It was our son’s last day on Tiree before returning to his home well south of the Scottish border. He wanted to make the most of the time remaining and chose to go for a walk along the sand at Gott Bay. It was late afternoon, around 4:45pm, just in time to see the MV Clansman entering the bay.
On a Wednesday the Oban Coll and Tiree sailing is extended to Barra and about 5:00pm it returns to Tiree. When we first visited the island the Barra sailing was on a Thursday. Back then in 2011 the ferry left Oban around 8:00am rather than 7:00am under the current timetable This was much more convenient for those who wanted to spend the afternoon on Tiree. It also enabled CalMac to advertise a tour of the island in co-operation with the local bus operator.
The weather was ideal for our walk along the sand and from the ‘big beach’ we had a very different view of the ferry berthing. Normally we would watch the vessel berthing from the pier or close by so it was most interesting viewing the ferry from this angle.
The ferry is generally lightly loaded between Tiree and Barra and on the return crossing. However, It is helpful for those who want to visit family, or for those who are ‘island hopping’. It is still used by some who wish to spend the afternoon on Tiree, although there is no longer an organised tour. Cars an be hired from the two car hiring companies. Bies are also available for hire.
At the same time as the ferry was berthing the the evening flight from Glasgow was crossing Gott Bay as it made its approached to Tiree Airport. The Twin Otter has it own distinctive sound and you hear the change in pitch as it makes its final approach.
In the summer there are at least two flights to and from Glasgow Airport. In the winter some flights can be banked and used in the summer to provide additional flights when most needed.
The Twin Otter was not the only thing in the air. At the water’s edge were sanderlings which took the air on our approach, but they were not the only birds in the air.
Having enjoyed our walk along the beach and watching both the ferry and the plane, we returned to our car and made our way to slightly higher ground at Gott. From this vantage point we watched the MV Clansman depart the pier and head out to the Passage of Tiree bound for Coll and Oban. What a beautiful sight and a climax to our son’s penultimate day.
The following day Andrew boarded the ferry at the start of his journey home. For most of his stay he enjoyed the best warm sunny weather that Tiree has to offer. Sadly he left under a cloud that had burst and unlike his arrival this crossing was under a blanket of cloud.
We always enjoy having visitors to our island home but in recent days there have been several visitors to the Passage of Tiree and even nearer to shore.
The Northern Lighthouse Vessel ‘Pharos’ sailed from its base in Oban to Hynish Bay. On board was its helicopter and this will no doubt be deployed at Skerryvore Lighthouse.
Around Scarinish Harbour there has been all kinds of comings and goings that have included ribs from Oban. So here are some photographs from the harbour.
This is Life on Tiree