Return to Sunshine

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.

The view from our suite in the Perle Hotel

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.

A narrow boat makes its way along the Union Canal at Brightons, Falkirk

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.

From the deck of the MV Clansman we look back on Oban

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.

Looking back to Oban ferry Terminal

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.

Looking back on distant mighty mainland mountain peaks

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.

The sun has risen over the waters of 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.

A misty Isle of Mull bathed in autumn sunshine

With many by now familiar landmarks there is no need for mileposts.

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse

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.

The distinctive shape of Eigg

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’.

Autumn Splendour enjoyed on our passage

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.

Work continues on the new link-span installed at Coll

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.

Underway again, the sun dances on the waves as we look out on the distant Paps of Jura

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.

From the deck of the MV Clansman a view of Milton Harbour

It has indeed been a return to sunshine. Since our arrival the sunshine has continued and the sunsets have been a delight.

Sunset over the township of Scarinish

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.

The sun sets over the waters of Gott Bay

Monday’s sunset was a sight for sore eyes.

(Click on a picture for larger pictures)