Spirit Yachts move and another big cat

Spirit Yachts had a big crane arrive today. They are building a rather special boat and the time has come to turn it over and start to work on something other than the hull. I managed to catch them moving the hull out of their workshop and then I caught the crane in action. They then moved it round the back of their building so I lost sight of it after that. I have just realised that I had to go out at lunch time. I could have driven round and tried to catch more but…


You can see that this is bigger than we have seen before.


The crane is fairly impressive as well. I will try and get round there over the next couple of days and see if I can get some better shots.

I was out and about, as mentioned, and happened to be down by the James Hehir building. I saw that another of the Njord catamarans was in. I didn’t have my camera on me (shame on me, I should take it every where) so I whipped out my phone and got this couple of shots.


Song of the Whale returns

We haven’t seen Song of the Whale for quite sometime.  She has been working around Iceland, Greenland and Ireland according to the Marine Conservation Research Organisation.

She came back a few days ago and moored up in her old place. As we can’t see that berth now, I wasn’t able to get any images but today she was moved over near to Fairline so I got a nice shot of her turning into the berth.


What a grey day

If you remember way back, I have an interest in the weather – or at least detailing it. For many years I had a professional weather station in my back garden along with a web cam. When we moved here, I installed a new weather station and a couple of web cams but got caught out by the fact that I was pointing them at a public space. This, in our area,requires a licence so I took everything down. I am hoping to get a weather station back up and running over the next few months but I won’t be adding a web cam to it. I will just continue to publish my photos.

The weather has been quite good, for mid-October but today had been particularly grey. So much so that I thought I would share it with you. Just out of interest, my iMac tells me that it is 10O with showers currently with a high of 12O and a low of 7O.

Here’s what it looks like from our balcony.



News on the container

We have been a bit bothered about the container that is sitting outside The Aurora as it is directly under our balcony and doesn’t look very nice. Plus, they have been opening it and closing it late at night, although I think that this has stopped due to people in the block around not being happy with the noise.

My wife sent them an e-mail asking what was going on with the container and, in reply, she was told that it is a temporary storage unit. On the other side of the restaurant, there is a large open space for which they were trying to get permission to open an “Al Fresco”  café but they seem to have dropped this idea. Instead, this summer, they had a nice collection of settees, chairs and tables out there but then had to store them at night. Now that the winter is coming, they don’t put them out but have nowhere for them to go.

They tell us that the container will be used to take all of these and then it will be removed down to Felixstowe for the winter. This seems to be a good explanation but we will be glad when it has gone. You can see why!


Secondly, since I stopped writing the blog, Spirit Yachts have decided to expand their buildings. If you remember, Spirit Yachts make the most wonderful hand built wooden boats that sell for an extremely large amount of money. They are currently building a very special boat which we will hopefully see launched. Anyway, the only thing that I can show you is that they are extending out the back. I haven’t got over there to get a better view recently so this is the best that I can do.



A Saturday Stroll – Part 2

Having covered the boats along the quayside, I turned my attention to those on the other side of the Wet Dock. It was here that my new camera equipment came into its own.

First off, there was an offshore service boat called Njord Petrel. This is owned by Njord Offshore. I missed an opportunity a few weeks ago because, when I was at the Cult Café for a coffee, there were four of these in the Marina. This one was sitting over by the fuel station and, according to Google Maps, was 200m from me when I took the image.


I know that I keep banging on about my new camera but here is an enlargement from that photo to show how good the resolution is.


I took a couple more of this one as it is an interesting shape.

Next along was an old favourite – HMS Trumpeter. She has been out and about this summer but is back home again. To remind you, she is a Royal Navy patrol boat that is manned by the Cambridge University Naval Squadron.


Next, I took a shot at the waterways barge that is always moored down on Neptune Quay.


I did show this in the very early days but couldn’t remember it’s name. However, the camera came good again! (Mind you, I am pushing it this time as that was 350m (1,148ft.) away.


Lastly, I thought that I would bring you up to date on the new(?) buildings around the dock. A couple of years ago, I had a series of photos of the building of a new complex over on Stoke Quay – on the other side of the Island. I didn’t take them too long to build and they have been fully occupied for the last year or so. BTW, I still don’t like the green panelling.


Around the time that these were started, it was reputed that a local business man had bought the Wine Rack (the tall block down past Isaacs that fell foul of the crash in Irish Banks back in 2007/8). Then, we heard that the start of work was held up as he had to change the planning approvals because, as I remember it, he wanted to make it up-market and was going to install a fancy automated car park. Then, earlier this year, we heard that the scaffolding was going to go up. Well, here is what it looks like.

img_0938Nothing has changed there, then.

