One of those coincidences that is a gift to any photographer: obtaining an image of the vessel Ayr at Ayr. An ambition achieved by Brian Climie in April when the Ayr arrived at Ayr from Galway with limestone.
She was Wilson Ayr 2,451,’09 until last year when renamed by the economical use of a paint brush. She was built on the Danube at Komarno, Slovakia, but if the records I’ve seen are correct, though her keel was laid in ’03, she was not delivered until ’09 which indicates protracted difficulties by her builders or procurers or both. German owned and Maltese flag she spends a fair amount of her time with freights to and from the UK.
Since February she has been at Immingham, Varna, Inverkeithing, Seville, Figueira da Foz (Portugal), Tarragona, Galway, Ayr and latterly Fowey for clay and is delivering it to Yarimca, Turkey, through the Sea of Marmara. Quite an itinerary - she is making up for those years stuck beside the Danube, and at least she occasionally passes somewhere near her port of registry.
And shown at Ayr a few weeks before her is Faversham Ships’, smart for her age, Nordstrand 1,970,’91, Cowes registered, departing after delivering fertiliser. Damen, Gorinchem, built as Nicole, renamed in ’93, her traffics are not dissimilar to mv Ayr and she has since been to Casablanca, Barcelona, Lorient, Silloth and London and as I write is heading for Montrose from Vlissingen.
Cowes, port of registry for Nordstrand, to Portsmouth, Hampshire, is no distance being just across the Solent through Spithead and, strange to relate, newly arrived at the nearby Ayrshire port of Troon is Ayress registered at Portsmouth. Of course this is not that Portsmouth but Portsmouth Dominica, an island in the Caribbean that I doubt the Ayress or anyone connected with her will ever see. I hope one day historians will make sense of the bizarre legal construct that is the international shipping business (but I won’t hold my breath).
The Portsmouth (Dominica) registered Ayress (ex Anette, ex Antares 1,713,’79) since early this year is owned by Coast Lines Shipping of Cork, Ireland, but will largely work out of Troon and Scottish waters shifting logs to pulp and paper mills including to Youghal and Londonderry. She is a major step up in tonnage from the company’s Troon registered Red Baronness 964,’79 which I understand has been sold and gone to Rotterdam. Red Duchess 1,289,’69 is working on in West of Scotland trades. She may be for sale too – but then at the right price what ship is not?