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Cargo ship Geestbay quayside in Avonmouth 1982
Ships and Harbours
No: 5864   Contributor: Marcel Gommers   Year: 1982   Manufacturer: Smith's Dock, South Bank, England, United Kingdom   Country: United Kingdom
Cargo ship Geestbay quayside in Avonmouth 1982

Photo of British registered cargo vessel Geestbay (IMO 8003761) moored and assisted by tug in Avonmouth in 1982.
The cargo ship Geestbay was built in 1981 by Smith's Dock, South Bank, Middlesbrough (England). She measured a loa 159m, beam 21.4m and 7729 GT. She changed name in 1994 to Magellan Reefer, in 2003 to Nafsica, in 2004 to Estia and in 2005 to Estia I.

With thanks and © P.W. Hobday.
Picture added on 07 July 2008
add commentComments:
I worked as a marine fitter at Smiths Dock and installed the steering gear on this vessel. She, and her sister Geestport were amongst the best looking ships Smiths Dock ever built before the lovely Magaret T decided to shut the place down. I believe Geestbay was moored outside the Houses of Parliament shortly after completion as an example of what British industry could produce, sadly we are incapable of doing anything like this anymore, we have to get the French to design our ships now. Nelson and co must be doing about 5000 rpm.

Added by Graeme Myers on 18 December 2008.
The Geestbay was built in 1963 in Amsterdam and was registered at Boston Lincolnshire. I was 2nd refrigerating engineer on her in 1964-5. At the same time my two mates were sailing on the Geestport. We sailed between Barry Docks in South Wales to the Windward Islands in the Carribean.

Added by Graham Swarts on 05 February 2009.
I think you will find that your Geestbay is the previous vessel of the same name . Geest line seem to sell off, or scrap vessels but keep the same names.
One of the two sisters, and I cant remember which, took part in the Falklands war as asupply ship.

Added by Graeme Myers on 05 February 2009.
Okay, now this is confusing.
There have been two 'Geestbay' cargo ships. One built in 1964 in Amsterdam, id / IMO 6413819, renamed in 1973 to North Star and in 1975 to Isla Verde and disposed of in Huangpu in 1984.
The second one, as the details above, built in Smith's Dock in 1981, IMO 8003761.

I think the one in the photo is the one as identified by me, the maker of this photo and by Graeme (see comment above).

I checked against another site (Vesseltracker) than the original (Miramar) and the info as I've provided is confirmed on Vesseltracker, including a far more recent photo showing the same ship as in the photo above.

Added by Marcel Gommers on 05 February 2009.
The vessel pictured is the second Geestbay built in the U.K. She served in the Falklands in 1981. The vessel is not moored she is singled up to tugs. The for'd tug out of frame is towing via the Panama lead.

Added by Graham Smith on 12 February 2009.
Hi Graham,
I dont think the Geestbay would be moored outside the Houses of Parliament. It would have been a terrible tight squeese to get under the bridges, the little Bowbelle could only just make it depending on tide. Maybe she went through Tower Bridge and moored alongside HMS Belfast.

Added by Brian Aspinall on 22 June 2009.
You are of course correct, being from oop North my knowledge of the Thames is limited.

Added by Graeme Myers on 23 June 2009.
Hi Graham,
I am also from oop north,Bolton, but I used to work on the old Bowbelle on the Thames. thats why I knew about it. interesting river.

Added by Brian Aspinall on 23 June 2009.
I do have some old photos of the Geestbay leaving Smiths for the last time while her sister Geestport was still on the stocks. I would have to scan them in if anybody is interested.I could send them via e-mail if required

Added by Graeme Myers on 23 June 2009.
Hi Graeme,
If you could scan one or two and add them to the site (using the 'upload' page, really easy)... that would be great!

Added by Marcel Gommers on 23 June 2009.
I remember a Channel 4 documentary many years ago now over a few weeks that charted a round voyage on her.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 28 October 2009.
hi dear all,
i have purchased above said vessel for recycling purpose.she is on the last voyage now

Added by Haresh Parmar on 04 November 2009.
Where will she be broken up?

Added by Paul Strathdee on 04 November 2009.
I used to be a chef on this vessel and her sister ship the geestport and there were two other ships in the fleet, the geesthaven and geestcape, we sailed between barry and the windward islands. i remember the channel 4 documentry and have been trying to source a copy but haven't had any joy yet.
Cheers Lee.

Added by Lee Spencer on 05 November 2009.
she will be break in my yard in alang (india).
you have any information regarding this ship?

