When it comes to timetables CalMac knows only two seasons, Summer and Winter. Strictly speaking on the Oban, Coll and Tiree route they know three seasons, Summer, High Summer and Winter. However, the High season is listed under the Summer season.
The High Summer season has long gone ending on Saturday the 21st of August. During the period extending from the 19th June until the 21st of August there is an additional Saturday Sailing. From the 22nd of August until the end of the ‘Summer’ the timetable goes back to one Saturday sailing.
This week has witnessed a humber of ‘lasts’, for example the final late ferry for the season on Tuesday. Unlike other crossings it departs Oban at 3:00pm calling at Coll, then Tiree, before returning directly to Oban. It was our privilege on Tuesday to board the ‘MV Clansman’ at Coll as we made our way back home after an overnight stay at the Coll Hotel.
Yesterday, the 13th of October, was the last sailing of the season through the Gunna Sound. On a Wednesday the Oban, Coll and Tiree sailing is extended to Barra before returning to Tiree, Coll and Oban. Life on Tiree was present at the Gunna Sound in the late morning to observe the progress of the ‘MV Clansman’ through the Sound. (The Gunna Sound is the narrow stretch of water separating Tiree and Coll.) Somehow the photographic record mysteriously vanished and was nowhere to be found. Thankfully her return passage was captured on the camera.
With dark grey clouds and heavy rain today it really does feel that summer is over and that we have skipped autumn. Perhaps CalMac are correct after all. Perhaps there are only two seasons.
This is ‘Life on Tiree’.