Blast From The Past: Puffin on the North Channel!

Belfast Telegraph article about boiled puffin being served onboard the Larne - Stranraer refit relief vessel NORRONA. NIFS Archive

Belfast Telegraph article about boiled puffin being served onboard the Larne - Stranraer refit relief vessel NORRONA. NIFS Archive

This weeks “Blast from the Past” takes us back to 1995, and a couple of articles in the Belfast Telegraph about a temporary visitor to our waters.  The first article is about an unusual menu option on the ‘Stena Sealink Line’ Larne – Stranraer refit relief vessel NORRONAReaders are told that amongst other delicacies on the menu is puffin breast in a creamy sauce with redcurrant jelly!  All is not as it seems however, as usual fare for the North Channel such as Fish & Chips and the traditional Ulster fry is still available even though it is not on the menu.  NORRONA was on the route for around 3 months while STENA ANTRIM was off the route providing cover for refits at Holyhead, Rosslare, and Newhaven as well as at Larne.

 

Belfast Telegraph article about boiled puffin being served onboard the Larne - Stranraer refit relief vessel NORRONA. NIFS Archive
Belfast Telegraph article about boiled puffin being served onboard the Larne – Stranraer refit relief vessel NORRONA. NIFS Archive

Despite her short stint in our waters, this was not the only time NORRONA appeared in the Belfast Telegraph however.  Being built for a totally different type of route she proved less than ideal for the Larne to Stranraer run.  She was reportedly slower than the regular vessels, and also had poor freight capacity.

NORRONA was chartered by Sealink Stena Line for refit cover. Copyright © Gary Andrews.
NORRONA was chartered by Stena Sealink Line for refit cover. Copyright © Gary Andrews.

Perhaps worst of all though, due to her single bow thruster the currents in Loch Ryan proved particularly troublesome for her when manoeuvring.  As a result, one crossing in particular reportedly took over 15 hours due to difficulty safely berthing in Stranraer!

 

  • A cutting from the Belfast Telegraph about passengers spending over 15 hours onboard NORRONA on a crossing between Larne and Stranraer, due to the inability of the relief vessel to dock at Stranraer in poor weather. NIFS Archive
    A cutting from the Belfast Telegraph about passengers spending over 15 hours onboard NORRONA on a crossing between Larne and Stranraer, due to the inability of the relief vessel to dock at Stranraer in poor weather. NIFS Archive

 

STENA FORERUNNER. Copyright © Scott Mackey

A Look Inside: Stena Forerunner

STENA FORERUNNER is the temporary dedicated Belfast to Birkenhead freight vessel.  She is one of three Stena 4-Runner MkII freight vessels built for Stena RoRo in China.  In these pictures we get a rare glimpse inside a vessel which normally only gets seen by freight drivers and her own crew.  

Read More »

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