Saturday, 23 January 2021
Sea Pictures from DOVER ....
Showing the effects of Storm Christoph here on the Ferries at Dover
.... but the show goes on as always...
...an extra 'Christoph' picture added above there showing the Delft Seaways again, taken the following day...but Christoph lingers...
The top shot there shows the early stages of Storm Christoph and we see the Spirit of France battling its way to the Port of Dover while the foreground windsock runs amok on its pole. It was rough and of course through the night it got rougher still. But back to the pictures.... in the second shot the Spirit of France now safely in Port, watches on as the Delft Seaways does the same thing...
Night Falls on the Harbour
Rising Seafront Bridge at Dover: You can see the new bridge rising above there...it towers above the Seasports Centre and the now renamed Dover Patrol Restaurant (formerly the Hythe Bay restaurant...we understand the ownership is still in the same hands). The new marina cuts across the seafront road into the old marina, hence the need for a bridge (a 'bascule' bridge, you might need to look that one up!). Traffic gets paused from time to time to accommodate the incoming/outgoing craft....it was paused at the time of shot as you can guess.... otherwise everybody would......
The advertising truck shown above is obviously touring the roads of a harassed Kent informing everyone about the need for new paperwork now that we have left the EU...as if we didn't know already. But like they say...every little helps...
Below we have a picture of the self-discharging bulk carrier Tertnes leaving the Port of Dover a few days ago. She had just self-delivered a considerable amount of aggregate to pier WD4 here at Dover... here we see her heading back to Norway and the Port of Eikefet...
Tertnes...the self discharging bulk carrier leaves the Port...
Dover Seafront below in the approaching fog.....
The Disney Magic finally moved away on Saturday from its position on the eastern arm Port of Dover. It moved off through the fog, but the situation cleared partially to allow us to capture the shot above...also in the picture, which shows the western entrance to the Port, is one of the Border Force patrol vessels, these vessels are on constant local patrol. The Disney Magic is expected to return after a 'channel run'... ( ...and she has!).
Reuters are reporting that...Trade flows between Britain and the European Union have remained low this week after many companies stockpiled goods in late 2020 to avoid having to cross the new customs border in the first week after Britain left the EU's orbit on Dec. 31. Despite the quieter period..."We are experiencing a high volume of vehicles being refused and delayed at the Ports of Calais, Dunkerque and Dover, due to incorrect paperwork being presented at check-in," DFDS said on Twitter.
The early morning ferry nearing France...
..........you can just about see the rolling hills ...
The spectacular sky above lasted for such a brief few-minute period a couple of days ago, afore long we were shrouded in drizzle and dark skies, skies that have barely lightened since.The Port isn't busy as of yet, the expected new year drama hasn't quite begun, but we wait with anticipation and concern to see how it will all play out post Brexit.
A bit of a grim oul picture now of the departing Nederland Stream ( formerly Nederland Reefer) taken a couple of days ago. The grim nature of the beast however is in keeping with the grim times we find ourselves in yet again, with yet another Coronavirus lockdown. Although there hasn’t been a surge to the EU as of yet.. at the ferry end of things...the reefer cargo ships have been coming steadily and frequently to the Port of Dover over the past few days....
The Nederland Stream looking a little weatherbeaten as she departs the Port of Dover.
THE MEDIA DESCENDS ON DOVER....
Extra picture added immediately below of our Media friends as January gets underway... we continue to witness/enjoy the frenzy of reporting from Dover...Waiting below to send in their reports from the mini pier mid harbour Dover, are a team from TV station France 24. Brexit and its consequences are still fascinating the world it seems.... all round though Dover so far remains quiet.
In the space of one hour midday on New Years Eve we saw four, yes four, media teams in the immediate hundred yards. There were many more too just out of vision reporting from hither and thither, every Dover vantage point seemingly used. They all had the .. ermm 'original' idea of reporting from weary Dover on our final day with the European Union. Dover however was eerily quiet...everyone giving it a miss for fear of holdups. There were no holdups as nobody turned up! ... except the media...and of course they were all very welcome....
(That's ITV News in shot 2, not sure who that is in shot 3)
The Manor Endurance again... not the best quality this time but we couldn't resist the explosive sea...
The Manor Endurance in fine action approaching the Port of Dover.
Manor Endurance... an extra crop pic of this shot now added further below...
Manor Endurance...the windfarm support vessel, seen above approaching the Port of Dover recently, accompanied by some delightful wildlife... cormorants at a guess...
As mentioned... the picture below is a close up crop of the one above, detailing the birds a tad (cormorants !).
The good news continues on the local traffic front...the town of Dover is clear and functioning. Much relief to all.
For the non-functioning scenario see pix below.
MOTIS NEWS - BOXING DAY DOVER TRAFFIC UPDATE....
