Here is an interesting conundrum. The Clansman is a day early, yet it is still late on arrival.
On a bright sunny April morning on Tiree, the ferry was due to arrive at 9:05. Due to fog in the Oban area the sailing was initially delayed. Later, with improved weather conditions, the Clansman departed Oban at 07:50 with an estimated time of arrival in Tiree of 11:10. However at 9:15 CalMac announced that because of poor visibility the vessel had returned to Oban and that the service had been cancelled for the day.
With the Co-Op shelves beginning to look bare and no milk available for purchase, there were all kinds of murmurings – health and safety gone mad – skippers, old and new – radar – and the fact that the Islander Plane managed to arrive from Connel – Oban’s airport.
Then, in spite of having cancelled the service for the day, a surprise announcement at 11:20: Oban to Coll/Tiree has been re-scheduled as follows:- Depart Oban 13:40 Arrive Coll 16:20, Depart Coll 16:30 Arrive Tiree 17:25, Depart Tiree 17:40 Arrive Castlebay 20:30, Depart Castlebay 20:45 Arrive Oban 01:35.
Coll to Oban is about a 2.45 hour sail, this evening it will be over 9 hours. Tiree to Oban is normally around 4 hours, this evening it will be just over 8 hours. Still this is much better than no sailing at all. For all on board it is going to be a late night or an early morning whatever way you look at it. The crew will have to be ready for getting under way for Tiree tomorrow morning at 8:15.
And the conundrum?
Tomorrow, is the first Thursday of the Summer timetable. It was to be the first direct sailing for 2015 from Tiree to Barra via the Gunna Sound. However with the Clansman, operating to a rescheduled timetable, today, Wednesday witnessed the Clansman passing through the sound a day early, even if it was late.