Monday, 8 December 2008


A new ferry ship, the Pentalina, is currently heading north up the Minch, as shown in this AIS [Automatic Ship Identification] screenshot from 5.38pm this evening.
The catamaran is capable of carrying 350 passengers and 32 to 58 cars as well as 9 lorries. She is yet to be fitted out completely. The ship was built in the Philippines and has safely negotiated the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden on Friday. She is expected to arrive in Orkney waters tomorrow. Pentalina will take up the run between Gills Bay on the northern coast of mainland Scotland and St Margaret's Hope in Orkney, a crossing that will take her 45 minutes.


  1. These cats are great in some ways but per mile use x 4 the fuel of a conventional displacement-type hull. Now don't someone come and comment that "they go twice as fast ao it isn't that bad". A bloke in a small sailing boat got literally run over by one of these in the Southern Balitc. The hull wasn't damaged so he survived but the mast got broken, of course, and it is rumoured that he now plays golf.

  2. I love this AIS site, AL, I have it bookmarked and check it frequently. Some of the locations are so jam-packed with shipping that it seems they must all be bumping into one another (eg Dover, the Mersey etc). I would never have heard of it if it hadn't been for you!

  3. She's here. And on the front page of today's Orcadian. She was meant to be in Orkney in time for the summer season, but was hit by many mysterious glitches, including a diesel bug - a bacteria that feeds on diesel, making a sludge which clogs up the injectors (I am indebted to Hyper-B for this info).