Waverley returns to Glasgow

As previously reported, the Waverley left the Swansea Dry Dock on 21 October 2000 and steamed under her own power to Avonmouth to await developments.

During routine inspections as part of the survey in dry dock at Swansea, the boilers were emptied for washing out and internal examination. A small area of the port boiler was found not to conform to the design profile. Removal of the external lagging revealed that it was likely the anomaly was present during manufacture. With only one boiler in use, it was considered prudent to remain in the Bristol Channel rather than return to Glasgow, as originally intended. As a berth was available at Avonmouth, the paddler proceeded there for a thorough examination of the boiler and an analysis of the need for remedial action.

Here are two pictures by Jon Davies taken at Avonmouth on 29 October, during the worst storm of the year. Although the pictures were taken at 1.30 p.m., the dismal conditions are demonstrated by the prominence of the reflective strips on the lifeboat.

Jon apologises for poor quality due to adverse conditions!

Detailed analysis has concluded that the shape of the boiler shell does not affect safety or operation and therefore no repairs or alterations are required. This has been accepted by Lloyds and the MCA. It was, however, decided that the leg supporting the affected part of the boiler should be modified to suit the its actual shape. This was a minor job and was completed by 30 November.

Unfortunately, weather conditions were such as to prevent immediate departure but Waverley sailed from Avonmouth on the morning of Wednesday 6 December. Conditions were still not good enough for her and she had to enter Milford Haven to seek shelter, awaiting a weather window. It had been planned to get under way again on the morning of 11 December, as there was a potential window. However, this was not possible.

Regrettably, the evening cruises from Wednesday 13 to Saturday 16 December inclusive had to be cancelled. All passengers were contacted to notify them of the alternative arrangements made. On the Wednesday night a Christmas celebration at the Glasgow Moathouse was offered, on Thursday at the Holiday Inn and on Friday and Saturday in facilities hired at Hamden Park National Stadium. This was done to ensure that parties and groups were still able to enjoy their "works do," albeit not aboard the ship. In addition, the daytime PSPS Charter on Saturday 16 December was cancelled.

The paddler finally arrived back at Glasgow Anderston Quay safe and sound at 2010 hrs on Saturday night. Well done to Captain Graeme Gellatly and the crew for their great efforts over the past couple of weeks.

Return to Waverley's 2000 Season