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Ships Of Calmac - Fleet News

21/02/05 Bruernish was on Eigg's roster to Lismore today.
  Read Bute's Launch covered by 'The Buteman'
20/02/05 Clansman was having her new windows fitted today. It is the centre bridge wing window which is now longer than the two at the side of it. The starboard one was done by 3pm today. Her lifeboats are resting on the dock side.
  NorthLink: It appears that the Hjaltland is the NorthLink ship dry docking first - She left Lerwick today light for Frederikshavn and Hrossey is currently on service to Hatston and Lerwick. They switch over around March 1st.
19/02/05 NorthLink: The Hrossey will depart for Denmark Tomorrow (Sunday) for her annual overhaul. She is expected to return to service around the 1st of March. During this time there will be no passenger replacement for the Hrossey on the Aberdeen-Kirkwall (Hatston) - Lerwick route, with the ship travelling North one day and South the next. The Clare and Hrossey are however expected to step up the freight sailings to relieve the pressure. When the Hrossey returns from Denmark, the Hjaltland will then be relieved to attend her annual overhaul. This will see the ship out of service from the 1st to 10th of March.
18/02/05 It is noted today that the current spare vessel, Isle of Arran will be used on the Gourock - Dunoon crossing during the Bute Jazz festival which runs annually from 28th April - 2nd May 2005.
  "Fresh Talks to Avert Ferry Strike"
17/02/05 Clansman today in Dry Dock. It appears she is getting a refit to her observation lounge and her bridge wing windows are being lengthened. As well as other thing's onboard, externally she is mainly just receiving paint work attention.
  Picture: Michael Bracken
Picture: Michael Bracken
14/02/05 Loch Portain departed Lochmaddy today at 07:00 and will sail overnight to  Jura where she will berth at Craighouse until Tuesday morning when she will arrive at Garvel for her annual overhaul. Clansman was due at Canada Dock, NW Ship Repairers, Birkenhead today and duly arrived there at 07:00 this morning and moved into Dry Dock later in the afternoon. Lord of the Isles is due to take the 09:30 ex Oban for OIS in lieu of yesterdays sailing.
  Picture: Michael Bracken  Picture: Ships of Mann  Picture: Ships of Mann
Clansman Today...    ...testing her Equipment...    ...and entering Canada Dry Dock
13/02/05 Coruisk appears to be heading upriver presumably for Gourock. The wind seems to be hampering operations on the Bute crossing. One of the Streakers is on the Dunoon run at the moment.

Picture: Lesley Wild
Juno this morning making her way in the gales

  Caledonian Isles is currently stormbound at Brodick at the moment with a possibility she may sail later this afternoon.
Hebrides and Hebridean Isles were also stormbound today. Isle of Lewis is to do a special 17:35 Ullapool - Stornoway (in lieu of Saturday 12th) Clansman is due to for Liverpool and her overhaul at 15:00 tomorrow.
  Juno remained on the Dunoon roster until 16:10 and then proceeded to the James Watt Dock. Saturn, newly released from overhaul was able to make for Wemyss Bay for a 12:15 departure for Rothesay. Jupiter was then free to sail for Dunoon and offer a service between the rostered times for three and a half hours from 11:50. She took over the Dunoon roster at 16:20. Jupiter departed for Dunoon at 20:15. The tide was so low that passengers had to embark via the linkspan as the gangway could not be fitted on to the upper deck.
Disruptions: Gales are affecting the following crossings with cancellations on all following: Lochmaddy - Uig - Lochmaddy, Rathlin - Ballycastle, Wemyss Bay - Rothesay, Colintraive - Rhubodach, Sound of Barra, Portavadie - Tarbert, Sconser - Raasay. For up-to-date information check the CalMac link above.
  NorthLink: Cancellations affecting Pentland Firth Route: Hamnavoe is currently berthed in Stromness. Due to adverse weather conditions and in the interest of passenger comfort and safety the 09:00 sailing from Stromness to Scrabster and the 12:00 sailing from Scrabster to Stromness have been cancelled. The 16:45 sailing from Stromness to Scrabster and the 19:00 sailing from Scrabster to Stromness will be reviewed at 12:00.
  Update: Hamnavoe is still currently berthed in Stromness. The 16:45 sailing from Stromness to Scrabster has been delayed until 18:00 with an estimated arrival time of 20:00 in Scrabster and the 19:00 sailing from Scrabster to Stromness has been delayed until 20:30 with an estimated arrival time of 22:30 in Stromness.
12/02/05 Heavy gales in Oban are causing berthing problems for all ferries using the area. Clansman was sighted circling the bay while Isle of Mull was pinned to the pier unable to move for a while, she eventually got off allowing the Clansman to arrive and unload by her stern. Isle of Mull went out by the north channel to circle allowing the Clansman to depart and try to dock at the fuel berth, this failed and she left for Craignure. Isle of Mull then re-berthed bow in and took 40mins to get off the linkspan again due to high winds. She eventually turned right around on the spot out in the bay to correct her self.
  Hebridean Isles is reported to be stern only loading for Islay at the moment which suggests a possible problem with her bow visor, updates to follow...
11/02/05 Eigg is due at Corpach on Monday for her annual overhaul.
10/02/05 Lord of the Isles is now back in Oban along with Clansman and Isle of Mull after her extensive external refurbishment. Clansman is due in Liverpool Canada Dock, North West Ship Repairers at Birkenhead on Monday for her annual overhaul at Birkenhead.
  NorthLink: Due to the continued poor weather the afternoon sailings (16:45 from Stromness and 19:00 from Scrabster) have been cancelled. This means the Hamnavoe was only able to make one return crossing from Stromness Today.
09/02/05 MV Bute - Launched in Poland this afternoon. Click here to watch the movie.

