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 DATE  NEWS
31/03/07 Clyde:
Presumably the parts the Isle of Arran was awaiting have turned up as she left Garvel Drydock shortly before midnight last night and after trials berthed at Gourock top wires about 0230 this morning. She will then make for Oban to assist the Lord of the Isles.
It would appear that Loch Riddon is now lying in at Largs. Updates to follow.

"Ferry Service Restored" Gourock - Dunoon (internal link)
  Western Isles:
Isle of Arran is currently heading for Oban (ETA 1900) to take up service there, along with Lord of the Isles providing the two-ship Inner and Outer Isles services, while Clansman remains at Uig for the time being.
Eigg is now sporting a new rescue boat as can be seen in the picture below. The original one can be compared to her sister Raasay's lying next to her. The new craft appears to be of RIB construction.
  PICTURE: Stuart McMahon PICTURE: Oban Webcam PICTURE: John Newth
Isle of Arran passing her namesake island...then berthed in Oban  &  Eigg + Raasay in Oban today
  Rathlin Ferries:
Caledonian MacBrayne have confirmed that agreement had been reached in principle to extend its contract to operate the Ballycastle -Rathlin Ferry Service until March 2008.  Rathlin Ferries Ltd has been established as a wholly owned subsidiary of David MacBrayne Limited, to run the service, and continues to trade under the CalMac brand. From 30th March Canna will operate four return crossings per day.
 
30/03/07 Clyde:
It is possible that workers on Hebrides are encountering problems with her conversion, some black smoke was sighted yesterday, but still no movement in JWD.
Isle of Arran's return to service on the 02/04/07 on the Islay roster is looking doubtful. She is still currently awaiting a new propeller from abroad to be fitted.

Western Isles:
Clansman is undertaking an extra crossing back to Uig tonight from Lochmaddy. She will need to return to Lochmaddy for 0700 tomorrow to take up the service again. This is due to tomorrow's Oban - South Uist - Oban service operated by the Lord of the Isles being cancelled. The traffic has been diverted to Lochmaddy - Uig to get the traffic back to the mainland via the Skye bridge or by Armadale - Mallaig.
PICTURE: Ian Montgomery
Hebrides in JWD yesterday
 
29/03/07 Clyde:
Juno has been absent once again this morning - presumably still undergoing repairs at Gourock to her engine. The CalMac website reports a one vessel service on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay roster, though AIS has shown her as underway for at least the last hour.
Update 1207:
Juno is travelling up and down the lower firth at the moment, presumably on trials.
Bute is currently
is berthed at Rosneath jetty and has been for the last couple of days. Coruisk departed from same site a few days ago.
Update 2030:
Juno has just returned to service with an extra sailing ex Wemyss Bay - Rothesay dep 2010 suggesting she is now repaired.

From the Buteman:
No Extra Easter Ferries for Rothesay...

