Main Fleet News
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PLEASE NOTE: the Fleet News pages are no longer updated on a regular basis. For news updates as movements happen, go to the SoC Forum where news is reported very frequently - you can even report it yourself!
 DATE  NEWS
31/05/06 Western Isles:
Mechanical problems saw the Clansman sail for Coll and Tiree 90 minutes late this morning. This will no doubt have a knock-on effect on her Barra sailing later his afternoon. Coruisk still appears to be out of service today, with there only being three sailings today, all of which are limited capacity.
 
30/05/06 Western Isles:
We believe there is a problem with Coruisk today. According to CalMac's disruptions page there will be an 0810h sailing ex Mallaig and an 0850h sailing ex Armadale which will be operating as a passenger only service (presumably Lochnevis or other chartered vessel.) There will also be a 1615h/1800h sailing as timetabled ex Mallaig. The 1615h/1800h (ex Mallaig) and 1705h/1840h (ex Armadale) will be able to carry a restricted number of cars, for any bookings or enquiries please contact the relevant port offices or check the external link above.
Update: There is a reported fault with Coruisk today and Lochnevis took the sailings hence the reason no coaches were allowed as she doesn't have the capacity to take both cars and coaches.
 
29/05/06 Western Isles:
The Hebridean Isles was 10 minutes late arriving into Port Askaig this evening due to adverse weather conditions in the Sound of Islay.
Due to problems on the Mallaig - Armadale roster, there will be some altered sailings tomorrow (Tuesday 30/05/06):
The following sailings will operate Passenger Only:
0810 ex Mallaig
0850 ex Armadale
The following sailings are under review and could be passenger only:
1615 ex Mallaig
1800 ex Armadale
(check external link above for more information)

Picture: Elliott Bowman SoC Crew
Hebridean Isles tonight

 
28/05/06 Western Isles:
The Hebridean Isles did not depart Kennacraig until 1320 today due to a vehicle booked onto the sailing turning up late.

Clyde:
Due to a sea rescue earlier today the Caledonian Isles is running approx 45 minutes late. The 1640 sailing departed Brodick at 1725 and is expected in Ardrossan at 1820. After making for Arran again she later arrived back at Ardrossan at 2045 reducing her delay down to 30min. The rescue happened just outside Ardrossan only moments after the Caledonian Isles completed her own Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) drill which she normally does on a Sunday morning.
(check external link above for more information)

Picture: Stuart McMahon (www.clydeshipping.co.uk)
CI from Stevenston Point around 1620 today

 
26/05/06 Clyde:
Loch Alainn
is back in service on the Largs - Cumbrae roster today after her brief departure for minor repairs.
Ardrossan - Brodick
It has been announced busy sailings are expected during the Microsoft UK challenge being held on the Isle of Arran. The following sailings are expected to be operating at full capacity due to the anticipated number of passengers travelling:
Friday 9th June 2006. 0700 ex Ardrossan and the 1640 ex Brodick
Customers are advised to travel earlier if your journey is urgent. (check external link above for updates)
 
22/05/06 Western Isles:
According to a couple of reports we have received, the Iona ferry Loch Buie will this summer be operating with a reduced passenger capacity. She will apparently be one crew member down, thus limiting her passenger numbers to 150. It will be interesting to see if this leads to passengers missing their Oban sailings as a result of having to wait around half an hour for the next sailing to Fionnphort, when the one they turn up for is full...
 
Clyde:
Raasay
was spotted heading down the Firth past Cloch lighthouse earlier this afternoon. We are not sure where she was headed but it could be Largs. Apparently the Loch Alainn is out of service until Sunday having minor repairs and maintenance carried out. This leaves just Loch Riddon to operate the Cumbrae sailings over the anticipated busy Bank Holiday weekend. Raasay may be on standby to operate relief sailings from Largs although this is just speculation at this time!

Picture: Ian Montgomery (www.clydeshipping.co.uk)
Raasay passing Cloch Light today


Clyde:
Prior to her return to service, Jupiter left JWD this morning and took her place in the Garvel Dry Dock for her annual overhaul. She took Waverley's place after the paddler's own overhaul was finished. Jupiter is noted as requiring a considerable paint job after her winter ay-up at Rosneath.

18/05/06 Western Isles:
Isle of Arran
is back in service on her summer 2nd roster at Islay. She is seen opposite today berthed in at Port Ellen after a sailing from Kennacraig. Isle of Arran took over the run today to allow the Hebridean Isles to go for a day's general maintenance. She (IoA) will start the Peak Summer roster tomorrow morning at 0700.

