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Friday, 31 October 2014

Leith Ship & The Pirates

The Ex Wilson Line Leith Built MV SORRENTO as Al Marjan receiving assistance from the U.S. Navy in this old released photograph taken from USS Whidbey Island

The ex MV SORRENTO was to go on and have many different names over her life span of 43 years as a useful working vessel, same ship with a different name traded around some of the many smaller and somewhat less reputable shipping lines, she was sold on by the Gracechurch line to be re-named as Waybridge in 1983 next in line was the name of Five Stars three years later in 1986 only to change her name again six years on from being called Five Stars she then took on the name Sea Princes in 1992 to trade under this name before yet another name change this time in 1997 to be named as the MV ALBATROS, before she was to take her last and final known name of AL MARJAN in the year 2000.
As the Al Marjan she would end up captured by Somalia Pirates in 2007, read more about the amazing ships history at the Leith Shipyards website


Thursday, 30 October 2014

MV ARGOS Shipwreck

The MV ARGOS was Ship No 216 from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd, and we have just been sent some more information and photographs about her and her eventual fate in Argentina.

This was another one of the special ships built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd, she was of a design that the shipyard was becoming very adept at and for work on the Tidal Rivers of South America.
The MV ARGOS was destined for work on the famous River Plate in Argentina. Her owners were Compagnia Argentina de Lanches, Buenos Aires, which was the South American branch of The Forestal Land, Timber & Railways Company of London.

The wreck of the MV ARGOS

You can read a whole lot more about this shipwreck at the Leith Shipyards website


Monday, 20 October 2014

Robb Caledon Shipyards

The ex Duchray Ship No 517 built at the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon now re-named as Eide Rex

Good to see she is still working away in gainful employment as seen in the photographs from the shipspotting website it is just a pity that they cannot get it correct where she was actually built, perhaps due to the confusion of when Henry Robb Ltd amalgamated with the Caledon shipyard of Dundee in 1968 to be called Robb Caledon Ltd, the dominant partner is shown in the name and for the avoidance of any doubt she and some 500 other ships were built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd, later to be called Robb Caledon Ltd then to revert back to the name of Henry Robb Ltd when the Caledon Shipyard was closed in 1981 by British Shipbuilders Ltd as the Privatised enterprise was called at that time.
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The long pedigree of some of the shipyards in Scotland can understandably get a little bit confusing especially to non shipbuilders but that is not to say that this site is not worth a visit as it really is a great website for all interested in ships and the sea they just need to get some of the facts corrected as to where the actual ship was built, otherwise some people may get the impression that the yard at Dundee built twice as many ships as they actually did which would of course clearly be incorrect.
© frode adolfsen

Best in Britain

Someone sent me this link to an article in today's Edinburgh Evening News and I just could not resist the temptation to have a wee playful dig at the rest of Britain.

Edinburgh Castle

This of course is not news if you are from this area of the country!
The best looking and best evolved people in Britain live in Edinburgh, Leith and the south-east of Scotland. Outrageous! How can you possibly say that! Biased? Not at all. Just a statement of fact – and a story that goes back 10,000 years.

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Don’t believe me then read on in this article from the Edinburgh Evening News.

One of the most striking inherited traits is massively present in Edinburgh and the south-east where a staggering 57 per cent of all people have blue eyes. That is the highest in Britain where the average is 48 per cent.

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But here is the other side of the coin so to speak!

The same might be true for the other dominant trait in Edinburgh and the south-east. Red hair. Nobody needs a DNA test to tell if they have red hair, just a mirror. But what is hidden is what causes children to inherit the glorious spectrum of tints from strawberry blonde to deep auburn. And that is the recessive gene variant, what both parents must carry if they are to have children with red hair.
In Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders, 40 per cent of all people carry it. It is the highest proportion in Britain, which itself has the highest number of carriers in the world per capita.

New York hotel deals Perhaps migration provides an answer. The Northern Isles, the Hebrides and the Atlantic 
coastlands saw significant Viking incursions and settlement after circa 800AD, and in the south-east of Britain, the Anglo-Saxons settled in numbers after circa 400AD. These in-migrations may have significantly diluted the red-hair variants present in the indigenous populations before those dates. And if that’s correct, then one of the most persistent bits of folk DNA about Vikings being redheaded will turn out to be wrong. And it may be significant that south-east Scotland appears to have had little Viking in-migration with comparatively few Norse place names and comparatively little ancestral DNA from Scandinavia.

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Maritime Library

Download an eBook today
Got to thinking the other day that if you are at all interested in ships and the sea then you will also be interested in books all about ships and the sea, but where to put all them books is the big problem.
Well in our efforts to move with the times it just makes sense to also have access to books in Electronic form and you can just download them to your computer or E-Reader or whatever medium is used for reading them.
Then you are only limited by time and the storage capacity on your machine.
So we have set up some E-Book library that you can access and for convenience they are all in the one place, eventually we shall have different categories for all the subjects covering written works about ships and the sea and to begin with you can now go directly to our first library called funny enough Ships and the Sea.
Each downloaded book will return a small portion back to us to help with the running costs of this Blog and also the main website at

You will be able to find all kinds of books on ships and the sea some well known and some not so well known it is all about choice and we hope to give you that choice, if you still prefer hard copy books you can of course search through our Amazon store at the side of this Blog.

You can now access books such as the story of the amazing ship built in Dundee called the LAWHILL which had a longevity of working at sea for a very long time, which for a Barque complete with sails in a world full of steam and then later diesel powered vessels is all the more remarkable.

The Lawhill Story The Lawhill Story
During the long gone ages of maritime history many ships of sail and steam have captured the imagination; one of them was a sailing vessel named Lawhill, a four masted barque which after being built at Dundee in 1892 lasted right up until 1957.

For the full selection of our E-Book library collection just click on the link Ships and the Sea

Friday, 10 October 2014

New Naval order for Clyde Shipbuilding

So we have some more good news on the shipbuilding front in Scotland at long last the steel is now being cut for the Royal Navy's new offshore patrol vessels, no mere small type of ships but the very latest in new technology at around 2,000 grt's they are not small ships and will be capable of deployment worldwide.
They should keep some of the workforce (the little that is left) working at the upper Clyde shipyard of Scotstoun working at least until the designs are finalised for the Royal Navy's new type 26 Frigates which will be built at the same yard. This may or may not be such good news for the shipyard on the other side of the river at Govan only time will tell, as they continue with work on the second of the Aircraft Carriers being assembled in Scotland.
Be sure to visit the new Shipbuilding Library to find all your shipbuilding books now in a convenient form for you to download direct to your reader.

Work has started on a £348m contract for three Royal Navy warships at BAE Systems' yards at Scotstoun and Govan on the River Clyde in Glasgow.

The offshore patrol vessels will be known as HMS Forth, HMS Medway and HMS Trent. The first will be ready by 2017.

See more at the BBC website

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