With ferries fully booked for vehicles until Wednesday it was a double disappointment for those booked on Sunday’s sailing for Coll and Tiree. The previous day the skipper of the Clansman warned passengers planning to return to Oban on the Sunday that there was a strong possibility that the ‘Lord of the Isles’ would be unable to berth at either Coll or Tiree. With a similar warning issued on the website that the sailing could be subject to delay or cancellation passengers boarded the ferry. With a faint hope that the sailing was not in vain, the vessel left port on time. However before the ‘Lord of the Isles’ even had sight of Tobermory she turned round and headed back for Oban.
Oban Coll/Tiree/Coll – Oban Sunday 17th August. The vessel was unable to make it to Coll or Tiree due to the adverse weather conditions and is now on her way back to Oban. ETA 11:45. Calmac Ferries apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Reason: adverse weather Last Updated: 17 Aug 2014 11:40
Here on Tiree, there was amazement that the ferry even left the safety of Oban harbour, as true to the forecast, winds were gusting over 50mph between 11.00am and 12 noon. With the strength of the wind it felt like a winter storm.
With many sailings running fully booked weeks in advance, this only adds to the difficulties faced by businesses and residents on the islands. It would appear that with commercial pressure there is no slack in the system to either provide additional sailings in the summer months or to allow for such storms.
Tomorrow’s forecast is slightly more promising. Foot passengers may make the choppy crossing but those with vehicles may have a long wait!