Stena Adventurer (I)

Belfast lay-up

 
 

On April 5 1997, the 20th anniversary of St Columba's departure from Aalborg on her delivery voyage to Holyhead, news broke of a possible sale to Agapitos Express Ferries of Greece. Before the ship left for warmer climes I paid a final visit to her in UK waters.  April 18 revealed her new owners already onboard, familiarising themselves with what would become their new ship.  

 
 
 

In the company of Capt Peter Lockyer I wandered from stem to stern.  It seemed so strange to walk around the ship, quiet now, knowing my crossings of the Irish Sea would never be the same.  For not only was the ship leaving, but so too were the people who manned who.  A community was breaking up. As Capt Lockyer and I left the ship later that day for the drive south to Dun Laoghaire I looked back and said goodbye. On May 9, renamed Express Aphrodite, the ship left Belfast and the Irish Sea for the last time.