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The North Boat (Northlink ferries)


Where should the North Boat dock?  

447 members have voted

  1. 1. Where should the North Boat dock?

    • Aberdeen
    • Rosyth
    • Peterhead
    • Barbados

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As I think I've said before on this thread, NorthLink's attitude towards sailing in bad weather is very different from that of the Steam Packet, who serve us here in the Isle of Man. The Steam Packet tend to be ultra-cautious, and despite having a vessel of around 13,500 GRT very often won't send it out in a force eight as passenger comfort is their number one priority. I suspect that if they served Shetland, you would get very few sailings taking place in winter as they tend to be very risk-averse. Before Christmas, there was a run of cancelled sailings and there was a lot of worry that many people's presents wouldn't arrive, but it all got sorted out at the last minute with an extra freight sailing. But the shelves at Marks & Spencer were certainly looking bare today, since last night's sailing was cancelled.

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Watching Hrossey on the AIS earlier, she took a route to Kirkwall I havn't noticed Northlink use before. Through North Sound then between Sanday and Eday before turning SW into Widefirth and KW. Presumably to avoid what must be really turbulent reflected waves to the East side of Orkney.

That used to be the 'scenic route' in the old NofSO&SSCo. days. Remember it from coming home from Inter-Counties on the old Magnus. ;-)

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could some one tell me why the hjaltland is lying at anchor for two days off Liverpool when she could

still hav been on the run trying to catch up will sum of the back log??????????????????


I know Papsy, it's terrible how all those little boaties on the AIS won't do what you want them to....  :thmbsup

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Seem to have no problem getting a decent cargo ship ('Mistral' from Finland) to do a few weeks whilst Norrona off on refit and whilst she is covering for the Smyril.


I don't suppose they would swap her for the Helliar or Helldasay?


Maybe Northlink could look to hire one of Seatruck's next generation ferries instead of the crap they have providing cargo service.


The current class of vessel are woefully inadequate and this is really evidenced up when there is none of the slightly more capable passenger vessels (which do have good speed they can use if conditions allow) providing back up.


When standing in for the Hamnavoe, the Helliar required (on the times it did a service) inter island ferries such as the Graemsay to assist in pushing it alongside, due to it's inadequacies and limitations on the Scrabster-Stromness run.


Most of the time though in the bad weather that prevailed when she was there, she lay strapped to the pier whilst the Pentalina made three trips to Orkney across the Pentland Firth most days. 


Although the Pentalina is a different design, she is just over half the length of the Helliar and her route would be much more exposed to the S-E'ly's that prevailed and don't forget her run also goes through the Pentland Firth rather than outwith it!


Also flying the flag for the Seatruck, another of 'Hell' class quartet of ships, the Clipper Ranger was brought in to provide 'cover' on the Calmac Stornoway route.


Maybe able to provide a better service than it's sisters Helldasay and Helliar whilst on the comparitive shelter of the minch run?


No such luck, after hitting and extensively damaging both vessel and pier and she very nearly ended up ashore.


The vessel had to undergo emergency repairs and had to be sent to dry dock for extensive repairs - at Birkenhead.


Wasn't someone moaning at the fact the Hjaltland could have been running a few more nights instead of lying at anchor down at Liverpool?


Was the dry docking of the Hjaltland delayed by one of the her fleets ugly sisters?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Shame Serco (Northlink) didn't have the grand re-entrance of the Hjaltland sorted out last Thursday!


Communication between the official webpage of Northlink and it's Facebook page was out of kilter (giving different departure times) as was the telephone people!


By the time the ferry arrived into Lerwick none of the scheduled times matched up anywhere, the poor sods running customer services looked like sheep in headlights and nothing was open on the boat when it was opened up for boarding!


Not bothered about the rough crossing - been there, done that!

Free tea and coffee due to the delay? Meh.


Restaurant open at 8pm, closed at 9.30. Whoa. Queues were bonkers.


But - communication to the passengers? None existant or irregular at best.


And WTF is going on with the cleaning crew in the morning? They don't speak a word of English, shouting all I can say is East European and barge into you with bags of linen in the corridors, bang on your door even if your "please do not disturb" note is in the key holder.


And.....the thing that really got bad was the toilets upstairs near the bar.


Oh Sweet Jesus. Faeces all over all toilets and used condoms on the floor? I've seen better in pub toilets in Nottinghamshire.


Serco needs to sort it out!

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