CALEDONIAN MacBrayne has backed away from a plan to provide three car ferries on its Rothesay-Wemyss Bay route over the Easter weekend - in the face of vociferous opposition from Dunoon.
The company had considered bringing all three ‘streakers’, Juno, Jupiter and Saturn, to the Rothesay run for at least Good Friday and Easter Monday to cope with the volume of holiday weekend traffic while MV Bute is still barred from the run because of the Rothesay pier reconstruction work.
But after an outraged reaction from Dunoon’s councillors, and a similar response from MSPs, the company opted to stick with the present situation of having two streakers at Rothesay and one at Dunoon, with the chartered catamaran Ali-Cat used on the Dunoon peak passenger services as normal.
Dunoon councillors Dick Walsh and Brian Chennell tabled an urgent motion at a meeting of Argyll and Bute Council last Thursday calling on the Executive to ensure that both Dunoon and Rothesay routes operated as normal over the holiday weekend.
And though we understand that using all three streakers at Rothesay was CalMac’s preferred strategy, with Cowal vehicle traffic still having the Western Ferries option, the politicians’ protests bore fruit in the end.
Rothesay’s two remaining streakers will, however, sail through their lunch breaks and will operate later than normal on Easter Monday if required to clear any backlog.
Meanwhile, far from having the services of three streakers, the Rothesay run was served by only one such ship for part of Sunday, and most of Monday, after a burst cooling pipe ruled MV Juno out of action.
On a brighter note, a date has been identified for MV Bute to return to Rothesay for the first time in more than four months to test whether the building work has reached a stage where it is safe for her to berth.
Saturday, April 14 has been earmarked for the Bute to carry out berthing trials ahead of her return to the route, from which she has been missing since early January because of mono-piling work at the site of the new linkspan.
But contractor Balfour Beatty is hoping that the much-delayed work on Mono-Pile Number One - the sticking point keeping the larger vessel away - could be completed in a little over two weeks, allowing the Bute room to berth safely while work on the linkspan and pier continues around her.
That would finally ease the capacity pressures suffered on the route in recent weeks - and would at least be in time for the equally busy jazz festival period at the beginning of May.
It would also come little more than a week before MV Juno's extended passenger certificate runs out.
The Bute left her lay-up berth at the King George V Dock in Glasgow on Monday and had her hull surveyed by divers at Sandbank in the Holy Loch the following day before making for Rosneath in the Gare Loch.
 
28/03/07 Clyde:
Update on current Clyde Fleet Locations: Due Soon...

Western Isles:
Kennacraig - Colonsay & Oban - Colonsay:
Another alteration to schedules are the Wednesday services operated to Colonsay.
Due to the delays in completing the works at Port Askaig, there has had to be a revamp of the schedules on the first three Wednesdays of the summer timetable, and the revised timings are given below:

Hebridean Isles
0745 dep Kennacraig
1005 arr Port Ellen
1025 dep Port Ellen
1305 arr Colonsay
1720 dep Colonsay
2000 arr Port Ellen
2020 dep Port Ellen
2240 arr Kennacraig

Lord of The Isles
1530 dep Oban
1750 arr Colonsay
1805 dep Colonsay
2025 arr Oban

NorthLink:
Hascosay is due in Dry dock until 03/04/07 for annual overhaul.
The freight roster is being maintained by the Clare.

Past Fleet News - On This Day...
In 2006 Strike action took place, as a result no services could take place on either upper firth routes all day. The action was out of CalMac's control.
 
27/03/07 Clyde:
Juno
is currently on the 2a roster, she will then be going to the top wires tomorrow to repair a cylinder head gasket.
Bute was noted out this morning on the Clyde stretching her legs after her overhaul.

Western Isles:
Lord of the Isles was noted running 15min early passing Fishnish on Mull this afternoon outbound for Barra.
 
PICTURE: Lesley Wild
Bute stretching her legs today
  Customers are advised that due to the unavoidable delayed return to service of Hebrides from annual refit there will be a number of timetable changes to CalMac ferry services from Oban on Friday 30 March and Saturday 31 March 2007.

The services affected are as follows:

Friday 30 March 2007
Coll and Tiree
The 0600 Oban - Tiree - Coll - Oban 1315 service will now operate the following schedule:
1500 dep Oban
1830 arr Tiree
1845 dep Tiree
1945 arr Coll
2000 dep Coll
2255 arr Oban

Oban - Barra
The 1340 Oban - Castlebay - Oban 2340 has been cancelled. Customers are advised to contact Caledonian MacBrayne to rebook on an alternative service.

Oban - Craignure
The Oban - Craignure - Oban from 0745 - 1746 will operate as per timetable.
The1800 Oban - Craignure - Oban 1946 has been cancelled. Customers are advised to contact Caledonian MacBrayne to rebook on an alternative service.
The 2230 Oban - Craignure service will now operate the following schedule:
2320 Oban - Craignure 0006

Oban - Colonsay
The 1700 Oban - Colonsay - Oban 2155 service will now operate the following schedule:
1800 dep Oban
2020 arr Colonsay
2045 dep Colonsay
2305 arr Oban
2320 dep Oban
0006 arr Craignure

