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Cromarty Image Library

Panorama of the firth - Feb 27th 2004
The Cromarty Archive
Panorama of the firth - Feb 27th 2004

This is just a small section of a panoramic photo taken at lunchtime on a snowy day the end of February - from Balbair Point.

It shows fifteen rigs in the Firth (Fourteen clearly visible, and the tower of one stacked near Evanton), which with two which were outside the Sutors gives at grand total of seventeen. This is, as far as I am aware, the largest number ever in the Cromarty Firth. The panorama is stitched together from 22 separate photos.

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Picture added on 25 June 2004 at 14:46
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There were 19 in in 1990 or 1991 and there were 19 in last year if you count the 3 outside. The 3 outside were the Santa Fe 140, the Stena Dee and the Byford Dolphin which is still there yet. Last year was the first year that two rigs being towed actually passed each other in the firth just between Cromarty and Nigg.
Added by Ronald Young on 20 July 2004
I could not work out how another 2 rigs could have been stacked in the firth, but chatting to Ronald at the Regatta he explained that when there were 19 in last year there were 3 alongside at Invergordon (one in the Queens Dock, and two at the service base). In this photo there is the only the one Jack Up there.
Added by Calum Davidson on 06 August 2004
A wonderful photograph!
I think there were 17 rigs in port waters on 27/2/04, Transocean Explorer, Transocean Wildcat, Transocean Leader, Transocean Vanguard, John Shaw, Borgsten Dolphin, Byford Dolphin, Sedco 706, Sedco712, GSF Arctic II, GSF Arctic IV, GSF Magellan, GSF Rig 140, Maersk Endurer, Petrolia, GSF Jack Bates & Stena Spey. In addition, the Shetland Towage tug Tirrick was berthed alongside the Supply Base, and heavy lift ship Mighty Servant I was lying off Nigg Oil Terminal waiting to onload Maersk Endurer, the anchorhandler AH San Fruttuoso was also around.
If we count from the west, or left of the photo, 1 Transocean Explorer, 2 ?, 3 ?, 4 Transocean Wildcat, 5 Maersk Endurer (jack-up) with Tirrick, 6 ?, 7 GSF Arctic II, 8 ?, 9 Borgsten Dolphin 10 ?, 11 Petrolia 12 Jack Bates 13 GSF Magellan, 14 ?, 15 ?.,
Added by Ronald Stewart on 05 January 2006
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Zoomified Pictures

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