- The A20 & Manston Airport are now clear of vehicles.
- Still significant numbers of Vehicles on the M20
- The Ferries and Eurotunnel are running an optimised timetable to help remove the back log
- Covid testing continues on the M20 and also in the Buffer zone at Port of Dover
- Lydden Hill race circuit (CT4 6RX) is also available for Testing for Vehicles below 7.5 Tonnes only (no HGV's)
- No Negative Covid Test within the last 72 hours= No Travel
Certainly looking more positive there.....that will cheer us all up in Dover.
Many thanks to MOTIS
once again for the info...
...and a huge thanks to all those who are working hard to clear the backlog.
The Pride of Canterbury ferry heads to Calais early on Christmas Day...
Ferry heads for Calais in the early gloom of Christmas Day
The Port remained open and the ferries worked all through Christmas day to try and clear the backlog....
although having said that, this particular ferry doesn't look terribly packed...but it may just be the early light.
Motis News: Christmas Day latest....
The Traffic Situation in South East Kent is improving and definite progress is being made. However due to the sheer volume of Vehicles in the Backlog this will inevitably take some time to clear.
- A20 Main road through the Town of Dover is now Clear of traffic - This was a key point to resolving the issue as allows
Vehicles access to the port when they are released from Manston Airport / Operation Brock/Stack and traffic to be managed
- 800 Military Personnel were deployed last night to increase testing capability. This seems to have improved the situation.
- The Ferry Operators and Eurotunnel are running a robust timetable to deal with the back log (full credit to all for re-staffing on
Christmas day to clear the backlog).
- Whilst there is still some way to go, we believe that the process is now in a good position to manage the reduction of the
back log as quickly as possible.
- Note, No NEGATIVE Covid Test = No Travel, Please don't attempt travel to the port without one. Testing continues at
Manston Airport & on M20 (join queue at Junction 8).
- UK Government advises no vehicles to travel to Kent at the moment.
Many thanks to MOTIS for sending through the info above.
Dover on Christmas Eve below...
Port of Dover Traffic Surge :
The great lunge towards the Port gates above...yes you are seeing it right, illegally from both sides of the carriageway the vehicles push to move forward. The picture above was taken at 07.53 on Christmas Eve morning, amid horrendous gridlock all around the town and increasing desperation.
Since then the overall situation has improved somewhat with the authorities working hard to restore some order.
The BBC are estimating that we are up to more than 6,000 trucks now...so quite a backlog to clear....
and the Covid tests still apply.
Dover: Truck drivers abandon their vehicles to demonstrate at the Port gates amid the chaos....
Frustrated truck drivers march towards the Port entrance...as the weary wait goes on...
Latest: Port of Dover is re-opening slowly, but everyone travelling must have a valid Covid test. Mass testing has begun. Because of the testing it will take quite some time to clear the backlog...we now have up to 4,000 trucks waiting...waiting... Only EU nationals are allowed to travel we understand.
Port of Dover: France and other EU countries have closed their borders to the UK for 48 hours. This is due to the new Coronavirus variant sweeping the southeast UK. No trucks will leave Dover but the inward operation is still running....but the issue is whether trucks bringing supplies inwards will want to come for fear of being trapped in the UK. There have been calls for an extension to the Brexit deadline due to the ongoing chaos.
Overnighting below..... trucks laid up for the night.
Sleeping Trucks everywhere......at Dover:
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps naively said yesterday there were 170 trucks queuing at Dover. That of course was inaccurate spin, we can see that many from our window here, the BBC more accurately estimate 900 trucks queuing (latest estimation 1500, now 3000 and growing).... we have sympathy for all those drivers stuck.
See also the OPEN LETTER from Port of Dover CEO
Doug Bannister further down page...
Also the Port responds to funding shortfall....Note in particular paragraph 3 below re funding detail ....
PORT OF DOVER RESPONSE TO PORT INFRASTRUCTURE FUND ANNOUNCEMENT
Keeping the nation’s trade flowing should be a partnership effort. The Port of Dover has worked positively together with both UK and French partner agencies located in the port, to establish the requirements for maintaining a smooth flow rate of traffic through the port following Brexit under the special arrangements of the joint UK-France Le Touquet Treaty, which is an international agreement that governs the provision of juxtaposed border controls in Port of Dover.
Indeed, this work was presented to the UK Government a year ago, with the rationale for a specific project concerning the outbound border controls to be government funded. The port was encouraged to seek funding via the Port Infrastructure Fund to deliver it. This was based on the identified and agreed need for additional French passport control booths to compensate for slower transaction times and a reordering of controls within the port to enable any non-compliant traffic to have been detected before reaching the French control. It also catered for further EU immigration system changes in 2022.
