TIME FOR A GENERAL TIDY-UP OF MARITIME MATTERS
With the onset of Spring it is usually time for gathering up loose ends which have culminated over the previous few months. I find that if maritime matters are not attended to they tend to finish up in the pending tray under a stack of additional papers either that or they end up in “File 13”. This means that some material gets overlooked and therefore loses its pertinent interest. Items included in the following collection of subjects range from strange-looking deck equipment to ships’ unusual birthplaces.
An eye-catching red-hulled coaster CEG Cosmos, arrived at Montrose in mid-March. However, her loading was hindered by a spell of broken weather with periods of heavy rain. She was similar to the CEG Universe which discharged bulk cement several earlier.
Flying the flag of Latvia and registered at the Baltic seaport of Riga, itself an old trading partner of Montrose in days gone by, she was thought to be taking on cargo for discharge at small harbours around the Northern Isles.
A report on a website details a problem she had in the past while sailing between Glensanda and Pennyghael which had interfered in between her steering gear and propeller. As a result, she was towed by an emergency towing vessel (ETV) on standby, to a safe temporary mooring in the Bloody Bay Anchorage, Mull to have repairs undertaken. Previous troubles back in 2012 also concerned her propulsion equipment when she finished up in a ship repair facility in north-west Germany.
She was reported to have suffered problems while on a voyage from Iceland to Perth with 1,000 tons of fish meal from Thorshofin. She put into the small fishing port of Eskifjordur, was then towed by a series of tugs for permanent repairs in dry dock at Husum. Strangely enough there was no comment as to the state of her cargo after the three three-month-long voyage!
Two ships arrived from Norway within a fortnight of each other across late February and early March. First to arrive was Kryssholm, port of registry Ber gen. On closer scrutiny she was noted as having at one time been fitted with a “traxcavator” on rails - that is, she has the capability to load and unload cargo with her own equipment at isolated ports and small harbours which have no cranes available.
In addition, at the forward end of the ship was situated a rather strange-looking structure which turned out to be an attachment for the discharge of fish feed to coastal offshore fish farms. I was especially interested in this arrangement as one of my grandsons is involved in this industry based at Oban but his support vessel has worked out of Orkney and Shetland as well as throughout the Western Isles, while he has also worked on fish farms in Croatia and Spain.
Coincidentally, the tender he works from was built in Turkey as was the Kryssholm. The shipyard which built the Norwegian-flagged vessel is located in Tuzla, which despite being located in a part of Istanbul is actually across the Bosphorous in mainland Turkey - not in Europe.
Following two weeks later was the Terneskjaer, also registered in Bergen. She too had similar fish feed discharge equipment at the forward end of the ship. Her early days however were quite different as she had been built in a shipyard in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, the then capital of South Vietnam to the order of a Danish company and had been named Erria Vietnam and later traded around the Caribbean and Central America. Some of her voyages were reported to have been between Miami and Colombia.
Caption: Built in Vietnam, then worked in the Caribbean, now seen in Montrose