Under The Lights

One of the many advantages of our home is its proximity to the pier.
The Pier Office is about a five minute walk away.
Normally there is no need to take the car.

The New Moon with the Old Moon in its arms from the previous evening – (see below)

This morning an amended timetable was in operation for the ferry.
Instead of departing Oban Ferry Terminal at 7:15am it sailed at 4:00am
Vehicles and their drivers had to report for boarding no later than 3:15am.

The MV Clansman from the ‘Rope Store’ – wild water

Under the amended timetable the ferry was arriving at Tiree at 7:20.
This is where the proximity to the pier is a real advantage.
You came be up, out, and there in a few minutes.

Traffic queuing in the marshalling lanes and waiting to board

It was pitch black this morning when I slipped out of the house at 7:10.
Even before leaving home the gusting wind could be heard.
And it could be felt as I made my way down to the pier.

Under the lights – the approach to the pier – the only ‘street’ lights on Tiree

The MV Clansman was preparing to berth as I arrived at the pier.
From the shelter of the wall of the Rope Store I could watch her berth.
With the wind coming from the South East the ferry came across the roundhead.

The MV Clansman coming across the Roundhead

At 7:20 it was not far off high tide.
The waves were not quite breaking over the roundhead.
Yet even in the dark you could see there was quite a swell running.
You could make out the high ‘vis’ jackets handling the ropes on the roundhead.

The Mv Clansman in swell conditions

For safety reasons no one is allowed on the actual pier when the ferry is berthing.
There is a heightened awareness of the danger from ropes breaking.
Consequently only pier staff are allowed in the snapback zone.
The ropes and lines are often under considerable strain.
The pier can be a dangerous place.

High Vis vital in the dark

This morning felt like a rerun of last Sunday.
On both occasions the ferry has arrived at 7:20am.
A week ago there was at least a weak hint of first light.
Today as the ferry headed out to sea there was nothing.
A week ago, although the day was wild, sunrise was colourful.
Today, it is wild once again, but darkness simply gave way to dark grey skies.

The MV Clansman berthed and a watchful eye being kept on the ropes

The contrast with yesterday’s sunshine could hardly be any sharper.
We had blue sky almost all day and an attractive sunset.
Sundown was followed by a waxing crescent moon.
It was a new moon with the old moon in its arms.

The vehicles are stored and the HGV secured

Tomorrow another amended timetable is in operation.
Instead of arriving at Tiree at 11:05 the ferry will arrive at 2:35pm.
The reason given for this change to the advertised timetable is ’Operational’.

Swell conditions at the Pier

Due to adverse weather conditions this service will be delayed
and will run the amended timetable below:
Dep Oban: 1050
Arr Coll: 1330 – Depart Coll: 1340
Arr Tiree: 1435 – Dep Tiree: 1450
Arr Coll: 1545 – Dep Coll: 1555
Arr Oban: 1835

The ramp is raised and the vessel secured – before heading out to sea

This is ‘Life on Tiree’ with the MV Clansman under the lights.

The MV Clansman heads out to sea bound for Oban via Coll

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