With no ferry since Sunday as a consequence of adverse weather,
the arrival of today’s sailing was much anticipated.
The last ferry on this service for 2015.
Once again we were treated at 9:05 to a colourful sunrise,
but by the time the vessel entered Gott Bay
low cloud and driving drizzle
put a damper on everything.
From the CalMac office the process of berthing always appears like a disaster is about to strike -as at one point the vessel looks to be heading bow first into the pier. However, with the ropes safely secured vehicles began to leave the car deck, cross the ramp and head up the approach to the pier.
It was still dreich, when all of a sudden the pier came alive.
Pier hands were running,
ropes were hurriedly cast
and the Clansman hastily left.
She was only half unloaded,
foot passengers were still on board,
and drivers who had gone on board to collect vehicles were trapped.
Some watching from a distance thought a rope had snapped, but they were mistaken. Seaweed was the problem. It had blocked the ferry’s filters and consequently at least one of the vessel’s engines could not be cooled properly. As the Clansman proceeded to sea many feared the worst. Family reunions and Hogmanay celebrations hung in the balance. The piper and drummer joining Dùn Mòr Cèilidh Band for this evening’s Tiree Community Hogmanay Dance were still on board!
Forty minutes later the Clansman berthed once again.
The vessel was to be unloaded and loaded as quickly and safely as possible.
To the relief of those on board,
to those waiting for family and friends,
and to those heading for the Mainland,
the operation was carried out without any further incident.
Exactly one hour after the Clansman first withdrew from the pier,
she was on her way once again, heading for Coll and Oban.
The last ferry of the year to Tiree
And to think it called twice.
That’s enough excitement for the year!