Harbour News 7–24 September 2019

 29 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 8,500 boxes from five Scottish trawl landings, six Anglo Spanish long-line landings and one Anglo freezer netter. The Scottish boats continue to chase haddock and monkfish at Rockall and will plod on until the weather breaks. The Anglo long-line fleet have started to work their way south, with a handful of vessels reporting reasonable catches of hake and ling. The gill-netter Persorsa Dos landed a truck load of processed and frozen at sea monkfish and deepwater crab from Shelf Edge grounds.

Shellfish was restricted to four landings from visiting prawn trawlers, two landings from the displaced offshore crabber North Star plus the efforts of the local boats.

Non-fishing was busy and diverse with thirteen arrivals. The luxury cruise liners Viking Sun, Star Breeze and Hebridean Princess X2 made scheduled day visits in mixed weather. This brings to and end the 2019 cruise season with 33 vessel arrivals carrying 13,753 passengers and 7,403 crew. The fishfarm sector contributed five arrivals with Viking Junior, Beinn Dearg and Ronja Polaris in for layovers, the Migdale in for a consignment of smolts and Norwegian Gannet (pictured) in for crew. Built in 2018 the Norwegian Gannet is the largest harvest ship in the world, capable of processing 160,000 tonnes of salmon a year at sea. With 100 crew on-board the ship picks up fish direct from the cages, processes them on the factory deck before delivering them to market ready packaged for sale. The ship delivered 7,000 tonnes of Norwegian farmed salmon to Hirtshals in Denmark on her maiden trip.

The Peterhead registered pelagic trawler Pathway called in to drop off personnel at the end of a scientific charter, MCA tug Ievoli Black called in for a crew change, Wylde Swan returned from St Kilda before heading home to Holland and the Finnish survey vessel Kaiku arrived from Kyle. Kaiku is a 24m catamaran on charter to the MCA for six months to carry out a detailed hydrographic survey on the inland waters from Kyle to Lochinver. Using multibeam sonar and autonomous vehicles the ship will map the seabed to the 2m contour. The MCA has overall responsibility for the UK’s hydrographic obligations under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and works in close partnership with the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) to ensure that these obligations are met. The collected data will be used to update nautical charts and publications with safety the key driver behind the project.

Congratulations to the skipper, crew and passengers of Tall-ship Tecla who have realised a lifetime’s ambition by successfully navigating the Northwest Passage. See press release below from the vessels owners.


The Tecla departed from Ilulissat, Greenland, on the 1st of August, and successfully made her way through on the 15th of September. After 45 days sailing, covering over 3200 miles, this traditional sailing ship has left the Arctic Circle and has reached the Pacific side of Canada. Captain Gijs states on the 15th of September “I, Gijs Sluik, master of the gallant ship Tecla hereby proudly announce that we have successfully completed the North West Passage after crossing the Arctic Circle in the Bering Strait, 66’34N 167’52W. Well done crew and well done Tecla”

During the voyage the crew has faced all kinds of weather and many sorts of ice. Starting with the glacial icebergs in Greenland and across the Baffin Bay and multiple year ice going North with a current running in Franklin Strait and Peel Sound. They have stood on icewatch for days on end in the endless light polar nights, where the sun never sets. And are now crossing the Bearing strait in the dark, but enjoying the Northern Lights.

The chosen route totally depended on the ice reports received and meant for the Tecla to take a route down Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, Peel Sound, Franklin Strait, Rae Strait, Simpson Strait, Coronation gulf, Amundsen gulf, Beaufort Sea, Chuckchi Sea and Bearing Strait. This route was once taken by the first ship to ever sail the whole North West Passage between 1903 and 1906, the Gjoa, with on board Roald Amundsen and his crew. The Tecla crew was able to visit both sites where Amundsen stayed over during the winter, Gjoa haven and Herschel Island.

The Tecla was built in 1915 in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands. She was built under sail and fished for herring. In 1989 she started sailing with guest crew. In 2014 she came home after sailing around the world in 20 months, a voyage that gave the crew a taste for wider and more exciting voyages. In 2016 the Tecla first crossed the Arctic Circle in Iceland and after that
sailed to Greenland many times. The idea of a North West Passage was soon picked up and in 2017 the preparations started.

With the completion of the North West Passage, the Tecla has started her voyage around America, with in December the rounding of Cape Horn. After that she will visit South Georgia, South Africa and then going North again to the Azores before making her way to Ullapool in June 2020. She will return home by October 2020 after an 18 month voyage.
The crew of the Tecla sends out this message with a full hearted All is Well. They have celebrated their passage in the sun on the deck as they crossed the Arctic Circle and expect to be in Nome, Alaska in the early hours of the 16th of September.