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PLEASE NOTE: the Fleet News pages are no longer updated on a regular basis.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
31/08/03 After finishing her additional weekend sailings at Dunoon in co-ordinance with the Cowal games, MV Pioneer performed a farewell cruise from Gourock to Tighanbruiach. Sailings on the Clyde have now returned to normal
 
30/08/03 MV Coruisk has now entered Garvel dry-dock in Greenock for repairs. Calmac have also announced that following her final cruise to Tighnabruaich tomorrow, MV Pioneer will return to the Mallaig-Armadale service until MV Coruisk has been fully repaired. An extension on her safety certificates was made which means she will be allowed to cover for the damaged vessel.

MV Loch Linnhe is currently operating the Tarbert-Portavadie service, MV Loch Riddon has returned to Largs with MV Loch Tarbert back at Lochranza. 

Calmac have this weekend been implementing their extra sailings arranged for the Cowal games. This has seen the Juno, Jupiter and Pioneer on the Dunoon run with Saturn at Rothesay. 

 
29/08/03 Sources suggest that it is in fact MV Isle of Cumbrae that is operating the Lochaline-Fishnish service, with MV Loch Tarbert on the Tarbert - Portavadie run and MV Loch Riddon on the Lochranza-Claonaig service. 

MV Coruisk has nearly completed her journey to the Clyde for repairs following her accident.
 
28/08/03 MV Pioneer observed on the Wemyss Bay -Rothesay run today. 

Rumours suggest that MV Loch Linnhe is currently operating the Lochaline-Fishnish service due to the absence of MV Loch Fyne (currently covering at Mallaig). MV Bruernish is most likely operating the Tobermory-Kilchoan service for the time being. 

MV Loch Riddon has been observed at Lochranza, suggesting that MV Loch Tarbert has either broken down or is covering in the western isles. 

 
26/08/03 Yet more problems have struck the new Skye ferry M.V Coruisk this week. On Sunday, 21 passengers and a handful of cars were left stranded on the vessel as she came into contact with rocks near the entrance to Mallaig Harbour and lost a propeller. She limped back to port and was immediately removed from the service. The incident has caused havoc on the crossing to Armadale this week, and delays are expected to continue. Sources have told us that MV Loch Fyne has been sent up to Mallaig to provide a basic service for the people of Skye. The only alternative for people crossing with their cars is to travel a further 100 miles north to the Skye bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh, but this journey can take up to two hours. We will keep you informed as events unfold. 

Incidentally, this is not the first time that Calmac have had headaches with this service. In 1998 MV Iona had to be withdrawn from the service at the start of the summer season as she did not meet new regulations which were implemented for vessels of her kind. MV Lord of the Isles was due to take over but only at the end of the season when she herself was replaced by the new MV Clansman at Oban. Calmac had to use the loch class vessel MV Loch Dunvegan as a stop-gap. She was regularly assisted by one of the island class ships because she had nowhere near enough capacity for the service. However, she coped valiantly and managed to keep a ferry link open between Skye and the mainland.

Hopefully the problems at Mallaig will not effect Pioneer's final cruise this coming Sunday.
 
24/08/03 Mallaig to Armadale service will not operate on Monday (25th) due to technical problems. An alternative service will be restored as soon as possible.
 
22/08/03 Caledonian MacBrayne has confirmed that MV Coruisk will resume her schedule on the Mallaig to Armadale route with the 1820 sailing from Mallaig tonight (Friday), returning from Armadale at 1845. The timetabled service will resume tomorrow (Saturday), departing Mallaig 0840. Caledonian MacBrayne apologises to customers for the inconvenience caused while MV Coruisk was out of service due to technical difficulties.
 
21/08/03 An announcement from Calmac regarding new ferries for Wemyss Bay - Rothesay is imminent. "Calmac are about to issue their plans for 2 new vessels for the Rothesay route - they will carry 60 cars each, and allow the Juno and Jupiter to be withdrawn."
(Update by S.H. as A.H. is away)
 
20/08/03 MV Pioneer will make her final journey as part of the fleet on Sunday, August 31 with a special sailing from Gourock to Tighnabruaich returning to Gourock via Burnt Island in the Kyles of Bute, East Kyle, and Rothesay Bay.
(Update by S.H. as A.H. is away)
 
20/08/03 Pioneer's final sailing has been announced as the 31st of August, she has now arrived back on the Clyde after covering the Mallaig - Armadale route.
(Update by S.H. as A.H. is away)
 
19/08/03 Caledonian MacBrayne confirms extra sailings for Bute Games. They will be operating increased frequency through extra services, within the current timetable on the Wemyss Bay to Rothesay route for the period covering the weekend of Bute Highland Games (August 23) and the Island Motorcycle Invasion Rally. Ships proposed for this service - Juno, Jupiter, Saturn, Alicat, Pioneer.
(Update by S.H. as A.H. is away)
 
16/08/03 Sadly, Pioneer's 'Westering Home' cruise was cancelled due to technical problems encountered by the new Coruisk at Mallaig, it is unclaer when this will resume if at all. However her final sailings will be on the Clyde with the Highland Games and two special charters yet to be announced. The Isle of Lewis 1400hrs departure for Ullapool sailed at 1458hrs. She "broke down" on Wednesday morning and was relieved by Clansman until the 1045hrs departure from Ullapool on Thursday when she returned to service with her starboard engine only managing to maintain half revs.
(Update by S.H. as A.H. is away)
 
13/08/03 Tomorrow will be Pioneer's last sailing to Skye, as Coruisk is to be officially named (by Baroness Michie) at Armadale shortly before taking over the service in the afternoon. Pioneer will then be prepared for her cruise to Oban on Saturday, which will mean an emotional farewell for the people of Mallaig and Skye who the Pioneer has served so faithfully for much of her career. Good luck Pioneer!
 
10/08/03 Coruisk is due to leave Gourock on Monday 11th for Upper Clyde piers again, and on to Campbeltown overnight. Then direct to Mallaig on Tuesday for berthing trials on Wednesday.
 
09/08/03 Ali Cat was back on the Rothesay service again today, doing trials for her period on the service during the upcoming Cowal Games.
 
09/08/03 Coruisk has now received the Calmac red and black funnels and her aesthetics have been greatly improved! Well done Calmac! 
 
07/08/03 It has been reported that Coruisk will receive the Calmac trademark red and black funnels by the end of the week.
  Pioneer, Calmac's most popular vessel will sadly be leaving for pastures new in the not too distant future. Where...we do not yet know, but Calmac have decided to give her the send off she deserves by arranging some special sailings this month. The first, on Saturday August 16th, will see Pioneer sail from Mallaig to Oban via Tobermory and Staffa, and the following day she will sail from Oban to Ardrossan via Islay. She will then be held in reserve until she will ferry passengers to Bute for the Highland games (23rd and 24th). Her final sailing will be shortly after Cowal games weekend, on the last weekend of August, where she will be stationed at Gourock. For more information, contact Calmac
 
06/08/03 Ali Cat was observed at Wemyss Bay earlier this week performing berthing trials during one of her quiet periods. This is because she is expected to operate from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay on Cowal Games day when all 3 of the streakers will be most likely be on the Dunoon run.
  Coruisk, Calmac's new ship built for the Mallaig-Armadale service has arrived on the Clyde from the shipyard where she was built (Appledore, Devon). She is currently undertaking berthing trials on the upper Clyde where she is going to work each winter when the summer only service to Skye is not operating.
  This is the new Fleet news page, updated every day by the news editor - enjoy!
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