Elsewhere, Hebridean Isles has resumed service on the Islay crossings, allowing Isle of Arran to return to Gourock this afternoon. Presumably she will lie there either until she is needed on relief elsewhere in the network, or she goes in for her annual overhaul (possibly with Loch Portain...?)

And as the weather closed in over the Western Isles, disruptions were announced. The lunchtime Sound of Barra return sailing was cancelled due to tidal conditions. The evening sailing was cancelled due to deteriorating weather conditions. The following sailings were also cancelled: 1700 ex Raasay, 1800 ex Sconser, 1745 ex Lochaline and 1810 ex Fishnish. The Fionnphort - Iona crossing was also subject to short notice cancellation due to the weather in the Sound of Iona.
CalMac Press
MV Bute to Launch in Poland
Caledonian MacBrayne's new vessel for the Wemyss Bay-Rothesay service, MV Bute, will be launched in Gdansk, Poland on Wednesday, February 9. The launch will take place at 1400 local time, 1300 UK time. Part of the traditional part of the launching ceremony will be the placing of a Scottish one pound coin under the keel of the new vessel as she is slipped into the water at the Northern yard of the Remontowa Group which has been building the new ship. MV Bute will hit the water sideways and the builders are arranging to cover the event live with a web cam. CalMac Chairman Dr Mills said: "The yard has promised a spectacular launch and while MV Bute will still not be in her full company colours, the event promises to be spectacular. It will also involve a Scottish contingent from Gdansk and the yard is keen that they show the event as widely as possible to let the people of Wemyss Bay and Rothesay in particular see something of what they are about to enjoy." If you wish to watch the launch live via the webcam, the technical arrangements are as follows:

Please note that the yard has advised that "because of low bandwidth of cellular connection the broadcast won't be fluent".

07/02/05 This evening's 1715 sailing ex Ullapool and tomorrow morning's crossing at 0715 from Stornoway have been cancelled because of poor weather conditions. Likewise, this evening's 1710 from Ardmhor and 1815 from Eriskay are also cancelled.

06/02/05 NorthLink: The Hamnavoe is back in Stromness Today. The Hebridean Isles is expected in from Scrabster this evening where she will unload and depart for the Western Isles. The Hamnavoe will resume service Tomorrow with a 6:30 sailing from Stromness to Scrabster. Monday the 7th will mark the beginning of the new Scrabster - Stromness timetable which has been delayed due to the overrun of the Hamnavoe's dry dock period due to engine problems. The new timetable is basically a reversal of the old timetable with a 6:30, 11:00 and 16:45 from Stromness and a 8:45, 1:15 and 19:00 from Scrabster.
04/02/05 The Hebridean Isles has cancelled the 03:45 from Stromness and the 6:00 from Scrabster due to bad weather.

Picture: Michael Bracken
Lord of the Isles repair patchwork underway at the moment in dry dock

  Locals in Harris have once again objected to Sunday movements by CalMac. This time it doesn't refer to the repositioning of The Hebrides on a Sunday from Lochmaddy to Tarbert, but the Leverburgh-Berneray service. There was talk of one return sailing per day in the summer months but this idea has been abandoned for another year...
  "Ferry Union Threatens Strike Move"
03/02/05 Notice has been given of disruptions on the Sound of Harris route next week. On Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th February, the 1110 ex Berneray and 1220 ex Leverburgh will not run. Likewise the 1220 ex Leverburgh and 1430 ex Berneray on Thursday 10th, Friday 11th and Saturday 12th February  are cancelled due to tidal conditions in the very shallow Sound of Harris. Check the external link above for further information from Calmac. Loch Portain currently remains in charge of the route, although by then she may have been relieved by Loch Bhrusda when she goes off for her overhaul.
NorthLink: As earlier reported the return of the Hamnavoe from her overhaul in Denmark will be delayed. She is 24 hours behind schedule after the vessel developed a main engine fault shortly into her return journey home last night. Repairs are ongoing and the vessel is expected to depart for Shetland sometime this evening, returning to service (Stromness-Scrabster) on Saturday morning. The new Pentland Firth timetable (which was due to begin on Friday) will now come into effect on the vessels return. The Hebridean Isles will continue to hold station in the absence of the Hamnavoe. Update:... Looks like the earlier report that the Hamnavoe would be sailing to Lerwick from Denmark tonight were inaccurate. It actually looks like she will be leaving the shipyard on Friday returning to service sometime late in the weekend or the start of next week.

02/02/05 NorthLink: There are unconfirmed reports the the Hamnavoe has suffered major engine trouble whilst on her annual overhaul in Denmark. It is reported that a piston liner in one of her main engines is the cause of the problem. If the reports are true then this will undoubtedly cause a setback to the Thursday/Friday return date and consequently the radically changed new timetable which is proposed to start on Friday 4th February. No doubt the complete story will filter through shortly, so watch this space... For the time being the Pentland Firth route is being kept open by the chartered Hebridean Isles.

01/02/05 It has been confirmed that following the introduction of MV Bute this summer, the streaker Saturn is to be redeployed as second vessel on the Ardrossan - Brodick route for a ten week trial period. The upgraded vessel will provide three additional sailings each day and will carry up to 40 cars and 250 passengers on each crossing. This will be in addition to the regular timetable operated by Caledonian Isles.
The Greenock Telegraph today printed a photograph of the new Bute under construction in Poland. She is currently built to her upper deck level although she is yet to have the bridge and twin funnels added. The photo shows her hull's underwater layout, similar to that of Coruisk.

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