We Are Home!

Our journey home to Tiree began in Thame, Oxfordshire. Last year (2021) we had journeyed south to Rochester, one of the Medway towns in Kent in order to be with family for Christmas. It was a real joy to spend time with our two grandchildren and on Boxing Day the whole family met up. The following day we made our way to Thame where we brought in the New Year. While there, on Hogmanay, we enjoyed the most amazing Winter Light show at  Waddesdon Manor, Bucks. Follow link for report.)

Winter Lights

On the 3rd of January we said our goodbyes. Instead of taking the West Coast Mainline to Glasgow we travelled from London King’s Cross to Edinburg by LNER. From Edinburgh we caught the train to Glasgow. The timely arrival of the train in Edinburgh meant that we were able to catch the afternoon train (16:35) to Oban.

One of the many trains we travelled on during our holiday

There are no retail or catering services on the ferry at present due to limited crew resources following several positive Covid19 cases across the network. On arrival in Oban at 19:45 it was a dash to the supermarket for supplies before it closed at 20:00.  We had to be prepared to take our own breakfast and if the ferry had to return to Oban without berthing – lunch.  There was the possibility of an 8 hour sailing.

It was an early start on Tuesday – the ferry was departing at 07:00.  As we made our way along the wind swept pier in Oban we were under no illusion – alerts had been issued. 

OBA-CLL-TIR 04Jan Due to North Westerly winds up to 40mph this service is liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice. 03/01/2022 @ 08:01

OBA-CLL-TIR 04Jan Due to forecast adverse weather conditions there will only be one stop at Coll (on passage to Tiree) and berthing is not guaranteed. 04/01/202

What a relief when the skipper welcomed everyone on board. We did not have to hear the name – it was George Campbell from Tiree. If anyone could do it, he could.

As we left the Sound of Mull and entered the Sea of the Hebrides we certainly knew we were at sea.  As we made our way south down the Passage of Tiree the sea conditions appeared calmer but with a squall coming in the Skipper announced he would delay attempting to berth at Coll. However, although when se finally approached the pier, the wind was too strong to safely berth at Coll and we proceeded for Tiree. (It was not possible even later to berth at Coll .)

A Blue Sky Welcome

On our first approach to the pier at Tiree we appeared to be heading back out to sea. However almost immediately we made a second approach to the pier. With a north westerly wind  which could blow us against the pier it was a cautious approach.

When we walked down the gangway we were home thanks to the skill of the skipper and crew of the MV Clansman and the pier staff who caught the ropes in such trying circumstances. Our walk up from the pier left us in no doubt as to the strength of the wind. (The wind was gusting up to 48mph.)

The remains of the squall

Just to make us feel at home we were hardly in the door when there was a ferocious hail laden squall followed soon after by a short lived power cut.

This is Life on Tiree

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