Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Clyde River Pilots at Work

This evening was an opportunity to witness first hand one of the Clyde Pilots at work.

We start funnily enough at the final destination to park the cars ready for when we berth the ship.

Then a taxi ride to the small boat harbour at the end of Greenock Esplanade.

The pilot cutter awaits our arrival with engines running and after completing the necessary paperwork we quickly embark.

Then it's out to meet the Spanish registered 'Medal' and board her via the rope ladder. Thankfully the weather is kind today and all goes to plan.

After introductions to the ship's captain the Pilot takes command of the vessel as we head for No 1 buoy and enter the channel.

We meet a number of ships that are outbound as we progress up towards Renfrew where the cargo of scrap waits to be loaded.

As we arrive at Renfrew the small tug 'Biter' greets us and is available for assistance as necessary.

The dock at Christie's scrapyard is very tight and it's a 90 degree turn to line up for entry.

The necessary manoeuvres are carried out in a slick manner and we enter the dock with ease.

Ropes are made fast and the gangway is attached to allow us to disembark after exchanging goodbyes with the captain and crew.

A thoroughly enjoyable experience and I feel privileged to have witness the process from start to finish.

Departing the Small Boat Harbour in Greenock

Heading out to Meet the 'Medal'

Happy in my Work

Closing in on the 'Medal'

Passing Victoria Harbour

'Neptune' Outward Bound

Approaching 'Garvel Bend'

Port Glasgow Coming Up

'Aasvik' Passes US in the Channel

Leaving Port Glasgow in Our Wake

The Sharp End

Concentration Required

Dunglass Light

Passing Erskine

Modern Ship's Bridge

Passing Clydebank


Bridge Instruments

Rothesay Dock

Tug - Biter

Almost Safely Berthed

Berthing at Lobnitz

More images are available at - www.dougie-coull-photography.co.uk - better resolution and options to licence.