Ships Of CalMac - Fleet News

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29/06/09 Argyle was off service this morning due to technical problems and it wasn't until 1300 that she was able to return to service. Bute was able to cope on her own on a one-ship roster.

28/06/09 Lochnevis went off on another jaunt to the Outer Hebrides today - her second within a few weeks. She set sail from Mallaig on the early side of 0700, reaching Castlebay around 1200; her first ever visit to Barra. She landed her long stern ramp at the linkspan and loaded passengers on a special charter sailing. The Barra Heritage Society had arranged a special non-landing sailing from Castlebay to Mingulay, further south in the archipelago. Incidentally this was the first time a CalMac ferry has ventured into those waters since the Columba went there in 1980 as part of her St Kilda trip. The Small Isles ferry returned to Barra in glorious weather and then left at 1745 for the return sailing to Mallaig.

27/06/09 It was Clansman's turn to suffer technical problems today. She wasn't able to leave Oban on her Coll - Tiree sailing until 0820. She was unable to make up time during her trip to the Inner Isles and as a result, the 1540 sailing to Barra was delayed until 1650.

25/06/09 A missing swimmer, or rather the search for him or her, was the reason for Loch Buie abandoning her Iona sailings for around an hour from 1315. Fortunately the swimmer was found safely.
Tides again saw Loch Portain delaying her 1445 sailing, this time putting it back to 1600.

24/06/09 Loch Portain was subject to tidal disruption this afternoon, with her 1445 sailing being delayed until 1540.

21/06/09 Traffic sailing to and from Raasay today enjoyed the opportunity to revisit the days of old when reversing on or off the ferry was necessary. Loch Striven was sailing single-ended due to one of her ramps giving trouble.

19/06/09 There were more disruptions on the Clyde today. Saturn again missed her first run of the day, and Loch Tarbert missed more sailings on the Lochranza - Claonaig run. This time she was fully functioning and was responding to an emergency call, in conjunction with the coastguard.
Isle of Cumbrae saw her second spell off the Portavadie run within a relatively short space of time. The reason was to do with technical issues.
Up in Oban, Eigg returned to service on her regular route, allowing Raasay to resume her life at the lay-up berth.

18/06/09 Weather conditions caused Lochnevis to miss her scheduled call at Muck today. Similarly, Coruisk saw her last sailing to Armadale fall by the wayside.

Things were also in the hands of the weather on the Clyde where Saturn was unable to carry out her 0715 round trip from Brodick; starting her day's work instead at 1025. Loch Tarbert was also disrupted again today, though this time it had nothing to do with the elements. No, this time ramp issues were to blame for the vessel lying at Lochranza between 1035 and 1315. Incidentally she also missed her last run for the same reason!

17/06/09 Eigg was able to leave the Sound of Islay this morning, following the return of the Jura ferry from Ardmaleish on Bute. Eigg sailed via the Sound of Jura back to Oban, arriving at around 1600.
Meanwhile, down on the Clyde the weather was making its presence known, forcing Saturn out of service after her arrival at Brodick at 1540. Just around the Arran coastline, Loch Tarbert had been unable to land her ramp on the slip at Claonaig on her first sailing and had to return to Lochranza where she was then stormbound. She returned to service at 1315.

12/06/09 The supplementary Arran sailings began this morning with the 0715 ex Brodick. Saturn's roster sees her leaving Brodick at 0715, 1025, 1445 and 1740, and then Ardrossan at 0900, 1315, 1615 and 1845 on weekdays and then on a more limited roster at weekends.
Loch Bhrusda had to cover the Cumbrae run on her own for a while today following Loch Riddon succumbing to ramp problems between 0845 and 1215. With Loch Shira returning back downriver ready to resume service this evening, Loch Bhrusda was able to return to Gourock after her roster finished. She will now lie spare until she is next required. Loch Shira will return to service on the main Cumbrae roster tomorrow morning, with Loch Riddon resuming on the 2nd roster.

