Tiree, Two Ships, Two Ages

The date, July 2017
The Meeting Place – Gott Bay, Tiree.
The encounter the ‘Flying Dutchman’ and the Mighty ‘Clansman’.

The Flying Dutchman and the Mighty Clansman

It is Fèis Thiriodh 2017.
It is  the day of the Cèilidh na Mara (Muse Cruise).
It is also the day when the ferry sails to Barra and return.

Foot passengers for the Cèilidh na Mara (Muse Cruise)

It is also the day of the Experience Tiree Tour.
There are six hours before the ferry returns to Tiree.
Thus there is the opportunity for a day trip to the Isle of Tiree.

The MV Clansman sets sail for Barra to the sound of the bagpipes

Returning along Pier Road, Scarinish, I spy two tall masts.
This is obviously something that needs further investigation.
Upon closer observation the masts belong to the ‘Flying Dutchman’.

In galleries double-click for larger pictures and mouse-over for captions

First observations involved a walk across the Machair in front of the Manse.
Then for closer inspection a return to Pier Road and down to the Pier.
I was not the only one fascinated by the schooner.

This former herring drifter first set sail in 1903 under the name “KW 33”.
After many voyages she was restored as an employment creation project.
Its new owner carried out renovation work during the winter of 2003/2004.
She is described as a luxury schooner.

With views across to Ben More the Flying Dutchman is alongside the old pier

Her owners claim that for the adventurer who loves comfort
you don’t take a cruise on a floating apartment building,
but on a traditional sailing ship.

It’s time for the first encounter.
The ‘Mighty’ Clansman is returning from Barra.
Those who went for the cruise will descend the gangway.
The two ships from two very different eras will briefly meet.

The Encounter – Photograph courtesy of Fiona Armstrong of the Farmhouse Cafe

You cannot be in two places at the same time.
So I was thrilled when Fiona Armstrong shared her photograph.
How well it captures the romance of the encounter of the two ships.

With the MV Clansman Oban bound the berth is cleared.
The Flying Dutchman cannot remain alongside the old pier.
She must berth alongside the new pier for the remainder of her stay.

The second encounter takes place the following morning.
The day before’s blue sky has been replaced by sea mist.
Two Ships, two very different ages meet in Gott Bay.

For ‘Life on Tiree’ a final sighting of the ‘Flying Dutchman’.
Here she is seen in the Passage of Tiree.
She is opposite Milton Harbour.

Milton harbour towards the Passage of Tiree.

Later the two ships paths will cross again later in the day.
However, Tiree is most surely the place to meet.
This is ‘Life on Tiree’.

Video of the MV Clansman departing Tiree for the Muse Cruise