My father had a saying that the best thing about falling out was the making up. Perhaps the best thing about going off to the Mainland is coming back to Tiree. It was great to see family and friends, but it is good to be back on on what one friend calls ‘our beloved island’.
An overnight train from London brought us to Glasgow in time to catch the the morning coach to Oban. It being Tuesday, we were in plenty of time for the ferry sailing to Coll and Tiree. As we stepped from the airport style link onto the ferry we were welcomed aboard by our friend ‘Cruairt’ who had been editing ‘Life On Tiree’ in our absence. We appreciate his posts and trust he will continue to make regular contributions. His company on board was much appreciated and his knowledge of the scenery and landmarks up through the ‘Sound of Mull’ was so informative and helped the journey pass quickly.
Arriving in Gott Bay (Tiree) our attention was caught by a vessel moored not far from the pier. It tuned out to be ‘RV Alba Na Mara’ – which monitors Scottish fish and shellfish stock while researching our marine ecology to help sustainable management of our fisheries. At her launch in April 2008, Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond said, “This is a magnificent vessel, the biggest and most sophisticated ship to be built by MacDuff shipyards, and a significant addition to the Fisheries Research Services fleet.”
Coming down the gangway and walking the length of the pier we were immediately arrested by the changes that had taken place. We were away less than two weeks and the skyline had altered dramatically. The former CalMac Offices had been reduced to a pile of rubble. Additionally, the CalMac Car Park was closed off to provide storage space for the surface dressing material required for the £1,1 million road reconstruction project. Perhaps most aesthetically pleasing, the Machair is coming into its own.
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