Added by Haresh Parmar on 07 November 2009.
Completed 1981 by Smiths Dock South Bank Middlesbrough England for Geest Line. Had a sister GEESTPORT completed in 1982 and which arrived in Turkey in August 2009 for breaking up.
GEESTBAY was sold in 1994 becoming MAGELLAN REEFER then NAFSICA, ESTIA and possibly ESTIA I.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 09 November 2009.
I served as Mate and on occasion Master on both the Geestbay and Geestport.
My last voyage on the 'Bay was also her last voyage under Geest which ended in Southampton 13th October 1994 when she was handed over to new owners and we were all made redundant. This also marked the end of Gesst owned vessels on their traditional Windward Islands run, thereafter charter vessels were used.
Before her maiden voyage she was moored at Greenwich for a publicity event not unfortunately outside the Houses of Parliament!
The Geestport was STUFT, Ship taken up from trade' for service in the Falklands in '82.
The Geestbay under Captain David Boon rescued Richard Branson and crew from his first attempt at winning the Blue Riband when his jetfoil sank in the Western Approaches.
I have many happy memories serving on many of the Geest Line ships over twenty odd years and it was sad to see it all being wound up.

Added by Bill Boddington on 05 April 2010.
Indeed. Hopefully the Falklands will not escalate again but one wonders where they would get ships from if it were to happen.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 05 April 2010.
Most of the ships would be requisitioned by the government, this is of course why Geestport went there.

Added by Van Geest on 28 April 2010.
I have B&W; photo of the first Geestbay moored in Pool of London (opposite Houses of Parliarment) taken from Tower Bridge on her maiden voyage 1964. Your photo is the first Geestbay.

Added by Chas Betts on 26 November 2010.
Correction, the photo shown is of the second Geestbay taken in Avonmouth where Geest Line moved to in the early eighties before returning to the new terminal that was built back in Barry.

Added by Bill Boddington on 30 November 2010.
The ship in the picture is the Geestbay, build in 1964/65 in Amsterdam,
by the Nederlandse Dok- en Scheepsbouwmaatschappij (NDSM).
Look again at the picture taken in 1982: This does NOT show a 1 year
old ship, but a ship that is at least 15 years old at that time.
I took 2 pics of M/S Geestbay's launch in 1965, and they without any doubt show this same ship.
If there ever was build a Geestbay at Smith's Dock in England,
that must have been a different ship.

Added by Paul van Oosterhout on 22 August 2012.
I don't remember the year, but it must have been 1963-1965
Here are links to the pics:

Added by Paul van Oosterhout on 22 August 2012.
The ship in the photo is the second Geestbay built at Smiths dock circa 1981. The first Geestbay and the first Geestport were indeed built in Holland for the Windward Islands/UK run in the 60s.
The first Geestbay was fitted out with derricks not deck cranes, Geest introduced cranes with the 'Tide' class vessels in the 70s.

Added by Bill Boddington on 22 August 2012.
Sorry... I cannot believe Smith's re-used 18 years old Dutch blueprints. But OK... if they build a Geestbay in 1981, then they must have done. Probably they liked our Dutch design :-) It's not that difficult to replace derricks with cranes. This "upgrade" was probably done by Smith's dock. But after that, it still was the same mid-sixties Dutch-build ship.

Added by Paul van Oosterhout on 23 August 2012.
I'm sure there were two geestbays and not a Derrick to crane swap! My parents over look the port of Barry and I'm sure they have pictures of both the Geestbays will try and dig them out and upload them!

Added by L Spencer on 23 August 2012.
Indeed- a 1964 Dutch built Geestbay scrapped in China in 1984 and the Smiths Dock built Geestbay featured here completed in 1981 and broken up in 2009.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 24 August 2012.
sorry Mr Oosterhout but you are absolutely wrong. Smiths built two ships of this design as previously mentioned. The Geest line liked the twin funnel design so much that they insisted on it being used on the new vessels. In actual fact the basic hull design was practically identical to the 5 reefers that Smiths built for the Blue Star line in the mid 1970s. Having worked on all the ships mentioned, and also having somewhere in my loft an actual Smiths general arrangement drawing, I can assure you that the ships were designed on Teesside, however I must admit that the design was influenced by the original Dutch one. Surely somebody must have a photo of the first Geestbay to compare?

Added by Grame Myers on 06 September 2012.
I was 2nd Steward on the first Geestbay. Are there any others that were on it then. On our maiden voyage we had parties for hundreds of people at every port. The champagne flowed like a river and we had massive buffets out on deck. Lovely ship and lovely memories.

