Thames Ship Society

(T.S.S.)

 
 

             2020 Review              (Updated 10th September 2020) 

The review of events for 2020 is shown below.

To view a letter from the TSS Committee regarding the impact of the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic on the TSS 2020 Programme please click here.

Saturday 25th January 2020 (12:00 to 17:00) - Winter Social at Dover

Around 33 members met at the Dover Marina Hotel on the last Saturday of January this year for our regular Winter Social get together in rather dull misty weather.

There were plenty of ferry movements in and out of port, observed in the mist and some participants took the opportunity to walk along the new pedestrian pier next to the new multi-purpose general cargo berths, which were now operational but unfortunately, bereft of shipping.

The Port of Dover is now advertising the berths for project cargo, as well as for barley exports and reefer traffic, which has now switched from the Eastern Docks. So another incentive to return again in 2021.

The day took on its usual format of pre-lunch drinks, teas and/or coffees and a chat, before sitting down in the Chartwell Suite for lunch, which was up to its normal very high standard. It was good to see Norman Smith from France again who said it probably took him less time to get to Dover than some other members who came from different parts of the UK.

After lunch, the tables and chairs were re-arranged to enable a selection of slides kindly donated by Andre van Hee, depicting all sorts of ferries from the late 1950s onwards. This slide show was ably narrated by Chairman Stephen Marginson with the help of Ďtechnicianí Dave Smith.

The slides shown included the sleek fast Belgian RMT ferries of the 1950s, 60s and 70s and some of the earlier Harwich ferries from Sealink and Zeeland Shipping. There was even a few local Dutch ferries, including those serving North Holland and the Dutch islands, plus the old Tor Line and Olau Line ferries serving the UK, among others.

For those staying overnight, Sunday again dawned dull but slightly clearer. However, the main shipping channel was still obscured by the general murky weather and the forecast rain came during the afternoon.

Our thanks must go to Dave Smith and Stephen Marginson for organising the day and the slide show, Andre for donating the slides and to the staff of the Dover Marina Hotel who looked after us very well once again.

It is hoped to repeat the Winter Social on or around Saturday 23rd January, 2021. Members will be informed as soon as the details have been ironed out via a circular due to be issued later this year.

Photos from the 2020 Winter Social.

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Photos and report by Ian Cochran.

Saturday 18th April 2020 - AGM in Southampton

This year we will return to Southampton for the AGM on board the Blue Funnel vessel Ocean Scene. The day will start with a three course lunch. After lunch the AGM will take place which will give opportunities for members to ask questions to the committee.

Following the AGM, there will be a private cruise on the Ocean Scene. The cruise will cover Southampton Docks, Fawley and Hamble and will provide the opportunity to see all types of vessels from the largest container ships, vehicle carriers, cargo ships and cruise ships in Southampton and variety of tankers at Fawley and Hamble. The route of the cruise will depend upon the tides and weather on the day, the discretion of the Captain and Port Control instructions.

This event has been indefinitely postponed due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

Photos from our June 2019 Solent Cruise.

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UASC's SALAHUDDIN inbound in Southampton water for the container terminal.

Chem-New-Orleans-Apex--8-Jun-2019

CHEM NEW ORLEANS arriving at Fawley with the tug APEX.

Christine--8-Jun-2019

CHRISTINE berthed in the River Itchen.

Swami--8-Jun-2019

SWAMI loading scrap at Princes Wharf.

Azura--8-Jun-2019

AZURA departing for Warnemunde.

Photos by Chris Brooks

Saturday 16th May 2020 (12:00 departure) - Solent Cruise

This trip will have something for everyone with the prospect of seeing almost all types of ships ranging from the largest container vessels, down to tugs and coasters as well as warships. Bring your partner, even if they are not particularly interested in ships, as this is a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon. This trip will depart from Town Quay in Southampton, on board Solent and Wightline Cruises vessel Ali Cat. This cruise will cover Southampton, Portsmouth and the Solent, including St. Helen's Anchorage (weather and tides permitting). The trip will last for six hours.

Ali Cat has an open deck area as well as large enclosed saloon with toilets, and is an excellent platform for photography. The bar will be open for the purchase of drinks and light refreshments at cost. The cruise will cover Southampton Docks, Fawley and Hamble, Portsmouth Harbour, St Helen's Anchorage and the Solent and will provide the opportunity to see all types of vessels from the largest container ships and cruise ships in Southampton, a variety of tankers at Fawley and Hamble, Naval vessels and ferries at Portsmouth and any vessels anchored in St. Helen's anchorage. The rotation will depend upon the tides and weather on the day, the discretion of the Captain and Port Control instructions.