11/06/09 Saturn prepared to return to her summer role as 2nd Arran ferry today and repositioned from Gourock. This year, for the first time, and thanks to the suggestion of the Clyde River Steamer Club, the public were offered the opportunity to travel from Gourock to Brodick on the Streaker and then back to Ardrossan on the Caledonian isles. The special sailing left Gourock at 1200 and proceeded via the Cowal shore, Largs Channel, Wee Cumbrae, Garroch Head and the Sannox coastline before arriving at Brodick at 1440. Passengers were disembarked and the ferry then left for berthing trials at Ardrossan before returning to Brodick this evening, ready to commence service tomorrow.

08/06/09 Eigg is now the Jura ferry and will remain so until the Eilean Dhuira is able to return to service. She is currently at Ardmaleish receiving repairs.

07/06/09 CLYDE:
Loch Shira
has moved up to Gourock for the necessary repairs, leaving Loch Riddon on the main Cumbrae roster once again. Loch Bhrusda, as predicted, returned to the 2nd roster until such time as Loch shira is fixed.

Following a breakdown of the Jura ferry Eilean Dhuira a few days ago, compunded by the fact that the preferred relief vessel Margaret Sinclair was required elsewhere, Eigg came off the Oban - Lismore service this morning and made for the Sound of Islay. She has been chartered by ASP Ship Management to operate the Port Askaig - Feolin service. Raasay is now in charge of the Lismore service in the 'Tall One's' absence.
Up in Mallaig, summer has reached the Armadale service. The additional Sunday sailings (1240 and 1440 ex Mallaig) are now operating.

06/06/09 Loch Riddon returned to the secondary Largs - Cumbrae roster (i.e. from Largs at xx00 and xx30) but discovered that from 1600 she was on her own; Loch Shira having developed a further fault which means she has had to return to Fairlie for further attention. With only Loch Riddon on the Cumbrae service it is perhaps inevitable that Loch Bhrusda will soon be back at Largs...

Full high summer service arrived today on the Bute service, with the 2110 ex Rothesay and 2200 ex Wemyss Bay being operated for the first time this year. Similarly Loch Striven has run her first 2100 ex Raasay and 2130 ex Sconser of 2009.

05/06/09 Adter a few days off, Isle of Cumbrae has been repaired and she is now back in service, having left Gourock at 0745, resuming the Tarbert - Portavadie run from 1145. Loch Riddon then got underway and returned to Largs to take over the main Cumbrae roster from 1445. this then allowed Loch Bhrusda to head for Gourock and an overnight berth.


Most unusually it was the turn of Isle of Cumbrae to be forced off duty today. The 33 year old vessel developed problems with one of her ramps and had to make for Gourock. She was spotted (by Zak!) passing Rothesay in the process. Another vessel switching session was called for and Loch Bhrusda was more set sail for Largs to cover for the Loch Riddon which was in turn dispatched to Tarbert to take over the Portavadie service.

Out west it was the fog that was causing problems, in particular for Loch Portain. She was delayed during the morning and indeed was unable to berth at all at Leverburgh on her first sailing of the day.


Normality returned to Oban as Isle of Arran slipped out of the bay at 0630, making her way back to Islay. She called at Port Askaig to collect inbound traffic and sailed from there at 1000. Hebridean Isles was simultaneously sailing from Port Ellen, having left at 0945, and the two ships followed one another up West Loch Tarbert to arrive at Kennacraig minutes apart.
Saturn was duly relieved as Dunoon ferry from 1020 this morning by the freshly overhauled Jupiter. The younger vessel moved to the Wires where she will lie until her time comes to sail for Arran.
Loch Bhrusda was again called into action today, covering this time for Loch Riddon which was off duty with ramp problems for 5 hours. The larger (and louder) vessel returned to Gourock this evening.

News Logs:
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