Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Ships in the Sound

In the few days we've been home the Sound of Mull has been busy with ships, most of them pleasure boats of one sort or another. The boat on the left is the 78 metre, $100-million superyacht Hampshire II which can accommodate up to 14 guests looked after by a crew of 23. She belongs to chemical giant Ineos' owner, Jim Ratcliffe.

The ship on the right is Aurora Expedition's cruise ship Polar Pioneer, which has an ice-strengthened hull and carries up to 54 passengers. There's more about her here.

The 49 metre Michaela Rose (left) is privately owned and has accommodation for up to 16 guests looked after by 13 crew, which must offer a lifestyle only dreamed about by the crew of the Banff-registered trawler Marelann.  More about the Michaela Rose here.

It's frustrating when an interesting ship passes us in poor visibility. This is the Galileo G, a 55 metre, Italian built superyacht launched in 2011. Again, she's not available for charter, and has a crew of 14 to look after the 10 guests she can carry. You can read about her here.

The Holland is a Dutch tug built in the early 1950s for deep-sea salvage work but when she was decommissioned in the 1970s she was refitted and is now registered in Holland as a 'voyaging monument'.

This is the Majestic Line's new cruise ship, the Glen Etive which, along with the Glen Tarsan and Glen Massan, offers 3 to 10-day cruises in Hebridean waters. While the standards of accommodation and service may not be quite up to those of the superyachts described above - the ships carry 12 passengers with a crew of four - the Majestic Line seems to be thriving.

This regular visitor, the Hebridean Princess, came close by the Ormsaigbeg shore the other day. She carries 58 guests looked after by 38 crew, and is looking in very smart considering she is now over 50 years old. Read more about her here.

The Dutch Abis Dundee, built in 2013, slid silently by in thick mist the other day carrying what looked like sections of a wind turbine. She's an offshore supply ship which, according to this site, is specialising in serving the growing offshore wind turbine installation and servicing business.

The only other cargo ship we've seen is the small general cargo ship Fame, a regular visitor, which suggests that commercial traffic is using the Sound less, which is understandable when the main traffic through here at the moment is small yachts.

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