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Independent shipping news, photography and more from the Dover Strait.
Independent shipping news, photography and more from the Dover Strait.

NEWS 2013: Newest stories first....

Advertise with us in 2014


With an ever growing audience and receiving more visits both directly to our website and via our Facebook page, why not advertise your business with us?


Advertising rates start at just £5 per week and if you take out an advert now, we will give you January 2014 free.


Contact us now on 07703659747 for more details and to discuss your requirements.


All images on this page and elsewhere on the website are subject to copyright. This requires you to obtain permission to reproduce them before doing so.

Thank you.

Rough Weather continues

New Year's Eve afternoon and there seems to be little or no let up in the prolonged period of windy weather we have all been experiencing. So, out with the camera today to capture some images of the ferries as they continue to cope with the conditions.

Waves overtop the Southern Breakwater and Knuckle Lighthouse.
MFL's Rodin takes it all in her stride as she arrives from Calais.
P&O's Pride of Canterbury just about to enter the Eastern.
Spirit of Britain looking capable as she takes one on the chin!
DFDS vessel the Calais Seaways departs for a lively crossing.
Dunkerque Seaways pounds her way to No. 3 Berth and some brief respite before reloading.
One last push! Rodin safely alongside and berthed on No. 7.


Best Western Babes take the plunge.........


Tamina Rezaie and colleague Eva from the Dover Marina Hotel & Spa,

braved the elements today for Dover's Boxing Day Dip!

Well done to you both. Rather you than me!


What started out as a quiet Christmas for yours truly, ended with a great night onboard "Entice". Richard Borle providing the cheese, crackers and port, Sara and Rob Wright providing an exceptionally pleasing bottle of Scotch and Cassie (pictured centre) for his unique character......


Me? I provided some pretty dodgy Christmas music as usual!

A great evening with great friends. Thanks.

(With apologies to Kevin Bloody Wilson and others)


All pictures Richard Borle.


Seadog Cassie making himself at home!
The view from the wheelhouse.
Entice with her Christmas lights.
Rich puts his new camera through it's paces with a view of Dover Castle from the wheelhouse.

Christmas morning 2013, a striking picture of the one day a year the port comes to rest. Laying over in the port from left to right: Eastern arm: Pride of Kent, No 2 Berth: Pride of Burgundy, No 5 Berth: Dunkerque Seaways, No 7 Berth: Dieppe Seaways, No 8 Berth: Pride of Canterbury and No 9 Berth: Spirit of Britain. 



Congratulations to the P&O  choristers for winning BBC's The Choir final.


 A great achievement and a superb performance



Drama for P&O's Spirit of Britain (pictured above).


On the afternoon of Saturday 21.12.13, as the ferry was departing from Calais on her routine crossing to Dover, a twenty-one year old woman threw herself 130 feet into the water from the deck of the vessel in front of a group of stunned school children returning from a skiing trip. Fortunately the vessel was still in Calais and even more fortunately the rapid actions of her crew enabled her to be recovered using the ship's rescue boat in just six minutes. She was taken to hospital and is said to be in a serious condition with injuries to her legs and suffering from shock and the effects of exposure.

All credit to the Spirit of Britain's crew for their rapid intervention, which, undoubtedly saved her life.


Well done guys, great job.


Politics & Social Media................


Here's a funny thing! A few weeks ago the existence of this website became known to the powers that be in Harbour House. I was duly summoned to a meeting with a very affable chap and we discussed the website, how we could work together to promote a positive image of the port and marina and so on. It was indicated to me at the time that "social media" was not a path that Harbour House wanted to go down. Accordingly, I withdrew some of the more negative viewpoints from the website as a gesture of goodwill. I was therefore quite surpised to see the launch of DHB's marina facebook page recently. It's probably a good thing, but I feel it does lack the punch associated with a fully functioning website such as

  It's good to promote the port and marina in a positive light and hopefully increase the number of berthies and visitors to the port, so will continue to bring you unbiased interesting news, stories and photographs of your port and also hopefully work together with our colleagues at Harbour House. Our website experienced a 7,458% increase in visitors last week and we also reached the 100 "likes" mark on Facebook, congratulations to Gary Frake who was number 100 and, will shortly be enjoying a bottle of bubbly, courtesy of Because of you, we are still the original, still number one and will always be the best and that's why your input counts. Thank you for all your Facebook "Likes" and thank you for logging on to


Merry Christmas to you all and a peaceful and prosperous New Year


It's gone!