Added by John Templeton on 16 September 2012.
There's a painting of Geestbay in 1980 in Ayscoughfee Hall Museum in Spalding

Added by Oliver Weindling on 01 October 2012.
I have the pictures of the geestboats but not sure how to get them on here? Can anyone help?

Added by L spencer on 01 October 2012.

Editor: If you've made the pictures, own the copyright of the photos or have the express permission of the copyright owner then all you have to do is follow a few steps... starting by clicking on 'Upload a Picture' in the top menu to the right.

Added by Marcel Gommers - Editor on 02 October 2012.
Does any one have any memories of the Geest Star? I worked on her as a young lad, straight from school after attending sea training school at Gravesend, I worked in the pantry when there were passengers travelling back and for the wind ward islands and have fond memories of my experience, and the guys I had the pleasure of working with one of the stewards was gent called 'flash' from Liverpool.

Added by Brian on 17 April 2013.
My father Jonathan Joey was very proud to have worked on the Geest ships in the 70s and 80s. My brother and I have fond memories of visiting the ship at Barry docks when it returned from the Carribean. Happy times.

Added by Sarah Davies on 03 August 2013.
This was not the 1st Geest bay, I was on this one for quite a while as asst. cook, 2nd cook, and ch. cook. A great ship to be on with great people. Graeme Myers it was the Geestport that went to the Falklands, I was there at the time but on the bay. Spent many happy days with Geest from '80-'90

Added by Mike Stokes on 01 December 2013.
Loved this ship she was a happy place to be all the served on her for 2yrs

Added by LEONARD O NEILL on 22 April 2014.
My father Kevin Breedon worked on the Geest Ships sailing from Barry in the 70's to 80's. We would sometimes visit the ship at Barry. As a children myself and my sister thoroughly enjoyed this. I seem to remember lots of families and children there as well. If anyone recalls this and has any photos I'd love to see them.

Added by Karen Bregan on 26 April 2014.
Hi Karen, we used to do the same! We used to even stay on board for a night before Dad came home. I have lovely memories of the bar room pretending to play bar maid! Cans of lilt a plenty and big boxes of bananas! I can still smell the engine oil and see the white and green paint going up the metal steps on board. Good memories.

Added by Sarah Davies on 29 April 2014.
Hi Karen, we have the same memories. I vividly remember the wobbly bridge as we climbed on to the ship and dad waving to us in his oily white boiler suit! My brother and I would be treated to a can of lilt and an ice cream from the huge walk in freezers. The best memories are playing in the bar pretending to pull pints and being allowed to sleep outboard in the cabins. Wish I could go back!

Added by Sarah Davies on 29 April 2014.
Wow, all of those things have just encouraged more of my memories to come through! I seem to remember drinking lots of lilt and of course the bridge. The smell of the ship and the paint! Myself and my sister used to play onboard. I remember other kids, maybe you and your brother were the ones we played with!

Added by Karen Bregan on 02 May 2014.
Hi Karen, not sure if your on Facebook but there is a page called geest line shipping, I've uploaded pictures to there that I have and there are plenty more from other people in the group! Take a look.

Added by Lee spencer on 08 May 2014.
Hi Lee, I have lots of geest photos that I'd be happy to share on the Facebook page. I'll have to dig them out.

Added by Sarah Davies on 09 May 2014.
Interesting to read the a young boy circa 1966, I used to holiday at my Ants in Barry and the highlight of the holidays was watching the tugs (Uskgarth, Butegarth Bargarth) berthing the Gueest boats, walking along the docks and seeing all the things being loaded, , tyres, Bedford trucks, all being loaded for transport to the far off mystical Caribbean. I remember the maiden voyage of Guesst Haven and rod stewart "we are sailing blasting out"
Happy days, especially when I could climb all over the steam engines, play amongst the asbestos, fall from a height off the cabs into the nettles and get stung all over before elf n safety
Maybe getting old now, but they were happy happy days

Added by Paul Wood on 27 July 2014.
Hello everyone - lovely reading all these comments. I was the Radio Officer on some of the Geest Line ships as follows:-
Geest Bay 1982 and 1984, Geest Star 1984, Geest Land 1984, and Geest Star again in 1985. I am an English lad but grew up in Barry when we moved there in 1967. At the age of ten I used to wander down the docks and fell in love with the Geest Ships and decided that all I wanted to do when I grew up was go to sea. Imagine my delight then sailing out of my home port on these ships and as a Radio Officer, and then in 1984 I took my wife with me on a trip to the Windward Islands. Fantastic! I sailed with lots of other shipping companies and, all in all, had 7 years sailing around the world - great times!

