The weather forecast was for winds in excess of 45mph.
Experience was suggesting the ferry was unlikely to sail.
Strangely the ferry was only on a yellow alert.
We had flown off on a mission to represent Tiree Baptist Church.
We were on the Mainland for the induction of Elspeth Maclean.
Previously the Island’s Church of Scotland minister
Elspeth was being welcomed to her new charge –
Forth Church of Scotland.
We left Falkirk at 7:30 by train for Glasgow Queen Street
in order to catch the 8:21 train for Oban;
with the ferry due to sail at 14:45.
At 9:30 the red alert arrived – the ferry was cancelled.
The first priority was to find accommodation for the evening.
Thankfully, in spite of limited availability, we were quickly successful.
As foot passengers there was no need to rebook our sailing.
However the following day’s crossing was now on a yellow alert.
Then a message arrived – the ferry would be sailing over an hour early.
With the ferry leaving at 6:00 we would need to be at the terminal by 5:30.
At least our overnight accommodation is reasonably close to the ferry terminal.
Photographs of Oban would suggest that the sun always shines.
Today certainly put to rest any such suggestions.
The sky and the waters of the bay were leaden.
Soon white horses were dancing on the waves.
Until the town’s new sea front lights came on as darkness fell
the only splash of colour was from the various vessels
whether berthed or crossing to Mull or Lismore.
With a faint trail of exhaust from her funnel
the Mighty Clansman sat at her berth stormbound
but hopefully she will come alive in the early hours tomorrow.
Lack of visibility is a problem for island flights.
Swell and storm force winds affect ferry crossings.
At least we don’t suffer annually from ‘leaves on the line’.
Nor is it often that we are delayed by the ‘wrong kind of snow’.
Cancelled flights and sailings are inconvenient.
However, with our cooperation, they can help develop patience.
This is ‘Life on Tiree’ stormbound in Oban on a blustery Autumn evening.