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 DATE NEWS
30/01/05 It is anticipated that the Loch Bhrusda will remain in Oban for roughly 10 days while she undergoes her maintenance.
 
29/01/05 Loch Alainn arrived back at Largs today after her annual overhaul at Troon. Loch Bhrusda arrived in Oban for maintenance work and is currently berthed alongside the North Pier. Loch Linnhe is currently back on relief duties on the Eriskay crossing and will remain as such until the regular ferry returns. Meanwhile Loch Bhrusda will sail soon for Berneray in order to relieve Loch Portain.

Picture: David Livingstone
Loch Bhrusda at Oban today.

 
28/01/05 There may have been a possible problem with the Hebrides today. She was berthed stern first at Tarbert this morning. It was reported that a lorry was reversing onto her which could indicate a problem with her bow doors / visor.
  Some interesting reports recently have suggested that Saturn will be deployed on a secondary Arran crossing upon arrival of the new Bute. It seems due to her additional deck strength over her near sisters and the fact she is a slightly better sea boat she may be used to carry freight to and from the Clyde's largest island. Its possible she would be rostered on overnight sailings from Brodick on Arran and Wemyss Bay on the Clyde thus bringing freight closer to the capital of Scotland and distribution centres, it would also mean that the Caledonian Isles wouldn't have to shift berths to allow her into Ardrossan. This would also free up additional car space on day time crossings. More information and updates as and when they happen...
 
27/01/05 The CalMac terminal in Oban will be without power between the approximate hours of 0930 and 1530 today. Tickets can be purchased onboard the Isle of Mull and Clansman. For updates click the CalMac link above.
We have received reports that the new MV Bute is to be launched at the Remontowa shipyard in Poland on February 9th. This will be the first vessel to be launched sideways since Hebridean Isles back in 1985. The 'Buteman' reports that Calmac are looking into the possibility of setting up a webcam arrangement for the launch. More details as we receive them.
 
26/01/05 Saturn entered James Watt Dock at 11:00 today for her annual overhaul.
  Hebridean Isles has settled into her NorthLink relief duties. She departed Stromness at 16:30 to arrive in Scrabster at 18:30. Her next scheduled sailing will depart Scrabster at 19:00 to arrive in Stromness at 21:00. A new Pentland Firth timetable will come into effect with the return of Hamnavoe from drydock on Friday 4th February.
  Loch Class Update:
 

Loch Alainn is due for sea trials tomorrow at Troon. Isle of Cumbrae is also due on sea trials now scheduled for Friday at Rothesay, if all goes well with Loch Alainn tomorrow. Loch Ranza arrived back at Gigha yesterday afternoon which freed up the Loch Linnhe to proceed to Oban for a overnight berth. Loch Linnhe should arrive in Barra later tonight after departing Oban around midday today. She will relieve the Loch Bhrusda for maintenance and allow her to sail to Oban for further engine works. After which she will go to sound of Harris to relieve Loch Portain for annual overhaul on the Clyde.

 
25/01/05 Coruisk is now at Rothesay for the Bute run as Saturn arrived at Gourock today at 13.15 coinciding with Juno's Arrival. After discharging her passengers and vehicles, Juno moved to the 'wires' and Saturn took up the 13.20 sailing to Dunoon. The two ships changed over again for the 14.20. Presumably then Saturn departed for Garvel Dry Dock, Gourock and her annual overhaul.
  Lord of the Isles is reported to be in Canada Dock, Liverpool tonight for her annual overhaul.
 
24/01/05
Disruption:
Largs - Cumbrae service notice: Due to mechanical difficulties, Loch Tarbert is unable to sail, the service has been temporarily suspended. For updates click the CalMac link above. Update: They hope to make a 12:30 sailing from Cumbrae. Further Update: Loch Ranza was later carrying out the Cumbrae crossing but she herself was delayed at Cumbrae Slip this afternoon after suffering a failure in her ramp hydraulics. Passengers were unable to disembark until repairs had been carried out and the ramp was able to be lowered. Presumably Loch Linnhe is covering at Gigha???
   
  Hebridean Isles is using the old P&O ferry berth at Scrabster for her stay as the gangway at Stromness apparently doesn't fit. Passengers are being escorted along the pier. She has a NorthLink master on as pilot Hamnavoe left soon after her 2030 arrival last night.
 