Saturday 31 March 2007
Coll and Tiree

The 0700 Oban - Coll - Tiree - Coll - Oban 1500 service will now operate the following schedule:
0700 dep Oban
0955 arr Coll
1005 dep Coll
1105 arr Tiree
1125 dep Tiree
1225 arr Coll
1235 dep Coll
1530 arr Oban

Oban - South Uist
The 0815 Oban - Lochboisdale - Oban 1910 service has been cancelled. Customers are advised to contact Caledonian MacBrayne to re-book on an alternative service

Oban - Barra
Subject to vessel availability, the 1530 Oban - Castlebay 2020 service will operate either on time or be subject to a delay of less than one hour. Due to traffic demand from the earlier Coll and Tiree service there will be a requirement to operate this service via Tiree.

Oban - Craignure
The 0700 Craignure - Oban 0746 will depart 30 minutes earlier at 0630 instead of 0700. Services to Mull from 0730 will operate according to the normal Saturday Oban - Craignure - Oban timetable.

CalMac Ferries will detail all changes to the timetable as they become available and customers are advised to check the website, www.calmac.co.uk, to confirm their details of travel before departure. Up to date SMS text messaging information is also available and details of this are also on the company website.
CalMac apologises to customers for any inconvenience. Normal service will be resumed as quickly as possible.
 
26/03/07 Western Isles:
Raasay has now adopted Burnishes' old role at Oban as small stand-by vessel for the Northern Area.

Clyde:
Bute
made her way from KGV Dock around 0915 this morning to The Wires at Gourock, she berthed around 1130.
 
25/03/07 Western Isles:
Coruisk
is expected to depart Craignure for Mallaig around 1030 this morning.
SoC Live! Update 1200:
Coruisk has just rounded Ardnamurchan Point northbound for Mallaig.
  PICTURE: SoC Crew PICTURE: SoC Crew
Coruisk berthed at and departing Craignure today
 
24/03/07 Western Isles:
Update From Oban Area Today:
Isle of Mull on Oban - Craignure route, Eigg moored at Oban pier, Lord of the Isles inbound to Oban. Loch Fyne at Fishnish, Loch Linnhe at Tobermory, Coruisk was waiting at Craignure for Isle of Mull to depart at 1700, she then headed for the pier, presumably to berth overnight prior to heading west tomorrow
PICTURE: SoC Crew
Coruisk approaching the
Sound of Islay today
 
23/03/07 NorthLink:
Hrossey returned to service after re-fit with a delayed departure from Aberdeen in the early hours of 21/03/07. She had been scheduled to take the evening sailing from Lerwick on Monday 19th but, due to heavy weather, she sheltered off the Isle of Man for around 18hours after dropping her Liverpool Pilot in Douglas Bay. 
The Buffalo Express is again being chartered in September to provide extra capacity for livestock movements. The charter is initially for 6 weeks but with an option to extend if required. In future years it is hoped to use purpose-built 20ft livestock containers which can be carried on the Company’s normal vessels.
[News Courtesy of Ferry Publications]
PICTURE: CalMac Ferries
New crew cabins on Hrossey
 
22/03/07 Western Isles:
Ullapool - Stornoway (Isle of Lewis)
The vessel is running 15 minutes late on the 1345 sailing from Stornoway due to technical reasons. She is due to arrive in Ullapool at 1645.
 
21/03/07 Loch Portain sailed today for the Outer Isles where she will relieve Loch Bhrusda at Berneray. The Loch Bhrusda will then return to Barra and allow the Loch Tarbert to return to the Clyde ready to resume the Claonaig - Lochranza service at the start of the summer timetable.

Clyde:
Tidal conditions have led to disruption on the Largs - Cumbrae Slip service. Loch Alainn was off duty between 0700 and 0900 and will be off again from 1830 - 2000. This will be repeated through the week until Friday.

Western Isles:
Isle of Lewis
is running late today due to a combination of weather conditions and volume of traffic. Lochnevis is making an additional call at Rum today due to the volume of traffic on the Small Isles route.
 
