Posts Tagged ‘ferry’

The Smyril

May 10, 2015

There is always a ship called Smyril serving the Faroe Islands, those wonderful little blobs of land way up in the North Atlantic Ocean, half way between Scotland and Iceland. It isn’t always the same ship – indeed it gets replaced as and when needed. The one we travelled on in 2005 was nearing the end of its life and was replaced soon after. The one father in law saw in 1945 was a different one again.




That’s his version of the ship which he captioned as…


That was on the most southerly of the islands – Suduroy. It’s a goodly two hour voyage from the island capital at Thorshavn.


In 2005 the service still ran from Thorshavn to Suduroy and we used it, on this ship.

In this case it was moored at Krambatangi. This ferry is, as can be seen, a car ferry but we were foot passengers only since we were met by Eric for a tour of the island.

And here’s a photo taken by Eric just 4 months later of the New Smyril (on the left) meeting our Smyril.


From Oban

September 18, 2014

Actually, perhaps the picture should be called ‘To Oban’. That is where the ferry is heading for – and has almost arrived. The picture was taken ‘from Oban’.


This photo dates from August 2001. I imagine that ferry was coming in from Mull although I couldn’t be 100% certain of that. I think I can make out the ship’s name as ‘Isle of Mull’ which seems a pretty good clue. Like all ferries in the area, it was operated by Caledonian MacBrayne – often abbreviated to CalMac these days.

Across the water, just beyond the ferry is the island of Kerrera  Back in 2001 visiting that island was a step too far for us, but in 2009 we took a trip across and enjoyed a good walk on that island – and a cup of tea at the Kerrera Tea Shop. There are no real roads on Kerrera and no cars although we did see post being delivered by quad bike.

The high mountains in the backdrop are on Mull. Again, in 2001 it was a step or a cost too far for us – we were still paying to keep a daughter at uni back then. But again, in 2009 we hopped across. This was only for a day trip.

Back in 2001 the blue border was a feature of my photos – but when lots of people started adding borders I decided to give them up. I still quite like the simple blue border though. The photo was taken on my 1.3 megapixel Olympus camera which is still in use. It can still produce prize winning photos when it comes to the flower show in the village.

Dunollie Lighthouse

May 9, 2014

If you go holidaying on the west coast of Britain then you have to expect some wet weather. The basic south westerly winds blow in from the Atlantic Ocean.  The moisture which evaporates forms clouds and when these are pushed up over hills, rain is inevitable. But the scenery makes up for it by being simply stunning.

Back in 2009 we camped near Oban which is on the West Coast of Scotland.

At the northern end of the town there is a little lighthouse.


There it is, under heavy cloud. Let’s brighten it up a bit.


Now you can get some idea of the scenery. The Island of Kerrera lies just off Oban and ships heading for Mull have to find their way around it. Oban is a busy port for shipping to the isles. There is always something on the move.


This little ferry is passing Maiden Island on its way to Lismore.

But back to the lighthouse, and a plaque about it.


This little tower was built in 1892 and is still servings its purpose – a guide to navigation.


Londres at Newhaven

March 26, 2014

Watching the ferries going in and out of Newhaven harbour was always a popular activity. They were fun to watch from close quarters, where you could see the passengers and wave at them. They were fun to watch whilst sea swimming when you could enjoy the bigger waves which the ship created and they were fun to watch from the top of the downs, some four or so miles away. The fun there was to see the puff of exhaust from the ships hooter. It always sounded this before it entered the harbour area as a warning to small boats. Then you could wait maybe 25 seconds before you heard the noise. What a grand way of learning that sound really travels relatively (to light) slowly.

From closer to we could enjoy the differences between ferries. My favourite was the Lisieux  but Londres was quite good and it is Londres that my dad photographed back in 1954.


That’s Londres, leaving Newhaven just about 60 years ago.

The thing that strikes me is how small the ferry looks. Back then there was no thought of roll on / roll off car ferries. These ships were for carrying passengers and many would have arrived on the boat train from London. These days ferries might have a kilometre of road on the car deck so no wonder they are much bigger than their older counterparts.

And even if the passengers are small in the photo we can sense the excitement they felt as they headed off on what was still a real adventure. Passengers are crowded on the open decks waving at docksiders like us.

The passengers were on their way to Dieppe which, Back in 1954 was the other side of the world as far as I was concerned

I have once made the journey now. The fast ferry we booked on was cancelled and a slow one substituted. That one sailed happily to Dieppe where the tide was too high for it to dock so we gently cruised up and down outside the harbour for a couple of hours and then docked. There was none of the excitement or glamour of past times. But I was pleased to do it.

Ferries – 1954 and 2004

November 28, 2012

During my early life ferries were something you watched. They departed from Newhaven in Sussex and vanished beyond the horizon. I knew the destination was Dieppe. It meant nothing to me. The ships mattered, or more to the point the names of them did – particularly if they were named after a French place. My favourite was the Lisieux.

And there is Lisieux, leaving Newhaven in August 1954. That looks like my brother on the left. The open public decks on the vessel are crowded with waving people, saying farewell to England for a while. Lisieux was new then, for she had only entered service the year before. She operated the route until 1964 which meant she was there for most of my childhood.

We often watched these ferries from some miles away on top of the South Downs near Firle. They always sounded a hooter before entering harbour and we’d watch out for the puff of steam from the hooter and then time how long it was until we heard it.

‘It’s a mile for every 5 seconds’, my dad told us. It was over 4 miles, so we counted up our seconds for quite some time.

And now we’ll slip forward 50 years to 2004. By now I was a fairly regular ferry user (but only once on the Newhaven to Dieppe route). I was still was happy to watch them.

In 2004 my wife and I camped at Stromness on Orkney – a fabulous island group off the north coast of Scotland. At that time the ferry was the Hamnavoe – or Hammy as we called it. It plied back and forth on the hour and a half crossing from Scrabster on the mainland to Stromness. On its final approach to the dock it can’t have been much more than 250 yards from our tent. She woke us on her night sailings but still we loved her.

That’s Hamnavoe in Hamnavoe – the stretch of water by Stromness is what the ship is named after.

There may be more from Scottish or further flung islands in the future. They seem to have been part of life for some time.