A Very Busy Easter 2004 – Part 3
Report by Stuart Cameron
Easter Day dawned bright and Easter Bunny was aboard Waverley to welcome her junior passengers, who travelled free that day. This shot by Alistair Black shows Bunny taking a wee rest on Waverley’s paddle box steps after the exhausting task of helping the children in a grand Easter egg hunt as the ship cruised down the river and firth
In Renfrew’s famous Pudzeoch harbour, a newcomer to the Clyde was noted in the shape of the little ferry Misneach. She had recently been replaced on the ferry service to Bere Island on the west coast of Eire. She is now laid up awaiting further duties as shown in this Stuart Cameron picture
After many years of declining traffic the river Clyde has undergone some revival in recent times. Common visitors are small coastal vessels that take scrap metal from Glasgow to steel producers in Spain and elsewhere and Waverley encountered one such visitor in-bound to Diesel Wharf. This Stuart Cameron picture shows the Svenja, registered in St Johns, passing Waverley off Langbank.
Slightly further downriver Waverley passed the last shipbuilding yard on the Lower Clyde, the prosperous Scottish-owned Ferguson Shipbuilders, which occupies a site adjacent to the historic Newark Castle in Port Glasgow. Currently, Ferguson’s have a very interesting order book. They are building a new steamship, named Spirit of the Tay, for service on Loch Tay and three chain ferries for the Torpoint Ferry service between Cornwall and Devon. This picture, by Stuart Cameron, shows the first two chain ferries under construction at Newark. They are the first chain ferries to be built in the UK for several years and will be amongst the largest of their type ever built.
After calls at Greenock and Helensburgh, Waverley headed down to Largs for her first visit of 2004 and John Crae captured this very fine view of the on her approach to the pier from the north
With well over 500 passengers aboard Waverley set off for the ever popular resort of Millport on the island of Great Cumbrae where her first arrival of the year attracted a vast crowd onto the Old Pier as shown in this picture by Stuart Cameron. The Millport Pipe Band were on hand to welcome the paddler.
In the next view, by Conway MacCulloch, Waverley is seen threading her way through the Eileans (islands) in the bay on her approach to Millport. Although steam appears to be coming from Waverley, it is actually from Hunterston Power Station, immediately behind her. Note also the new wind generation farm over on the mainland in North Ayrshire.
Conway MacCulloch’s picture from the pier and Stuart Cameron’s from the ship show the scene as Waverley disembarked 256 passengers and embarked 254 others for a sailing round the islands of Great and Little Cumbrae.
Graeme Phanco's vantage point ‘on the rocks’ to the west of the pier enabled him to capture the following two very fine pictures of Waverley alongside Millport and leaving for the cruise – this time the steam is from the paddler as she blows her steam whistle to signify her departure.
Graeme dubbed his final shot ‘Blazing Paddles’
Conway McCulloch ‘followed’ the paddler on her circumnavigation of Great Cumbrae and caught this spectacular view of her with the dramatic peaks of the Island of Arran in the background
Conway also took the following picture of Waverley passing the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry Loch Allain just off the Cumbrae ferry slip as the steamer made her way down the Largs Channel.
Early on Easter Sunday the large bulk carrier Pacific Navigator arrived at the deep water coal terminal at Hunterston on the mainland side of the Channel and tug master Bill Green captured this wonderful picture of the vessel’s arrival.
By the time of Waverley’s return sailing from Millport, the Clydeport coal unloaders had commenced the task of extracting the many thousands of tons of coal from Pacific Navigator’s holds. Waverley’s master, Capt Kit Lee deviated from the vessel’s normal course to give passengers a good view of this operation and the scene aft from Waverley is portrayed in Stuart Cameron’s picture below
Picture 15 SC
Later, Captain Lee also altered course to give a better view of RFA Oakleaf, anchored off the mouth of Loch Long as shown in this picture taken by Ian Montgomery from the hills above Cloch Lighthouse.
Easter Sunday was a very busy day, not just for Waverley, but for general shipping movements on the river. As Waverley headed back up firth, the large cargo vessel Glory C, which had spent the last few days discharging at Shieldhall Quay started her progress down river as seen in the following picture by Bill Green which shows Glory C passing the large shopping complex at Braehead.
Meanwhile, the tanker Sten Tor was captured by John Crae as she passed Greenock on her upriver passage to Rothesay Dock Oil Terminal in Clydebank.
Glory C and Sten Tor passed in the Clyde just upstream of the Erskine bridge as shown in this super view from Bill Green.
As Waverley approached Greenock Glory C, followed by the small coastal vessel Petersburg, passed out of the river channel, as shown in Jamie Shorthouse’s pictures below, leaving the route clear for Waverley to enter the Channel.
Passing Ferguson’s on the voyage back upriver the Scottish Fisheries Protection Service cutter Minna, built in the yard in 2003, was noted at the quay.
Stuart Cameron took this view of Sten Tor in Rothesay Dock at the oil terminal with an airliner descending on its approach to Glasgow International Airport at Abbotsinch.
As her Sunday cruise drew to a close Stuart Cameron caught this view from Waverley of the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive ferries Renfrew Rose and Yoker Swan tied up for the night in the Pudzeoch. These Ardrossan-built vessels have been operating the cross-river service between Renfrew and Yoker for almost 20 years
Waverley completed a third very successful Easter sailing on time at Glasgow Anderston Quay.
Return to Waverley 2004 Season Home Page