It is good to go but great to return. The purpose of our going was to attend the Baptist Union of Scotland’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations and Assembly at Motherwell Civic Centre. However, like most islanders you want to make the most of your time on the mainland. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in a suite at the Perle Hotel in Oban before moving across to family in Falkirk.
On the mainland we treasure the fact that it was autumn and especially appreciated the colours that go with the season. For most of our time in Oban and in Falkirk the sun shone brightly and cast lengthy shadows. Our walk along the bank of the Union Canal at Brightons, Falkirk, was enhanced by the passage of a narrow boat along the waterway.
After the Assembly we made our way back to Oban on Saturday evening.It was a brief overnight stay as the ferry sailed at 7:15am. This meant being at the Ferry Terminal around 6:40am.
The streets were quiet at that hour in the morning. The sun had not yet risen but by the time we were on board the MV Clansman it was first light.
Promptly at 7:15am, the MV Clansman pulled away from the pier and headed out into the calm waters of Oban Bay. Even at that early hour it was a pleasure to stand out on deck and watch the lights of Oban recede into the distance.
One of the many pleasures of life on Tiree is sailing home through the Hebridean scenery of Scotland’s West Coast. On a sunny day it is joy to cross the Firth of Lorne and sail up the Sound of Mull.
We had hoped to witness the sun rise above the horizon, but breakfast called. It was while tucking into a a filled breakfast roll of Lorne sausage that we looked back and saw the sun rise above some low level clouds.
With many by now familiar landmarks there is no need for mileposts.
Leaving the Sound of Mull, to starboard there is Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, the ‘Small Isles, Mull, Eigg and Rùm, and beyond them the Cuillins of Skye.
As the ferry enters the Passage of Tiree on the port side is the Isle of Mull and to starboard there is the ‘lovely Isle of Coll’.
Soon to port the Treshnish Isles come into view. Not long after the careful observer can see Tiree as they make out with the naked eye Ben Hynish with the distinctive shape of the NATS ‘Golf Ball’. We are still at least an hour and half sailing time from our destination.
When the ferry berths at Coll we have a preview of what to expect on Tiree next February/March. Today’s sailing to Coll is passenger only as the link-span is being replaced.
A mammoth floating crane called Lara-1 has swung the new link-span into place.. The old link-span is on board Lara-1 and the vessel would later in the afternoon start her journey south to Liverpool.
On Tuesday we had left Tiree in sunshine and we returned to sunshine. Throughout our crossing the landscape and the sky above shared the golden colour that characterises this time of the year. Depending on which direction you looked the sky was either blue or gold.
It has indeed been a return to sunshine. Since our arrival the sunshine has continued and the sunsets have been a delight.
This is ‘Life on Tiree’.
Monday’s sunset was a sight for sore eyes.
(Click on a picture for larger pictures)