Return to Normality

It’s a Wednesday, the day of the Barra sailing.
In the Summer Timetable the ferry sails from Oban to Coll and Tiree.
Then it heads through the Gunna Sound and out into the Little Minch.
Its next port of call is Castlebay on the Island of Barra almost three hours away.

The MV Clansman enters Gott Bay

There is a sense of normality about today’s sailing.
The Clansman is back in home waters after its spell in dry dock.
There are no storm force winds forecast so the sailing is actually taking place.

The MV Clansman approaches the pier at Tiree

With friends visiting it is a good excuse to visit Tiree’s latest coffee and gift shop.
The Yellow Hare, as it is known, is conveniently sited close to the pier.
Coffee, hot chocolate and cakes were the order of the day.
Our timing was perfect to observe the arrival of the ferry.

The bow and midship lines are thrown and caught at the pier’s roundhead.

The Mighty Clansman arrived into the beautiful clear blue water of Gott Bay.
The sun was shinning reflecting on the water and the white sands.
Some day visitors stopped to try and capture the scene.

The Clansman alongside the pier – captured from the landmark of the ‘Pink House’.

Naturally our friends insisted that we head for Caolas.
We could perfectly understand their wish to see the Gunna Sound.
The Gunna Sound is the stretch of water that separates Coll and Tiree.

The ferry captured from Gott

The route takes you from Scarinish and along the shore of Gott Bay.
From there we observed the Clansman berthed at the pier.
Then we saw her departure for Castlebay on Barra.

Gott Bay looking towards Ben More on the Isle of Mull

How majestic the Clasnman looked passing in front of Ben More on Mull.
Then she turned from the Passage of Tiree into the Gunna Sound
In the foreground a colourful kite was soaring in the sky above.

The MV Clansman in the Passage of Tiree

As the Clansman progresses through the Sound she never fails to impress.
Today as she left the Sound the bow waves started to build up.
At this point there was nothing too dramatic.
But the Little Minch can be a wild place.

The MV Clansman about to enter the Gunna Sound – Ben More as a backdrop

For quite some time we could see the ferry head towards the distant horizon.
Yet even before we reached our parked car the wind began to pick up.
We arrived back just as the gathering clouds broke.
Now sunshine was giving way to squally showers.

The MV Clansman about to pass in front of the navigation buoy in the Gunna Sound

Return to normality!
Sunshine, showers and a good breeze.
Later in the afternoon, around 5:00pm the ferry arrived back.
Were her passengers treated with a colourful sunset in the Sound of Mull?

The MV Clansman heads out into the Little Minch (Rum is the backdrop)

According to the timetable Saturday is the start of the peak summer sailings.
This means Tiree will have the benefit of two Saturday sailings.
For morning passengers it means an early start to the day.
In the evening it means a late arrival in Oban.
For her crew it involves a long day.

Barra bound

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.

Thankful for all who provide a vital link to the Mainland.
Thankful for those who work at the island’s pier and airport.
Thankful for those who work on board the ferry and the plane.