AN exciting 24 hours saw three impressive boats sail in and out of Harwich, to the delight of ship-spotters.

Residents gathered in the town’s quay on Tuesday and Wednesday to witness the huge ships enter the waters.

The Ever Given, a container ship which made international news when it disrupted global trade after getting wedged in the Suez Canal, passed by Harwich as it arrived at its berth in Felixstowe.

The 400m-long boat was stuck in limbo across the canal in Egypt back in March before crews managed to dislodge it after a six day operation.

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It finally set sail last month after Egypt signed a compensation deal with its owners and insurers.

Dozens of people gathered in Harwich Quay to witness the container ship as it was taxied to the port under the pilotage of Harwich Haven Authority.
Clacton and Frinton Gazette: The Ever Given. Picture: Harwich Haven AuthorityThe Ever Given. Picture: Harwich Haven Authority

And, as the Ever Given arrived, the £200 million RRS Sir David Attenborough departed its home at Harwich International Port.

It has provided residents another glimpse of the state-of-the-art British Antarctic Survey boat, which can accommodate 60 scientists and 30 crew members.

The ship has been undergoing sea trails before being signed off for crucial polar missions.

After Tuesday’s double-boat excitement, more was in store on Wednesday as the world’s largest luxury sailing ship docked in Harwich following its inaugural voyage around the country.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: The RRS Sir David Attenborough departs Harwich. Picture: Harwich Haven AuthorityThe RRS Sir David Attenborough departs Harwich. Picture: Harwich Haven Authority

The Golden Horizon, a steel-hulled five-masted barque rigged tall ship, retired into the town just after 7am.

It arrived using its motor engine rather than its sails, which meant residents missed the chance to see the impressive boat in all its glory.

Boasting everything from a beautiful dining room and spa to a dive centre and library, the vessel has 140 staterooms which all face out onto the ocean.

About one hundred onlookers gathered on Harwich Quay and the Ha’penny Pier to greet the impressive boat as it glided into the town’s waters.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: The Golden Horizon, pictured by Carl HoffmanThe Golden Horizon, pictured by Carl Hoffman

Paul Turvey, who set out early to catch the action, said: “Just after 7am I was on the shore by the sailing club and the ship was just coming around Landguard Point at Felixstowe.

“The ship sounded its horn as she passed Ha’Penny Pier to the great delight of the folk on the pier.

“We’re used to seeing sailing vessels in Harwich harbour, indeed a good many were built in Harwich, but the scale of the Golden Horizon would easily be the largest such boat to ever enter the Stour Estuary.”

Reflecting on the excitement, Harwich Haven Authority’s chief executive Neil Glendinning said: “Tuesday was certainly a very busy day in the harbour.

“Both boats attracted lots of interest from both the media and members of the public, with crowds lining both sides of the Harbour.

“From the authority’s perspective it was business as usual as vessels the size of Ever Given are regular visitors to the Port of Felixstowe.”