With A Rattling and Rumbling

We arrived at the pier just as the MV Clansman was preparing to berth. Due to the weather and anticipated sea conditions she had departed Oban Ferry Terminal at 6:15am, an hour earlier than timetabled.  Sailing under a revised timetable she berthed at Coll at 8:47 and subsequently departed at 9:15 bound for Tiree.

The MV Clansman prepares to berth at Tiree

Her progress took her south down the Passage of Tiree and into Gott Bay. In order to berth stern first she has to turn through 180 degrees. With a rumbling and a rattling she dropped her anchor. This may well have been this first time this autumn that she has employed her anchor at Tiree.

With a rattling and a rumbling the MV Clansman dropped her anchor

With her anchor dropped she cautiously brought her stern in towards the pier and with bow ropes secured she proceeded towards the link span.

The pier staff catch and haul in the bow ropes

Then with her stern ropes secured she lowered her stern ramp.

The stern ropes secured the ramp is lowered onto the linkspan

Due to the conditions, the waves were breaking over the concrete wall of the pier approach, there was no gangway for the foot passengers, Instead foot passengers  disembarked and embarked via the car deck.

By the pier stormy conditions

It is Saturday 5th October and the start of school’s half-term holiday so for some it is an opportunity to get to the mainland or even abroad for a holiday.

The stern ramp is raised in preparation for sailing

With the vessel secured the stern ropes were cast and the Clansman’s thrusters employed to push her stern away from the pier. Then the bow ropes were released and her anchor lifted before she headed out to sea.

Evidence of the continuing work at the old pier – and evidence of stormy conditions

Sunday’s sailing does not seem to be in doubt however CalMac advises that the forecast for Monday is currently looking poor.

The ramp raised the crew await instruction to release the stern ropes

CalMac state that the conditions will continue to be monitored. However if travel is urgent consideration should be given to travelling on Sunday.

Working under challenging conditions a member of the pier staff releases the bow ropes

As the Clansman set her bow towards the Passage of Tiree the wind was gusting to 41mph. Although not a complete face wash her bow certainly had a good clean.

With her ropes released the Clansman pushes her stern away from the pier

Instead of returning to Coll as she often does, the Clansman was heading directly for Oban.

The MV Clansman heads out to sea

Thanks are due once again to the pier staff and the Master and crew of the Clansman. 

The Mighty One!


Again and again the waves crash over the bow

PS – Don’t worry it should have been calmer as the MV Clansman headed north up the Passage of Tiree.

Until tomorrow