Added by Rob Garnham on 24 September 2014.
I joined geestbay as second steward in Holland.Most of us came from Bowaters.
Anyone out there that did the maiden voyage contact me

Added by John Templeton on 17 November 2014.
Thanks for contact Len. Anyone else out there who sailed on Geestbay from her maiden voyage.

Added by John Templeton on 22 November 2014.
Anyone hear from bill boddington from geest

Added by Len o neill on 27 January 2015.
My late father Harry Curran from Liverpool sailed on the Geestbay. I have photographs of the ship with him and fellow sailors. Dad was a steward / Purser and I believe in 1965 he took my mother with him and she worked her passage behind the bar. I was conceived on that trip out in the West Indies. Anyone remember my father "H" or Harry. Actually if I get some photo's scanned someone may recognise their family member.

Added by Maria Curran on 27 May 2015.
Hi I was on the Geestbay from 64. To 67. The name I know but can't put a face sorry.

Added by Len o neill on 27 May 2015.
I sailed on the Geestbay 2nd voyage as junior engineer.

Added by Graham Swarts on 27 May 2015.
Len o neill, were you on the Geest land in early '80's? Also...did you sail with Texaco 1979 ?

Added by Mike Stokes on 29 May 2015.
Len I'll dig out any photos I have of dad, the ship and any of his colleagues. You may recognise some faces.

Added by Maria Curran on 29 May 2015.
I think I remember him now. If I am not miss taken he was not very tall and at bit round lol. I think he may had joined as a 2nd steward. It would be good to some pic of that time. Another person that was on the Geestbay John templeton he is from Liverpool as well and is on this site. Hope u r good Len.

Added by Len o neill on 30 May 2015.
Definately built at Smiths Dock, I did the original Design General Arrangements, as an junior Hull Designer. Beautiful lines, loved laying them out, keeping symetry with the sidescreens, funnels, etc

Added by David Forster on 02 June 2015.
Haaa, Len, that is my dad you have described. Head of grey hair brushed back off his forehead with Brylcreme. I'm going through the old photo's this weekend and will upload what I can find.

Added by Maria Curran on 12 June 2015.
hi maria
I knew your dad. I was 2nd steward before him on Geestbay. Lovely times

Added by John Templeton on 19 June 2015.
Yes I thought it was him long time age but it slowly coming back. Lol. Look for to seeing any thing u have. U could send them to. Joiner159@btinternet .com if poss.


Added by Len o neill on 19 June 2015.
John, Len,
My apologies. Got sidetracked by my sons last weekend. Will search through the photos later.

Added by Maria Curran on 23 June 2015.
John, Email me on and I'll get the photo's sent over. I've got a menu with the following
MV GEESTBAY Voyage 13. Capt DG Powell, Chief Engineer J Loverring, Purser DG Bell, Chef J Jameson.

Also another item signed by various serving staff on I think MS Geestcape in December 1967 Looks like surnames are Woodhouse, McSheehy, S Brownill, A Seaf, Coleway, and others I cant make out their signatures.

Added by Maria Curran on 16 July 2015.
Well John I knew all of them sailed with them for long time

Added by Len o neill on 23 July 2015.
Message for Lennie O'Neil.
Is this the purser from Northern Ireland?

Russell Coombs

Added by on 07 August 2015.
Hi u. Yes that's right. How the hell u r. Good to hear from u. Hope u r well and all family. Lennie

Added by on 12 August 2015.
I worked for Geest in the 1960's at the Warminster Depot. I dealt with all the contents that came in on the Ships. I would like to hear from anyone that had any connection with the Warminster Depot

Added by Ann (Cundick) Dennison on 11 September 2015.
My dad was from St Vincent and the Grenadines and worked on a number of the Geest Boats in the 60s and 70s between the UK and the Caribbean. There were a number of Geest Boats trading around this time: Geest Bay;Haven;Crest;Land;Tide;Cape;Port.

Added by Jacqui Tannis Riley on 14 September 2015.
Hi I think I rennet yr dad My name is Len o Neil I was a Purser and was all of the ship. Have u a photo ta. Len

Added by Len o brill on 17 September 2015.
My wife's day worked on the Geest ships as an engineer. His name was Jeffrey Jones. Does anyone remember him?

Added by Nick rutter on 20 September 2015.
My Dad worked on the Geest ship for many years. His name is Oliver Webb, anyone remembers him from the 1960 to 1970.

