How appropriate that the sailing ship ‘Wylde Swan’
should return to the island this particular week.
This is A’ Bhuain – Tiree Home Coming 2016.
With so many events taking place each day
few were probably aware of the return of the ‘Wylde Swan’.
As the audience were gathering for Mabel Macarthur’s play at An Talla
the tall ship made her way slowly but steadily up the Passage of Tiree to Scarinish.
On this voyage Wylde Swan is sailing from Oban to Ullapool.
The previous evening she had anchored off Mull and Iona.
Her itinerary then took her out to Skerryvore,
Alan Stevenson’s famous lighthouse.
It was so calm the crew went ashore.
The weather is warm, sunny and calm.
Obviously this influences the captain’s decision making.
For much of the time she has been on motor rather than sail.
So other than notifying the Pier Master she came to Tiree unannounced.
How different the weather today from a previous visit in August 2014.
On that previous occasions sea and sky were ominously grey.
This morning as she slipped away the sea was silvery
as bright sun shone overhead.
The Wylde Swan, originally built in 1920 in Germany as a steam ship
to serve the German herring fleet is now a two masted topsail schooner.
Built long and narrow to maximise speed,
she is the largest two-masted topsail schooner in the world.
And just in case the cook is reading this.
The crew said that he was ‘the best’
and more important than the captain!