23/01/05 Hebridean Isles arrived in Scrabster this afternoon for a quick berthing trial before sailing across the Pentland Firth to Stromness where she arrived at 17:00. She will be relieving for the Hamnavoe while the latter is away in Denmark for her annual overhaul. Isle of Arran is covering the Islay routes while the regular vessel is away and will take up service with a 15:45 sailing from Stromness to Scrabster. Following completion of repairs and relief duties, Isle of Mull and Clansman respectively are back in service on their normal routes to Mull, Colonsay, Coll, Tiree and the Outer Isles.
Coruisk was out for a run today and was seen in the Toward area before heading back to Gourock. It is expected that she will take over the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay route from Saturn on Tuesday early afternoon.

22/01/05 Lord of the Isles is currently on Mull roster with Isle of Mull still at the railway pier. Clansman noted inbound in Sound of Mull at 1400. No sign of Isle of Arran who is due to relieve Hebridean Isles at Kennacraig soon to allow her to go to Orkney to cover for NorthLink vessel Hamnavoe.
  It is possible Isle of Cumbrae is due to re-launch on Tuesday, having been out of the water recently at Ardmaleish Boatyard, Bute.
 
21/01/05 Isle of Mull has been sighted outbound passing Gourock this morning at 09:25. She was later sighted (approx 10:30) 'playing' in Loch Long before heading back down the Firth at 10:55. At 11:15 she is currently awaiting the Dunoon boat to depart before loading crew cars at Gourock. Isle of Mull later arrived in Oban approximately 22:00 and berthed at the railway pier secondary berth. Caledonian Isles has also been sighted outbound passing Gourock at about 10:30 this morning. She was reported to have swapped with Clansman on the Arran roster around 15:30.

Picture: John Crae
CI and IoM at Gourock Today in a Historic Photo - The half sisters have only met together once before.

 
20/01/05 Caledonian Isles is due back at Ardrossan sometime tomorrow (Friday 21st January). This will allow the Clansman, who is currently covering on the Arran crossing, to head back up to Oban and help with Isle of Arran and Lord of the Isles set up at the moment. Lord of the Isles is expected at Birkenhead on Monday 24th January for overhaul.
 
19/05/05 You can now watch the LIVE positions of NorthLink Ferries near Aberdeen via a Free Subscription to AIS Live.
 
18/01/05
Disruptions:
As the gales return we are advised of multiple disruptions. The 0820 ex Brodick was diverted to Gourock, with a bus departing Ardrossan to transport foot passengers to the ferry. Today's 0900 and 1400 sailings from Berneray to Leverburgh, and the return crossings at 1010 and 1510 will not be running. The captain of Hebridean Isles advised that this morning's sailing to Port Ellen was diverted to Port Askaig. The morning sailing from Rathlin to Ballycastle was cancelled, with a decision due this afternoon as to whether the later sailing will run. The 1530 sailing rom Oban to Castlebay and Lochboisdale is cancelled and finally (for now) the Small Isles will not be seeing the ferry today.

17/01/05 Researchers at Southampton and Highlands & the Isles universities believe last week's severe storms would become more frequent and stronger in future. During the storms, the ferry network were severely disrupted with many routes not running. They are calling for bigger ferries to combat the problem of cancelled sailings due to high waves.
More story at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4180365.stm

Picture: Brian Climie
Loch Alainn in Garvel (Troon) Dry Dock Today. Brian Climie

 
15/01/05 Coruisk was unable to get into Wemyss Bay this morning, she is now heading up to Gourock to berth. Eslewhere, the Sconser - Raasay service has been suspended until further notice. Check with Calmac or local ports for further details. This afternoon Coruisk was unable to perform her 1515 sailing from Rothesay due a high tide at Wemyss Bay. She left the Bute pier to lie in Rothesay Bay but had to return to offload a passenger who had failed to disembark upon her arrival from Wemyss Bay. 
  For information and pictures of Muirneag at present, visit Larne Ferry Web.
 
12/01/05 Again, appalling weather conditions have meant that all but one Hebridean Isles sailing to Islay and one Clansman sailing to Arran (from Gourock) were cancelled. This included ALL CalMac and NorthLink sailings.
 
11/01/05 We have reports that Loch Alainn apparently made her way to Ardrossan on Sunday. She tied up at berth 7. It is possible she may have been heading for Troon overhaul but today's Clydesite has discussion about no facilities at Troon. We will update as and when we receive any additional information. Update: Loch Alainn was on her way for annual overhaul to the dry-dock at Troon (now operated by Garvel).
Due to bad weather and a large wave hitting the bridge she had to seek shelter at Ardrossan. She has now however arrived in Troon and is dry-docked.  Muirneag is due to be dry docked at Birkenhead, Liverpool for inspection any any repairs needed after her slight grounding yesterday. She is reported to be there for Friday.
   
