WEATHER SET THE SCENE

It was a morning of contrasts, the western end of Montrose Basin was blanked out by a low lying bank of mist, while towards Ferryden in the opposite direction there were patches of blue sky and spells of bright sunshine.

At the north end of the town the dull roar could be heard in the background emanating from waves breaking on the faraway shore. Approaching the sea front, or The Sands as they were described in past local newspapers, the receding tide ebbed noisily interrupted at times only by screeching, wheeling and diving gulls.

A visit to the port in the afternoon witnessed a busy scene. Furthest downstream was the elderly red-hulled coaster CEG Cosmos, registered at Riga and flying the flag of Latvia one of the Baltic States. Formerly German-owned, she was loading bagged fertiliser presumably for several harbours in the Northern Isles, while astern of her was the 4,956-ton deadweight, 95-metre long mini bulker Kairit taking on baled RDF for a Scandinavian port. This material is usually used for power generation. She was built in a Dutch shipyard at Hoogezand and operated by Malta-based Hansa Shipping being registered at Valletta, having come up the coast from Seaham.

Established in 2005, the company has a fleet of over 30 chartered ships most of them with names beginning with the letter “K”. They carry a broad range of cargoes many of them in bulk form including coal, peat, grain, fertilisers etc. across the board to shipments of general freight and break bulk plus project equipment.

The size of vessel in the Hansa fleet ranges from 3,482 up to 9,777-ton deadweight. Trading areas stretch across the European continent from the Baltic to the Mediterranean. Among their vessels seen at Montrose in recent months includes Kaarti, Kristiina, Kristel, Ketlin, Kairit and prior to that Korali, Katri, Kertu, Katre and Katrin.

Furthest upriver was the green-hulled, 83-metre long, 3,402-ton deadweight Pernille of Limassol of Cyprus registry. Built in 2009, she loaded a bulk cargo of cereals. Her recent ports of call had included Shoreham-by-Sea, Poole and Leixoes in Portugal.

Expected a few days later, weather permitting, was the Wilson Rhine, a smaller unit of the Norwegian-owned Wilson Shipping group which discharged oilfield tubulars across the river at the South Quay. Completed in the Czech Republic in 1998 in the very heartland of the European continent at the Ceskoslovenska Plavba Labska at Chvaletice, which is situated a short distance to the east of Prague. All such vessels were taken down the Elbe to Hamburg for trials etc. subject to favourable river levels. Of 78 metres in length, 1,815-ton deadweight and as usual for most Wilson-operated ships she is registered at Bridgetown, Barbados. She is a typical low air draft “up-and-downer” or “bridge dodger”.

Throughout the ensuing week-end a heavy sea and swell was experienced across the entrance to the port from the Annat Bank to Scurdie Light making it difficult for the transfer of harbour pilots.

Over the same period observed lying off at the Montrose anchorage for several days was the 118-metre long, 6,300-ton deadweight cargo ship BBC Pacific inward bound from South America via Antwerp. She had come across the Atlantic having loaded at several ports in Brazil according to the international AIS system including Santos, Itapoa and Rio de Janeiro. She later sailed from Montrose bound for Orkanger, Norway. Described as a multipurpose tween decker, she is registered at St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda like numerous other ships of her type, under charter to the German-based BBC Chartering subsidiary of Briese Shipping GmbH located at the north German port of Leer.

Caption: BBC Pacific proceeding up the South Esk to the port of Montrose.

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