The abnormal load left the Western Docks today just before 0900 and has now successfully arrived at Sellindge in Kent,

Check our FEATURES page for photos and information about this unique event.

N T Rix Scaffolding are currently erecting what, when completed, will be the largest single span temporary roof ever constructed in Europe

13.12.13 You cannot have failed to notice the curious structure slowly covering the marine station /Cruise Terminal 1 in the western docks over the last few months. As part of a multi-million pound regeneration project, local scaffolding firm N T Rix are constructing this massive structure to enable brickwork, steel and other repairs to be undertaken. Once the works are completed access to the terminal will be easier and the surrounding areas will also benefit from other improvements. Work will continue throughout next year, initial phases being completed next spring, with the entire project completed by December 2014.

12.12.13: Check out our new page "Back in Time" for some great photographs of how it used to be......


Abnormal load movement latest information:

The 600 tonne transformer is now scheduled to leave the Western Docks via the Boatyard and on to Union Street at approximately 0730 Saturday 14th December.

A pair of anchors.........

08.12.13 A recent addition to Dover's townscape are a pair of anchors. Situated at the junction of the A256 York Street and A20 Townwall Street, they have been loaned to the town by the Port of Dover as part of the town's maritime heritage. Many ferry travellers will remember seeing them on the Eastern Arm close to the Port Control Building.

05.12.13 Allely's Heavy Haulage have been contracted to transport two transformers, to and from Sellindge Converter Station near Ashford, Kent. This picture shows just one of the three sections of trailer about to be unloaded in the Western Docks Freight Park. The sections are then constructed on site. The ship carrying the replacement transformer is due to arrive tonight. The main event is scheduled for 08:00 Sunday morning when the entire unit, weighing approximately 600 tonnes, will reverse through the boatyard and out on to the A20 at the Union Street roundabout. It will then make it's way to Sellindge.

More pictures below:

One of the three sections of trailer about to be lifted off the transporter, prior to being fitted together.
The smaller of the two transformers entering the boatyard.
The Biglift vessel Tracer and coaster Pewsum alongside Cruise Terminal 1 prior to the unloading of the transformer

04.12.13 DFDS Seaways are understandably unhappy at the ruling concerning MFL's continued presence on the lucrative Dover to Calais route. It has been suggested that they may pull out of Calais and focus on their Dunkerque service instead. The Dieppe Seaways (ex Seafrance Moliere) is still available for purchase and possibly this news puts the future of the Calais Seaways Dover service (pictured above) in doubt.

Port and Shipping Minister Mr Stephen Hammond paid a visit to Dover on Monday 25th November 2013 and met with Port of Dover staff and employees together with local community groups and also the People's Port Trust. Local MP Charlie Elphicke did not attend on this occasion.

25th November 2013

Port of Dover Bursary Scheme:


An exciting opportunity and of interest to anyone contemplating studying for a position within the port in the future, the Port of Dover is offering one bursary per year for students. This could be worth up to £3000 per year for someone studying an appropriate degree course.


Get the details or apply by 1700, 10th January 2014 at:


Anita Wilson, General Manager Corporate Administration, Dover Harbour Board, Harbour House, Marine Parade, Dover, Kent CT17 9BU


or log on to


Fred Olsen's Black Watch alongside Dover Cruise Terminal during a recent visit. Just minutes into her cruise departure from Dover on the 24th November 2013 she encountered problems with her steering gear and spent much of the night in the Downs, north of the Eastern Entrance as engineers sought to rectify the problem. Delayed by some twelve hours, she continued her cruise early the following morning and was due to call at Copenhagen on the evening of the 26th. Dating from 1972 the ex Royal Viking Star is still much adored as she continues to offer traditional style cruising.