Disruptions: For the first time in many many years, the entire CalMac network has been shut down due to the appalling weather conditions hampering operations on the west coast of Scotland...

Most of the fleet stations assessed the weather this morning and a few ventured out but most stayed tied up for passenger safety.

Due to continuing severe weather conditions across Scotland there are multiple major disruptions and cancellations to ferry services on the Clyde and Western Isles. For full details click here.

Picture: Calum McCulloch
Clansman battling the weather trying to make it from Gourock to Ardrossan this morning.

   
NorthLink: Cancellations Affecting All Routes. Hjaltland arrived in Lerwick at 07:30. Her 19:00 from Lerwick to Aberdeen has been cancelled for safety reasons. The scheduled departure from Lerwick to Hatston (Kirkwall) and Aberdeen on Wednesday 12th January is currently under review. The next scheduled departure from Kirkwall (Hatston), the 23:45 sailing to Aberdeen on Wednesday 12th January is currently under review. Hamnavoe arrived Stromness at 13:30. The 16:30 sailing from Stromness and the 19:00 sailing from Scrabster tonight have been cancelled. The 03:45 sailing from Stromness and the 06:00 sailing from Scrabster on Wednesday 12th January have also been cancelled. All other sailings on Wednesday 12th January are under review. Further information will be available at 07:30 on 12th January. Hrossey arrived in Aberdeen at 06:45. Due to forecast adverse weather conditions, and in the interests of passenger comfort and safety, the scheduled 19:00 sailing of Hrossey from Aberdeen to Lerwick has been cancelled. The scheduled 19:00 departure from Aberdeen to Lerwick on Wednesday 12th January is currently under review.
 
10/01/05 Muirneag ran aground this morning at 04.30 but the high tide floated her off about an hour later according to Isles FM. Coastguard say there is no apparent damage but she will be inspected before she leaves again. Apparently she had gone out and was turning back owing to bad weather when she went aground just outside the harbour. It is possible she won't sail for the next two nights due to her touching rocks. Any more info we receive we will update this page.
Disruptions: Ardrossan-Brodick Service: Please be advised that the 0820 sailing from Brodick will be diverted to Gourock. All passengers intending to travel to Brodick to be at Gourock for 1015. The 1105 sailing from Brodick and the 1230 sailing from Ardrossan have been cancelled.
  Sound of Harris Service: Due to technical problems the 0915 sailing from Berneray and the 1025 sailing from Leverburgh have been cancelled. For updated on these situations, please use the link to CalMac above.
  NorthLink: Cancellations affecting Pentland Firth Route: Due to the adverse weather forecast and in the interests of passenger comfort and safety the 09:00 sailing from Stromness and the 12:00 sailing from Scrabster have both been cancelled. The 16:30 sailing from Stromness will be reviewed at 12:00.
 
09/10/05 Isle of Arran could not make her call at Barra due to the severe gales in the Minch once again.
 
08/01/05
Disruptions:
Due to the ongoing storm over the northern half of the UK the following disruptions are in effect. Today's 0645 service to Coll and Tiree was cancelled. The Tarbert - Portavadie service is suspended until further notice, the 0820 sailing from Brodick was diverted to Gourock, with the 1350 sailing from Arran and return then being cancelled. The Fionnphort - Iona service has been suspended until further notice, as has the Tayinloan - Gigha service. Due to tidal conditions the 1515 sailing from Rothesay and 1600 from Wemyss Bay have had to be cancelled. The 1630 from Rothesay and 1730 from Wemyss Bay were then cancelled due to the adverse weather. Today's Small Isles sailing has been cancelled, as have the 1500 from Rathlin and 1600 from Ballycastle. The lunchtime sailing from Tarbert - Lochranza and return was cancelled, as is the 1500 ex Tobermory and 1545 ex Kilchoan. The Sound of Barra crossing at 1710 from Ardmhor and return from Eriskay, as well as the 1330 from Berneray and 1440 from Leverburgh on the Sound of Harris service are all cancelled due to severe weather in the Outer Hebrides, and tonight's 1745 sailing from Lochaline, returning from Fishnish at 1810 will not be running. 

A revised timetable will be in operation tomorrow (Sunday) for MV Hebrides' sailings: 0730 Tarbert - Uig, 0930 Uig - Lochmaddy, 1200 Lochmaddy - Uig and finally 1400 Uig - Lochmaddy - Tarbert.

   
  NorthLink: Due to adverse weather conditions the arrival time of Hjaltland into Hatston may be delayed upto an hour.
 

