A Lifeline!

On Friday the MV Clansman was alongside the pier.
Her ropes were secured but her ramp was not yet lowered.
At this point the morning flight from Glasgow appeared overhead.
It was a reminder that both ferry and plane are a vital lifeline to the Mainland.

The pier Gott Bay with the MV Clansman alongside and the plane overhead

Television in all its forms provides a window on the world.
Telephone, both fixed line and mobile, enable communication.
However the only means of a physical link is either ferry or plane.
There is no bridge or tunnel to connect the island to the Scottish mainland.

Against a dark sky and yet with a shaft of sunlight lighting up the vessel, the MV Clansman arrives in Gott Bay

Everything and everyone comes to and goes from the island via either ferry or plane
The advent of ‘roll-on – roll-off’ has made the island less self-sufficient
Consequently Tiree is much more dependent on the Mainland.
Thankfully there is still both surf and turf.
We have our fishermen and crofters.

The moment you hope nothing goes wrong on the bridge or the engine room.

It is definitely autumn!
In fact some days have felt quite wintry.
Low cloud and poor visibility can mean plane cancellations.
Strong winds and swell conditions can result in ferry cancellations.
Little wonder then that on the island there is a great interest in the weather.

Tiree Airport from a departing plane

At the Airport Tiree is known as ‘Amazon Island’.
Both ferry and plane serve the local couriers including Royal Mail.
Newspapers and most of the mail arrives and departs by Loganair plane.

Loganair Twin Otter on the Airport Apron

In the winter months travel by ferry to Tiree means an overnight stay in Oban.
A ferry cancellation can mean an additional overnight stay at least.
In poor visibility the plane can be delayed at Glasgow.
Sometimes this results in an overnight stay.

An IA Mackinnon Haulage lorry arrives off the ferry with a shipping container

The ferry and plane are lifelines for the community.
As provided at present they are not viable without support.
So both the the air service and ferry provision are referred to as lifeline services.

The ‘Oban” Plane

As well as the daily service to Glasgow, there is a twice weekly flight to Oban.
The major benefit of this is access to the local hospital in Oban.
At present this provision is being reviewed by the council.

Tiree Sea Tours Aurora and the creel boat Atlantic Roar tied up at the harbour, Scarinish

This year witnessed the launch of Tiree Sea Tours.
One highlight was the tour to Lunga to see the puffins.
And there have been frequent tours to observe the rich marine life.

A reminder of the amazing trip to see the puffins on Lunga island

Another exciting tour was to Hynish and on to Skerryvore Lighthouse.
There have also been tours to Fingal’s Cave, Staffa and the historic island of Iona.
Tiree Sea Tours have made it possible to sail from Tiree and enjoy dinner at the hotel on the Isle of Coll.


To Skerryvore Lighthouse courtesy of Tiree Sea Tours

This is ‘Life-on-Tiree’ on a wintry autumn day.
Thankful for lifeline services and this year’s new sea (ad)ventures.

Autumn and winter, sunshine and showers, light and dark