Meetings 2024

Here is a list of meeting so far arranged for 2024:

January 11th   ‘A Doctor at Sea’ TASC Member  Dr Chris Hargreaves

February 8th “Making of the Atom Bomb” Malcolm Byrne

March 14th “The Development of Sunderland Harbour” Stuart Miller

April 11th (Subject to be confirmed) Bernard Hope  This will be followed by a short General Meeting.

May 9th Today we shall start proceedings at 12.30 p,m. When we shall have a short celebratory lunch Buffet As this month  sees the Clubs Golden Junilee, it started in May 1974.  The lunch will be free to all members ( Only.)  This will be followed by a talk given by John Gibson  on the  “Graf Spee”

June 13th (Subject to be confirmed ) Derek Potter

July 11th (To Be Arranged)

August 8th (To Be Arranged)

October 10th  (To Be Arranged)

November 14 (To Be Arranged)

Meetings

Our first meeting back was held on the 9th March 2023.  This was successful with 25 members attending. Many thanks to our treasurer Phil Work, who  gave a most interesting talk with a super collection of slides of Clyde Steamers. The next meeting will be our AGM, on the 13th April 2023 at 2 pm, we hope to have as many members as possible to get the club back on track.  Our Member Tom Purvis will also be giving a talk entitled Life of Wellington with Tom’s usual twist!.

We are looking for Speakers, so if you have any ideas please put them forward.

The Carbon Footprint of Shipping

We currently have COP26 in progress:

It is interesting to see activity in the world of shipping seeking ways in which to reduce its contribution to greenhouse gasses.  One significant area of interest is the harnessing of wind.  This is not surprising, when we consider not too many years ago wind propulsion of ships was the norm. A company I worked with for over twenty years Andrew Weir & Co. Ltd., started its impressive shipping business with the purchase in December 1885 of a second-hand sailing ship the “Willowbank”, it went on to expand its sailing ship fleet to become the largest fleet sailing under the Red Ensign. Of course, Andrew Weir subsequently replaced these with modern steamships and then these, with a modern fleet of motor ships.  An excellent book telling the story of Andrew Weir and his company is the book written by a friend and former colleague Captain Alistair Macnab under the title “The Shipping Wizard of Kirkcaldy –Andrew Weir’s Bank Line”.   A good read.  However, getting back to sail; a number of companies are presently engaged in the design and building of cargo ships using the power of the wind, of course, they will utilize modern materials and up-to-the minute technology.

Jorne Langelaan, who lives in Holland, is a modern day sailor Founder & CEO EcoClipper – Co-founder Fairtransport. He and two of his friends the “Tres Hombres” started the company and named their first Brigantine aptly “Tres Hombres”

The Brigantine “TRES HOMBRES”

ECOClipper is planned to create a modern fleet of Eco-friendly sailing vessels concentrating on cargoes suiting small producers export their products around the world, such as coffee, tea, spices, and barrels of rum etc.,  It is designed to carry 500 tonnes of cargo.

ECOCLIPPER SHIP. The proto type:

The ship will be a steel replica of the Dutch clipper ship, Noach. Originally built in 1857 in Kinderdijk. Noach has been called the fastest Dutch sailing vessel ever! The EcoClipper prototype500 will be the first of a fleet of fast, traditionally built, emission-free cargo packet ships. A packet ship carries cargo and passengers on a regular schedule.

She will sail the deep sea routes: transatlantic, trans-pacific, across Asia (eastern route) and globally. She will have three square-rigged masts, with a total sail area of 976 m2. This state-of-the-art sailing vessel will be an exemplar of ultimate sustainability and seaworthiness.

“ECOCLIPPER”

For more about the ECCOCLIPPER project, see videos and to keep up to date with the project click the link below:

EcoClipper

-oooOooo-

“OCEANBIRD”

Wallenius and Alfa Laval

On a larger scale, two Swedish companies with sustainability on top of the agenda, will join forces: With the goal to achieve truly sustainable shipping.

“Combining our strengths, we will be able to radically reduce the marine industry’s carbon footprint and overall emissions – We are pushing forward to find solutions for a sustainable way to pass freight over the oceans – We want to be part of a solution and inspire others to do the same. It’s the beginning of a new era, for us and global transportation.”