19/03/07 Western Isles:
Loch Portain
left Oban this morning and is now tied up in Tobermory where she will remain until Wednesday morning. She had been at Oban since Saturday.

Oban - Craignure (Isle of Mull)
The 0800 ex Craignure and 1000 ex Oban were cancelled this morning due to poor weather conditions. The vessel sailed at 1100 from Mull and then carried out an additional return sailing to Craignure at 1200. As a result the 1200 sailing to Colonsay was cancelled.
 

PICTURE: Andrew Hickford, SoC Crew
Loch Portain sitting at Tobermory

  Lochboisdale - Castlebay - Oban (Lord of the Isles)
This sailing was cancelled today as the vessel remained in Oban yesterday.

Other services were cancelled throughout the network, due to bad weather. It is also noted that the sand and seaweed problem at Tayinloan also resurfaced, forcing Loch Ranza to sail on a passenger only basis to Kennacraig today.
 
16/03/07 Western Isles:
Ullapool - Stornoway (Isle of Lewis)
The vessel is currently running around 40 minutes late due to the weather.

Mallaig - Small Isles (Lochnevis)
The call and Muck and the second call at Eigg have been cancelled due to the weather.

Loch Portain sailed from Gourock this morning and called at Largs in order to pick up crew cars. She is now (1515) passing between the Cumbraes on her long journey back to the Sound of Harris and is expected to stop at Campbeltown for the night after passing through the Kilbrannan Sound.
 
15/03/07 Western Isles:
Oban - Craignure (Isle of Mull)
The 1300 sailing ex Craignure and 1400 sailing ex Oban were today cancelled. The official report is that weather conditions were too severe to sail, yet several reports to SoC claimed the weather had not deteriorated at all. 

Ullapool - Stornoway (Muirneag)
The 2330 sailing ex Stornoway and the early morning return from Ullapool have been cancelled due to weather conditions in the Minch.
 
14/03/07 Terminal Information:
Oban:
The huge Mersey Mammoth has been in Oban as part of the terminal developments. She has lifted the new linkspan onto its hinge point adjacent to the terminal building. The blue linkspan is very similar to that Dunoon, however instead of an overhead gantry and vertical hydraulics, this one would appear to be adjusted with steel cables in the same way as the now 30+ year old one just a few yards away. There is still a lot of work required to finish what is currently supposed to be the overnight ferry berth in time for the start of the summer timetable at the end of this month.

Elsewhere in the network, it has been announced that the work taking place at Rothesay is now some 9 weeks late. Juno has already had to have her passenger certificate extended by two months in order to provide cover until 22nd April, however if the works are not completed to a stage that allows Bute to return to service by this point then it is not clear how the service will be maintained.

There is still no sign of work commencing on the rebuilding/realigning of Largs pier. This was intended to be completed by the time Loch Shira eventually enters service later in the spring, however it is currently anticipated that she will have to sail to Fairlie every night for a berth, while the smaller Loch remains at the pier as normal.
 
13/03/07 Loch Portain left JWD today in order to run trials. After successful completion of the trials she then berthed at the wires at Gourock.
 
11/03/07 Clyde:
Hebrides is due at Gourock at 1400 today. Both her and Isle of Arran will then move into Garvel Dry Dock at about 1430ish.
 
10/03/07 Western Isles:
Hebrides was noted passing Lochbuie on Mull at 2320 heading Southbound towards Colonsay and onto the Clyde for her annual overhaul.
 
09/03/07 Clansman left Birkenhead earlier today and has passed out into the Irish Sea. She will be sailing non-stop to Uig where she is due to relieve her sister Hebrides on the Tarbert and Lochmaddy routes from tomorrow afternoon. Hebrides will then sail for Garvel and her annual overhaul.

Western Isles:
Hebridean Isles departed Port Ellen this evening at 1545 due to the volume of traffic.

Clyde:
Isle of Cumbrae is back on the Clyde after her trip north. Isle of Arran and Loch Portain have both come out of Garvel dry dock today and are now back in JWD.

