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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been following the progress of the tug Amber II which it is towing Wightlink's new ferry Victoria of Wight to Portsmouth.

Earlier this afternoon, just SE of Sicily I noticed that it had deviated from its west heading almost north. It has continued on that heading (approx 340) since then.

I am wondering the reason. Have they encountered some refugees and taking them to safety perhaps?

See this link to Marine Traffic (select Past Track).
 

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Slowed right down just before the turn but does not seem to have stopped, then picked up speed at a couple of knots less then voyage speed - Maybe has a 'technical' problem.
 

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Why is she being towed ? Don't they know the way ? It's quite easy.
Leave Cyprus to starboard, Malta to port, bear starboard just past Gib and
starboard again at Finisterre then sharp left at the Nab.
Doesn't auger well for finding her way from Pompey to Fishborne
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Why is she being towed ? Don't they know the way ? It's quite easy.
Leave Cyprus to starboard, Malta to port, bear starboard just past Gib and
starboard again at Finisterre then sharp left at the Nab.
Doesn't auger well for finding her way from Pompey to Fishborne
Strange thoughts there! Started nowhere near Cyprus and if she did a sharp left at the Nab, she would miss Portsmouth completely.

Seems to be following the coast towards Catania.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
By this morning, they are well north of Catania, heading on towards Messina. Very strange.

Still showing Pompey as the destination.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Apparently the reason for using the tow is that the ferry has no sleeping accommodation for a crew to use during the delivery voyage. I would also imagine that it will reduce wear and tear on the new ship before arrival at Portsmouth.
 

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Correct mine Albert. Leave Crete to port not Cyprus. Then on to the Nab where
she will pick up the Pompey pilot who knows the way.
And surely the cost of the tow could be saved by the crew "hard lying" for a few days !
But then Wightlink are rolling in it !
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Curiouser and curiouser!

An hour ago she turned south again, having nearly reached the Straits of Messina, but still fairly slow at about 5 kts instead of the 7 she was doing yesterday morning before deviating.

Could be a technical problem. The weather in the area looks OK, as far as I can tell.
 

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Here's a thought - Maybe someone at Messina is in the market to buy a new ferry.
A sales demo opportunity presented itself and the builders asked for it to go up and 'have a look' at how it handles whirlpools etc.
 

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The other thing to consider regarding the tow is that she may not meet MCA requirements with regard to structure/stability/LSA etc for even a delivery voyage through international waters, hence she may only be issued a certificate of fitness for towing.
 

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Maybe the builders are waiting for payment before handing over the vessel. (Jester)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I understand that the reason for the delay is difficult weather in the western Med exceeding a wave height restriction.

Edit three hours later: It look as if they may be on their way at last. They have turned south earlier than before and picked up speed to about 7 knots.
 

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I can't access SN like I used to-I can't even access The pix I uploaded.
What's happened and how do I get back please?
I really miss it
cheers, Neilbernard
 

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I can't access SN like I used to-I can't even access The pix I uploaded.
What's happened and how do I get back please?
I really miss it
cheers, Neilbernard
Lots of threads on the subject if you have a look around on the subject of 'gallery' - It, and the directory, have been lost by the site owners.
I hope you still have you own pictures because you have no chance of finding them here.

Sorry to be the bearer if bad news(Smoke)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
To return to the subject of Amber II and Victoria of Wight. Following the delay off the coast of Sicily, they have now been underway again for several days and are off the coast of Algeria.

When they get to the Isle of Wight, I wonder if they will take the shorter route via The Needles rather than all the way round via The Nab. The draughts of the two vessels suggests it is possible.
 

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They will go via the Nab otherwise they would have to take a Southampton pilot at the East Lepe then take a Portsmouth pilot around the North Sturbridge. Via the Nab it’ll just be the Pompey pilot.
 
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