26-04-05 Flotsam and Jetsam
*** Craig Ramsay has identified the ship in the bay. Check out his comments further down the page. ***

[Cargo Ship in Carradale Bay]
There was a large cargo ship moored on the edge of the bay yesterday afternoon. She was riding at anchor and didn't seem in any hurry to go anywhere. Unfortunately the tide had turned and our boat was grounded in the river so we weren't able to go out and get a closer look.

Someone thought it looked like one of the ships used to export the towers for wind turnbines that are made at the Vestas Celtic factory at Machrihanish and that perhaps it was waiting for space in Campbeltown harbour. I'll take a look next time I go down to town.
We found this spiny sea urchin over at Grogport. A seagull had made a meal of the insides, leaving just the prickly shell.

These occasionally wash-up on the beach at Carradale but by far more common are the heart-shaped sea urchins whose empty white shells dot the beach when the tide has retreated.

On a totally different topic, there's a 60s and 70s night in The Glen Bar on Saturday 14 May. Free admission, music by Jamie G, and food will be laid-on.
[Spiny Sea Urchin]
From: Craig Ramsay
Date: 26 April 2005

The ship you have pictured in the Bay is RFA SIR TRISTRAM. I personnally work for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) who own and operate the ship on behalf of the MoD. Completing the final stages of 3 years of training at the moment before joining my next ship in the position of 3rd Officer (Navigation)

See www.rfa.mod.uk

>From NavyNews.co.uk:

For a ship that was once bombed and abandoned, RFA Sir Tristram has proved a very useful asset.

Sir Tristram is one of five landing ships logistic (LSLs) in the RFA, supporting amphibious operations by landing troops, tanks, vehicles and other heavy equipment in port or on any suitable shore.

To allow this, she has doors in the bow and stern, allowing rapid loading and unloading, and her shallow draught allows her to run on to a beach to unload in areas where there is no secure port.

As such, she is part ro-ro ferry and part landing craft.

She can operate large helicopters from her flight deck aft and the vehicle deck amidships, and such versatility makes her a valuable addition to operations by UK, NATO and United Nations forces.

Sir Tristram can also act as a command and support ship for RN mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) when they deploy overseas, her role as mother-ship including full engineering support.

Sir Tristram's superstructure was badly damaged when the ship was bombed at Fitzroy during the Falklands War, and although she was initially abandoned, she was later used as emergency accommodation before being sea-lifted back to the UK.

She was then completely rebuilt and up-dated, with almost ten metres added to her length, and her new superstructure was of steel rather than aluminum.

She returned to service in 1985, and supported British forces in the Gulf War and the former Yugoslavia, as well as playing her part in numerous exercises and operations around the world.

In November 1998, Sir Tristram played a major role in the relief operations following the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in Central America. As part of a RN task group, she worked with British and Dutch marines, helping with relief supplies and medical aid to Honduras and Nicaragua.

The year 2000 was a busy one for the ship. She spent the first half in the Amphibious Ready Group, taking part in exercises in the Mediterranean and in operations in Sierra Leone.

After a spell of maintenance in Portsmouth, she supported the Royal Logistics Corps millennium event, berthing alongside HMS Belfast in London, then went to the Baltic as command and support ship for MCMVs, visiting Stockholm and Riga.

Since the beginning of this year she has been supporting the Royal Marines in Norway for their winter deployment, and is due back in her Marchwood base at the end of this month (March 2001).

But it will only be for a few days as she is due to take over from RFA Sir Percivale in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, supporting British forces ashore.

Trawler among the honours

RFA Sir Tristram's only predecessor was a modest vessel - but she still managed to win a Battle Honour.

That ship was an Admiralty trawler of the Round Table class, built by Lewis in 1942, and weighing in at 440 tons.

The eight-strong class were for the most part employed as minesweepers, and could be equipped with a range of devices and systems to counter the threat of mines, including acoustic and magnetic.

HMT Sir Tristram was just over 40 metres in length, with a beam of a little over seven metres and a draught of 3.5metres.

She had a single-shaft, triple-expansion engine, giving around 600ihp, giving her a speed of around 12 knots.

The Round Table class had a complement of 35, and each ship's armament consisted of a single 12pdr quick-firing low-angle gun and three 20mm anti-aircraft guns on single mountings.

HMT Sir Tristram won her Battle Honour during the Normandy Landings in 1944, and she was sold in 1947.

Facts and Figures

Class: Landing Ship Logistic (LSL)

Pennant number: L3505

Builder: Alexander Stevens, Glasgow

Completed: 1967

Entered Service: 1970

Post-Falklands repairs
and modifications: Tyne Shiprepairers 1985

Lloyd's Classification: +100 A1 +LMC Class 1 RO-RO Passenger

Port of Registry: London

Displacement: 6,400 tonnes

Length: 135.8 metres

Beam: 18.2 metres

Draught: 4 metres

Speed: 16 knots max

Complement: 53

Military lift: 340 troops (534 hard lying); 18 MBTs; 34 mixed vehicles; 120 tons POL; 30 tons ammunition; one 25-ton crane; two 4.5-ton cranes. Capacity for 20 helicopters (11 tank deck, 9 vehicle deck)

Main machinery: Two ten-cylinder turbocharged Mirrlees National diesels plus one 400hp bow thruster

Aircraft: Aft flight deck: one spot for Sea King of Lynx; vehicle deck: one spot for Chinook, Sea King of Lynx

Weapons: 20mm Oerlikons and 7.62mm machine guns

Hope this clears up another mystery in the life of the goat!


Craig Ramsay (Carradale Resident)

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