Brenda Corlett (ex Pioneer) alongside in Gibraltar This Morning - Pictures By Daniel Ferro

 
Other News: P&O Irish Sea's European Highlander has run aground at Cairnryan in the very heavy winds affecting the West Coast of Scotland and North East England at the moment. She is expected to be pulled off by tugs later tomorrow morning. Her fleet mate is currently operating the crossing to Ireland solo.

07/01/05 Brenda Corlett (ex Pioneer) is now confirmed to be alongside in Gibraltar. There is a current Webcam focused on her, she is just visible on the right. The Port of Gibraltar has her listed as the following: Arrival: 03 Jan: 10:33 Flag: BLZ To: CAPE VERDE Purpose: Bunkers; Stores; Water Call Sign: V3XM

Coruisk has just appeared at Wemyss Bay (12:30) from Gourock seemingly light. Juno has also just arrived there fully loaded and appears to be heading to Rothesay.

Picture: Webcam
Brenda Corlett alongside in Gibraltar

  Muirneag has been in Stornoway all day while Isle of Lewis trying to catch up on lost time from yesterday. She left Ullapool at 05:30 this morning after being storm-bound there last night therefore running late all day. Isle of Arran eventually made it into Castlebay on Barra this afternoon after the extremely bad weather had made the crossing to the other isle unreachable for a few days. As far as we are aware the stricken cargo vessel that is currently seeking refuge in Castlebay after her cargo shifted in the winds is not affecting berthing at the ferry terminal.
Disruption: Coruisk will depart from Rothesay at (08.45) sailing to Gourock due to tidal conditions at Wemyss Bay. The (09.30) and (11.00) departing Wemyss Bay and the (10.10) and (11.45) departing Rothesay have been cancelled. For further information please contact local Caledonian MacBrayne port or use the above weblink.
 
06/01/05 Lord of the Isles has been operating on the Oban - Craignure Roster while the Isle of Arran is operating the Tiree crossing. However bad weather again seems to be hampering operations.

Isle of Mull is moving from James Watt Dock to Inchgreen repair quay for repairs to bow door area, Repairs to be carried out by North West Ship Repairers from Birkenhead. Garvel dry-dock is full at the moment resulting in her move. To repair the damaged bow area they have constructed scaffolding to give them a platform to carry out the repairs.

Picture: John Crae
Isle of Mull's slight bow damage

 
05/01/05
Disruptions:
Today's sailings to Rathlin Island, Iona, Gigha, Eriskay, Portavadie, Lochranza and Lochaline have been cancelled until further notice. Please contact local offices for information on sailings. The Lochnevis's sailing to Muck and Eigg have been cancelled. The 0845 sailing from Oban to Lismore had to return to Oban, the next scheduled sailing to Lismore is at 1445, depending on weather conditions. The 0915 sailing from Berneray and the 1020 sailing from Leverburgh were cancelled. The rest of today's sailings may be disrupted. Coruisk and Juno are currently at Gourock after being diverted from Rothesay. Sailings depending on weather. Coruisk being used due to her having stabilizers for better passenger comfort. She is due at  Rothesay at 1300 for a return run to Gourock, weather permitting! The Isle of Lewis's sailing to Stornoway from Ullapool has been cancelled until further notice. The Hebrides sailings from Harris to Uig and Uig to Lochmaddy have been cancelled until further notice. For further information on any of Caledonian MacBrayne's sailings today, please contact the local port or see www.calmac.co.uk 
Isle of Cumbrae left Rothesay this afternoon and has gone to Ardmaleish for her annual overhaul.
Updates: Caledonian Isles and Coruisk continue to use Gourock as there base for sailings today as the weather in the firth continues to be very choppy. Caledonian Isles has reportedly just left Brodick (13:40) to join fleet mate Isle of Mull in Garvel Dry Dock, Gourock and her annual overhaul. Clansman has also been reported leaving at 13.50 for Gourock. Coruisk will depart Rothesay for Gourock at 15.45 - this will be last sailing off the day for that route.

Picture: Callum McCulloch
Caledonian Isles leaving Gourock Today

Updates: Clansman has just been seen off Rothesay at 1530 inbound to Gourock, from Brodick. She has relieved Caledonian Isles on the Arran Run. Juno has now been seen sailing back down to Rothesay. Coruisk has also been seen sailing back up to Gourock. Caledonian Isles is currently lying at the mouth of Loch Long (16:00) waiting to berth at Gourock, Clansman must be berthing first.