“OCEANBIRD”

Across the Atlantic in under two weeks

The 200 metre long and 40 meters wide cargo vessel will be able to cross the Atlantic in 12 days. The wing sails are all of 80 metres tall, giving the ship a height above water line of appr. 105 metres, but thanks to a telescopic construction they can be lowered, resulting in a vessel height above water line of appr. 45 metres.

   7,000 cars can be carried in the cargo hold

              90% lower emissions than a vessel with a diesel engine

                       5 rigs with 80 metres tall wing sails for forward propulsion

                                   12 days to cross the Atlantic with the wind as energy source

To watch a video of this project and to catch up with news  please click the link below:

Oceanbird (theoceanbird.com)

Finally, a new development from the famous tyre manufacturing company Michelin.

THE WISAMO PROJECT, AN INNOVATIVE SOLUTION TO HELP DECARBONIZE MARITIME SHIPPING.

The Wing Sail Mobility (WISAMO) project is an automated, telescopic, inflatable wing sail system that can be fitted on both merchant ships and pleasure craft. The system is the product of a collaborative venture between Michelin Research & Development and two Swiss inventors who share the Group’s “all-sustainable” vision.

The inflatable wing sail harnesses the wind, a free, universal and inexhaustible source of propulsion. Its revolutionary design enables a ship to reduce its fuel consumption and thereby have a positive impact on the environment by lowering CO2 emissions.

Designed and developed by the WISAMO project team, the system is installable on most merchant ships and pleasure craft. Especially suitable for ro-ro ships, bulk carriers and oil and gas tankers, it can be fitted as original equipment on newbuilds or retrofitted on in-service vessels.

The wing’s range of use is one of the market’s broadest, with proven effectiveness on many points of sail, and especially when close-hauled (windward). It can be used on every maritime shipping route. The telescopic mast is retractable, making it easy for a ship to enter harbors and pass under bridges. In all, the system can improve a ship’s fuel efficiency by up to 20%*.

A collaboration with Michel Desjoyaux, a world-renowned skipper and ambassador of the project, enables Michelin’s research teams to perfect its development. His input and technical knowledge of this seasoned sailor will enable it to be tested in actual maritime shipping conditions. As Desjoyeaux points out, “the advantage of wind propulsion is that wind energy is clean, free, universal and totally non-controversial. It offers a very promising avenue to improving the environmental impact of merchant ships.”

The WISAMO system will first be fitted on a merchant ship in 2022, when Michelin expects it to go into production following completion of the trial phase.

The WISAMO project is Michelin’s contribution to enabling greener, softer maritime mobility in advance of future regulations. Michelin is also taking action to reduce the environmental impact of its supply chain. In addition to this commitment, and in line with its strategic plan, the Group is basing a portion of its growth on the development of new businesses.

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Port of Tyne to host Dogger Bank operations hub

Port of Tyne to host Dogger Bank operations hub

Equinor and SSE Renewables have chosen the Port of Tyne in north east England as the site for the operations and maintenance (O&M) hub serving the 3600MW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm.

Equinor is constructing the facility. The joint venture partner will operate the wind farm for its expected lifetime of more than 25 years and will base its O&M teams at the centre.

The multi-million pound site will includes both office space and a warehouse.

Dogger bank is being built in three 1.2GW phases, with the first expected to starting producing electricity in 2023.

The project is expected to generate over 200 direct jobs in the region, as well as opportunities for companies at all levels of the supply chain.

Dogger Bank will require a total capital investment of approximately £9bn between 2020 and 2026.

Construction of the wind farm, led by SSE Renewables, began in January 2020.

Secretary of State for Business Alok Sharma said: “This new facility is fantastic news for Tyneside and the North East of England. Renewable energy is one of the UK’s great success stories, providing over a third of our electricity and thousands of jobs.

“Projects like Dogger Bank will be a key part of ensuring a green and resilient economic recovery as well as reaching our target of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Equinor North Sea new energy solutions senior vice president Stephen Bull said: “The UK government has legislated to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

“Major scale renewable energy projects like Dogger Bank ensures Britain’s leadership as the #1 offshore wind nation. Moreover, the project brings new investment to the UK, at a challenging time for us all, and secures over 200 jobs in the region as well as new opportunities in a future-fit growth sector.