The Government’s own border planning assumptions, as well as those of French counterparts, were predicated on that work and in good faith the port applied for £33 million of funding, but at the eleventh hour the Port has only been offered just one tenth of one per cent of what was needed. For the primary gateway handling unitised trade with the EU, to reach this conclusion so late in the piece undermines so much work by all parties in preparation for the end of the Transition Period.
The port wishes to reassure customers and our community that it will continue working hard to keep traffic flowing, having already shown its resilience by doing so throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic and more recently as businesses choose Dover in order to stockpile ahead of the end of the Transition Period. Dover will still provide the highest frequency, highest capacity and therefore ultimately the best supply chain resilience as the closest point to Britain's largest trading partner, but the lack of financial support will make a smoother transition more difficult. This should and still could be avoided as we continue to seek support from Government ......
but the clock is ticking.
THE DISNEY MAGIC STORY CONTINUES at the PORT OF DOVER.
The Disney Magic pictured above in the approaching gloom.
As you can see the weather was turning rough...the Disney Magic, a short time later, moved away from new pier WD4 above to a more secure footing on the eastern arm Port of Dover.
BORDER FORCE VIGILANT at the PORT OF DOVER
Border Force Vigilant returning to the Port of Dover through the mist.
The Border Force RIB following along behind towing a migrant dinghy....
The Spirit of France:
The picture above is actually one from the past, one from our own archives....yours truly was reminded of it when seeing it recently on Google. We're using it again today as the picture sums up the current weather situation quite well...ie very rough in the Channel..... but the ferries keep right on going...
Dover: Rising Sun dramatically encircling a ship early morning on the Dover Straits ...
Indian registered tanker Jag Lokesh waiting offshore recently for a crew change ...
Border Force Vigilant seen above returning to the Port of Dover in recent days...we believe the Border Force rib powering alongside contained some migrants as several incursions were reported on the day.
The Disney Magic resting tranquilly at new pier WD4 Port of Dover, the tranquility making a change from all the recent rough weather...while in the foreground the Harbour Patrol Boat meanders along keeping everything safe and secure... In the far distance you can just see the Vasco da Gama cruise ship heading for Portugal.
DISNEY at DOVER
The Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic
If you quietly wish upon a star, hoping for even more wondrous magic in Dover,
...well you might just end up with two Disney's....
OPEN LETTER FROM DOUG BANNISTER, CEO, PORT OF DOVER
Dover is the right choice for business and consumers now more than ever
The United Kingdom Major Ports Group (‘UKMPG’) has issued a ‘briefing paper’ intended to encourage businesses to transfer cargo away from the Short Straits, the UK’s most vital link to European markets.
The paper points out that the Short Straits, which includes ferry links between Dover and Calais, as well as the Channel Tunnel, has a 60% market share of ‘British-Continental EU trade’. The Short Straits has achieved this market share because it is the right choice for business. Indeed, the paper acknowledges that the routes businesses use today are the right ones and the reason businesses choose the Short Straits is simple; it offers the most time efficient, cost effective and resilient access to international markets, delivering an estimated £3 billion saving for British businesses and consumers compared to alternative routes.
Our own independent analysis (Oxera 2018) has previously suggested that it would cost around £2.7 billion to take just 20% of our existing traffic in order to pay for new ferries operating on longer and slower routes. Importantly, these new ferries do not exist today and need to be built. With shipyard capacities and construction lead times, delivering such a fleet of new ferries holds significant lead time.
The UKMPG paper suggests that other ports might have capacity to take up to 60% of Short Straits traffic now, but acknowledges that this requires both Government and trader support for this offer of ‘resilience’ to be possible. Exponentially, this suggests that the cost to businesses and ultimately the consumer could be up to around £8 billion.
For Port of Dover, when looking at the overall UK Trade Resilience we take a systemic view – across ports, vessels, capacities, frequencies, operating models and traffic management schemes. To focus only on port capacity is terribly one-dimensional.
The geographic advantage that Port of Dover holds with the UK’s largest trading partner means that a single vessel can complete up to five round voyages in a single day, making our ferries hugely productive assets. Further, our operating model delivers an average inbound dwell time at our port of just five minutes, providing unparalleled port efficiency.
Other operating models, for example containers and unaccompanied trailers may have inbound dwell times from several hours to even several days, adding inefficiency to the system-wide supply chains. For those routes with longer sea voyages, a single vessel may only make a single round voyage in a day – meaning to replicate the capacities and frequencies offered via Port of Dover would require five times as many vessels.
The UKMPG paper admits that a ‘short term’ constraint might be the availability of additional ferries to handle the trucks being encouraged to divert to other routes, whilst also citing wider capacity issues on the southern North Sea corridor.
