An Afternoon on Lady Madeleine

Another opportunity recently arose for me to join one of Adsteam's tugs in Southampton and assist a CMA CGM container ship from her berth. Naturally, I jumped at the chance and boarded the Lady Madeleine in Ocean Dock at around 1530hrs on Friday 9th September 2005. The tug was due to connect to the stern of CMA CGM Baudelaire which was to sail from 207 berth (on time!) at 1630hrs. The following series of photographs follows the towage operation from the connection of the tow line to the safe departure of the vessel. The tugs were to remain with our vessel for longer than usual as we had to do a "Dock Head pass" with an inbound container vessel, the MOL Solution. This involved the close passing in restricted waters of two very large vessels off Southampton's Eastern Docks.

The container ship CMA CGM Baudelaire has a nominal capacity of 6,447 TEU. She has an overall length of 300.25 metres and a beam of 40.30 metres. Her gross and net tonnages are 73,172 and 40,905 respectively. She was built by Hanjin in 2001 and is currently employed on CMA CGM's FAL (French Asia Line) service which operates between North Europe and the Far East, via the Mediterranean and Middle East.

The Z-peller tug Lady Madeleine has a bollard pull of 61 tonnes. She was completed by Damen Shipyards in 1996 and has a gross tonnage of 381 and a length of 32.72 metres.

01    The tug arrives at the ship's stern
02    The tow line is winched aboard the vessel
03    The container vessel's port side
04    The tow line is connected and the mooring ropes are being released
05    Meanwhile Lyndhurst takes the vessel's bow
06    The stern of the container ship is pulled away from the quay
07    Once clear of the berth, the ship can begin to move astern
08    Moving astern.....
09    .....and getting up speed
10    The ship is guided around the corner of 203 berth
11    Once in the upper swinging ground, the main engines are used to halt the vessel
12    The tugs assist the ship as she swings to port
13    The passage downstream begins
14    The vessel slows to a halt off Pier Head to ensure a safe pass with the incoming ship
15    The inbound MOL Solution passes CMA CGM Baudelaire off Dock Head
16    Once the pass has been made, the tugs are released and the vessel continues on her passage to Malta
17    CMA CGM Baudelaire sails down Southampton Water
18    CMA CGM Baudelaire sails down Southampton Water
19    CMA CGM Baudelaire sails down Southampton Water
20    Finally, Lady Madeleine is safely tied up in Ocean Dock

Many thanks to all at Adsteam Towage for making this such an interesting and enjoyable afternoon.