Monday 21st March 2016

ems LAAR arrives at Bideford Quay.

rms LAAR has arrived at BIDEFORD QUAY and was all fast at 0440 hrs.

She had sailed from ROCHEFORT, FRANCE in the Bay Of Biscay where she had landed her cargo of Swedish timber. The passage was slowed by strong North Easterly winds which slowed the ship to under 3 knots off the north coast of France for some five hours, and entailing an alteration in course.

She will commence loading Ball Clay for Finland (NAANTALI) on Tuesday. It should take one day to load 1,800 tonnes.

Her sailing draft will be about 3.9 or 4 metres. her arrival draft was 2.6 metres. Weather conditions were calm sea with a bright moon and cold conditions.

Her Master is Polish, with  Russian and Ukrainian  and a Cape Verde Island crew. The working language is English, with some Russian, Ukrainian and Cape Verde mixed in as well says her Master.

The ship has a fully enclosed bridge for operation in cold climates, with many lit screens of various sorts compromising visibility especially for piloting, somewhat, as is the modern style. She spends much of her time sailing to and from the Baltic, and is designed for the locks and lake operation in the Baltic. At 31 years of age the Captain reports that she has been well built and well maintained with some bottom plate renewal and is equivqalent to a ship of just 8 years old.

The ship steered exceptionally well with 10 degrees of helm bringing a swift course change even at slow speed. She steered with no engine movements from the Torridge bridge to the quay without any trouble.

She swung easily with her right handed propellor going astern, her 40 degree rudder and an efficient bow thruster helping the ship alongside.

The Captain is looking forward to a couple of days rest before his relatively long voyage to the Baltic vis the KIEL Canal. The crew for the night was Thom Flaxman as coxswain and keith Stevens as crew. R.hoad was Pilot.