It is not often that the ferry arrives or departs Tiree during the hours of darkness. It is not unknown for the ‘MV Clansman’ to arrive after the sun has set, but it is much more unusual to witness the ‘MV Lord of the Isles’ arrive in Gott Bay in the last vestages of daylight and depart in the darkness.
With the ‘MV Isle of Arran’ out of action the ‘MV Lord of the Isles’ is operating to an amended timetable. Instead of arriving in Tiree at 11:00am she arrived at 5:30pm. There was just enough light to catch sight of her out in the Passage of Tiree and watch her swing to starboard in order to enter Gott Bay.
In the presesent circumstances. when only escential travel is permitted. traffic is light. With tomorrow’s sailing cancelled there was perhaps slightly more traffic than might have been expected.
There was a definite nip to the air as we watched the ferry’s arrival. The wind was from the South East and the temperature was 3 degrees C, but it certainly felt like -2 degrees.
For much of last year we felt it unwise to visit the pier, but with everything much quieter and with fewer people around we consider it safer. Obviously we observe propoer social distancing measures. The latter is not difficult with so few travelling on the ferry.
The bow ropes were thrown first and then with the stern to the link-span the stern ropes were secured. The ramp was lowered and the traffic rolled off. It certainly did not take long.
The ferry brings a touch of colour even in grey days, but there is something special about the ferry alongside the pier during the hours of darkness. Even ‘LOTI” is like a floating palace of light.
With the traffic light it was not long before all the vehicles were safely on board. HGVs and Tankers need to be lashed to the card deck during the passage. This was something we had to remember when we moved to Tiree over seven years ago.
With the stern ramp raised and the vessel was secured in readiness for heading out to sea. There was no hanging around this evening and in no time at all the ferry was heading out of the bay on her way to Oban.
Thankfully we don’t live far from the pier and so as soon as the ‘MV Lord of the Isles’ made her exit – bound for Oban – we headed home for a warming cup of coffee.
This is ‘Life on Tiree’.