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Earlier this week we had one of the most un-Durbanlike ships ever seen here, again courtesy of our Houthi comrades in the Red Sea.

The new Calais-Dover ferry, P&O LIBERTE, is on delivery from her Chinese builders and diverted this way to miss the missiles. Quite remarkably ugly, but I was very keen to record her call.

She docked just after sunset on Tuesday, so a boat was the only option, hence we went out once the sun had come over the yardarm. Unfortunately, the wind had too, as a hell of a westerly buster, our first for weeks, ripped through late morning. It was very bumpy indeed on the boat, so quite a challenge to get the object of our desire more or less in the middle of the frame.

Extraordinary vessel. The pilot who brought her the previous evening made some interesting observations Two identical bows and bridges. Four pods, two of which were churning to hold her on the berth when we were on the water, and generating a hell of a lot of turbulence. 40,000 shp. The pilot reported that the "funnels" are labelled "Dover" and "Calais". The bizarre thing is that this vessel, save maybe for occasional forays for refits and the like, may never turn around throughout her life. A mundane existence....

Photo / text : Trevor Jones / Durban