A Brief Respite

The Met Office have issued a weather warning for the weekend that includes the next named storm to strike the UK. Named ‘Storm Dennis’ it is not expected to be as ‘menacing’ as ‘Storm Ciara’. Or will Dennis prove to be a Menace?

Tiree’s Dark Skies

Steve Ramsdale, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office said: “Another spell of very wet and windy weather is expected for Saturday, although Storm Dennis is currently not expected to be as severe as Ciara disruption is still likely.”

The result of Hail Laden Squalls

“Over the weekend wind gusts will widely reach in excess of 50mph, even across some inland areas, with gusts of over 60mph possible over hills, coastal areas and exposed locations.”

Storm damage to the dunes at Gott Bay

Since Friday, here on Tiree the gusts have rarely fallen below 50mph and most days have peaked at over 60mph. For example on Tuesday the gusts once again peaked at 66mph. At the weekend we expect a return to such conditions. However It appears that this prolonged spell of stormy weather does not qualify for a name.

Using the respite to eat in order to keep warm

Following Storm Ciara not only did the high winds continue but they were often accompanied by dark skies and hail. The latter did its best to impersonate snow, but failed.

Enjoying a walk that took in Brock (Gott Bay)

Wednesday and Thursday saw a brief respite from the high winds and related sea conditions. On Wednesday we took the opportunity to enjoy a walk along Gott Bay to Sgibinis, Ruaig and Brock.

Gott Bay looking towards the pier

On Wednesday afternoon we were able to take a walk around Scarinish in the dry and relative calm. We were rewarded with a clear view across the Passage of Tiree to a snow capped Ben More on the Isle of Mull – about twenty three miles distant.

A snow capped Ben More on the Isle of Mull – taken from Scarinish harbour

Thus after a week without sight of a ferry, we had two sailings on Thursday.

MV Isle of Mull’s arrival in Gott Bay

The first departed Oban at 5:15am and sailed directly to Tiree arriving at 8:41am. The MV Isle of Mull covered this sailing. CalMac advised that livestock heading to sales on the Mainland will be reviewed on a case by case basis for both sailings.

MV Isle of Mull heads out to sea bound for Oban

The second sailing departed Oban at 10:30am and after calling at Coll it arrived at Tiree at 2:24pm. It then sailed directly back to Oban. This sailing was provided by the MV Lord of the Isles.

MV Lord of the Isles entering Gott Bay

On Saturday (15th) a ‘Sale of store cattle of all classes’ was due to be held at the Rural Centre at Crossapol. United Auctions have issued the following statement:
Tiree Sale
Due to impending weather conditions
and CalMac’s uncertainty regarding ferrying livestock,
we have had to cancel the Tiree Sale
due to be held on Saturday 15 February.
Until we get confirmation from CalMac
with regards space availability on the ferries,
we are not in a position to give a
new proposed date for holding the sale.

Looking towards Ben Hynish when the respite is threatened

It is just over a week to the closure of the linkspan at Tiree. As previously stated there will be a foot passenger only service for a month. With so many cancellations local hauliers, crofters and fishermen must be wondering how they will be able to transport their loads (including fuel and animal feed), livestock and fish in the remaining few days. It will be interesting to see how CalMac will respond.

The old school and Congregational church at Ruaig

Life on Tiree continues to be most interesting

The winter sun transforms Gott Bay