Sale Day Sail

Just across the Gunna Sound from Tiree lies the Island of Coll.
A visit normally involves at least one overnight stay.
Yet, the island is is no more than two miles away.
It is our closest neighbour.

The Gunna Sound from the MV Clansman (on our return)

On a Wednesday, in the Summer timetable, the ferry leaves Oban.
It stops at Coll before sailing to Tiree and then on to Barra.
Then the ferry sails back to Tiree, Coll and Oban.

In galleries mouse-over for captions and double click for larger photos.

Once a year the ferry sails direct to Tiree, then on to Coll and Barra.
On its return it sails first to Coll then to Tiree and Oban.
This makes it possible to spend a day on Coll.

This particular sailing is to accommodate a livestock sale on Tiree.
It avoids the need to provide an additional crossing.
There is sufficient time (8 hours) for the sale –
And for the cattle floats to get to the ferry.

A Rainbow reaches into Gott Bay as the ferry heads out to sea

‘To make the trip or not?’ was the question!
The weather forecast sounded rather ominous.
The thought of seven hours out in the rain did not appeal.

The Post Office on Coll

The ferry berthed in the sunshine.
A rainbow had its colourful end in Gott Bay.
Then as the ferry left Tiree’s pier there was a shower.
However, on the Isle of Coll we enjoyed sunshine all afternoon.

Dry, sunny and even warm on Coll, but showers on the Isle of Mull

The islands of Coll and Tiree are often associated together,
In fact they are sometimes referred to as the twin islands.
However they are certainly not identical twins.
They are noticeably different.

Coll’s Pier

The piers are different.
Tiree’s pier is in Gott Bay.
Coll’s pier is much more exposed.
And it is also much shorter than Tiree’s pier.

It is a short walk (or drive) from the pier to Arinagour.
This is the only village on the Island of Coll.
Tiree has over thirty crofting townships.
Coll has several large farms.

Main Street Arinagour is very different from anything on Tiree.
It reminded us in many ways of a north east fishing village.
Although the houses were built for estate workers.
It was great to see them owned and occupied.

There is no Co-Op on Coll.
There are only two very small stores.
Our two shops are super-markets in comparison!

We were in unfamiliar waters.
Yet, there was much that was so reassuring
The sight of fishing boats and sheep on the roads made us feel at home.

For the grand children we looked out for Katie Morag.
Sadly even although we found the post office we did not see Katie.
We did however see the post-van out and about delivering the mail.

Delivering the mail

Tiree has just installed moorings in Gott Bay.
The sheltered waters of the loch at Coll are a popular anchorage.
The views across to the Isle of Mull feel so much closer on the Isle of Coll.

A steep path from the Hotel provides a route up to the Church.
The building has been restored and is kept open.
It is a great view point.

We did not stray far from Arinagour.
We did however walk a little beyond the village.
What struck us was the highland feel to the island.

Coll does not have our ‘Bens’ but it feels more highland.
Heather is more prevalent and obvious and there is bracken.
There is a highland feel to the rocky outcrops and general scenery

In the gardens a touch of colour.
The colours enriched and brought out by the sun.

Tiree has so many beaches and they are to be found around the island.
On Coll the beaches are on the Atlantic facing side of the island.
And they are noticeably far fewer in number.

Perhaps next year (God willing) we will visit Coll again.
Like Tiree Coll is a a very homely welcoming place.
There is a sense there is so much more to see.
What we did see we appreciated.

Our ferry the MV Clansman arrived back in Coll right on time.
The sky above hinted at the possibility of a good sunset.
The sunset on our arrival in Tiree did not disappoint.

The MV Clansman approaching Coll from Barra

Oh! The excitement of our passage.
The aim in stepping outside was to photograph the sunset.
What I witnessed were common dolphins leaping out of the water.
It was as if they were playing in the turbulence created by the ferry.

Apart from a few visitors most passengers on board were from Tiree.
It was most enjoyable travelling in the company of friends.
Outbound and inbound the time just flew by.

It was not yet dark when we berthed at Tiree.
There was a welcome back as we stepped off the gangway.
As we made our way up the pier the floats were boarding already.
Thanks to the sale on Tiree we were able to have a sail to the Isle of Coll.

Moira Kerr, singer and song-writer, says,
Then just beyond the lovely Isle of Coll,

Is Tiree, the most beautiful of all.

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.

We have been visiting the neighbours.

Sunset over Tiree