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Hebridean Isles left Lochmaddy yesterday at 1600 yesterday and arrived Tarbert 1800. Clansman left Tarbert at 1715 for Stornoway. Lochnevis tried out the new Muck slipway this morning.

27/03/04 There hasn't been much notable the last few days!, the Hebrides and Isle of Arran have been moving about in JWD. The Uig run finished at 1645hrs yesterday evening at Lochmaddy, after this, the Clansman will head for Stornoway, replacing the Muirneag on tonight's freight run. the Muirneag will then head for the Clyde either some time yesterday, or this morning. She could be in the Clyde by this morning. The Hebrides will head for Lochmaddy, for tomorrows sailing. Finally a bit of delayed news: The Loch Fyne was blown onto Fishnish slip last Saturday in a gale force 9-10, she had to be pulled off. Coastguard, Oban and Tobermory lifeboat were in attendance. no casualties were reported, and after being escorted back to Lochaline, no damage was found by divers.
  Loch Fyne on Sunday 28/3. She is chartered to MacLachlans the contractors in Oban to transport a crusher from Oban to Fishnish Eigg is heading to Corpach to have alterations to her ballast and stability re-calculated. Should be there mid day Friday 26/3 until Tues 30/3 approx. Hebrides will be loading crew cars at Gourock around midday today, then heading for Lochmaddy to berth there after Clansman leaves at 07:30 Saturday. Clansman will do all triangle runs on Saturday before departing Tarbert around 17:30 for Stornoway, with Hebrides arriving shortly after from Lochmaddy. (She is going to Lochmaddy to offload hardboard floor covering used while in dock)  Muirneag is now possibly going to Birkenhead for repair as Aberdeen seemingly is not able to take her - it's going to be a rush job with Clansman starting her own schedule on Friday 2 April
  Clansman is scheduled to be doing all the Coll and Tiree sailings from Tuesdays to Saturdays which includes the Thursday extension to Castlebay from Tiree. She will also sail to the Outer Isles on Saturday and Sunday afternoons as well as the Wednesday and Friday 1330 return to Castlebay.

Lord of the Isles is scheduled to cover the Sunday and Monday Coll and Tiree sailings, all Colonsay sailings which includes the Wednesday return trip from Oban before and after the 2 ship Islay service operates. She will also take the Tuesday afternoon to South Uist and Barra, the Thursday run to Lochboisdale and the return to Lochboisdale on Saturdays at 0900. Loti will also take the Tuesday Castles cruise as well as the 2230 Craignure sailing on Fridays.
Update: Hebrides did indeed leave Gourock at 1305 yesterday and arrived at Lochmaddy at 0850 this morning. She's due to sail to Tarbert to arrive after Clansman leaves this afternoon at 1730.
Muirneag left Stornoway this morning at 0845 for Birkenhead, which she should reach tomorrow afternoon. The plating job is not major and, deo volente, she should be back in Stornoway for her Thursday night run, allowing Clansman plenty of time to get to Oban for the start of the summer timetable.
Coruisk did indeed leave Gourock at 1140 on Monday 15 bound for the north, but had to put back because of severe weather off Holy Isle. She had been due to spend the night at Port Askaig. She then tied up at the top wires at Gourock for a week (time not being pressing) and left at 0500 on Tuesday 23, arriving Mallaig after a non-stop run at 1925.
On the Clyde, Loch Tarbert has already gone to Lochranza (Tuesday 23), Isle of Cumbrae is at Rothesay ready for her summer at Tarbert and Loch Riddon will then make for Largs as second vessel there.
23/03/04 Coruisk sailed early this morning for Mallaig form the Clyde.
22/03/04 Caledonian MacBrayne
Confirm placement of order for new ferry

Caledonian MacBrayne has confirmed that its new ferry for the Wemyss Bay to Rothesay route will be built in Gdansk in Poland.

Funding of up to £8.75million for the new ship was announced last October by Minister of Transport, Nicol Stephen MSP. The company has confirmed that, following a competitive tendering process, the ship will be built by the Remontowa Group in Gdansk. Representatives of the Group met CalMac executives in Gourock today (Monday, March 22) to sign the contract.

The Remontowa Group has a strong track record of building British ships and is currently engaged in work on two ships for Shetland.

CalMac Chairman Dr Harold Mills said: “The eight tenders received were very competitive and we believe that we have achieved an outcome which will give us a ship which will be well suited to its purpose. The Remontowa option was clearly the best in terms of value for money, reliability and delivery guarantees. This is an important step towards the development of a 21st century ferry service for the island of Bute. The new ship will effectively bring the island closer to the mainland, connecting the two communities. With better access to the rail and road network, I hope that integration of services will lead to even more people using the route and we will obviously be working closely with the appropriate authorities to ensure that the shore infrastructure will match the first-class seagoing facilities.”

