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Oil Rig in Firth of Forth

The rig has been off Kirkcaldy for about a week now. I can’t find out anything about it on the net beyond its presence.

Does anybody know if there’s an oil rig location website similar to ais.com, which is for ships?

Grasmere and Windermere, Cumbria

You could be forgiven for thinking I had gone to the Lake District and not visited any lakes, but of course I did.

En route to Cockermouth we passed Bassenthwaite Lake which is large but flat looking if you know what I mean.

We passed Thirlmere, a pretty enough lake but nothing spectacular, in order to visit Grasmere, lake and village, where we sampled the “famous Grasmere gingerbread.”

We also climbed up to Allan Bank, a house which William Wordsworth once rented.

Allan Bank, Grasmere

From the left hand side of the house as seen above I took three photos of the lake and village, stitched into the one below.

Grasmere

The lake itself is little more than a puddle but the village is a delightful wee place.

Then onwards, up and over from the A591 to the A592 a very steep ascent giving me the opportunity to photograph Lake Windermere. Again a stitch (of two this time.)

Lake Windermere

We then kept on up the A592 travelling almost the full length of Ullswater – which is impressive, if not quite as magnificent as most Scottish fresh-water lochs. Particularly appealing were the tourist pleasure boats plying the lake, reminding me of the Loch Lomond of my youth and a trip to Loch Katrine about 12 years ago. It was raining by that time though and we didn’t stop. Perhaps next time.

Island Enforcer

This is the Island Enforcer, moored off Kirkcaldy for a few days at the end of October. On the shipping websites she is described as an offshore construction vessel. She is not quite as Swiss Army Knife in looks as the Solitaire or Audacia of fond memory but still has some weird sticky out bits.

The first description I found of her was as a diving ship and I thought, “Isn’t that a submarine?” but she has been redesigned for offshore work.

Island Enforcer

More images of her can be found here.

M S Rotterdam and M S Troms Capella

Two more ships and an old favourite.

This is the cruise ship M S Rotterdam heading out of the River Forth last week en route to Invergordon! Apparently 100,000 cruise passengers dock at Invergordon every year, which is somewhat baffling. One of my work colleagues comes from Invergordon (as often as possible.)

M S Rotterdam in the Firth of Forth

This is the Rotterdam in the Netherlands six years ago (photo from Wikipedia.)

M S Rotterdam

Just off Dysart is the rather rakish from of the cargo ship M S Troms Capella. She’s been hanging around for well over a week.

M S Troms Capella

Here’s our old friend Solitaire from the same vantage point above Dysart harbour that I photographed the Troms Capella.

SS Solitaire from Dysart

Behind her stern that’s North Berwick Law on the opposite shore.

Solitaire: Not The Only Game In Town

You wait all your life to see one pipe-laying ship… and then two appear at once.

Solitaire has been joined by the Audacia. This was the pair of them yesterday afternoon.

Audacia and Solitaire

Here is the Solitaire foreshortened.

Close up of Foreshortened Solitaire

And the Audacia aftshortened. (You can just see the Bass Rock in the background to the right.)

Audacia in close.

By this morning, when conditions were much hazier, they had swung around.

Audacia and Solitaire

Here’s a close-up of Audacia from today.

Audacia

The link to the Audacia above has a cracking picture of her as well as a couple of promo videos!

Swiss Army Knife Ship

One of the interesting aspects of living in Kirkcaldy is the ever changing view out to sea. There are usually quite a few ships either at anchor or moving up and down the Forth.

For the last week one in particular has been prominent. Here it was along with another about a week ago.

Ships off Kirkcaldy

As you can see the one on the left has a peculiar shape. The good lady remarked that it was the shipping equivalent of a Swiss Army knife what with all the bits hanging off it.

Here is a crop of the above.

Solitaire A Swiss Army Knife Ship

The ship is still hanging around and I finally looked it up on a shipping movement website. It turns out it’s the Solitaire, the largest pipe laying vessel in the world.

I don’t know if it’s actually been laying any pipes.

This is a picture from the ships and harbours photos site.

Solitaire, pipe layer

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