The report is right to focus on resilience as we approach the end of the Transition Period, but what resilience do you have if you are sending traffic to ports where the ferries do not exist? Neither is that a quick fix. The market dynamic is important here. In fact, rather than investing in new ferries, operators at some of the alternative ports have actually been closing these longer routes with tonnage moving back to the short routes as that is what the market wants – Dover has of course kept going throughout the pandemic. This dynamic applies to the European side too, with the majority of freight vehicles choosing to route through northern France to Calais and Dunkirk as it is simply closest.
All EU-facing UK ports will be under the same rules – there will be a standard process and transaction applied everywhere. We know from examples elsewhere, such as ‘Operation Wellington’ on the Humber, which anticipates using parts of the M62 and M180 as holding areas for HGVs, that if there is disruption it will be everywhere. The report itself admits that there is already a risk of disruption at these alternative ports due to new systems for HGVs. Therefore, on top of this, sending more traffic to ports that do not even have the ferry capacity will make the situation far worse and create far less resilience for UK trade.
In contrast, the traffic management regimes for the Short Straits are tested and proven – in short, we know they work. For example, the recent national security operation that affected all ports with additional screening and searches left around 4,500 lorries in Operation Stack. When the security operation ended, Dover had cleared all queuing traffic and was back to normal operations within just 12 hours. Nowhere else could do that. It would take weeks with the current vessel capacities and frequencies available elsewhere. For UK trade resilience, supply chains must have the confidence in managing periods of disruption, and crucially recovery and restoration of normal flows as swiftly as possible – both areas in which Port of Dover has excellent credentials.
As we all navigate the massive economic difficulties caused by COVID, and the uncertainties as we approach the End of Transition, it is right to showcase the incredible efforts of the maritime sector, and the excellent ports that we have across the nation towards ensuring supply chains are robust and functioning well.
Come what may, we will keep working to keep the nation supplied with the essential goods people need at this difficult time and give all businesses wherever they are the benefits of Dover’s unrivalled service. This is what we do all day, every day.
Indeed, as the Maritime Minister said on a panel discussion with us only the other day regarding the national trade network; ‘you have to have goods and people moving around freely. So if you are to have parts moving quickly and efficiently across the Channel, and through Dover, and through the country, you have a much easier opportunity for companies that might exist in the Midlands or in the North to get involved in whatever that industry is.’
The report says that the UK has not always been reliant on the Short Straits, harking back to pre-Single Market days. Equally, the UK has not always been reliant on the internet and same day/next day/just-in-time deliveries, but it is now.
A vision that takes the UK backwards is not the vision of the future we want to see. We need one that backs consumers and businesses everywhere for the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. We feel that we should celebrate our impressive, modern and efficient supply chains across all ports and modes throughout the nation.
For Dover, we fully appreciate the essential role that we conduct for the nation, and will continue to take our responsibility with all of the due care and attention the British people would expect of us, which is why Dover will remain the clear market choice.
Doug Bannister, CEO Port of Dover.
Sea Pictures from DOVER ....
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Sea News, Dover
Found this further shot in the files re the Arcadia damage as mentioned yesterday...similar shot to Patrick's here..was focusing on the pilot boat not noticing the damage to Arcadia rear left, just above the pilot...but you can see it once again now..
Just to say in advance , the pictures below of 'dive boat' Eagle at pier WD4 (retrieving sunken gangway) are not the best quality. Yours truly tried to reduce the haze via computer, they were very hazy pictures, but instead of making it all better...well...
but anyway, here we are......
One of the huge cranes had come across from pier WD5. See also 6992 below for more detail...
Thanks for that info below Brian...
PaulBSaturday, 9 May 2020 - 05:56
brian dixon, dover
oceana departed at 1220 heading westward
Friday, 8 May 2020 - 14:00
Sea News, Dover
Arcadia didn't stay long on the Eastern Arm this time and within a few hours she was off again to the ocean waves at around 4.30pm ...
( 16.30 Wednesday)...and here she goes...
Patrick spotted the damage to the rear left of ship....see his post below...
will have a better look myself as have a few extra pictures in the system...
We mentioned yesterday about the emptiness of the Port at times...yours truly took the picture below of Oceana approaching in the blinding early light...but in a way the more interesting aspect is the foreground...no ships no vehicles. Although...be not alarmed, the trucks are still coming through and going out in good style...but all leisure traffic is gone and at times the Port looks.. well...empty ….you can see some parked truck-trailers in the foreground there but that's it.
Great post below from 'inshore correspondent' Mike...enjoyable pictures and lots of great info there...don't miss that ..6993.
Fab sun pictures Mike...
Great post too from Patrick just below that 6992...a great spot there Patrick re the damage to Arcadia...never twigged myself. I have some extra pix in the files will have a further look. Nice planes too. Great stuff Patrick!
