Remarkable Seamanship

It was Tuesday evening and the wind had been gusting to 40mph from the South East, the swell was clear to see and it was high tide. These were far from ideal conditions for berthing at Tiree. Earlier in the day the ‘MV Clansman’ had been unable to berth at Colonsay, although en route to Tiree the ferry had successfully berthed at the Isle of Coll. For some this evening, it was an anxious time and no doubt going through their mind was the question, ‘Would the ferry manage to berth at Tiree?’

The MV Clansman in the Passage of Tiree

In many ways the photographs tell their own story, yet they cannot adequately capture the movement of the sea. The Master was Skipper Chris MacKinnon from Skye and as on previous difficult conditions he skilfully berthed the ‘Mighty One’.

The MV Clansman in Gott Bay

Slowly,, slowly, and ever so cautiously the ferry edged towards the roundhead where the embers of the pier team were waiting to catch the lines and haul in the bow ropes. This was a great example of team work.

Approaching the pier
Note the CANT – a strong SE wind
Framed by the linkspan
Th MV Clansman preparing to berth stern first

Cautiously under the command of the skipper the ferry edged across the roundhead. With the strong wind from the South East it took three attempts for the line to be thrown from Midship before the team on the pier successfully caught the line. Such were the conditions!

Success on the third attempt
With the bow ropes secured, the thrusters pushed the stern towards the pier
The stern ropes must be kept away from the propellors

With the ‘MV Clansman’ safely berthed the stern ramp was lowered and the vehicle, drivers and passengers could make their way up the linkspan.

Rolling Off

Once the vehicles had been off loaded and the car deck cleared the foot passengers made their way up and down the linkspan as there was no gangway in operation.

The stern ramp being raised

With the vessel secured the ropes were released and the ‘MV Clansman’ could head out to sea. A successful berthing under the direction of the Master and involving great team work. Thank You all!

Ropes being released

As the MV Clansman headed out to sea we were further reminded that it is no accident that this ferry is known as the “Mighty One’ Now watch the build up of the bow waves!

This is Life on Tiree
reporting from the pier

After a wild day the sun broke through as the ferry headed back out to sea.