06/03/07 Western Isles:
Hebridean Isles arrived in at Port Ellen this morning at 1000 and departed at 1030 this was due to late arrival and volume of traffic, this afternoons arrival was 1550 and the departed at 1650 this was due to the same reason.

Eigg has now moved up to Corpach for her annual overhaul and is being relieved by her sister Raasay. With Raasay away from her usual winter employment, Loch Linnhe is now back on her regular route from Tobermory - Kilchoan. It is likely that, with the annual overhaul schedule nearing its completion, she will probably remain on the Ardnamurchan route until the autumn when she is required to provide winter cover once more.
 
PICTURE: John Newth (www.clydeshipping.co.uk)
Raasay at Oban slipway
  Isle of Cumbrae is no longer in Oban. It is likely that she is making her way back round to the Clyde in readiness to resume the summer Tarbert - Portavadie run.
 
  NorthLink:
Picture opposite shows the new crew cabins now in place on the stern of  Hrossey. The new accommodation block was lifted on to the vessel at Birkenhead on 28th February.
Bigger Picture HERE (external link to Ferry Publications)
PICTURE:
Cabins in place
 
05/03/07 Western Isles:
Hebridean Isles
arrived in at Port Ellen at 1015 and departed at 1055, she arrived in at Kennacraig at 1315 and then departed at 1415. She got so far and turned back to Kennacraig this is due to the adverse weather. The 1800 sailing from Kennacraig tonight was cancelled, the next timetabled sailing is at 0700 Tuesday 6th March 2007.
Picture opposite is her departing Port Ellen at 1055.
PICTURE: SoC Crew
Hebridean Isles today
 
04/03/07 Western Isles:
Isle of Cumbrae
has relocated down to Oban and is currently tied up at the North Pier while she awaits her next spell of duty. Loch Fyne is now back in service on the Lochaline - Fishnish route.

Berneray - Leverburgh (Loch Bhrusda)
The 1330 sailing ex Berneray and 1440 sailing ex Leverburgh are today cancelled.

Ardmhor - Eriskay (Loch Tarbert)
All sailings on this route are today cancelled. Next sailings will be on Monday if the weather improves.
PICTURE: SCOTSHIPS Yahoo Group
Isle of Cumbrae today
  Oban - Castlebay - Lochboisdale (Lord of the Isles)
Due to adverse weather conditions the 1530 sailing to the Outer Isles this afternoon will not sail. Consequently tomorrow's inward sailing is also cancelled. The next sailing to Barra and South Uist will be at 1530 on Tuesday as per the timetable.

Kennacraig - Port Ellen (Hebridean Isles)
Due to the adverse weather conditions all sailings to Islay today are cancelled, as is tomorrow morning's 0415 sailing from Port Ellen

Fionnphort - Iona (Loch Buie)
(1400) All sailings on this route are cancelled today, as is the 0610 sailing from Iona to Fionnphort on Monday morning.
 
  Clyde:
Colintraive - Rhubodach (Loch Dunvegan)
Due to the weather conditions, this service may be liable is disruption and delays.
PICTURE: SoC Crew
Bute in KGV today
 
03/03/07 Loch Fyne left Campbeltown at around 0800 this morning to continue her journey back to Lochaline.
 
02/03/07 Loch Fyne departed JWD this morning and made for Gourock where she tied up at the wires briefly. She then made her way down the Clyde and through the Kilbrannan Sound during the afternoon and is spending the night in Campbeltown.
 
01/03/07 Western Isles:
Isle of Mull
missed her 0800 sailing to Craignure and back. The 1000 round trip was also subject to disruption. The vessel had a steel rope wrapped around her propeller and was unable to sail. The rope was released by 0945 however problems with the anchor saw the 1000 sailing delayed by 45 minutes. Lord of the Isles apparently carried out a relief sailing however we are unsure of the times involved.
Hebridean Isles was running late this afternoon due to heavy traffic. She left Port Ellen at 1605 - 35 minutes late.
 
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