 

Updates: Isle of Lewis is making her run back to Stornoway at her usual time 17:30. Hebrides is expected to do her run to Uig tomorrow morning.
  Isle of Arran has again been operating on the Mull run and did not make Colonsay due to bad weather. Lord of the Isles lay alongside North Pier in Oban all day, so presumably she did not do Tiree or Barra. Again due to weather and heavy SW gales.
  NorthLink: Due to the adverse weather conditions, and in the interests of passenger comfort and safety, the 16.30 sailing from Stromness and the 19.00 sailing from Scrabster on 05.01.2005 and the 03:45 from Stromness and 06:00 from Scrabster on 06.01.2005 have been cancelled. Please note that the 09:00 sailing from Stromness on 06.01.2005 is under review. Further updates on this sailing will be available from 07:30

04/01/05
Disruption:
This morning's 0820 sailing from Brodick and the return from Ardrossan at 0945 were cancelled due to high winds preventing Caledonian Isles approaching Ardrossan. High winds also saw Lochnevis stormbound at Mallaig all day, unable to carry out either Armadale sailing or her run to the Small Isles. The Tarbert - Portavadie service was suspended until further notice, as were sailings between Berneray and Leverburgh on the Loch Portain. The Loch Bhrusda's 1710 to Eriskay and 1815 to Ardmhor have also been cancelled.
NorthLink: Due to adverse weather conditions and in the interest of passenger comfort and safety the 16:30 sailing from Stromness and the 19:00 sailing from Scrabster on Tuesday 4th January and the 03:45 sailing from Stromness and 06:00 from Scrabster on Wednesday 5th January have been cancelled. Also due to the adverse weather forecast the 09:00 sailing from Stromness and the 12:00 sailing from Scrabster on Wednesday 5th January are under review. A further update will be available at 07:30 on 5th January from NorthLink.

03/01/05 Loch Tarbert arrived in Oban at 2pm today, berthing well round the Railway pier where the fishing fleet normally occupy. She is on her way back to the Clyde after annual relief duties.
   
  Brenda Corlett (formally Pioneer) appears to have departed Gibraltar for Africa. Updates to follow.
  Update: Apologies for the earlier confusion. We have just received news from Gibraltar confirming that Brenda Corlett left the east anchorage this morning and sailed into the port (of Gibraltar) at about 10:30. She is due to be in port for reportedly docking. This will include more stores and bunkers for her next leg of her voyage to Africa. She may also be receiving structural upgrades and modification to allow her to operate in her new role as a warm climate car ferry.
 
02/01/05 NorthLink has confirmed its schedule for the dry-docking of its passenger ferry fleet for annual maintenance in Denmark.

Hamnavoe will be out of service from Monday 24 January until Thursday 3 February, with Hebridean Isles, on charter from Caledonian MacBrayne, standing-in to operate the Stromness-Scrabster route during this time.

Hrossey will depart for dry dock on Sunday 20 February, returning to service on or around Tuesday 1 March, with Hjaltland proceeding to Denmark on her return.  Hjaltland is scheduled to be in dry dock for eight days and normal service is expected to be resumed by Thursday 10 March. 

Between Sunday 20 February and Wednesday 9 March, therefore, the Aberdeen – Kirkwall – Lerwick route will be served by one vessel only, which will travel north one day and south the next. The company’s freight service will be increased during this time to ensure daily cargo operations continue throughout the dry dock period.

Passengers already booked to travel on sailings affected by the dry dock schedule will be contacted by the company to allow transfer or refund of reservations.

For full details on the Lerwick-Kirkwall-Aberdeen service please see www.northlinkferries.co.uk

   
Jupiter assumed the role of Dunoon ferry, taking over from Juno this morning. Juno was then sighted heading down to Wemyss Bay to take over from Saturn, which then sailed to Gourock and took over the Dunoon service from 1820. Elsewhere, in the Western Isles the Clansman was operating the Oban - Craignure sailings while Isle of Arran took the afternoon sailing out to Castlebay and Lochboisdale. Lord of the Isles spent the day lying at Oban's Railway Pier.
  Pioneer Update:

Brenda Corlett arrived around 11:00am today at Gibraltar and is currently awaiting a berth at the port. Her next step will be the west coast of Africa.


Enlarge ImageAIS Live)

   
Disruption: Gourock - Dunoon service: Due to technical problems, today's sailings between Gourock and Dunoon are cancelled until further notice. For further information please contact local CalMac port. www.calmac.co.uk Update: Sailings now resumed from 11:20
 
01/01/05 Isle of Mull is reported to now be in James Watt Dock following her collision with Lord of the Isles. No indications on how long she will be there are available as of yet.

Other News Logs:
Click HERE to see the other months' fleet news logs


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