Drone flight 769. July 6th 2018, we had been tracking this beast for almost one month, she left port at South Africa then after almost four weeks of sailing she arrived at the outer markers of Lough Foyle. With a dead weight of 58758 tonnes and a draught of 11.5m she was fully laden with coal. These deep draught bulk carriers only arrive on Lough Foyle once or twice a year at most. Port operations differ in comparison to bulk carriers which arrive with a higher draught, they are often half full because they have discharged a portion of their cargo at other ports before hand such as Belfast, Dublin or Limerick.
These deep draught vessels cannot sail into the shallow waters of the lough in proximity to Foyle Port, the water at high tide is simply not deep enough for safety. Instead the port pilot brings the vessel into the deep waters of Moville Bay half way down down the lough, there she will drop anchor and using her deck cranes she will off load her cargo onto two smaller cargo ships, then when the draught rises to a safe level, such as 7m, the tugs then take her into Foyle Port where the remainder of her cargo is off loaded as normal, it's a fascinating operation to watch.
Bulk Costa Rica arrived and the pilot headed out to bring her in. It was a gorgeous warm day, blazing sun, blue skies, and the sea was calm and beautiful. The sun lit up the ship revealing her brilliant white tower and yellow cranes, she made for quite the sight as she entered the lough low in the water, I'm sure the crew on board were glad to see land after sailing for so long, vessel details...
Name: Bulk Costa Rica
Deadweight: 58758 t
Size: 197m x 32.26m
Two drones chasing ship at different altitudes, verbal communication of height and position and another spotter used. Flight went well, we flew out earlier than usual to get her in the sunshine before she entered an area where clouds were building, drone altitude 2.7m on the way out, climbing to 5m when the vessel passed, then 67m as she passed on her starboard side, a beautiful ship in such great weather, drone behaving well, on shore breeze of 12-13mph gusts and dropping to 8mph. I kept the flight simple, the ship did all the performing, soundtrack 'Tony Anderson - Immanuel', thanks for watching. http://www.nightskyhunter.com/