IMPRESSIVE

Impressive Indeed!
Once again the Mighty One Prevailed.
The weather forecast for the week was for wind.

The wind sock indicates the direction of the wind as SE

First of all Saturday looked doubtful.
Sunday’s does not look much better either.
Monday’s forecast is for winds gusting to over 50mph.

The Mighty One turns to approach the pier.

As expected Saturday’s sailing was placed on an alert.
It was liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice.
However, the MV Clansman left Oban bound for Coll and Tiree.

The MV Clansman with her face towards the old pier as she prepares to berth.

 Would the ferry turn round as soon as she left the Sound of Mull?
It is there the vessel is exposed to the Open Sea.
You are facing into the Little Minch.

Slowly, slowly the vessel approaches the pier’s roundhead

The skipper had said there would be one attempt to berth at Coll.
Safe on shore we could watch the outcome on Marine Traffic.
Yes! The Mighty One had succeeded in berthing.

Those working on the round are exposed to the full force of the wind

Full of the cold yet I did not wish to miss the action.
So down to the pier at Gott Bay I did go.
The action was impressive.

The Clansman’s powerful thrusters drive the stern towards the pier.

There was a swell.
The wind was gusting to 47mph.
The direction of the wind was from the South East.
These are not the most favourable conditions for berthing.

Note the angle of the ferry

Ropes were caught and secured.
The whole operation was carried out successfully.
But due to the conditions there was to be no gangway.
Foot passengers would access the pier and vessel via the car deck.

The MV Clansman alongside the pier

There is always the possibility of an unsuccessful attempt at berthing.
So it was with a sense of relief that we saw the vehicles roll off.
We had friends arriving on the island on that particular sailing.

The ramp temporarily raised

All the vehicles had come ashore.
The foot passengers had been transferred.
Then the crew raised the stern ramp and waited.
Would the vessel depart leaving the waiting traffic behind?

The MV Clansman prepares to head back out to sea

Thankfully the stern ramp was lowered once again.
All the traffic was safely boarded.
Even the bin lorry for Coll!

The MV Clansman presents her face to the wind and waves

The sun as shining bright.
The wind was continuing to gust.
Sunday’s sailing has been placed on alert.
It too may be subject to disruption or cancellation.

Face Wash

As for Monday the advice is to travel Sunday if possible.
This necessitated a telephone call to family arriving from the South.
It will mean a very early start to reach Oban no later than 6:30am for 7:15am sailing.

The MV Clansman heading out to sea bound for Oban via Coll

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.
This is life on a Hebridean island.
Somehow the pier and the ferry speak volumes.