Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Yeoman Movements

The Yeoman Bontrup came up the Sound at half past twelve midday today in fleeting sunshine, the AIS sites showing her destination as Gdansk. She had passed down the Sound yesterday, and by 3.00pm was alongside at Glensanda quarry but in this picture she doesn't look as if she's taken much aggregate on board.

Half an hour later the Yeoman Bank passed us fully loaded and bound for Port of Tyne, having spent some time anchored off Glensanda in company with the Yeoman Bridge.

This map, from the AIS Marine Traffic site, shows that the Bontrup then anchored off the northwest coast of Mull, and it looks very much as if the Bank, whose track is shown, is doing the same. The Bridge remains at anchor off Oban.

While it's wonderful to be able to follow the tracks of the ships which pass us, there's an inevitable element of frustration at not knowing the reasons for their movements. I can only assume that they're anchoring in the lee of Mull with plenty of sea room downwind, as the gales which are coming in later this afternoon and overnight are mainly southeasterlies.

In contrast to the ponderous movements of the bulk carriers, we've noticed a large increase in the number of small fish farm delivery boats busying in the Sound, like the Emma C seen here, presumably bringing food and other supplies in to the farms ahead of the coming bad weather.

It's rare to see so much orange and red on Cameron Beccario's surface winds map. The orange colour starts at about 100kph, and turns red at 120 - these presumably being mean wind speeds rather than maximum gusts. The intense depression to the west of the British Isles has been named Storm Frank.

HM Coastguard have taken the unusual step of issuing a press release in advance of the coming storm. Mark Rodaway, commander with HM Coastguard, says, ‘Our advice to people remains the same. Check the weather and tidal conditions before you set out so you can prepare your vessel accordingly, or even ask yourself whether you should be going out at all. At sea, changes in tidal streams could make conditions worse, particularly if the wind and tide are against each other, but above all, don’t take risks when a storm at sea is involved.’
This sea eagle, seen hurrying west along Ormsaigbeg this morning, is silhouetted against the gathering clouds. The wind speed has been rising since mid-morning and by five this afternoon we should be experiencing a full gale, with winds building until midnight accompanied by more heavy rain to add to the 38mm that fell last night. High tide this evening is at 8.25.


  1. They're anchoring not a million miles from the submarine power cable off Rubha an Ard!

  2. The Yeoman Bontrup was away at four this morning, heading north, and the Yeoman Bank followed her around seven. Yes, and I do hope they left the cable in place. Jon