Once the pride of the Clyde, the MV Isle of Arran, Eilean Arainn, is presently the winter relief vessel on the Oban, Coll and Tiree sailing. Entering service in 1984 her popularity on the Adrossan/Brodick sailing eventually led to her having to be replaced on the route after just ten years. She then took up a stint on the Kennacriag/Islay route.
Now thirty one years old she is beginning to show her age, looking tired and suffering age related breakdowns. Yet, with comments such as, “She’s an operational museum of Clydebuilt!” and “Awww leave the poor wee thing alone she’s beautiful!” you sense that she is loved by many.
On a grey Monday morning when flights have been disrupted and cancelled at many UK and European airports, including Glasgow, the MV Isle of Arran sailed into Gott Bay more or less on schedule.
However, it remains to be seen how well the vessel will cope with the with the wind and wave conditions on such a demanding route as Oban, Coll and Tiree.
Many islanders are deeply skeptical.
Come on girl! You show them!