On A Wild April Day

DANI GARAVELLI wrote in ‘The Scotsman
‘If your home is in the Hebrides,
CalMac is woven into the fabric of your life
and every disruption to its service has a consequence.’

The MV Clansman in Gott Bay

The writer states,
‘When you rely on a service for your quality of life,
your feelings are more complex
than those of the occasional day-tripper;
many islanders have a love/hate
relationship with the company
that rules Scotland’s western seaboard.
For as long as CalMac has existed,
there have been grumbles.’

The MV Clansman swings round to approach the pier

On Wednesday the 3rd of April 2019 the Skipper got it right.
This was to meant to be the first Barra crossing of the season.
On the Tuesday Wednesday’s sailing was first of all put on an alert.
Shortly after it was cancelled with a review at 9:00am on Wednesday.

The Met Office report for Tiree oon the day in question

In view of the forecast few believed the outcome would be positive.
When 9:00am came the wind was gusting at over 50mph.
The forecast was for gusts to reach over 60mph.
Yet when the hour came an attempt would be made.
The ferry would leave Oban at 3:00pm.

The MV Clansman across the Roundhead

For most of the day it was difficult to walk into the wind.
It was just as difficult to walk with the wind at your back.
Surely the ferry would turn back as it left the Sound of Mull.
Many watched the MV Clansman’s progress on Marine Traffic.

The bow and midship lines are thrown and caught by those on the round head

She left the Sound of Mull.
She entered the Passage of Tiree.
What’s more she berthed at the Isle of Coll.
At 6:00pm the wind was still gusting well over 40mph.
Would the ‘Clansman’ manage to safely berth at Tiree?

The MV Clansman safely alongside the pier

The Skipper was Norrie MacDonald and he made the right call.
Thanks to him, his crew and the pier staff the ferry berthed.
It was much admiration I watched the whole operation.
Thank you to all concerned for a safe berthing.

With a visit to the Mainland on Friday eyes were on the forecast.
It appeared to be favourable, but forecasts can change.
When the day dawned the wind was from the east.
It was coming straight into Gott Bay.
But the Mighty One made it.

Waiting orders to release the ropes

We enjoyed a pleasant crossing.
This is Life on Tiree.

Mission Accomplished the MV Clansman heads out to sea