Tiree: A Bit of a ‘Blaw’

Sight alone can be deceiving. Looking out of the window the sky is blue, but the ears tell a different story. There is the sound of gusting wind. Last evening there was an amber alert for the ferry warning of possible disruption or delay due to the forecast high wind speeds. A warning that is repeated this morning.

Stepping outside for a walk we are immediately conscious of the strength of the wind. Rounding the headland with the stubby lighthouse on it, at Scarinish old harbour, the waves are crashing on the rocks. Looking out to sea the white horses are certainly galloping.

Catching sight of the MV Clansman in the distance, waves are breaking over her bow. By this time the alert states, ‘Oban – Coll/Tiree 02/10. Vessel departed Oban on time at 0815. ETA Coll 1055. There will be only one stop at Coll and Tiree. LastUpdated 02/10/2014 @ 10:37’

Th sun is shining and the wind is blowing with gusts up to 40mph. Turning side onto the wind, a strong south westerly, the Clansman swings into Gott Bay and proceeds towards the pier. Cautiously she brings her bow across the head of the pier. With her bow ropes secured she gradually brings in her stern. With the stern ropes secured the ramp is lowered and the work of unloading and loading goes ahead. Foot passenger when directed disembark and embark via the car deck.

This is the first real ‘blaw’ of the Autumn and thanks to the skill of captain and crew, the skill and courage of those working on the pier, the Clansman safely called at Tiree.

Arriving home the phone beeps with another alert, ‘Oban – Coll/Tiree 02/10. Vessel departed Tiree at 12:25 – eta Oban 16:00. Barra leg of the journey is cancelled. LastUpdated 02/10/2014 @ 12:42’.

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