“It’s Island Life”

Tiree is surrounded by amazing beaches, large and small. Add to that the island is one of the sunniest places in Britain. When the sun shines on the shallow waters that wash the beaches the sea turns the most wonderful shades of blue. It is consequently sometimes referred to as the ‘Hawaii of the North’.

The LoganAir Twin Otter approaching the apron at Tiree Airport

It is not unknown for the media to speak of Tiree in terms of ‘an island paradise’. It is a great place to call home. There is a real sense of community but Island life can be challenging.

The MV Lord of the Isles enters Gott Bay out of the murk

This winter has been challenging. Three named storms. Persistent gale force winds and stormy seas. Once again this has led to damage to the CMAL pier. Although skippers and their crews have sought to provide our lifeline service there have been numerous cancellations.

‘LOTI’ framed by the dolphins and soon to be replaced linkspan

Crofters are talking about not knowing a winter like it. At least not for a long time. It is not just the wind and wind chill, the ground is so wet. These are challenging days. Last Saturday’s livestock sale had to be cancelled because of ferry cancellations. The weather forecast means there is no real ground to expect a sale this weekend. We will have to wait and see when the sale will take place.

‘Loti’ swings to come alongside the pier in blustery conditions. it was cold!

The community is waiting and watching to see what will unfold in the next few days. Looking at the weather forecast the expectations is for further ferry cancellations.To add to the difficulties the much larger MV Clansman should be back on the crossing, but she is still in dock at Greenock. On Monday (24:02:20) work is due to start on replacing the linkspan that makes possible the roll on roll off ferry service. As stated in previous posts it will be a foot passenger only service during the duration of the works.

Age traffic starts to roll off the ferry and drive over the linkspan

With so many cancellations there is a backlog of vehicles wanting to make the crossing. Additionally there is the matter of the livestock sale. Will the replacement of the linkspan be briefly postponed? (See announcement at foot of this post)

‘Loti’ alongside the pier

Today, was characterised by frequent but brief hail showers that were intense while they lasted. On minute the sky could be blue then the next it would turn black only to clear once again. Both the plane and the ferry were delayed but for different reasons.  The plane and the ferry both stood out against the black backdrop.

‘LOTI’ heads out to sea bound for Oban

Ferry cancellations, flights delayed or cancelled, yet we have so much to be thankful for. We live in a community that expresses care in so many different ways. We have excellent medical services. In cases of a medical emergency there is the air ambulance service. This afternoon, once again, the aIr ambulance could be heard approaching the airport.

‘Loti’ departing Gott Bay

Here on Tiree we have been spared the flooding that has wrought havoc such havoc in so many places on the Mainland. Here on Tiree we have our own particular difficulties, but as been said more than once today – “It’s Island life!”

‘Loti’ will it be you or the MV Clansman we see next?

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.

Thankful the hail shower had passed just before the plane landed

POSTSCRIPT

As Life-on-Tiree made this post, CalMac announced:

TIREE LINKSPAN CLOSURE DATES

Due to the weather conditions being experienced across the network,
CalMac and CMAL have taken the decision
to delay the Tiree linkspan closure
to allow for the transportation of essential goods.
The closure will not commence before Friday 28th February,
however we will continue to monitor the weather
and will provide an update on Friday 21st February.
We appreciate your continued support during this time.