Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Lightship Albatross

Okay no picture but you get a birdseye view here

I received an email from Rob who helps to run a fascinating website primarily concerned with the ships built in the Leith shipyard of Henry Robb
Rob was enquiring about the Lightship Albatross, launched in 1924 and believed to be the oldest Henry Robb ship still in existence. It was moored in Dublin - could I get a picture or two?

I had tried to find it before. After finding the mast and light in Arklow I had attempted to track it down. It had been in Dun Laoghaire where it was used by the Sea Scouts. It was later transferred to the entrance of Grand Canal Dock on the River Liffey but since 2000, it had been moored in Pigeon House Harbour.
Now, Pigeon House Harbour, I presumed, was somewhere along Pigeon House Road, which runs along the south side of the Liffey, all docks area, from the East Link Bridge, almost to Poolbeg Lighthouse. So I asked and asked and asked but nowhere that I stopped on Pigeon House Road knew where the harbour was.
However, since then, I've discovered Google maps and looking at it, there could be only one possible location for the harbour. So this morning, I drove down to it. The entrance to it appeared to lie through the Poolbeg Power Station, so I drove in through the gates (the barrier was up) and parked in the car park. Then I walked to a wall where grave danger apparently awaited if I went any further. Then over a fence and into the harbour, where the disused warehouse to my right was littered with Danger - Keep Away signs.
But no boat.
There was a rather bockety looking fishing vessel on the opposite side of the harbour, with three men working on it. So I walked down and asked them if they knew where the Lightship Albatross was. "London," I was told. "Sailed on Sunday."
As we were talking, another man came along and he told me it had been towed to London to be refurbished into a pub / restaurant. Couldn't remember the place but it was somewhere on the Thames (really?) And he had the exact spot at home and he'd put it up on the Where is She Now website.
So ten years in the one spot and three days before I visit, she sails away! But at least she's gone to a good home.
Getting back home, I can't find this Where is She Now website...