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...


  1. Quite the adventure, and cheers to you for making the attempt...

  2. The ship is now parked in the Medway in a marina awaiting conversion. Probably to a houseboat. I own another Irish Light (Gannet from SouthRock) and I can see Albatross from my mooring.

    If you are interested in my ship see

  3. i am new the owner of Albatross and it is currently undergoing conersion into a luxury 3/4 bedroom family home on the medway with intention to ove it onto the Thames on completion

    1. only found this today as I was looking to see what happened her. I was on this for years as a Sea Scout. She was finally moored near the old Gasometer but it proved impossible to get hard connections to the land to convert her into an activity centre. the owners of the land refused to give a right of way so it was then she was sold off.

      key Giant I'd love to see pics of her now. as had a real connection to her as I stayed onher lots of weekends doing work on her and as a young sea scout.

    2. Thanks Eugene. Its great you have a personal interest in her. Have to say, I'm a little concerned about her now

  4. Brilliant news. So many lightships end up getting scrapped that it's great to see some being put to practical use. Fair play!

  5. any update on the albatross lightship , is it converted to a home yet? would love to see some pics

  6. I used to take scouts onto the albatross when it was at Dun Laoghaire harbour. At the time the SAI ran it and we took other scout troups out on it for weekends. It was an amazing boating experience for all. 5th Port took it over after my days on it and I believe from then on it was moved to Grand Canal for repairs which were never carried out. I have such fond memories of that ship. Really glad to hear that it was not scrapped but has found a good home instead.

  7. Seems to have been up for sale on Transplo in July 2016 but the link doesn't work, probably because the ad was removed. I'd love to see some pics myself. The Lighthouse Directory says nothing came of the plan to turn it into a houseboat

  8. I'm wondering if there was any updates on the ALbatross.
    Her light is on the Quay in Arklow at the entrance to the marina there. It'd be lovely to see some updated pics of her if she was turned into a houseboat. I'd say it would be warmer than when I stayed on her as a young Sea Scout, it was freezing.


  10. Currently up for sale again

  11. Malahide Sea scouts had a long standing connection with LS Albatross when it was a scout sea training centre on moorings in Dun Laoigh Harbour.
    The ships bell is now with Malahide seascouts.
    I always considered that removing the original lantern to use it as a marina decoration in Arklow was detrimental to her unique identity and profile.
    The move to Medway for conversion looks to have stalled, maybe she will escape the scrapyard.

  12. Hi I'm the new Ower of the Albatross we are just starting our long journey of converting her into a lovely home she is moored near Rochester .
    Il post some pictures once work is underway

  13. That would be fantastic! Congratulations on your new purchase. As you day, it'll be a long journey but hopefully worthwhile in the end. Many thanks for helping to save one of our fast dwindling lightships!! Pete

  14. Hi Pete as mentioned I'm currently the new owner of the albatross we are currently living on her whilst we convert her its been cold and wet but we love her .
    Just a question if may 🤔 how do I know this is a heritage boat ?and does anyone have pictures of the light that she use to have ?is it still in Ireland.
    Many thanks