This event has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

Sunday 21st June 2020 (09:00 departure) - Rotterdam and Europoort Cruise.

The Rotterdam / Europoort / Maasvlakte cruise is always one of the highlights of the year for many people where it is possible to observe and photograph all types of ships in the Rotterdam, Europoort and Maasvlakte port complexes. This cruise will last for 9 hours (09:00 to 18:00). As our previous boat the Diane is no longer available, we have chartered the KRVE 71 which is faster and more manoeuvrable than the Diane hence the shorter time for the cruise. She has an open deck and enclosed saloon, which houses the bar, cloakroom and toilets. She has a capacity of about 85 persons. Included in the cost are two buffet style meals. We will endeavour to cover as much of the Rotterdam and Europoort complexes as time permits. The intention is to sail as far upriver as the Waalhaven and downriver, covering Botlek Harbour, the Caland Canal, Europoort and Maasvlakte 2, however, the exact routing will be decided upon on the day by the Tour Leaders, in consultation with the vesselís Captain, taking into consideration timings, tides, weather, etc.

Participants will be responsible for organizing their own travel to and from Vlaardingen in order to join the cruise. There are many ways of travelling to and from Rotterdam / Vlaardingen without incurring too much expense, as long as the travel is booked well in advance to take advantage of cheap(er) tickets. For example, participants could catch the overnight Harwich / Hook of Holland ferry, returning the following night. Another route is by Eurostar from London, or Ebbsfleet, to Brussels from where there is a regular train service to Rotterdam; or by flying to Rotterdam, or Schiphol (Amsterdam) from where there is a direct train to Rotterdam leaving about every 20 minutes.

This event has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

Photos from our June 2019 Cruise.

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MUNICH MAERSK departing from Maasvlakte 2.

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Bulker SOFIA in Botlek.

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MERCS JAFFNA moored in Waalhaven.

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Greek tug Christos XXII in Lekhaven.

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The new dredger VOX AMALIA in the shipyards at Wiltonhaven.

Photos by Roger Hammond.

Photos from our July 2019 Solent Cruise.

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THE WORLD anchored in the Solent off Cowes.

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HAMBURG BRIDGE in the Solent bound for Southampton.

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The ro-ro ARROW in St. Helens anchorage.

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HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH in Portsmouth.

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P&O's ARCADIA departing from Southampton.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

Saturday 18th July 2020 (12:00 departure) - Solent Cruise

This trip will have something for everyone with the prospect of seeing almost all types of ships ranging from the largest container vessels, down to tugs and coasters as well as warships. Bring your partner, even if they are not particularly interested in ships, as this is a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon. This trip will depart from Town Quay in Southampton, on board Solent and Wightline Cruises vessel Ali Cat. This cruise will cover Southampton, Portsmouth and the Solent, including St. Helen's Anchorage (weather and tides permitting). The trip will last for six hours.

Ali Cat has an open deck area as well as large enclosed saloon with toilets, and is an excellent platform for photography. The bar will be open for the purchase of drinks and light refreshments at cost. The cruise will cover Southampton Docks, Fawley and Hamble, Portsmouth Harbour, St Helen's Anchorage and the Solent and will provide the opportunity to see all types of vessels from the largest container ships and cruise ships in Southampton, a variety of tankers at Fawley and Hamble, Naval vessels and ferries at Portsmouth and any vessels anchored in St. Helen's anchorage. The rotation will depend upon the tides and weather on the day, the discretion of the Captain and Port Control instructions.

This event has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

Saturday 5th September 2020 (12:00 departure) - Solent Cruise

The first and only TSS trip of the year took place in Southampton on board the Blue Funnel vessel Ocean Scene on Saturday 5th September. The Ocean Scene arrived for our noon departure from the Hythe Ferry pontoon on Town Quay for our five hour cruise. Our captain advised that we would have time to include a trip around Portsmouth harbour which had not originally been included in the itinerary. We cast off and proceeded out of the harbour bound for Portsmouth under rather grey skies. The vehicle carriers Selene Leader of NYK Line and the Onyx Arrow on charter to K Line were in the Eastern Docks. We passed the inward bound Holyhead Towing tug Afon Cefni off dockhead. The oil rig supply vessel Putford Athena was at Hythe Marine Park.