Well, that’s it for the current Quay walk. One old favourite is missing. Song of the Whale has been up in Iceland for some months. She did drop down to Galway, in Ireland but has returned to Reykjavik.

It just shows that you have to check everything. Well, it appears that she is somewhere off Portsmouth on her way back to Ipswich. Lucky that I checked! This image is from the Marine Conservation Trust.


I hope that something will change soon as I am a bit bored with the same old, same old. What has happened to all of the Dutch warships or tall ships that used to arrive? No anymore, it seems.


A Saturday Stroll – Part 1

I am sitting on my new camera and lenses and doing very little with them apart from photographing my completed scale models and those at the model club to which I belong. I was given a small inheritance a little while ago and used it to upgrade my camera equipment. I now have a Canon 80D (professional range) camera plus absolutely brilliant Canon EF 24mm 2.8 IS USM lens that produces superb images plus a Sigma 18-250 HSM lens that makes my old Tamron lens look like a piece of cheap equipment. We have been on a few days holiday down to the 2nd Hand Bookshop centre of the U at Hay-on-Wye so went to the supermarket this morning. On getting back, I decided that I would have trip along the waterfront and do a small roundup of the current visitors – most of which you have seen before.

Firstly, “Our Lady Grace” is sitting on Gasworks  Quay along with Norma – the dredger. “Our Lady Grace” is a fishing boat that regularly goes out along the coast up towards Aldeburgh and fishes for Dover Sole, which,a lot of the time, it ships out to Holland. They cam here a couple of summers ago from Brightlingsea as it was easier to get the Dutch lorries into here and they appear to have stayed.


Norma sits quite low in the water and I don’t have the vantage point from the 4th floor any more. She has been here for some time now. The last time she stayed she had some work done on her infrastructure but this time she has just sat there, powered down.


Next along was “Alert“. Alert is the Trinity House rapid response vessel and stands ready to assist at see when required. Trinity House is the organisation that manages the Lighthouse/Lightships/Wreck Buoys around the coast. She used to carry a good selection of buoys on her stern but these have been missing for quite some time now.


Belonging to Trinity House she flies their flag at her prow.


Down beyond the University’s James Hehir building has been the home for Melissa for some time. As you will remember, Melissa is a Thames Barge. Again, she is quite low against the dockside so you can’t see too much.

img_0934She has some beautiful woodwork.img_0935

Part two will follow shorty.

Fairline seems to be back in business

Fairline Yachts went into administration in December last year and were bought out by two Russian businessmen in January this year.  As you will probably remember, they had their pre-sales operation here in the Ipswich marina. It has been very quiet here since those events with just one of their large cruisers left sitting in the dock by their unit.

Suddenly, my wife came to me and asked if I could take a photo of some flags that had appeared. I use my long zoom for this and then we look at the photos to see what is going on. It turned out that the flags said “Fairline” and had, obviously, only been up a short while.


I then looked properly over to the building and noticed a change. As mentioned, since they had closed down, there had been one of their cruisers moored alongside. Yesterday, I noticed that there were now two of them.


Then, today, I looked again and there were three. How come I don’t see these arrive?


I am not sure about the little one to the left. It may be that there are now four.  All of the talk has been about getting going again at Oundle, which is their main base. I haven’t seen any mention that the Ipswich site was re-opening but it would appear to be so. If I see any more, I will post it here. The latest information seems to be THIS.

New Service on the Waterfront

There has always been a really run down cabin between the car park next to the cult and the waterfront. Suddenly, last year, it went up for sale or rent. I didn’t expect much to happen as it is very small and I couldn’t think of anything that would stand a chance of making a living just there.

Well, I was wrong – at least in the sense that it has been taken. It has also been completely refurbished and is now “Waterfront Bikes”.


As you can see, they have made a very tidy job of the refurb. They rent out bikes and sell both electrically assisted bikes and Brompton Folding Bikes.

It seems to me that this is going to be a fair weather business and mainly Spring/Summer based but we shall see. Interesting – one to watch!

Waking up Part 2 – the movie

I have a new camera and lenses. I have replaced myCanon 700D with a spiffing Canon 80D. Who would guess that changing your camera body would make such a difference. I also have a very nice Canon 24mm f2.8 and a Sigma 18-250 f3.5 zoom. The total cost of these is about 3x the cost of my previous set up so I am very excited. The video that I show here was taken with the 80d using the 24mm lens. This lens comes across as silent, which has always been a problem before as the focusing on my old Tamron lens would ruin any video.

Well, here it is. I hope that you enjoy cranes. I like the precision of the man handling the crane. It is all done using the unit that he has in his hands. Very professional.