Terrific clapping and bell ringing last evening on the seafront here once again, and indeed throughout the nation for the NHS and for Carers everywhere. Pots were banged, bells were rung, hands were raw with clip clap clapping...brilliant...
Oceana gave us lots of whistle blasts and rockets were fired from Western Heights overlooking the Port.
Well done too..to all those keeping the whole system working.
PaulBFriday, 8 May 2020 - 06:40
Mike J., Dover
Interesting post & photos from Patrick re the ARCADIA & her 'incident' the other day.
Patrick's photos confirm that there was minor damage which looks to have been painted over - obviously nothing too serious otherwise she would not have been permitted to sail.
She is currently anchored off Portland.
The photos of the 'lift' look to confirm the rumour that her gangway fell into the dock after her bows swung off the berth when her headlines parted.
The 'lift' looks like a slightly rumpled enclosed gangway.
These things happen - a good job that both tugs were available & not busy with ferries.
I don’t expect we’ll see a cruise-ship on WD4 again, too exposed.
The SEVERN SEA followed the SARAH GREY & VENTURE’s departure on Wednesday with their barges, sailing on Thursday afternoon for Falmouth.
A most interesting ship, with some excellent pix by Paul.
There are expected to be further sea defence works at Deal in the fairly near future, with stone brought in by the faithful LIAMARE.
A few more pix from Wednesday late afternoon, very low water for views of the HUNTER & Whitstable-based shellfish dredger WASH PILGRIM, thought to be part of the Cardium Shellfish fleet which have visited Dover in the past for work in the boatyard.
Wellington Dock gate with the swingbridge in the background.
An unusual phenomenon on Thursday could be seen above Dover & in the local area.
A halo around the sun caused by refraction of light thru ice crystals high in the atmosphere.
Individual patches of refracted light thru ice crystals are often called ‘Sun Dogs’ but a little unusual to see a full halo.
Friday, 8 May 2020 - 01:36
Following on from Paul's #6978 and Mike J's #6974 posts regarding the 'Arcadia' incident on WD4 - when it involuntarily parted company with it's berth (possibly with its gang plank still in place). Having then left on one of those regular P&O Cruise Liner 'trips' to Portland Lay-Up, it made a very brief trip back onto Dover's Eastern Arm before departing again the same day, again destined for Weymouth (Portland) with what appears to be slight damage on the aft port quarter just above the water line.
There were diving operations notified relating to WD4 shortly thereafter and today's rather hazy weather photos show one of the cargo terminal cranes involved in a 'lift' at the berth.
On a more cheerful note there was an aerial display yesterday over the channel and harbour. Was this a rehearsal for VE day?
Thursday, 7 May 2020 - 17:58
Sea News, Dover
HMS Severn of the Royal Navy was just off the Port here yesterday morning...conditions were very hazy but we managed to get a few pictures. She was hereabouts just as the P&O Cruise ship Oceana was returning and you can see the combination of the two below. Also returning at the same time...a traffic jam of cruise ships...was Arcadia...no real pictures of her this time but will have some more new shots later...
This one of HMS Severn below was taken a wee bit later.. looking east..Arcadia was back on the Eastern Arm by then and as mentioned before, yours truly just has that tiny window there to get a picture..as Arcadia blocks out the light from the East...!!
More media...another TV crew in the same spot as Simon Jones a couple of days ago...picture further below page...alas I don't know this particular chap this time... Obviously the Port is the story of the moment, will have a pic tomorrow, all being well, showing just how empty it is....
Great info and collection below from Mike...so don't miss all that...great stuff Mike!
Thanks again Vic...interesting info there about the Folkestone sign.
PaulBThursday, 7 May 2020 - 06:37
that sign on the wall of Folkestone is the one myself and mate welded on years ago still there so my welding must have been OK
and again great photos on this page as they will not put me back on the forum this the only one I can put anything on.Thursday, 7 May 2020 - 06:22
Mike J., Dover
OCEANA & ARCADIA returned to Dover on Wednesday morning & AURORA who was Portland anchorage in the company of QUEEN MARY 2 & fleetmate VENTURA but is expected to return to Dover due course.
Oddly enough at 0200 Thursday morning both the QM2 & VENTURA were at sea, passing each other SW of the Isle of Wight - more 'grey water cruises' ?
ARCADIA didn’t stay long in Dover & sailed for Portland at about 1600 leaving an empty-looking Eastern Docks.
KLAIPEDA is back on WD5 loading grain & PANDA is anchored off Rye awaiting a Dover berth
SARAH GREY & VENTURE [& presumably their barges] seem to have left Dover after a final rock dump at Jury’s Gap & at midnight Wednesday were south of Eastbourne showing no AID destination.