Weather Cancellations Today:
Barra - Eriskay:
The Chargehand on Loch Bhrusda has advised, that due to weather conditions he was cancelling the 09:25 sailing ex Ardmhor and the return

Picture: Elliott Bowman, SoC Crew
Isle of Arran today

Picture: Elliott Bowman, SoC Crew
Both ferries passing at Port Ellen

 

1015 ex Eriskay. The next return sailing is also in doubt, information will be posted later. The 1110 sailing ex Ardmhor and the return 1300 sailing ex Eriskay have now been cancelled. Details of the next return sailing will be updated at approx 1500 today. (check external link above for updates)
Leverburgh - Berneray:

Due to adverse weather conditions the 1205 from Berneray and the 1330 from Leverburgh have been cancelled. The situation will be reviewed at 1400 with regard to the 1440 from Berneray and 1600 from Leverburgh.

Clyde:
Jupiter
left Rosneath in the Gareloch at approximately 1230 today and made directly to JWD (Greenock). Presumably she'll lie there until Waverley vacates the dry-dock. She will then enter and receive attention for her return to service overhaul.
 
17/05/06 Western Isles:
Isle of Arran
was on the Islay run to Port Ellen at 0430 today, she arrived from the mainland terminal at Kennacraig on time at 0650.
Hebridean Isles was late arriving in at Port Ellen yesterday due to wide load at Kennacraig.

Picture: Elliott Bowman, SoC Crew
Isle of Arran This Morning

 
16/05/06 Clyde:
Isle of Arran
departed Brodick around 0800 this morning bound for her summer Islay roster.
After a lengthy lay-up, Jupiter will be dry-docked on Thursday morning for her annual overhaul and return to service for her last season.

Past Fleet:
Ex CalMac ferry Hebridean Princess berthed in at Port Ellen today on another of her West Highland tours for the Summer season.

Picture: Elliott Bowman, SoC Crew
Hebridean Princess today

NorthLink:
Electrical problems on the Hamnavoe this morning caused disruptions on the Scrabster and Stromness service. The vessel left Stromness on schedule this morning but was forced to turn back to Stromness. As a result the 6:30am sailing from Stromness and the 8.45am sailing from Scrabster were cancelled. The vessel is now running to schedule.
NorthLink have confirmed that an electrical fault on the Hamnavoe saw the vessel strike the Outer Holm island at the mouth of the Stromness harbour this morning. A spokesman said that at approximately 6.30am this morning, the ship suffered a “brief” loss of power. “As a result, while power was being restored, the vessel drifted slightly from its course and made contact with the shore at the mouth of the harbour. There was no sudden movement and no passengers were harmed.” After safety checks in Stromness, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) gave its approval for the vessel to sail.
 
15/05/06 Western Isles:
Eigg
loaded a Oil Tanker at 1045 today in Oban and headed for Craignure (Mull). Eigg usually takes any hazardous loads across to allow Isle of Mull to operate to full capacity.

Clyde:
Isle of Arran
was noted berthed at Brodick Pier around 2045 this evening, her move suggests she's on track to be back on the Islay roster in the next day or so.
 
14/05/06 Western Isles:
It was Eigg's turn to practice her lifeboat drill at her Oban berth today. The lifeboat was lowered and manoeuvred about the area around Eigg at 1000 this morning, before returning onboard.
Clansman made an extra call at Craignure (Mull) this afternoon on her way out to Castlebay (Barra). The reason for her unscheduled stop was to pick up an extra crew member.

SoC Fleet News LIVE! Were Here as It Happens!
It appears Lord of the Isles is about to hoist load at Colonsay if she berths, the weather is apparently in doubt as she departed Oban. The reason for her using the hoist is the wires are being replaced on the linkspan at Scalasaig (Colonsay). See picture opposite from onboard reporter. Update to follow shortly. Update: Lord of the Isles berthed at a very wet and dreary Colonsay on schedule and proceeded to use her hoist to unload and load cars at the pier. After a little confusion from some passengers and there vehicles, the whole concept of the lift finally got her loaded and underway again. On the return journey a large reverberation was felt throughout the ship, and a belch of black smoke erupted from her port side funnel - one crew member joked that we had just witnessed a car ferry backfiring!

Picture: SoC Crew
Eigg's lifeboat drill today
Picture: SoC Crew
Van & car positioned to unload

 

Picture: SoC Crew Picture: SoC Crew Picture: SoC Crew
Lord of the Isles hoist loading at Scalasaig (Colonsay) today

 
13/05/06 Western Isles:
Lord of the Isles
underwent a FRC (Fast Rescue Craft) Lifeboat drill in the Sound of Mull today, it delayed her arrival into Oban by 30min.
 