“The North East has a strong industrial heritage and a supply area that stretches north and south of the River Tyne. With a strong low-carbon vision for the future; as well as targets to become net zero in its own operations by 2030 the Port of Tyne is clearly well set up to attract future investments which we hope will complement our activities.

“We are extremely proud that our skilled teams will operate the world’s largest offshore wind farm from here and look forward to becoming part of the community, and strengthening our low-carbon commitment to the North East.”

SSE Renewables director of capital projects Paul Cooley said: “The announcement today cements SSE Renewables’ and Equinor’s commitment to developing long term jobs and economic benefit in the UK and we are very pleased to welcome the Port of Tyne to the project.

“The O&M base will bring significant socio-economic benefits to the local area during construction and throughout the projects lifetime, as we have seen on our previous offshore wind projects including Beatrice.

“Dogger Bank will help drive the transition to a net zero future and we are continuing our work to construct the largest offshore wind farm in the world safely.”

The Port of Tyne recently launched its ‘Tyne 2050’ plan with a vision to become one of the most environmentally sustainable ports in the UK by 2030.

Offshore wind is a “key component” of the strategy.

The main recruitment activity for the O&M facility will begin in early 2022 and ramp up as the project nears operation, with the first phase due to begin producing electricity in 2023.

RenewableUK deputy chief executive Melanie Onn said: “This is a great example of how our member companies in the offshore wind sector are investing billions of pounds in developing vital new energy infrastructure all around the UK.

“Offshore wind is creating new opportunities and employment in port towns and coastal communities throughout the country.

“As we look to the future, renewables offer us a way to rebuild our economy after the coronavirus pandemic, not just by developing projects here but by exporting our valuable expertise around the world. We can consolidate our global lead in offshore wind and in developing innovative technologies like floating wind, marine power and renewable hydrogen, as well as restarting the development of new onshore wind projects.”

reNEWS BIZ

Don’t Panic- Write A Report

The following report from a ship’s Master is reproduced here by kind permission of the anonymous author who appears to be gifted with remarkable ‘sang froid’

It is with regret and haste that I write this letter to you, regret that such a small misunderstanding could lead to the following circumstances, and haste in order that you will get this report before you form your own preconceived opinions from reports in the world press, for I am sure they will tend to over-dramatise the affair.

We had just picked up the pilot and the apprentice had returned from changing the ‘G’ flag for the ‘H’ and,it being his first trip, was having difficulty in rolling the ‘G’ flag up, I therefore proceeded to show him how. Coming to the last part, I told him to let go. The lad, although willing is not too bright, necessitating my having to repeat the order in a sharper tone.

At this moment the Chief Officer appeared from the chart room, having been plotting the vessel’s progress and, thinking that it was the anchors that were being referred to, repeated the ‘let go’  to the Third Officer on the forecastle. The port anchor, having been cleared away but not walked out, was promptly let go. The effect of letting the anchor drop from the ‘pipe’ while the vessel was proceeding at full harbour speed proved too much for the windlass brake, and the entire length of the port cable was ‘pulled out by the roots’  I fear that damage to the chain locker may be extensive . The braking effect of the port anchor naturally caused the vessel to sheer in that direction, right towards the swing bridge that spans a tributary to the river up which we were proceeding.

The swing bridge operator showed great presence of mind by opening the bridge for my vessel. Unfortunately, he did not think to stop  vehicular traffic , the result  being that the bridge partly opened and deposited a ‘Volkswagen’, two cyclists and a cattle truck on the foredeck. My ship’s company are at present rounding up the contents of the latter, which from the noise  I would say were pigs. In his efforts to stop the progress of the vessel, the Third Officer dropped the starboard anchor, too late to be of practical use for it fell on the swing bridge operators control cabin.

After the port anchor was let go and the vessel started to sheer. I gave a double ring Full Astern on the Engine Room Telegraph and personally rang the Engine Room to order maximum astern revolutions. I was informed that the sea temperature was 53+ and asked if there was a film tonight : my reply would not add constructively to this report.

