SAILING HOME

‘Sailing home’.
Perhaps it ought to be ‘Rail-Sail’.
Our journey to Tiree included both train and ferry.
A joy shared with a fellow enthusiast also homeward bound by ferry.

Electric Train
The new electric trains (EMU) that operate the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow

‘I love it when a plan comes together.’
Stop! ‘There is many a slip between cup and lip’.
However In the end it all worked out but it was a close run thing.

Glasgow Queen Street Station
The Oban Train to the right (from a previous visit) at Glasgow Queen Street Station

The plan was to meet up in Glasgow.
One of our sons was travelling from the south.
However his train was delayed at Carlisle by over an hour.
It looked like he would not make the connection for the train to Oban.

The view at Loch Awe
The view of Loch Awe from the train window

We arrived at Queen Street Station in good time.
The station was busy and getting busier by the minute.
The arrivals and departures display provided an explanation.
Every train arriving and departing was showing delayed or cancelled.

Snow-Capped Peaks
Sunshine and snow capped peaks – from the train window

The station announcer’s voice boomed over the concourse.
The voice provided a more detailed explanation.
A train was broken down in the tunnel.
Nothing was arriving or departing!

A view from the Hotel window
It was just possible from our hotel window to catch a view of the sunset over Oban Bay

“Platform Five for the 16:36 train for Oban!”
With considerable effort we made our way to the ticket barrier.
Then we were through and onto the train and attempting to get a seat.
There was no sign of our son – he would have to catch the later departure.
But no! There was a frantic banging on the window. – Somehow he had made it!

Over the roof tops to the harbour
The view from our hotel window over the roof tops to the bay

At 16:36 we were off.
Ours was the first train to depart.
The journey itself to Oban was uneventful.
The view from the train window was a spring delight.
Eventually the carriage took on the hues of the setting sun.

Night view of Oban Ferry Terminall
It’s time for bed as the Clansman ties up for the night at the ferry terminal

The red sky at night kept its promise.
The following day brought with it blue skies.
And so it continued throughout the day, warm and bright.

From our hotel window as the MV Isle of Mull heads out to sea

‘Sun, Sea and Ships’.
It is much more than a sub-title.
It sums up the time spent around Oban Bay.
It captures the essence of the crossing from Oban to Tiree.
The first few days of April and it was warm enough to be on the outer deck.

The view from the MV Clansman
The view of Oban Bay from the upper deck of the MV Clansman

Oban’s boast is that it is Scotland’s Sea Food Capital.
It must surely also be Scotland’s West Coast Ferry Capital.
Additionally there were fishing boats and boats offering trips.
There were pleasure craft and vessels servicing salmon farming.

MV Hebridean Princess
The MV Hebridean Princess alongside LIghthouse Pier

Just outside Oban Bay the cruise ship Astoria lay at anchor.
All day launches sailed back and forth from the ship.
They brought with them welcome trade to the town.

MV Loch Linnhe
The MV Loch Linnhe in Oban Bay and providing the service to Lismore

The ferry terminal building was busy.
There were a few familiar faces among the crowd.
However there were many holiday makers island bound.

The MV Courisk
The MV Courisk and the NLV Pole Star

It being the summer timetable our departure was 15:00 hours.
No wonder it is a popular sailing, it beats a 07:15 departure.
The latter means being at the port at 06:30 at the latest.
The mezzanine level provided additional capacity.

A busy Oban bay
The MV Isle of Mull inbound from Craignure on the Island of Mull

Leaving Oban Bay we sailed past the Astoria.
Then to starboard we passed the ‘Lismore Lighthouse.’.
The lighthouse is actually not on Lismore but on Eilean Musdile.
The latter is separated from Lismore by a sound a ¼ mile broad.
The lighthouse is in the Firth of Lorne at the entrance to Loch Linnhe.

Past now familiar landmarks we made our way up the Sound of Mull.
We could see the MV Hallaig crossing from Fishnish to Lochaline.
This is an alternate crossing between Mull and the Mainland.

The MV Hallaig
The MV Hallaig approaching Lochaline

At the entrance to Tobermory Bay the cruise ship Marco Polo lay at anchor.
Once again launches were ferrying passengers back and forth.
What a great afternoon for ‘ship spotting’.

Cruise Ship Marco Pol
The cruise ship Marco Polo anchored outside Tobermory Bay

As we were leaving the Sound of Mull there was another small CalMac ferry.
As we looked to stern we could see in the distance the MV Loch Tarbert.
It was crossing from Kilchoan (Mainland) to Tobermory (Mull).

The view over the stern ramp
The view over the Clansman’s stern ramp towards the Ardnamurchan peninsula

When the ferry berthed at Coll we were enjoying a meal in the Mariner’s Cafe.
While in dry dock the vessel’s cafe had been given a makeover.
Note: We did enjoy one of the specials – haggis rissoles.

MV Clansman's Servery
The MV Clansman’s revamped servery

After the lovely Isle of Coll comes Tiree the most beautiful of all’.
The sun was shinning and the forecast for the week looks good.
Not long after we were welcomed home with a colourful sunset.

Sunset over Gott Bay
Home to a beautiful sunset over Gott Bay

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.
Tiree is a great place to sail home to.
No wonder visitors keep coming back year after year.
Already our son is on a trip to “Puffin Island’ with Tiree Sea Tours.

A view of a Puffin on Lunga
Today’s view of a Puffin on the island of Lunga