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.
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 her anchor dropped she cautiously brought her stern in towards the pier and with bow ropes secured she proceeded towards the link span.
Then with her stern ropes secured she lowered her stern ramp.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday’s sailing does not seem to be in doubt however CalMac advises that the forecast for Monday is currently looking poor.
CalMac state that the conditions will continue to be monitored. However if travel is urgent consideration should be given to travelling on Sunday.
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.
Instead of returning to Coll as she often does, the Clansman was heading directly for Oban.
Thanks are due once again to the pier staff and the Master and crew of the Clansman.
THIS IS LIFE ON TIREE
PS – Don’t worry it should have been calmer as the MV Clansman headed north up the Passage of Tiree.