Complications is a word that can be associated with operations – think surgery. This is an operation and although it requires precision it is not a medical matter. Perhaps an explanation is required.

Tug Fortitude and barge Terra Marique from our window

This morning around 9:30 we looked out of our south facing window and through the mist we made out the form of the tug Fortitude towing on a long line the barge Terra Marique. They were returning from Ayr having departed there on Sunday evening.

Tug and Barge passing the marshalling lanes

Just after 10:00 the pair arrived in Gott Bay. A walk to the pier to watch their arrival confirmed the fact that the mist was  getting thicker.  It was time to return home for a cup of coffee and some dry clothes. While at home a quick check revealed that the plane had been unable to land due to the fog.

Visibility is decreasing

The ‘MV Lord of the Isles’ was due to berth at 11:30 and upon her departure the barge would propel itself towards the pier where she would berth.

The tug proceeds to turn the barge

The ferry was busy with inbound and outbound traffic. Sunday had been the Tiree Ultramarathon (a 35 mile circuit around the island) and many of those involved were making their way home.

On the starboard wing of the bridge

In the safe hands of Tiree skipper George Campbell the ferry headed back out to sea, calling at the Isle of Coll, and then on to the ferry terminal at Oban.

Raising the stern ramp

It was only then that I learned the barge would not be moving.  The crew had been on the flight from Glasgow that had been unable to land due to the lack of visibility. The barge crew were then booked on the flight which was scheduled to leave Glasgow at 13:40. However the fog has persisted and the flight did not take place.

Pushing off from the pier

If the crew for the barge are unable to arrive until Tuesday things will become even more complicated as there are two ferry sailings. The first by the ‘MV Isle of Mull’ which is due to arrive Tiree at 11:30  and depart at 11:50. Later the ‘MV Lord of the Isles’ is due to arrive at 16:10 and depart at 16:40.  It is a very narrow window for the complicated and timely operation of berthing and preparing the barge for off loading.

Operation cancelled for the morning, afternoon and . . .

To make matters even more complicated most of the island is without broadband. We had not noticed this as we had subscribed to BT’s Halo with unbreakable home wi-fi with Hybrid Connect. When the broadband went down our connection had automatically switched onto EE’s 4G and it was so good we had not been aware of any deterioration in service.

The waiting game

As this post was about to be published
it was confirmed that all Tiree flights for the day

This is ‘island life’
This ‘Life on Tiree’

As yet the ETA for broadband to be restored has not been met.

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