“Where’s LOTI?”

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Where’s Loti?

Not “Where’s Wally?” as in the popular series of books featuring the boy with his distinctive red-and-white-striped shirt, bobble hat, and glasses. Rather “Where’s LOTI?” featuring the CalMac ferry with its distinctive red funnels, black and white super-structure and lift gear and otherwise known as “MV Lord of the Isles”.

The fact is you can scour the photographs and the horizon around Tiree and “LOTI” is no where to be seen for today’s ferry has been cancelled. There is a saying about the month of March – ‘If March comes in like a lion it will go out like a lamb. If March comes in like a lamb it will go out like a lion.’ Today, we have the lion attempting to roar.

For most of yesterday, Tiree was bathed in bright sunshine. Across the water, Ben More was resplendent with its snow capped peak. However, today once again the island is experiencing winds gusting to 48mph.

In the present winter timetable for Oban, Coll and Tiree, before January, there were fewer cancellations than in the same period the previous year. However since the New Year there have been a number of cancellations. The Isle of Coll has been particularly badly affected, suffering a greater number of cancellations. In fact at one point it was the longest period Coll was without a service since the 1970s.

We are all the more grateful that, when we required to go the Mainland, we were able to make the vital crossings as planned. With today’s ferry cancelled, no sailing timetable for tomorrow, and Saturday’s looking doubtful due to the forecast high winds it will have an impact on the island’s haulage businesses and also means no delivery of fresh stock to the Co-op. I guess we had better get to the Co-Op before they run out of milk!

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.

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The Pier Gott Bat, Tiree