Two Ships Day
Words by Richard Mills - Pictures by Chris Jones and Jon Davies
Here is an outline of what happened on '2 Ship' day. Balmoral left Bristol at planned at 7am and after calling at Portishead and Clevedon, crossed the Channel to call additionally at Penarth, slowing off Lavernock Point to take a Cardiff pilot. She left at 1027 [Had she been able to make it across from Ireland, Waverley should have left at 1000] and made good passage in improving weather to arrive Ilfracombe at 1325. After disembarking Ilfracombe passengers, she was ranging against the outer section of the pier at low water and in the remaining swell and moved off, returning just before the advertised cruise departure time. There was difficulty positioning a gangway from the promenade deck and the bridge deck gangway was used instead but this was seriously damaged and had to been cut free. Eventually the afternoon Exmoor Coast Cruise was cancelled. At 1611 Waverley arrived off Ilfracombe from Wicklow, but in the swell conditions it was judged unwise for her to come alongside. Balmoral after all therefore took the return sailing to Penarth, the two ships running together as far as Foreland lighthouse in glorious sunshine. Waverley then went ahead on a more southerly course to arrive at Penarth well ahead of Balmoral. Passengers for Clevedon [with coach connection to Portishead and Bristol], then finally had a '2 Ship' experience doing the final leg in grand style in 47 minutes [@51 rpm] while Balmoral sailed for Newport as Jon's photos show. The replacement long wheeled gangway loaded at Penarth can just be seen on her bridge deck.
Congratulations are due to WEL officers and crew for coping so well in very trying circumstances.
Two pictures taken on passage from Ilfracombe to Penarth via Jon Davies
Here is a series of nine pictures taken by Chris Jones in the evening at Penarth
Now four pictures by Jon Davies taken later at Newport
Here we see Waverley Excursions Motor Vessel Balmoral just about to go under the famous Transporter Bridge in Newport at 8:45pm this evening. It was pointed out that by doing a test run, it will offer new personnel added experience for when the Vessel comes to Newport on her scheduled sailings from Newport this season.
Balmoral makes her turn to head back down river.
Balmoral now heads outbound to leave the Bristol Channel for North Wales.
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