Friday, August 02, 2013

Sepia Saturday 188 : Barques And Bytes

Ionic Ferry : Circa 1965

HSC Manannan
As we were returning from the Isle of Man on Wednesday aboard the High Speed Catamaran "Manannan" operated by the delightfully Victorian sounding Isle Of Man Steam Package Company I was thinking what to do for this week's Sepia Saturday entry. Our visual prompt showed an old sea clipper (*) being towed into Littlehampton Harbour and therefore boats of one type or another seemed an obvious choice. Searching through a box of old colour slides, I found this one of the Ionic Ferry which I must have taken in the mid 1960s. I am not 100% sure where we were ferrying from and to fifty years ago, but looking at the history of the ship and the history of my travels as a youth, I suspect it might have been from Stranraer in Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland.

Sea travel has certainly improved in the 50 or so years between my two photographs. Now fast catamarans slice through the waves of the Irish Sea and airline type service allows you to watch a movie or enjoy a complimentary coffee. Perhaps some of the charm has been bleached out of the undertaking as the barnacle-clad , iron-bolted superstructure has given way to jet-propelled, wind-tunnel sculpted panels, but, on the whole, I prefer my pictures old and my boats new. 

You can now sail over in style and view the rest of this week's posts by following the links at the

(*)  I know that I am going to have several comments pointing out that it was not a clipper but a barque or a galleon or a three-masted schooner, but as far as I am concerned schooners are for putting drinks in and barques are for dogs - so clipper it is.

24 comments:

  1. Whatever type of ship other one that was, your photograph of the Ionic certainly does it justice. By coincidence the glass plate negative collection which I featured this week also has some images of the Isle of Man, even a ferry photograph. A far cry from the one you took, though, and more in line with the company's name.

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  2. The Manannan looks like it might be at home in a Star Wars movie.

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  3. Hello this is my first sepia Saturday
    I so agree with you Photos old boats new!
    I have sailed on a few types of boats in my time I must say I like comfort best !!!
    Jackie

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  4. But aren't clippers for keeping your toenails neat? I'm so glad you survived the Isle of Man crossing Alan, and are able to post these pictures (but partly because I don't want to be left with Sepia Saturday on my own).

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    1. But you're not on your own, Marilyn. You have two or three dozen of us with you every week.

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    2. Brett, that's so good to hear, but that's not quite what I meant - and I think you knew that ;)

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  5. I agree with you in regard to barques and schooners :)

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  6. Thank goodness you survived for all our sakes! Ha! Ha! Great photos Alan, you sure live a wonderful life on vacation!

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  7. Welcome back Cappin Alan!Shipping is the most civilized form of travel Me'thinks.

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  8. I used to go to the docks of Cleveland with a friend, looking for pictures like that. Back in the seventies. All the cranes. All the bridges. Such a sight.

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  9. I like the photo of your clipper. It reminds of a boat ride we took once when visiting England to the Isle of Wight. But it was one of those more modern types - the hydroplane. It was a fun, but very wet ride.
    Nancy

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  10. Alan, what a line! "on the whole, I prefer my pictures old and my boats new." Being a gal from the high desert in Oregon, the sea is a very foreign place to me -- always abit dodgey about it. However, I do like to hear about other's sea adventures and experiences.

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  11. You road on a very fancy ferry. Marine travel and technology has changed greatly.

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  12. Clipper it shall be then :)
    I have not had much adventure at the high seas though I recall one boat journey from Bremerhaven to Heligoland in 1963.While on a visit to Germany some recommended I try a crossing so I did along with my brother. The North Sea proved to be choppy and we didn't love our day trip much.
    I only do small sight seeing boat trips now. Sailing the sees isn't for me. I prefer the flight over it :)
    Thanks for dropping by my post recently. Things are on the mend here.

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  13. Since you live in the middle of an island too, this was just a cruise in the British archipelago. A misuse of nautical terminology used to be inexcusable when such maritime words were not just trivia but a proper description of the world. And before photography, the quality of an artist was measured by their ability to get the spars and rigging shipshape to the discerning sailor's eye.

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  14. I love car ferries. You're right. They're very posh these days but still a lot of fun.

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  15. There are some witty headings this week!
    Yours is one of them

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  16. One of my uncles was one of the original shareholders in the company that established the Isle of Man Ferry, so this touched bases with me.

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  17. A great comparison of ferries. I think I prefer the new one too.

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  18. I always regret never having photographed in hydrofoil ferries along the Norwegian coast. I travelled on them many times; they were distinctly faster than ferries out of Stranraer or Mallaig.

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  19. I did not know that catamarans sailed to the Isle of Man. My great uncle worked on the Fleetwood to Douglas ferry and my mother remembers going on it for the sea trip. I have been on the ferry from Oban to Coll and Tiree (n the Western Isles - a three hour trip one way. In July it got quite choppy once we were away from the shelter of the Sound of Mull.

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  20. I remember traveling by ship between Panama and the port of New Orleans--definitely not a ferry or a fast catamaran. The trip took seven or eight days and as a kid, I loved the choppy seas and all the commotion. I did not have my first ferry ride until I visited Scandinavia, France and England at fourteen and found the ferries dull by comparison.

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  21. Sepians take me all over the world. I love it.

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