No sign of NEW ROSS 1,
Just off Eastbourne is old friend SOSPAN DAU, the DWDR dredger - post 5457.
PRIDE OF CANTERURY has now docked in Leith but PRIDE OF KENT remains ‘on the run’ although she roosts overnight in Calais.
SEVERN SEAS’s trip out sea on 25/4 [post 6961] was to recover a data buoy & her very brief call to Folkestone was presumably to drop off the buoy.
Here she is anchored off Copt Point & sailing from Folkestone with VIGILANT in the background.
She is now in the Tug Haven on DAVID CHURCH’s berth, the dredger being away in Hull for refit.
NEW ROSS 1 used to berth alongside her overnight.
Now that the stone job seems to be over I guess we’ll soon be saying farewell to this old veteran.
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY, laid up in Tilbury has been a very effective ‘billboard’ for COVID-19 with at least three messages having been displayed -
HAPPY 100TH CAPT TOM
CLAP FOR CARERS
For a good video of Tilbury’s Thursday NHS clapping with whistle blowing & a glimpse of the SPIRITOF DISCOVERY & one of her messages, cut & paste -
or put ‘http’ in front of –
Thursday, 7 May 2020 - 02:38
Sea News, Dover
Going back a few days now and above we see the arrival of Lady Rosebud...you can just see her there as she enters Port through the Eastern Entrance...a couple of shots rattled off in quick succession. She had a fast turnaround at the new cargo terminal and was gone again in a blink...they are fast over there... pictures from Sunday.
Getting Down to Business in the District to Tackle Coronavirus
Some of the districts biggest businesses are playing a key role in the nations effort to tackle coronavirus.
Pfizer at Discovery Park is playing its part in the global search for a vaccine against Covid-19. A team of Pfizer scientists in Sandwich are working on a compound first discovered during the SARS crisis in 2003.
Pfizer employs 700 scientists, technicians, regulatory professionals and business experts at Discovery Park in Sandwich with a number of functions critical to the delivery of the company's mid to late stage portfolio located at Discovery Park.
Meanwhile Dover-based, Priority Freight, who recently received a coveted Queens Award for Enterprise for International Trade, is currently one of the companies working hard to distribute personal protection equipment (PPE) in Britain and right across Europe from around the world.
Food packaging manufacturer, Sharpak, has responded to the national emergency by shifting one of its production lines to manufacture full face visors for the NHS, turning out up to 50,000 a day at its Aylesham factory for distribution to hospitals and care facilities across the country. Sharpak serve the UKs leading food manufacturers and supermarkets with bespoke packaging.
While the roads leading to Dover may be far quieter than usual, the Port of Dover and the ferry operators, DFDS and P&O Ferries have been working around the clock to keep trade flowing at this critical time.
Around 17% of the nations trade passes through Dover so its a vital piece of national infrastructure that supports the supply of food, medicines and other essential items to the UK and Ireland.
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, said: "The coronavirus national emergency is again demonstrating how the district plays a critical role in the nations economic health. From keeping the nation supplied with food, medicines and essential items through the Port of Dover, to the global search for potential new treatments by Pfizer at Discovery Park.
"Together with the many small businesses who have adapted to carry on providing essential services to local residents, I'd like to thank the business community for its magnificent response."
Thanks to Dover District Council for the above...
Now....An extra shot of the exciting pipe layer featured yesterday...
yes Its Solitaire again in a slightly experimental picture.
Elvis has left the Building: its very strange to be without all three mighty P&O Cruise Liners...
….one feels bare and naked ...one does!
Yes they have all vacated the Port...perhaps on more 'grey water' expeditions...
UPDATE:two of the Cruise Ships are approaching/returning...Oceana and ArcadiaWednesday, 6 May 2020 - 06:39
Sea News, Dover
This huge ship called Solitaire, which I understand to be a pipe laying vessel and indeed one of the worlds biggest ships in this field...is pictured here going down the Channel on Sunday...more info in a moment... yes here we are... grateful to Wikipedia...
Solitaire is a large self propelled deep sea pipe laying ship. It was at the time of construction the world's largest pipe-laying ship at 300 metres (984 ft) long (excluding pipe-laying apparatus) and 96,000 tonnes (94,000 long tons; 106,000 short tons). When fully operational she has a crew of 420, a pipe carrying capacity of 22,000 tonnes and a pipe lay speed of more than 9 km a day.
It was built in 1972 as a bulk carrier and launched under the name Trentwood by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at their shipyard in Hiroshima, Japan, and later converted to a pipe-laying vessel between 1996 and 1998 at Swan Hunter Shipyard on Tyneside in England. The ship is owned by the Allseas Group, a Dutch pipelaying and marine construction firm with their headquarters in Switzerland.
Ask not for whom the bell (bottom left) tolls … it tolls for thee...