12/05/06 Western Isles:
Isle of Mull
and Lord of the Isles swapped rosters briefly for today. Isle of Mull took the Colonsay sailing as a special art event onboard took place. Lord of the Isles undertook the Oban - Craignure sailings.

Clyde:
Jupiter's
generators and forward main engine ran up today in preparation for her return to service. Her aft engine is set to run up on Monday morning. Sadly this will probably be her last season in service with the company after the introduction of the new Argyle into the fleet.
 
11/05/06 Western Isles:
There are cancellations effecting the Leverburgh - Berneray roster. The 0720 sailing ex Berneray has been delayed due to the thick fog in the Sound. This is currently hampering the visibility in the narrow and difficult channel between the Islands. Loch Portain is currently awaiting an improvement in the weather before she sets off from Berneray. We shall update this message as soon as possible. Update: Loch Portain managed to depart Berneray 90min late (0850) after the heavy fog lifted. She arrived at Leverburgh at 1000 and promptly departed with full throttle back across the Sound to North Uist.
The Isle of Arran will be back on the 2nd Islay run on by the 16/17th of May. This will allow the Hebridean Isles to have her hull sides painted.

BBC News Online
"Ferry Master Told to Heed Weather"
(external link)

Picture: SoC Crew
Foggy Leverburgh today
Picture: SoC Crew
Loch Portain powers away

 
09/05/06 Western Isles:
Isle of Lewis underwent a safety drill of her lifeboat evacuation procedure mid-Minch today. The drill lasted a short period and all systems were OK. She conducted the test while in transit to Stornoway at around 1130.

Picture: SoC Crew Picture: SoC Crew Picture: SoC Crew
Isle of Lewis's lifeboat drill today

Clyde:
Isle of Arran
continues her wait to return to service for the summer in JWD with her ramps extended today.
 
07/05/06 Clyde:
Caledonian Isles
berthed stern in at Ardrossan this morning. Reason currently unknown. She usually berths bow in at the mainland port and stern at Brodick. She was reported berthing bow in at 1440 at Ardrossan, the problem presumably resolved.
Raasay has been sighted heading up river past Arran at 1130 this morning, presumably to berth at Gourock after her relief stint at Rathlin Island. On her way up, she stopped at Largs to discharge three crew cars. She later berthed at the inside berth on DRB Marine jetty at 1510, the berth being previously held by the work boat Laura M which had to move to let her in.

Picture: SoC Crew
Raasay today at Largs

It appears that Loch Tarbert may be testing her systems. While in transit to Claonaig this afternoon she span 180 degrees and continued her journey.
The Cowal ferry Jupiter will go to JWD for her annual overhaul shortly. Then she will return to the Gourock - Dunoon roster. Saturn will then return to Arran 2nd roster during the summer.
 
06/05/06 Northern Ireland:
Canna
left Kennacraig this morning bound for Ballycastle after completing her annual overhaul. She will then take up her usual roster on the Ballycastle - Rathlin Island run. It is unclear where Raasay is headed at the moment. Raasay is currently holding the Rathlin route open. Update to follow.
 
04/05/06 Clyde:
Isle of Arran
was sighted heading up the Firth of Clyde this morning, having been replaced on the Lewis freight run last night. She arrived this afternoon and entered stern-first in JWD. Jupiter will be brought back to life soon as she prepares to enter Garvel for her annual overhaul.

Company News:
In the latest twist in the tendering process, one of the two private companies seeking to win the contract (Western Ferries) has withdrawn its interest in providing the vital lifeline services across the west coast network. The other private operator (VShips) has announced it will be considering its position soon.
 
03/05/06 Western Isles:
Muirneag returned to Stornoway from refit at 1800 this evening to take up her Ullapool - Stornoway Freight roster. It took her 3 hours to enter the Lewis port due to the adverse weather outside the bay.

Clyde:
Due to adverse weather the service has been suspended on the Claonaig - Lochranza roster for the day.
Bute retuned to normal service on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay roster last night. She was back in full swing today after suffering propulsion unit problems which were repaired in Dry Dock. She briefly visited Gourock HQ (Wires) before heading back down the Clyde to her home route.