CalMac received tenders for the project from yards throughout Europe. Work will commence on the building of the new ship within the next few weeks and the ship is due for delivery in the Summer of 2005 to begin service on CalMac’s busiest route.

Tom McNeil, CalMac’s Technical Director, said: “Work now starts on the final detail of the ship’s form. I am delighted to confirm that she will have stabilisers and be propelled using an advanced version of Azimuthing Thrusters, enabling the ship-handlers to achieve high levels of manoeuvrability and control. It is worth noting that only one yard out of the eight tenders received, based in England, offered to build the hull within the UK. CalMac is always pleased to be building new ships.

The Streakers have served us well but are now coming to the end of their working lives. The new ship will be ideally suited to commuter traffic and will be a very fitting replacement for the Streakers.”

Procuring the new ship will cost up to £8.75million and will carry approximately 60 cars (nearly twice as many cars as the 38 carried by Streakers currently operating on the route) and 450 passengers on CalMac’s busiest route, and is due to enter service in 2005.

CalMac Managing Director Lawrie Sinclair also confirmed today that the Company will hold another meeting on Bute to detail the ship’s capabilities and performance once further work has been done on the design. He said: “It is important that everyone appreciates at the outset that there is a fixed budget for this project and that we have to achieve best value for money, while producing the most customer-friendly ship possible. I am very much looking forward to getting the project up and running and delighted to be starting the building process up again, so quickly after getting our two new ships into service last summer. We will go to Bute at the earliest suitable opportunity as we promised, when further work has been completed on the design, as we are aware that there were some people who did not get the chance to see the early proposals at our first meeting on the island. ”
19/03/04 Muirneag is due to leave the Hebrides at the end of the month and will be replaced by the Clansman on the Stornoway freight run.
  Jupiter celebrated her 30th Birthday in style all flags flying and a birthday cake today.
17/03/04 Muirneag was missing from Stornoway today - perhaps on her journey down to the Clyde for repairs to her hull.

16/03/04 Loch Alainn has apparently developed steering problems and has gone to Rothesay for repairs. Loch Tarbert, which was lying spare at Rothesay, has taken over.
Disruptions: Gourock - Dunoon Service
Due to adverse weather conditions the 1920 & 2018 sailings from Gourock and the 1950 & 2045 sailings from Dunoon have been cancelled.
Ullapool - Stornoway Service
Due to adverse weather, the 1730hrs sailing from Ullapool tonight (16.03.04), and the 0715hrs sailing from Stornoway tomorrow (17.03.04)have been cancelled.
Sound of Harris Ferry
Due to tidal restrictions, the following times and dates have been amended:
Monday 22nd & Tuesday 23rd March.
Dep Berneray 1010hrs instead of 1110hrs
Dep Leverburgh 1130hrs instead of 1240hrs
All other sailings as per timetable.

