It is no exaggeration to say it was dramatic at the pier today.
In Scarinish on the Isle of Tiree we woke up to a sprinkling of snow.
As the morning wore on there were short, sharp, showers of hail and snow.
When the MV Clansman berthed it was something different.
The vessel departed the Isle of Coll on time.
She made her way steadily down the Passage of Tiree.
From Scarinish you could make out Mull through the gloom.
You could just about see that they too had snow down to sea-level.
The sky was grey as the MV Clansman passed in front of the Pier.
Yet as she prepared to turn in order to berth the sky was blue.
At this point no hint of what was to come.
The wind was directly from the west blowing straight down the pier.
The skipper chose to use his thrusters to bring the vessel in sideways.
This procedure meant that the ferry took slightly longer than normal to berth.
The ropes were thrown and the vessel was safely berthed.
But for at least ten or more minutes nothing moved.
The ramp was not lowered.
The sea was churning.
The waves were being whipped up.
The wind was suddenly gusting strongly.
The gusts were surely in the region of 60mph.
And for the first time today the snow was being driven furiously.
The skipper and crew kept a watchful eye on the ropes.
At least the wind was blowing directly down the pier.
For the time being the vessel sat out the squall.
Eventually in a brief respite the ramp was lowered.
The few vehicles for Tiree made their way up the linkspan.
Then the three vehicles bound for Oban made their way on board.
The one foot passenger was safely taken on board via one of the vehicles.
Unloading and loading was safely completed.
The vessel and its ramp were made secure.
However the drama was not over yet!
The ropes had to be released before the vessel could head out to sea.
The pier staff had to carry out this procedure in driving snow.
This meant one had to mount the exposed roundhead.
It is a dangerous position at the best of times.
The captain and his crew rightly deserve praise.
However those working on the pier worked in atrocious conditions.
As a consequence of the brave efforts of the pier staff we had a ferry service today.
Additionally it means there will be fresh goods on the Co-Op shelves.
Thanks seems so inadequate – nevertheless thank you so much.
This ‘Life on Tiree’
“Reporting The Drama.”