Picture: John Huggins (www.clydeshipping.co.uk)
Bute at Gourock yesterday

 
02/05/06 Western Isles:
Due to adverse weather the following sailings were disrupted today:
Oban - Coll / Tiree: The 1500 to Coll & Tiree has been cancelled. The next sailing will be at 0600 on Wednesday 3rd May as scheduled.
Mallaig - Armadale: The 1215 / 1335 sailings ex Mallaig and the 1255 / 1415h sailings ex Armadale have been cancelled. There will be an update at 1400 re. sailings for the remainder of today.
Tayinloan - Gigha: Service has been suspended meantime.
Berneray - Leverburgh: All sailings on the Sound of Harris have been cancelled for the day.
Mallaig - Small Isles: The sailing to Eigg and Muck has been cancelled.
Tobermory - Kilchoan: Service is currently suspended, situation will be reviewed at 1300. Conditions haven't improved situation will be reviewed at 1430.
Ardmhor - Eriskay: Chargehand has just advised that due to weather conditions he was cancelling the 0925 sailing ex Ardmhor and the return 1015 sailing ex Eriskay. The 1110 and the 1300 sailings will be reviewed later. Chargehand has now cancelled the 1110 sailing ex Ardmhor and the return 1300 sailing ex Eriskay. The next return sailing will be reviewed later. ie 1545 ex Ardmhor and 1635 ex Eriskay.
Fionnphort - Iona: Service is suspended until further notice, we will update if the situation changes.
Kennacraig - Islay: The Hebridean Isles was late arriving into Port Ellen tonight.
 
Clyde:
It is believed the technical problem with Bute has something to do with her propulsion units. There has been reported that high amounts of vibration near the front of the ship are felt. As a result she left Rothesay at 2335 last night to head upriver to dry-dock. She was sighted later today passing the diverted Caledonian Isles (details below) and returning to Rothesay at 1815 this evening presumably ready to take up service this evening. As a result of Butes absence, temporary changes were made to the Gourock - Dunoon sailings today. There was no Passenger-only service departing Gourock at 1745 and Dunoon at 1815. They were suspended on today and were expected on the Wednesday 3 May to allow the Alicat (as reported yesterday) to head to the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay roster. A temporary timetable will apply for today but service will now resume tomorrow as normal.

Ardrossan - Brodick: As a result of mechanical problems at Ardrossan the Caledonian Isles has been diverted to Gourock at 1105 and is expected to arrive there approx 1320. It will then return to Brodick. Passengers are advised that a bus will leave Ardrossan @ 12.25 to Gourock. Passengers are advised to be at Gourock for 1315. Due to essential mechanical repairs to Caledonian Isles, the 1920 departure from Brodick on Tuesday 2 May 2006 and the 0700 departure from Ardrossan on Wednesday 3 May have been cancelled. Further details will be posted as they become available. (check external link above)

As a result of adverse weather the following sailings were affected:
Lochranza - Claonaig: Sailings have been suspended until further notice.

Picture: Ian Montgomery (www.clydeshipping.co.uk)
Diverted CI & repaired Bute pass one another today on the Clyde

Picture: Iain McPherson (www.clydeshipping.co.uk)
Alicat at Rothesay at 1010 today

 
01/05/06 Clyde:
Please note that a temporary timetable will apply for Wednesday and Thursday of this week on the Wemyss Bay to Rothesay service. The changes are being effected to allow Bute to enter dry-dock for some technical adjustments which will enable her to resume normal service as quickly as possible. While Bute is in dry-dock from early Tuesday (May 2, 2006) Alicat will provide passenger only services on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay service in addition to Juno, which will continue to provide vehicle services. Alicat will operate a passenger only service between Wemyss Bay - Rothesay from 0925 on the two days we believe Bute will be out of service. CalMac will also honour any vehicle tickets for Wemyss Bay and Rothesay on the Colintraive to Rhubodach and Gourock to Dunoon services for this period to enable customers to make adjustments to their travel arrangements wherever necessary. We regret the inconvenience and assure our customers that normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Wemyss Bay - Rothesay Ferry: Temporary Timetable from Tuesday 2 May:

Dep Wemyss Bay / Dep Rothesay
0715 / 0630
0845 / 0800
0925 Passenger only / 0930
1015 / 1010 Passenger only
1100 Passenger only / 1100
1215 / 1145 Passenger only
1300 Passenger only / 1300
1345 / 1345 Passenger only
1430 Passenger only / 1430
1515 / 1515 Passenger only
1600 Passenger only / 1600
1645 / 1645 Passenger only
1730 Passenger only / 1730
1815 / 1815 Passenger only
1900 Passenger only / 1900
1945

Alicat will provide additional services on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay route while Bute is in dry-dock for essential maintenance. After fulfilling the peak early sailings between Gourock and Dunoon at 0650 and 0750, Alicat will make her way to Wemyss Bay. This will mean that the regular 1745 ex Gourock and 1815 ex Dunoon passenger-only services will be suspended for Tuesday 2 May and Wednesday 3 May. The 0650 and 0750 passenger-only sailings between Gourock and Dunoon will be unaffected on both day
 
News Logs:
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