The main camera conked out yet again at this point, so using the little camera below once more......at the same time, as Solitaire passed, Sarah Grey and New Ross 1 were off with a new set of rocks for the sea defences further down the coast.
And a couple more from earlier in the procedure...taken just as the convoy moved away from 'grain pier' WD4
Ah yes Jeremy I remember you well...hope you are enjoying life up there in Lincolnshire. Glad you are still looking in and enjoying all the comings and goings here in Dover. Thanks for that info about Arcadia.
PaulBTuesday, 5 May 2020 - 06:06
Jeremy Ward, Holton-Le-Clay, Lincolnshire(formerly of Dove
I noticed today on AIS that Arcadia is heading to Portland for your info. Still enjoy reading posts on here even though I don't live in Dover anymore.Monday, 4 May 2020 - 09:47
Sea News, Dover
Let’s look forward with hope
Dear Mr Boland,
The lockdown looks set to start to ease a little over the coming weeks but we must remain vigilant – as the risk from the virus remains very real.
Each of us will have the things we are looking forward to doing again. Catching up with neighbours and friends over a cup of tea instead of a chance meeting two metres away on the country walk may be a little while off. But with many taking the opportunity of being at home to catch up on some spring cleaning, painting, gardening or doing up the kitchen, the store openings of the likes of B&Q and garden centres will be welcome. I am looking forward to our churches and local businesses being re-opened as soon as it is safe to do so.
A consequence of being at home more is increased rubbish. For some households it is really building up. I have been calling on Kent County Council to reopen the main recycling centres as soon as possible.
In our area we are good at using recycling facilities to avoid landfill. I want us to carry on being a beacon of recycling – which will be such an important part of meeting the climate challenge. I have also asked the County Council to consider re-use facilities at waste sites, allowing people to look at and take away cabinets and similar goods that are in good condition but simply unloved furniture now.
Schools have started again, using remote learning. Parliament also returned this week in a ‘hybrid’ chamber, with remote working including some MPs taking part on large screens using meeting conference facility ‘Zoom’, meaning a rich array of floral curtains, abstract paintings and bookshelves to complement Parliament’s historic architecture.
While Parliament itself has terms like schools for the passing of legislation and debates, the work of an MP is throughout the year. This last week has been somewhat dominated by the fight for the Port and ferry companies. With passenger and cruise businesses completely closed and freight activities reduced, it is very tough indeed for the port industry on which thousands of local jobs rely. That’s why I have been holding talks with unions and P&O, as well as making the case to transport ministers and the Chancellor for support for these vital industries. The short sea route between France and Dover is a critical one, responsible for around one sixth of the entire trade of the nation.
Me and my team are still working from dawn to dusk, receiving unprecedented levels of requests for help. I am pleased to report many successes helping local businesses and organisations access government grants and other support, and helping get people home from overseas and supporting people to access to furlough and benefit schemes.
This is an incredibly difficult time, but together we will get through it. If you think me and my team can help you, please do get in touch.
Natalie Elphicke MP for DOVER and DEAL
Many thanks to Natalie for the above ...some interesting sections on the Port/P&O there...
Some pictures now of a returning Oceana a couple of days ago. She was out on one of her famed 'grey water' runs in the Channel and we caught her returning. The first shot shows how difficult it is to get the approach shot now from the 'observation tower'...as we now have the giant Arcadia blocking our vision to the east, except for one tiny slot...we found that tiny slot for the first shot....
and with the two tugs...Dauntless and Doughty...
Update: Arcadia now gone from the Eastern Arm..vanished overnight!
Thanks Del glad you enjoyed the stunning rainbows...some of the best ever here in Dover..
Yes Brian dem Leprechauns beat me to it...grrrrr thwarted once again. Will keep my shovel at the ready though just in case there's further opportunity...
Lol!! Patrick that made me laugh out loud... as Del said ..stunning pictures there, well done with those. Cracking stuff...!!
Monday, 4 May 2020 - 06:11
Del Styan, Norwich
Rainbow pics - stunning!
Sunday, 3 May 2020 - 23:12
Patrick, Marine Parade
Squall and rattling rafters one day; thunder and lightning the next. The 'Observation Tower' certainly sees it all up there.
Here is one that Paul could not take - right on the button. We'll send the bucket round for the 'gold'.
This one completely blanked out the Western Docks Traffic Lights
Sunday, 3 May 2020 - 17:16
brian dixon, dover (email@example.com)
it looks like that those pesky little red haired little men got there first paul. lol
Sunday, 3 May 2020 - 12:59
Sea News, Dover
Mayday Mayday...some fierce squalls one minute, the next minute the most spectacular rainbows yours truly has ever seen over the Port of Dover...the camera cant/wont do them justice but we've given it a go. The weather was bonkers but spectacular that day. Pictures taken May 1st at 19.45 and on for a few minutes after...
