There is something reassuring about the familiar.
It can be familiar faces, places or routines.
The familiar does not have to be boring.
It can even be exciting.
Our trip south takes us away from familiar.
In moving to Tiree we left behind the familiar.
Four years on and the island is the new familiar.
Tiree Airport is part of the new familiar.
In that environ you are known and know others.
As you arrive or depart you are treated personally.
The island’s airport is so different from its city counterparts.
The Pier and Pier Office are also part of the familiar.
How much more personable than Oban Ferry Terminal
.And our journey to visit family begins with travel by ferry.
Our dedicated vessel is the MV Clansman.
She is at present at Greenock for her annual overhaul.
However it is not an unfamiliar vessel that is taking her place.
The MV Lord of the Isles has given many years of service to Tiree.
As the ropes are cast we look back on familiar faces and places.
A near neighbour has come down to the pier to wave to us.
The vet is there with a dog travelling to the Isle of Coll.
Looking out there is Glebe House, the Manse and the ‘Pink House’.
There is Gott, Kickapol, the Lodge Hotel and Ruaig.
There is Ben Hynish and the ‘Golf Ball’.
All part of the familiar.
On board the ferry some of the crew have familiar faces.
Is this evidence of time spent at the pier over the years?
Like many who work for CalMac they are friendly.
Many are in fact islanders themselves.
In the Winter the ferry can feel like an extension to the island.
You know most if not all who are fellow passengers.
Even some from Coll you might recognise.
It’s far from four hours to endure.
Some pass the time chatting to friends.
Some use the time to get some work done.
Others use the opportunity to catch up on sleep.
The latter is especially the case when you have an early sailing.
(It is not unknown for the ferry to sail from Oban at 5:15am.)
When the weather permits we like to go out on deck.
There are so many familiar landmarks on the way.
Some are islands, others are mountains.
Then there are castles and ruins.
Lighthouses to watch out for.
And other ferries to spot.
When the ferry berths in Oban we have a now familiar routine.
There are almost three hours before the train or the coach.
There is time to collect tickets and visit the shops.
There is time to enjoy a vital cup of coffee.
You never know who you might meet!
Guess who we met for coffee in Oban.
Guess who we saw in Glasgow Central Station.
No matter where you go you meet someone from Tiree..
This is ‘Life on Tiree’.
Blue sky, blue sea, this is the Hawaii of the North.
What a beautiful Springlike day to go visiting in the south.