15/03/04 Coruisk was alongside the end berth at Garvel, having her 'Lower Upper Firth of Clyde' gangway platforms removed. She was seen sailing up the Clyde, just past the Cumbrae's, in the main channel, she was possibly making the start of her trip back to Mallaig and had to turn back in the rough weather. Later reports suggest that she went down past Wemyss Bay just after mid day and back again about three hours later. Not really enough time to take a peek in to the North Channel. She was possibly doing more trials.
14/03/04 12:29pm Coruisk unable to berth at Wemyss Bay now heading up to Gourock. 13:48pm - now approaching Toward inbound to Rothesay. She then departed for Wemyss bay at 14.30 full with 31 cars and a milk tanker and leaving 3 cars behind. She then came back over to Rothesay to pick up crew cars. She then went to Rothesay along with both Saturn and Juno. Following those wanders she headed back up to Gourock and onto Ferguson's for the morning, or possibly tonight. Her trip there is possibly due to a wee bump with Wemyss Bay pier today, which left her with a lovely dent on her port side. I believe this happened during the sailing which she was forced to abort the docking at Wemyss Bay and head to Gourock. The work there will also include: additional crew cabins, due to the fact she only has 7 or 8, when she needs 10. Also her stair wells need work done.
  The Loch Riddon departed Tarbert for the 1115 service but was back minutes later due to excessive gales blowing up Loch Fyne
Disruption: Due to adverse weather conditions, the Isle of Mull has turned back from her sailing to Tiree & Coll and will arrive in Oban at 09.30hrs. The Lord of the Isles should now Oban at 12.00hrs as normal
13/03/04 Isle of Cumbrae is temporarily back on her old haunting grounds at Largs.
12/03/04 Northlink: Estimated time of arrival for the Hjaltland into Aberdeen will be 14:00 due to a swell at the harbour entrance.
  Normal service will resume on the Uig/Lochmaddy/Tarbert triangular route from Saturday March 13 at 15:30, ex Uig sailing to Tarbert. Maintenance work at Tarbert Pier has been completed ahead of schedule with the service to resume as timetabled on Saturday afternoon.
Due to tidal restrictions, the following times and dates have been amended:
Monday 22nd & Tuesday 23rd March.
Dep Berneray 1010hrs instead of 1110hrs
Dep Leverburgh 1130hrs instead of 1240hrs
All other sailings as per timetable.
10/03/04 Loch Portain will double dock with Isle of Arran, she is currently in Oban on her way to the Clyde. This is her first spell off the Sound of Harris since she entered service on June 5 last year.
Update: c 11:40am Loch Portian is now en-route to James Watt Dock from Largs.
Disruption: Due to essential maintenance work being carried out on the linkspan at Tarbert, Harris. There will be no vehicular service between Tarbert and Uig for approximately one week, following the 0730 departure from Tarbert on Monday 8th March 2004. Alternative routes for vehicles will be via Ullapool/Stornoway or Uig/Lochmaddy/Sound of Harris. A limited passenger only service will operate on the Uig/Tarbert route as follows:
Dep Tarbert Wednesday & Friday at 0730 hrs
Dep Uig Tuesday & Saturday at 1400 hrs and on Thursday at 1500 hrs.
Please contact Uig or Tarbert offices for further information.
  14:20 Loch Portian has just entered James Watt Docks. Hebrides had entered Garvel drydock 10 mins earlier.
09/03/04 Caledonian MacBrayne has confirmed that the company, which has been operating the Ballycastle - Rathlin ferry service in Northern Ireland since 1996, has extended its contract to provide the service from 31 March, 2004 until 31 March, 2006.
08/03/04 11:46: Loch Fyne just sailed past Wemyss bay pier Outbound for Largs and Lochaline.
Update: Loch Fyne berthed at Largs on the outside of the pier around 1220. She was to have further trials this afternoon with MCA and Lloyds people onboard. The plan this afternoon was for her to berth overnight at Largs tonight and Campbeltown tomorrow night.
07/03/04 Hebrides arrived on the Clyde 9:30 berthing at Ferguson's port side to under the command of Capt. Alec McCrindle master of the Caledonian Isles.
06/03/04 Isle of Arran left Oban at 0800 this morning after doing the 0700 Craignure to Oban. She is bound for Gourock and JWD. Clansman relieved Hebrides today at Uig in time for the 1530 sailing to Tarbert. Hebrides is now on her way down to the Clyde for fitting of her new top deck at Ferguson's and then overhaul at Garvel. She is due at Gourock around 0900 tomorrow morning. Loch Bhrusda spent Friday night in Tobermory, she left there at 0600 this morning and is spending tonight at Lochmaddy. She will relieve Loch Portain for her overhaul in the next couple of days, allowing her to double dock with Isle of Arran in Garvel. Eigg left Oban at 1430 yesterday to relieve the Eilean Dhiura (Not a member of the Calmac fleet) on the Port Askaig - Jura service. Eilean Dhiura passed Gourock at 1500 before turning into the Gareloch bound for Timbercraft, Shandon. Muirneag is going for dry-dock shortly, for an estimated two days, to have the 'hole' in her plating repaired. A temporary repair has been effected meantime. The cause of the 'hole' is stated to be 'natural wastage'.
05/03/04 Clansman exited James Watt Dock, Greenock today at 11:00am followed by the Isle of Mull at 11:30am. Clansman stopped off the Roseneath Peninsula for setting compasses and life raft / boat trials. Hebrides is due at Greenock to have a similar superstructure extension as her sister fitted this Sunday / Monday. Jupiter has also had her emergency repairs completed.
Muirneag will shortly be going into dry dock to repair a hole in a steel plate caused by 'natural wastage'. She will be in dry dock for two days. The hole has been temporarily repaired and doesn't affect the vessel operating. She will be going to dry dock to have it properly repaired.  No date has been fixed, but it could possibly be a week on Saturday.  She will be away for probably two nights and, depending on when it is away, Calmac will be making alternative arrangements.  She will sail as normal until that happens as it doesn't affect the safety of the vessel.
04/03/04 Isle of Mull and Jupiter are now in Garvel DD for annual overhaul.
Isle of Arran due at Gourock 12.30 on Monday then she will move to James Watt Dock to have her car deck shot-blasted and painted.
03/03/04 Isle of Arran arrived in Oban today with the Isle of Mull berthed at Craignure due to depart for Garvel at 23.00 tonight.
News Logs:
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