Added by Malva Webb on 26 October 2015.
Yes I sailed with him my name is Len o neill

Added by Len o neill on 27 October 2015.
My name is Geoff Grundy I sailed on all 4 of the 1st Geest boats as Elect from Aug 70 to Dec 72 then 2 trips between Dec 92 to Feb 93 when they pulled out of Barry for Southampton then Portsmouth. Don, t recognise many of the names mentioned.We did some charter work when the the new Tide class arrived in 72. The 1st 4 ships had derricks I can assure you, the Tide class cranes...I stood by them in Barry. Wish I could do it all over again!

Added by Geoff Grundy...Electrical Officer on 04 November 2015.
Hi Mr. O'Neil, do you by chance have any photos of him, any funny stories and experiences. My niece is doing our family tree and also writing stories about experiences of different members. Anything would be appreciated. Thanks for responding.

Added by Malva Webb on 08 November 2015.
Hi Mr. O'Neil, do you by chance have any photos of him, any funny stories and experiences. My niece is doing our family tree and also writing stories about experiences of different members. Anything would be appreciated. Thanks for responding.

Added by Malva Webb on 08 November 2015.
My father was MD of Geest Line whilst the Bay was being built and came into service - she came through Tower Bridge and moored against HMS Belfast for her naming ceremony as the first of her type I believe - her sister did not have the same privilege. The company received a certificate of service on her return from the Falklands, and I think at least some of the ships company were entertained at a reception in London. They were beautiful ships and very popular with their passengers!

Added by Chris Edmondson on 16 March 2016.
I worked on all of the geest ships that came into Barry Docks in the mid seventies I was an apprentice in Bailey's dry dock good learnining kerb

Added by Nino SPITERI on 18 March 2016.
My dad was a ships engineer on Geestbay and others in about 66 - 68 at Barry where he died last year. I have his cine films including the ship berthed at st.lucia or Grenada. There is coverage my mum una Hudson took of him and others returning in the sea lock at Barry dock. I watched as a 7 year old boy then went onboard. One of the ships had a swimming pool and there are shots of my mum and other crew families swimming. I have to view, collate and transfer to YouTube maybe sometime.

Added by Neal Hudson on 10 May 2016.
Hi Guys,
Do any of you remember Tony Breach he was a Master with Geest. I have been in contact with him albeit a few years ago 2008. He was on the Ship Nostalgia web site, you can sign up and logon its good fun to meet up with past buddies.

Added by Geoff Mortimer on 09 July 2016.
Hi Guys,
Do any of you remember Tony Breach he was a Master with Geest. I have been in contact with him albeit a few years ago 2008. He was on the Ship Nostalgia web site, you can sign up and logon its good fun to meet up with past buddies.

Added by Geoff Mortimer on 09 July 2016.
I sailed with Tony Breach in the early 70, s when he was Mate.Also David Boon, Owen Springett, Angus Macneil, David Powell and John Milner.How is that for a memory! Geoff Grundy Electrical Officer.

Added by Geoff Grundy on 12 September 2016.
I was on the building of the two ships Geestbay and Geestport at Smiths Dock South Bank Middlesbrough two of the finest ships built in my time , l helped build, launch and fit out the ships.Happy days !

Added by Mick Simpson on 12 February 2017.
hi all im jozsef pollock and sailed on all the geest boats from 1979 till 1983 I worked my way up from cabin boy on £69 a month to tiger my first trip was on the geest bay and I picked up the new geest bay from middelsborough and we sailed up the river themes and moord along hms belfast a hard week on board but made up for it at nigh.mike stoke catch me on facebook you old bugger.many stories to tell I wasalso on the last trip before we sold the geest crest we went tramping before we sold her

Added by Jozsef Pollock on 29 July 2017.
Hello all,

I was privileged to sail on Geestbay in September 1983 as a supernumerary. I was a trainee ship surveyor with Lloyds Register and sailed from Avonmouth on 22nd Sept, calling at Bridgetown, St Georges, Turbo, Kingstown, Vieuxfort, Portsmouth, and arrived Avonmouth 17th October after a force 10 on the way. The crew were super and the food was great as we had 12 passengers on board. What a beautiful looking ship!

Added by Robert K on 14 November 2017.
Hello all, I am attempting to document the Geest ships activities at Barry Docks and would appreciate copies of any documentation (menu's etc) that would help pin down dates. I have a few souvenirs myself. I worked on the Dock from 1968 to mid 1970's, but did not take any photographs - mores the pity now !.

Added by Terry S on 19 November 2017.
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Smith's Dock, South Bank, England, United Kingdom

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