Awaited with great apprehension, the severe storm, Saint Jude, arrived on Monday 28th October 2013. Named after the Patron Saint of Lost Causes, the storm caused damage to the Admiralty Pier and also to around fifty cars parked in the cruise terminal car park whose owners are currently enjoying a Fred Olsen cruise on their vessel Braemar.

The Braemar returns to Dover late morning on the 5th November 2013 and is assisted to her berth by trusty port tug DHB Dauntless. Many passengers were bracing themselves for the moment they were reunited with their vehicles, some of which had been damaged by the winter storm Saint Jude. Fred Olsen, the Port of Dover and various insurance companies had worked together during the cruise to ensure passengers were able to return home by hire car or arranged transport.

The Dieppe Seaways leaves for Calais on a blustery October day recently. It is understood that DFDS are looking to dispose of her and she is currently listed for sale on a marine brokerage site for between 55 and 65 million Euros.

The 2011 built oil tanker Dubai Attraction has been anchored off the Port since arriving here on Thursday 10th October. She flys the Marshall Islands flag and is owned by Emarat Maritime. She was awaiting orders and sailed for the Russian port of Luga in the early hours of Wednesday 16th 2013. 

After last year's tragic loss of both broods of ducklings, congratulations to all of us who have helped to ensure this years ducklings have survived to maturity. It's truly amazing how well trained the ducks have got us....

The Seal has been making appearances back in the Wellington Dock

Seen here at Portsmouth, the yacht Challenger 2 called at Dover and spent several days in the Wellington Dock. She is part of the Tall Ships Trust round Britain sailing challenge. For more information visit their website

A stranger to Dover. Cyclone Clipper called in for refuelling this morning, 12th September 2013 whilst on passage from Southampton to her more usual surroundings on the River Thames. Her glazed accomodation was suitably protected with plywood for the trip. She is operated by Thames Clippers and offers commuter services as well as tourist trips.

Farewell to Folkestone Fixings

After opening the Dover branch of Folkestone Fixings just over four years ago, the branch has now closed. Folkestone Fixings closed it's doors for the last time on Saturday the 7th of September 2013 to enable junction "improvements" at the Union Street roundabout location. The improvements are part of an ongoing schedule of works to some extent in connection with the proposed redevelopment of the Western Docks within the framework of the T2 development (See associated story in our features section). The works include the provision of an inner "freight" lane for trucks so that they do not have to give way at the roundabout. You could be forgiven if you think this is really necessary, as around eighty per cent of foreign registered trucks apear not to bother giving way currently.


The ever helpful staff have all relocated to the Folkestone branch at West Park Farm.

The roro ferry Joline continues it's controversial once weekly Dover - Calais live export service. 

The cliff path at Fan Bay showing the search light batteries and access ladder to the beach. In late August the latest cliff fall has undermined the path and made access extremely difficult, if not impossible.

HIGHWAYS AGENCY News Release issued 2 September 2013

Road users are reminded that the Londonbound A2 in Dover, Kent, will close next Monday (9 September) for five weeks and the coastbound carriageway will be closed overnight as a bridge refurbishment scheme moves into the next phase.


The work is part of a package of improvements to maintain the A2 Jubilee Way, over the Eastern Docks, which started last month.


The next phase will involve overnight and daytime closures of the A2 Jubilee Way with clearly signed diversions in place. The scheme is due to be completed in mid-October.


The London bound carriageway will be closed from Monday 9 September until Monday 14 October. The coast bound carriageway will remain open to traffic between 6am and 8pm, Monday to Saturday with work being carried out overnight and on Sundays.


All overnight work will be carried out between 8pm and 6am.

During the carriageway closures, fully signed diversion routes will be in place via the A20 and A256. Long distance traffic is advised to consider using the A20 / M20 as an alternative.


The first phase started on Monday 5 August with preparation work and repairs to the concrete underneath the structure.

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