Up to now I have confined my report to the activities at the forward  end of the vessel. Down aft they were having their own problems.

At the moment the port anchor was let go, the Second Officer was supervising the making fast of the after tug and was lowering the ship’s towing spring down onto the tug.

The sudden braking effect on the port anchor caused the tug to ‘run under’ the stern of my vessel, just at the moment when the propeller was answering my double ring ‘Full Astern’ . The prompt action of the Second Officer in securing the inboard end of the towing spring delayed the sinking of the tug by some minutes, thereby allowing the safe abandoning of the of that vessel.

It is strange, but at the very same moment of letting go the port anchor, there was a power cut ashore, the fact that we were passing over a ‘cable’ area at the time might suggest that we may have touched something on the river bed. It is perhaps lucky that the high-tension cables brought down by the foremast  were not live, possibly being replaced by the underwater cable, but owing to the shore black-out , it is impossible to say when the pylon fell.

It never fails to amaze me , the actions and behaviours of foreigners during moments of minor crisis. The pilot for instances at this moment is huddled in the corner of my day cabin, alternately crooning to himself and crying after having consumed a bottle of gin in a time that is worthy of inclusion in the Guiness Book of Records. The tug captain on the other hand, reacted violently and had to forcibly be restrained by the Steward, who has him handcuffed in the ship’s hospital, where he is telling me do impossible things with my ship and my crew.

I enclose the names and addresses of the drivers and insurance companies of the vehicles on my foredeck, which the Third Officer collected after his somewhat hurried evacuation of the forecastle . These particulars will enable you to claim for the damage that they did to the railings of No.1 hold.

I am closing this preliminary report , for I am finding it difficult to concentrate with the sound of police sirens  and their flashing lights.

It is sad to think that had the apprentice realised that there is no need to fly pilot flags after dark, none of this would have happened.

For weekly accountability Report I will assign the following :

Casualty Numbers TE 750101 to TE 750199

Yours Truly,

Master.

Christmas Party 2018

Christmas Party 2018 

We are pleased to give details of this year’s Christmas Party: It will be held on the 13th December at the Little Haven Hotel, South Shields starting at 1830 hours.  The cost is £17.00 per head and includes a three course dinner and entertainment  provided by the well-known Beacon Band.   It is now our once-per-year Big Get-together –  with Members and their wives/guests Let’s see if we can really swell the numbers this year! – I am looking forward to it!  Please pay Phil Work at the November  Club night and indicate your menu choices for the meals.

Keith Atkinson

Chairman

 

The Expansion of the Panama Canal

The Expansion of the Panama Canal

(Opened June 2016)

A brief background

The Panama Canal will be very familiar to many of our Club Members and of course our website followers. The 48 mile (77 km) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. There are locks at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 85 feet (26 metres) above sea level. The current locks are 110 feet (33.5 metres wide. A third wider lane was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016 and is due to open in June 2016

France began work on the canal in 1881 but stopped due to engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate. The United States took over the project in 1904, and opened the canal on August 15, 1914. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the Panama Canal shortcut greatly reduced the time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy, hazardous Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America  via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan

Increased capacity

Scale comparison of Panamax and New Panamax specifications. [Diagram by Julia Gold and the authors] – Places

The Panama Canal Expansion is the largest project at the Canal since its original construction. The project will create a new lane of traffic along the Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, doubling the waterway’s capacity. The existing locks allow the passage of vessels that can carry up to 5,000 TEUs. After the expansion the Post-Panamax vessels will be able to transit through the Canal, with up to 13,000/14,000 TEUs. The Expansion will double the Canal’s capacity, having a direct impact on economies of scale and international maritime trade.
The Programme consists of several components:

  • New Locks (Third Set of Locks)
    • Pacific Access Channel
    • Improvement of Navigational Channels (Dredging)
    • Improvements to Water Supply
    The Panama Canal expansion is based on six years of research, which included more than 100 studies on the economic feasibility, market demand, environmental impact and other technical engineering aspects. Works on the Panama Canal Expansion began on September 2007 at a total cost of US$5.2 billion.