Thursday, 21 May 2015

Queen Mary 2

Cunard ships have a special status on the Clyde: some of the greatest ever liners were born on this river.

When Queen Mary 2 came for a visit, thousands came to see her off.

We were treated to a fireworks display as she slipped from the quay with a couple of loud blasts of her foghorn.

While in theory this sounded spectacular, it proved to be a nightmare for taking photographs with the ship being blurred in the long exposures I used to capture the fireworks.

The results are not my best photographs, but here are sharpest ones taken from the shoreline at the Esplanade.

Queen Mary 2 berthed at Greenock
Fireworks display
Fireworks display

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Steam loco 62005

The Jacobite steam tour season has started between Fort William and Mallaig.

Last weekend two Black 5's went up and this weekend K1 class loco 62005 came up from Yorkshire to join them.

She traveled to Dumbarton on Saturday and continued to Fort William on Sunday morning.

I watched as the loco operated by the North Eastern Loco Preservation Group came into Dumbarton Central station and backed slowly in to a siding to lie overnight.

On the Sunday morning we headed to Garelochhead to catch her on the West Highland Line, free of overhead power lines and pylons.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Yuan Hui Hai

Chinese registered bulk carrier Yuan Hui Hai sailed up to Glasgow under cover of dark last week, but she came back down empty and sitting high in the water at a better time of day.

The 225 metre ship passed me at Port Glasgow on her way to Falmouth.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Royal Scotsman

Luxury train travel has arrived in Gourock, but not for commuters.

Costing over £3000 for a four day journey around Scotland, The Royal Scotsman provides the highest levels of comfort available.

Her locomotives for this journey were a pair of class 66 GB Railfreight diesel engines, which I had not seen before on this train.

The Royal Scotsman hauled by GBRf loco 66735 through Greenock Central Station
66735 sitting at Gourock Station
Observation car's veranda provides a unique way to enjoy the journey
The Royal Scotsman's Observation carriage
66732 arrived in the afternoon to haul the train on the next part of her journey
GB Railfreight loco 66732
66732, named after GBRf's first managing director
66735 preparing for departure
Passing through Fort Matilda station
The Royal Scotsman heading for her next destination

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Argyll and the Crinan Canal

Whenever I think of the Crinan Canal I immediately think of the exploits of Para Handy and the Vital Spark. Seeing the canal in real life brought me just as much joy as watching the TV episodes of the wee puffer sailing around the West of Scotland.

Argyll is a beautiful county and is steeped in history. My trip started at Ardrishaig and followed the canal and through part of Kilmartin Glen.

More pictures can be found on my gallery

The Crinan Canal at Ardrishaig on Loch Fyne
The canal has several locks along its length....
....and provides a shortcut for for sailors heading for the Western Isles.
The last lock before exiting the canal at Crinan
Standing stones at Nether Largie in Kilmartin Glen
Sun glinting in Kilmartin Burn which passes near the stones
Kilmartin Parish Church is home to many sculptured graveslabs
Sunset over Crinan Hotel

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Lysblink Seaways

My first post for a few weeks as the Lysblink Seaways is taken from Inchgreen Drydock where she had been taken after running aground off the West of Scotland 2 months ago.

The 120 metre long cargo ship had grounded near Ardnamurchan while travelling from Belfast to Norway on February this year and had been brought to Greenock for repairs.

Svitzer tugs Anglegarth and Ayton Cross moved the ship to Roseneath Pier this morning.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Stirling and Doune Castles

Historic Scotland membership is great value for money, but to make it even better why not visit 2 sites in one day?

First stop was Stirling Castle, a place I have been several times in the past.

Robert the Bruce statue outside Stirling Castle
Forework and circular towers
Colours of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in the regimental museum
One of the Stirling Heads which adorned the ceiling of the King's Inner Hall in the palace.
Stirling Castle commands a vantage point over the surrounding land
Eight miles to the north-west of Stirling lies Doune Castle, home of Robert of Albany, Regent of Scotland from 1388 till 1420.

The castle has taken on a new role in more recent times, recognisable to many as one of the location used in the making of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, along with other films and television dramas.

Doune Castle
Great Hall with central fire basket
The Lord's Hall, with timber panelling and minstrel's gallery above
Saltire flying from the top of the castle
View of the kitchen from inside the large fireplace
Courtyard and well