Following picture two...where the rainbow base hit right on the little beach, right here in front of the 'Observation Tower'.., yours truly set out with shovel and was digging for hours looking for the buried treasure... never found anything... cant understand it...must have missed it...
During the Arcadia incident or soon after...I noticed one of our old friends going down the channel. Its the Lombok Strait. She used to be a regular here until Geest moved back to Portsmouth...she was heading for Portsmouth.
Terrific all-round info in the post below there from Mike so don't miss all that...
Del yes indeed.
Rainbows for the NHS.Sunday, 3 May 2020 - 06:36
Mike J., Dover
Nice sequence from Paul of ARCADIA's little problem after some of her forward mooring ropes parted in in a squall & her bows swung out from the quay.
Fortunately both tugs were available & were soon on the scene getting her under control & easing her across to CT2 & holding her there before she made her way, under her own power, sternfirst to the Eastern Arm in totally different weather.
Looking closely at Paul's pix I was surprised not to see any signs of ARCADIA using her bow thrust, but perhaps it takes some time to get it operational [or maybe I just couldn't see it].
Paul referred to the 'Police Launch' which is the DIRECTOR, the predecessor of the DOVORIAN.
Both look superficially similar at a distance, but the DOVORIAN has two lines of text & her wheeLhouse front window 'leans forward' whilst the DIRECTOR has a single line of text which now reads POLICE PATROL & the windows 'lean backward'
Posts 786 & 789 show both patrol vessels as well as a less-than-succesful former RNLI lifeboat converted for the Kent Police who also had their own jet-ski !
At one time DHB Police had their own RIB, DELTA 99 [post 162] but I've not seen it for a few years, possibly sunk by budget cuts.
As to Del's comment in post 6977 about the use of the Firth of Forth for laying up ships I'm sure that Paul is right when he mentions good shelter & holding ground - many disused oil rigs are moored on the Scots east coast due to superior shelter [& handy for the North Sea fields of course], particularly in Cromarty Firth [Invergordon] & off Aberdeen [look at AIS & Google Earth] & there is at least one rig,the OCEAN GREAT WHITE on the northern side of the Firth of Forth.
The CANTERBURY is now anchored near the Olsen fleet.
The Olsens will of course have a minimum crew aboard so that the ships can be moved if necessary, known as a 'hot' lay-up.
However I hear a rumour that the BURGUNDY & CANTERBURY will be in 'cold' lay-up, with effectively everything shut down which means that they will need to be in port.
They may take shore power if available.
The BURGUNDY is already moored in Leith, just by the entrance lock, & I'm sure that the CANTERBURY will come into the port soon.
Maybe there will be a very small skeleton crew of 'watchmen' keeping an eye on both ships & doing routine maintenance.
The choice of Leith may be because there are no other berths available, there are, for example, six cruise ships already at Tilbury, plus of course the EUROPEAN SEAWAY.
The KENT was in service on Saturday with the SPIRITs, but seems to be spending Saturday night in Calais, the usual Saturday freight rush being over.
Sunday, 3 May 2020 - 03:15
Del Styan, Norwich
Blimey - tough times for the Arcadia, you must be having a gusty time down there.
Saturday, 2 May 2020 - 23:25
Sea News, Dover
That's the moment above there when the giant Arcadia broke away from the pier WD4 and drifted. The conditions were appalling at the time. A very fierce squall was powering through. It rattled the rafters in the observation tower and bashed the beams...but with resilience extraordinaire
yours truly managed to get a window open for the first picture above...after that the weather relaxed a bit.
First on the scene was...of all things...the Police launch. Soon after... the tugs arrived, you can see one tug on the scene in the pic below and another one approaching over the way. The rain and wind had eased by then...the rest of the pictures are self-explanatory...
Eventually the tugs got hold of the situation in pic below and forced the ship against the wind and over to Cruise Terminal Two where they pinned it there for a considerable time.
You can see Mike's pictures below ( 6974 ) where they eventually moved Arcadia over to the Eastern Arm for relative safety...
...being there of course blocks yours truly's camera view of approaching ships ( the size of it!! )...but I suppose on the grand scale of things I will let them away with that one,,,
Del not sure why Leith....Mike will know more. Presumably it has natural protection and relatively low cost in these hard times..
Thanks for that info Mike..Extraordinary times to see the P&O ferries pulling away from service...extraordinary..
PaulBSaturday, 2 May 2020 - 06:08
Del Styan, Norwich
Forgive my ignorance, but why do the ferries who are resting lay up in Leith? I went there just a few days before the current situation, but can't think of any reason why the ferries should go there. Do they have special facilities of some sort?
Friday, 1 May 2020 - 23:12