A Colourful Spectacle

This morning the bay was a hive of activity.
There were all manner of comings and goings.
However it was mainly goings – vehicles and passengers.

Colourful craft

There were several moored yachts.
Other craft were causing a wave.
And then there was the ferry.

Creating a wave

Before 8:00am vehicles and foot passengers had begun arriving.
Coaches provided a shuttle service from the festival site.
Thankfully for those queuing the weather was sunny.

To the applause of many – several musicians struck up.
This in turn resulted in dancers taking to the pier.
This all added to the colour of the occasion.
As did the tune from the waiting piper.

Dancers taking to the floor/pier

Festival goers had arrived on the island over several days.
The exodus on the other hand is more concentrated.
About 1200 people departing today, Monday.

The MV Isle of Mull swings round in Gott Bay in preparation for berthing

Safety is always a major concern.
With such numbers it was a case of all pier staff on duty.
Vehicles have to be marshalled and passengers controlled.
It has to be said the pier staff perform their duties impeccably.
They handle everything and everyone with friendly professionalism.

The bow lines are thrown as the MV Isle of Mull comes alongside the pier

The MV Isle of Mull normally plies between Oban and Craignure on Mull.
Compared to the MV Clansman she can carry more passengers.
So this morning the ferry on duty was the MV Isle of Mull.
She departed Oban Ferry Terminal at 5:45am
Berthing at Tiree was at 10:00am.

Cyclists the first to board

Festival traffic puts pressure on other traffic.
Residents may need to travel urgently to the Mainland.
Other commercial vehicles need to be accommodated on the ferry.
Monday is often the day when the lorry transporting shell fish travels.

Local articulated lorry boarding for the Mainland

The whole operation, off-loading and loading, took 1 hour 25 minutes.
This resulted in the ferry departing Tiree 25 minutes late.
Regulations demand passenger numbers be counted.
Unlike trains, there can never be any over loading.
Passengers numbers were below capacity.
But the car (vehicle) deck was full.

Last vehicles to board are for the Isle of Coll and it is a tight squeeze!

When the ferry was alongside the pier a plane flew overhead.
This was the second of three flights to Glasgow today.
Even with this additional flight numbers are low.
The Twin Otters have a very limited capacity.

Inbound flight from Glasgow International Airport

This evening the ‘Mighty Clansman’ will be on duty.
She can carry more vehicles than the ‘Isle of Mull’.
However she can carry fewer passengers.
Will some have left it too late to sail?
Will they all get away this evening?

The MV Isle of Mull heads out to sea bound for Oban via Coll

One question – ‘How did the gulls know?’
There was an unusual number of gulls this morning.
How did they know that there would be rich pickings today?

This is Life Tiree.
Waiting now to see if all the foot passengers get away this evening!

 

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