Life at the end of the road

October 22, 2012

Fog on the Tyne :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:18 pm

It was inevitable really wasn’t it, I could hardly be stuck at the mouth of this great river without mentioning,


Lindisfarne the band and not the island Smile and their 1971 hit ‘Fog on the Tyne. Especially as their attire and haircuts (or lack of) seem to match my 1970’s caravan home so perfectly Smile However, at some point during the night, the harr that greeted me and brought darkness early must have turned to fog,


consequently some two miles away the Souter lighthouse or something very like it started bellowing and nearly shook me out of my bed. I know I didn’t imagine it because it had the same effect on my mate in the toon Smile

Good fire fighting weather

Well part two of my ‘sentence’ started today and this would be akin to a break from sewing mail sacks to a spell in the garden for good behaviour Smile For today after my usual morning routine of shower, earl grey and bran flakes, though not necessarily in that order I headed north on foot towards the river itself and the . At least here my ‘red neck hillbilly jacket’ would not be trying to outdo all the body piercing, purple hair, tattoos and leopard skin leggings in the ‘weirdo of the day awards’. Nope the old ‘real tree’ camouflage jacket would win comfortably here Smile  

Anyway the fog had lifted, the horn stopped but it was still kind of grey and cool turning to a fine drizzle once we’d actually got out of the classroom and into the fire fighting gear. Perfect in fact for the hot gear we were wearing, the last time I did this course was in August during a heat wave and it nearly killed me Smile


Today was just familiarization with the steel structure that resembles a ship, operating a hose and putting out a few fires with a blanket and extinguishers. Tomorrow it will be BA and the ‘real deal’, those are the dummies that we rescue by the way and not worn out pupils Smile

Spirit of the Tyne in dry dock

I’d seen her on the way to work but managed to get a closer look after work on the way home.



The Shields ferry, or at least the newest one was up the slip for her annual ‘dry docking’ at just down the road from the MSTC.


She too, like most of our own fleet is fitted with ‘Voith Schneider propellers’ for and aft


Though unlike the Striven and most of her sisters they are on the centre line and not diametrically opposed.


Best have a go with it here on this interactive video, it’s awesome Smile

If you don’t have ‘WinZip’ then Windows Explorer opens it just fine.

The new hybrid’s will have two 16R5 EC/90-1 VSPs units



The world’s first hybrid ferries with Voith Schneider Propeller

In summer 2013, the world’s first two ferries with a hybrid propulsion system will be put into service. Owned by CMAL, they are being built by Ferguson Shipbuilders in Glasgow. Each of the hybrid vessels will be equipped with two Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) with an input power of 375 kW per propeller. With its hybrid concept, the shipyard aims to reduce the ferry’s CO2 emissions by up to 20 percent.

The vessels will be the first of their kind to combine a diesel-electric propulsion system with lithium ion battery technology. The ferries will operate on various routes in the Scottish waters, which are characterized by strong currents and heavy winds. Both double-ended ferries are powered by two Voith Schneider Propellers each, which support the environmentally-friendly ferry concept with their high degree of efficiency and low draft. In addition, they provide the vessels with excellent performance characteristics and safe manoeuvring even under the most difficult operating conditions.

To take load off the diesel engine temporarily, the two lithium ion battery banks of each ferry are charged overnight from the grid. The hybrid propulsion system reduces the ferry’s fuel consumption and thus her CO2 emissions with an ambitious aim: an emission reduction of up to 20 percent. Apart from the economic benefits, the hybrid propulsion system leads to a significant reduction in mechanical stress and noise, in particular when entering and leaving ports.

Ferries are generally designed and built for the specific operating scenario in question, with the port infrastructure kept in mind. The new hybrid ferries are to be used on various routes in the Scottish waters to transport approx. 150 passengers and 23 cars per ferry with a service speed of approx. 9 knots. Many Scottish ferry landing areas consist of concrete ramps. The ferries dock without being moored tightly. Accurate control and positioning as well as the high manoeuvrability are essential for docking in rough seas. To ensure that the two type 16R5 EC/90-1 VSPs are well protected during docking manoeuvres, the propellers are arranged diagonally in recesses and not in central positions at the front and aft, as is otherwise the case.



I’ll wave goodbye for now Smile Don’t ask me what it is but it’s in the dock with the ferry Smile



  1. enjoyed the singing, thanks! We had fog here today in Edinburgh this morning too. No fog horns though! ps what is the bar across the guitar over the soundbox, do you know, or did I imagine it? Will be heading to Sedgefield on Th-Mon, not too far away but no transport of my own so you won’t get a visit!!

    Comment by may cruickshank — October 22, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    • It’s a pickup. More volume, man 🙂

      Comment by San — October 23, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    • Morning May, enjoy the trip, hope the fog lifts 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2012 @ 6:32 am

  2. wot??? i had you pegged as a leopard skin leggings guy.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — October 23, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    • Just leopardskin underpants Jeannette 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2012 @ 6:31 am

  3. “Worn out pupils” 🙂 . And there was me thinking you were filing the lower bar of the handrail :-). Essential training though.

    Comment by Andy — October 23, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    • Aye Andy, quite enjoyable really, this kind of stuff you can’t do too much of.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2012 @ 6:30 am

  4. I think one is supposed to wear leopard skin leggings under your Skye batik trousers, for warmth. Or a kilt is always festive.

    Comment by drgeo — October 23, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    • I had a dream last night about a kilt DrG, and it wasn’t good 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2012 @ 6:29 am

  5. Ah Lindisfarne … one of the most creative and different groups from that era…but oh cack was that really forty years ago…sorry, I blinked and there went my life!

    Comment by cogidubnus — October 23, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

    • Aye Cog I blinked and there went my life! you and me too, don’t seem like two minutes since I was holding the Dude in my arms and now he’s a teenager.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2012 @ 6:28 am

  6. Ah yes… Lindisfarne christmas concerts at the city hall, what a great night that always was….do you ee ve that clear white. Light. id going to guide us home.. Sing along all of you…

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — October 23, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  7. Proper old shool…

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — October 23, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    • What happened to the hair and the ‘thousand yard stare’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2012 @ 6:23 am

      • think he blinked and there went his life aswell

        Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — October 24, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  8. “think he blinked and there went his life aswell”

    Sadly true as far as Alan Hull went….

    Comment by cogidubnus — October 25, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

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