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PLEASE NOTE: the Fleet News pages are no longer updated on a regular basis.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!
31/08/05 Loch Bhrusda suffered some sort of technical problem this morning and missed her 0920 sailing. With the problem sorted the vessel re-entered service and was reported running approximately 40 minutes late. Her afternoon sailings will be running to timetable.
29/08/05 Northlink: Due to the weather conditions in Orkney this Morning the Hamnavoe has cancelled the 11:00 from Stromness and the 13:15 from Scrabster. The next scheduled sailing will depart Stromness at 16:45.
25/08/05 Clansman was once again loading via her bow ramp upon her return to Tiree this evening.
finished her duties as second Ardrossan - Brodick ferry this afternoon, bidding farewell to Caledonian Isles with a blast on her horn off Brodick. She then returned via the Largs Channel to Gourock, awaiting her next turn of duty over the weekend, spending Friday with Juno on the Gourock - Dunoon run, operating as second vessel. On Saturday all three streakers will operate a 20 minute service to Dunoon, with Bute going solo at Rothesay. Sunday will see Juno take up the second Rothesay roster with Bute while Saturn will take over as main Dunoon ferry, operating with Jupiter. After this it is expected that Jupiter will become spare for much of the rest of the season.
23/08/05 An unseasonal spell of bad weather has swept across Scotland through the day and a number of routes have seen some disruption. Saturn had her additional Arran sailings cancelled although Caledonian Isles is reported to be running as normal. The evening sailing to Port Ellen was diverted to Port Askaig, meaning tomorrow's 0945 to Kennacraig will instead sail from there as opposed to Port Ellen as timetabled. Lord of the Isles remained in Oban, her 1530 to Lochboisdale and Castlebay being cancelled. As a result her return sailing tomorrow morning will not run. For disruption updates see the external link above.

Back on the Clyde, Bute was observed at Gourock for bunkering and using the linkspan while Juno was away to Dunoon. Loch Riddon was also at Gourock for a time this afternoon and was then reported to be at Rothesay by 1600.

  Northlink: The race for the Northern Isles contract is beginning to gather momentum with representatives from both V-Ships and Caledonian MacBrayne visiting the Northern Isles this week. Both Companies are though to be on a fact finding assignment, contacting customers and islanders about the current service.

Meanwhile the Hamnavoe berthed stern into Stromness today probably in preparation for the forecasted high winds. In bad weather it is easier for the Hamnavoe to berth stern at Stromness and bow at Scrabster which is the opposite from the usual arrangement.

19/08/05 Clansman took this afternoon's Oban - Craignure sailings while Isle of Mull took the scheduled Outer Isles sailing. This allowed Clansman to sail from Oban at 2000 after her last arrival from Mull, bound for Tiree where she will collect livestock and then return in the early hours.
15/08/05 Raasay is presently in dry dock at Corpach. (See - external link) She will undergo sea trials either end of next week or beginning of following week. Then it is presumed Canna will be relieved by Raasay so that she can go to Corpach for annual overhaul.
14/08/05 Jupiter has suffered some sort of mechanical problem and as a result the 1300 ex Wemyss Bay sailing and 1345 ex Rothesay sailing are not running today.
  Other News From ClydeShipping...
  The new Calmac "Hong-Kong" gangway costing about 500,000 for Bute at Rothesay and only commissioned a few weeks ago, is due to be scrapped within about 2 years.

When the route goes to end-loading at Rothesay, access to the ferry will be via a new bridge to be built from the upper floor of existing pier buildings directly onto the ferry.

Passenger access to the pier buildings will be down the centre leg of Rothesay Harbour, beside the old weighbridge. A new footbridge will be built to connect this leg onto the existing pier.
11/08/05 Unusually the Clansman returned from Barra to Tiree this evening and berthed bow-in at the linkspan to load up vehicles for Oban. Normally she berths stern-in at all her island ports and then bow-in at Oban, although this evening it looked as though she would be going stern-in at Oban.
04/08/05 Clansman is still out of service with mechanical problems and as a result Hebridean Isles has taken the 0900 service to Tiree and Barra. The sailings on the Islay service marked as 'additional' in the timetable will therefore presumably not sail as Isle of Arran will be covering the main roster. See the external link for updates as they are made available.

Update: Clansman  returned to service and sailed from Oban this afternoon (approx 16:00 TBC). She made for Tiree where she shared Gott Bay with Hebridean Isles which was returning from Barra. Clansman was first to the pier where she unloaded the relief ferry's crew cars before loading Oban-bound traffic and then moved off to sit out of the way. Hebridean Isles then came to the linkspan and unloaded her vehicles before loading her crew cars and sailing for Port Askaig, ready to resume her normal duties tomorrow. Clansman then returned to the pier at Scarinish and loaded the remaining Oban-bound cars dropped off by the relief vessel.  (Thanks to Alan Neill for his first hand account!)

It is unclear whether Clansman will require further attention in dry dock in future weeks - there are reports that the rudder repairs are a short-term solution.

In other news the contract for the other new Rothesay ferry, Bute's sister vessel, was again awarded to a foreign yard. It is interesting to note that they describe the Bute and her sister-to-be as having a deep draught of 5 metres. Calmac have also confirmed that tendering is shortly to begin for the new 24-car ferry which is to replace Loch Riddon on the Largs - Cumbrae route. The mention of the 24 car capacity would suggest the end result being something not too dissimilar to Loch Alainn, although time will tell...

03/08/05 Clansman was unable to perform her 0600 sailing to Coll and Tiree due to mechanical problems. We have had reports this is due to rudder trouble although these are not confirmed. She has spent the day lying at Oban Railway Pier. It is not as yet known if she will be able to take tomorrow's 0900 sailing to Tiree and Castlebay. As a result there were significant changes to the timetables today involving Hebridean Isles performing an Oban - Coll - Tiree - Barra - Oban sailing following her arrival in Oban from Islay and Colonsay. Lord of the Isles made an extra call at Coll on this morning's crossing from the Outer Isles to Oban and her Castle Cruise was then cancelled this afternoon. Instead she sailed for Colonsay and then proceeded direct to Tiree and will return to Oban shortly before 0100. With Hebridean Isles playing relief vessel, the scheduled sailing from Port Askaig to Kennacraig has been replaced with the Isle of Arran on a 2030 service from Port Ellen. For up-to-date information, see the external link above to Calmac's webiste service notices page...

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