Tankcleaning ready for the return to Lairds , will be getting the centre cargo tanks double bottomed and the wing tanks will be ballast tanks to comply with legislation so she will be able to run for a while longer.
ThomasJohn in answer to your question Loch Striven is one of four Nato - Pol Depot`s in Scotland built in the 60`s to a Nato Spec . The other`s are at Garelochead, Loch Ewe and Campeltown and are managed by The Oil and Pipeline Agency on behalf of the Mod . Loch Striven is the main one used by RFA vessels either for discharging out of spec cargo , loading fuel , discharging sullage and tank washings . Regards Neil.
Johnfell, agree with your comment about her sistership Fort George, she went way before her time, I thought that it was a crying shame to lose such a good looking and young ship so early in her life. Seen her towed from Liverpool docks on her way to the knackers yard a few years back. Criminal behaviour - considering her sistership is so overworked now.
I have a favour to ask from the experienced RFA members of the site,
I always admired the look of the Ness class boats (Lyness, Tarbatness and Stromness), I also understand that they were quite popular with the crew and quite comfortable ships, but were retired early due to the lack of Hangar?
The question really is were the 2 Fort class as popular as the Ness boats with the men who served in them?
Tomvart, Ness class was before my time but i have done two trips on the Fort Grange Oct 90 - April 91 which were six month trips then and August 07 - December 07 when renamed Fort Rosalie . Enjoyed my time and have always heard people speak highly of them. The only bad job i experienced on the Grange was the dreaded scavenger clean out in the Gulf !
What I will say is, although never serving in "Ness" boats. I did four months in Fort George and for all those four months I never really knew how to get around the Accomodation with out probably taking a wrong Ladder or Alleyway basically getting lost and the Clock round was even worse. Give me the old Forts Austin/Grange(Rosalie)anytime. Will the old Forts outlast Fort Victoria???. I wouldn't be surprised.
In response to your query Tomvart I never sailed in a Ness boat but colleagues who did invariably spoke of them as popular appointments. I sailed in both Fort Austin 1988/89 (as Assistant Purser - Master was David Lench) and Fort Grange 1992 (as Purser - Master was John Orchard) - I use the old rank titles so non RFA members will understand the ranking system - and thoroughly enjoyed both. They were certainly extremely comfortable ships with good (for their time) accommodation. I suppose having Gerry Dobson (Austin) and the late Les (somebody from the RFA help me out here - tragically died far too young of a heart attack) as Chief Cooks helped as the food on both was excellent. The only downside was the fact they generally anchored off rather than go alongside (other than Crombie and Glen Mallen, both jetties in Scotland) when loaded but small price to pay for such good appointments. Yes I enjoyed my Fort boat time.