By the time we got to Fawley Oil Terminal, the weather had brightened up and the sun was out. All the outer berths at Fawley were occupied with a variety of tankers including the JS Chukar, Cape Bradley, Stolt Ebony, Res Cogitans and Everest Spirit. The vehicle carrier RCC Asia which had departed from Southampton and had followed us down Southampton Water had by this time caught us up and passed close by. She was bound for Bremerhaven. We then made our way to Portsmouth across the Solent via the North Channel taking the quiet time to have our lunch of chicken and chips.

Portsmouth harbour was dominated by the two aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. Other naval ships present included the new River Class patrol vessel HMS Tamar and next to her the recently decommissioned HMS Clyde which has been sold to Bahrain as the RBNS Al Zubaraa. The Brittany Ferries Mont St Michel passed us outward bound. At the commercial port the refrigerated cargo ship Atlantic Klipper of Geest Line was working cargo. The coaster Musketier was also in port. She maintains a regular cargo service from Portsmouth to the Channel Isles. The local SMS Towage tugs Scotsman, Marksman and Guardsman were also in port. Having photographed all of the shipping in Portsmouth, we headed out and back to Southampton via the North Channel, sadly missing the departing vehicle carrier Selene Leader which was in the main channel.

On arrival back at Southampton, we just had time to photograph the cruise ship Norwegian Star at the City Cruise Terminal in the Western Docks, before it was time to make our way back to Town Quay as our time was up. Our thanks go to Captain Rob and the crew of the Ocean Scene who looked after us well in these strange times. Thanks too to our organisers Ian Cochran and Dave Smith. There was plenty of room to observe social distancing whilst on the Ocean Scene and due to the limit on the number of members allowed on the trip there was plenty of room to take photos as and when required. Letís look forward to next year when we will hopefully be able to organise a fuller programme of trips.

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Tug AFON CEFNI arriving in Southampton.

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STOLT EBONY at Fawley Oil Terminal.

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RCC ASIA outward bound from Southampton.

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HMS PRINCE OF WALES at Portsmouth with her sistership HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH behind.

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The new HMS TAMAR in Portmsouth.

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ATLANTIC KLIPPER berthed in Portsmouth.

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The Portsmouth tugs SCOTSMAN, MARKSMAN and GUARDSMAN wait for their next job.

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Vehicle carrier ONYX ARROW at Southampton.

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NORWEGIAN STAR berthed in the Western Docks, Southampton.

Photos and report by Chris Brooks

Sunday 20th September 2020 - South West Ship Show

The TSS will have a table at the South West Ship Show.

Owing to the success of the 2019 show, the 2020 show will be extended across two halls. It will be held at the same venue : BAWA Social Club, 589, Southmead Road, Filton, BRISTOL, BS34 7RG.

TSS Committee members will be on hand to answer questions, so come along and have a chat with us.

This event has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

3rd to 7th October 2020 - Gibraltar

The TSS is organising a trip to Gibraltar to view and photograph the considerable amount of shipping that uses Gibraltar for refuelling or anchoring awaiting orders etc. These include a wide range of tankers, container ships and bulk carriers. Gibraltar also has a busy cruise terminal a naval base and dry dock complex. In addition the busy Spanish port of Algeciras is on the opposite side of the bay which has a large container terminal, oil jetties and many ferries traversing the straits to Morocco and Ceuta.

Return flights will be by British Airways from Heathrow, directly to Gibraltar airport. Hotel accommodation will be four nights bed and breakfast in the Holiday Inn Express or similar type of hotel.

Two cruises of 3 to 4 hours duration will be organised on the Dolphin Adventurer boat to photograph shipping in and around the bay of Gibraltar.

This event has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

Saturday 3rd October 2020 - North West Ship Show

The TSS will have a table at the North West Ship Show.

It will be held at the same venue : Old Christ Church, Waterloo Road, Waterloo, LIVERPOOL, L22 1RE, from 10:00 to 15:30.

TSS Committee members will be on hand to answer questions, so come along and have a chat with us.

This event has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

Saturday 7th November 2020 - Ocean Liner Society Ship Show

The TSS will have a table at the Ocean Liner Society Ship Show.

The show will be held at the same venue : Southampton Masonic Hall at the City Centre location of Albion Place SO14 2DD.

TSS Committee members will be on hand to answer questions, so come along and have a chat with us.

This event has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

 

 

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