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PLEASE NOTE: the Fleet News pages are no longer updated on a regular basis.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
31/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Loch Alainn
sailed from Tobermory to Lochaline yesterday afternoon. She carried out one single sailing to Fishnish with two log lorries in order to carry out berthing trials. She then sailed to Oban for a crew change and then onto Craignure for an overnight berth. She will then head to Colintraive tomorrow to relive the Loch Dunvegan to allow her fleet mate to go for overhaul.
UPDATE 1230:
Loch Alainn is currently passing Gigha southbound to round the Mull on her way to Bute.
UPDATE 1400:
Loch Alainn is now nearing the Mull of Kintyre. It is unclear where she is heading at present - possibly Largs.

Ullapool - Stornoway (Isle of Lewis)
UPDATE 1730:

Vessel currently sailing but delayed due to adverse weather in the Minch.
 
  TERMINALS:
Oban
The new gangway appears to be all sheeted in now and as off yesterday the internal lighting of the walkway has been connected up and working.
PICTURE: SoC Forum, Clipper
Oban terminal latest
 
CLYDE:
Isle of Cumbrae spent since Sunday lunchtime at Lochranza after changing over with the Loch Tarbert for winter duties. She is now at Gourock after a brief call at Largs.

Coruisk is now in the dry-dock with Lord of the Isles both for there annual overhauls.
Edit SoC Editor 2001 01/011/07
Coruisk is NOT in Dry Dock yet as reported above.
 
30/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Ullapool - Stornoway Freight (Muirneag)
UPDATE 1830:

The following sailings are cancelled due to adverse weather conditions in the Minch:
Tonight's Sailing ex Ullapool - Stornoway
Tomorrows return Stornoway - Ullapool

Kennacraig - Port Ellen / Port Askaig (Hebridean Isles)
SERVICE REMINDER:
1720 Monday ex Kennacraig - Port Askaig
0700 Tuesday ex Port Askaig - Kennacraig
These sailings will operate to and from Port Ellen until further notice due to the ongoing Pier Work at Port Askaig.

CLYDE:
Coruisk
trialled Rothesay's new pier setup today before making her way to James Watt Dock to begin her overhaul.

NORTHLINK FERRIES:
UPDATE 1850:

All Passenger & Freight sailings are operating to timetable.
 
29/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Coruisk
left Mallaig at 0625 and proceeded via the Sound of Mull towards Gourock. She was noted passing Port Askaig at 1340. Loch Linnhe is also continuing her voyage to the Clyde for her overhaul, having left Craignure early this morning.
UPDATE 1915:
Coruisk is currently off the South East coast of Arran making her way upriver towards Gourock.
UPDATE 2030:
Coruisk is currently passing the Island of Bute

Clansman was observed in the Sound of Mull this afternoon carrying out a lifeboat drill using her starboard side boat, which was lowered and released into the water while the ferry was stationary. With the timetable on the Col and Tiree and Outer Isles routes being designed to allow for the slower speed of Lord of the Isles, the larger and faster vessel has time to spare while carrying out these sailings.

Loch Bhrusda set out from Tobermory first thing this morning and is now back in service as the Sound of Barra ferry. Loch Alainn set sail from Barra late morning and arrived at Craignure shortly after 1400. She is spending tonight there and will continue down the Sound of Mull to Craignure tomorrow, where she is expected to arrive after Isle of Mull leaves at 1700.
PICTURE: SoC Forum, G Pat
Coruisk passing Jura today

PICTURE: SoC Crew
Coruisk on AIS off Arran 1915
 
28/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Lochnevis
left Craignure shortly after 0900 this morning and continued her journey back to Mallaig. Raasay left for Tobermory when the Lochnevis arrived back at her home port and the Loch Linnhe in turn sailed from Tobermory to Craignure for an overnight berth.

CLYDE:
Argyle
and Bute were not required to undertake the anticipated diversions to Gourock this morning. The linkspan work at Wemyss Bay had been completed well ahead of schedule and normal Sunday service was operated today.

The Portavadie and Lochranza services made the switch over to the winter schedule today, one week after the rest of the network. Loch Tarbert is in charge of the combined Tarbert - Portavadie and Tarbert - Lochranza schedule while Isle of Cumbrae is rendered spare for the winter, either until March 2008 or until such time as she is needed for unforeseen relief duties.

PICTURE: SoC Crew
 SoC LIVE   Lochnevis at Craignure with Isle of Mull

 
27/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Loch Bhrusda
left Craignure making her usual racket this morning and made for Tobermory, where she will lie until a clearing in the weather allows her to cross the Minch.
Lochnevis
left Port Ellen this morning to continue her journey back to Mallaig. She was defeated in her attempt to round Ardnamurchan Point by the weather conditions and instead made for Craignure where she is spending tonight, in the company of Isle of Mull. Raasay therefore stayed in Mallaig instead of relocating back to Tobermory where she is due to take over the Kilchoan service for the next three months. Loch Linnhe is due to sail for Ardmaleish in the next few days.
 
PICTURE: SoC Crew
Lochnevis at Port Ellen this morning
 Ardmhor - Eriskay (Loch Alainn):
UPDATED 1330:
The following have been cancelled due to adverse weather:
1230 ex Ardmhor - Eriskay
1410 ex Eriskay - Ardmhor
The last return sailing for today will operate as per timetable:
1710 ex Ardmhor - Eriskay
1815 ex Eriskay - Ardmhor

 Sconser - Raasay (Loch Striven):
UPDATED 1300:

1315 ex Sconser has been cancelled
All further sailings disrupted due to adverse weather.
Chargehand will review departures on a sailing to sailing basis.
 
 Fionnphort - Iona (Loch Buie):
UPDATED 1500:

Cancelled for today due to adverse weather.

CLYDE:
 Claonaig - Lochranza (Loch Tarbert):
UPDATED 1230:
Service may be liable to cancellations or disruptions due to adverse weather.
UPDATED 1300:
This service has been suspended meantime, a decision regarding the 1430 sailing from Lochranza will be made at 1415.
UPDATED 1500:
This service has been suspended meantime, a decision regarding the 1545 sailing from Lochranza will be made at 1530.

 Wemyss Bay - Rothesay (Argyle, Bute):
UPDATED 1500:

Currently disrupted due to technical reasons. One vessel has been off service since 1345 and is not expected to return to service until its 1645 sailing.
 As always, please check the Official CalMac website for current live disruptions. 
 
26/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
It appears Loch Bhrusda is still tied up at the north pier in Oban as of 1300 awaiting the weather to clear before heading across the Minch to Barra.
UPDATED:
Loch Bhrusda left Oban at 1545 and made for Craignure, arriving at 1500. She is spending tonight alongside at the south face of the pier.

Barra - Eriskay (Loch Alainn)
UPDATED 0710:
Due to adverse weather conditions the following sailings have been cancelled:
0715 ex Ardmhor - Eriskay
0820 ex Eriskay - Ardmhor
The next return sailing will be reviewed at approx 0900 today

Uig - Tarbert (Hebrides)
UPDATE 0745:

0730 ex Tarbert - Uig
Sailing is currently delayed due to adverse weather, Hebrides is awaiting daylight before departing.
UPDATE 0915:
0730 ex Tarbert - Uig was delayed due to weather. Hebrides departed approx one hour late at 0825.
This delay will affect later sailings, please use the official CalMac website above for current information.
Passenger and Vehicle check in at Uig for the 0940 ex Uig - Lochmaddy will be as normal.
 

PICTURE: SoC Crew (Oban Webcam)
Loch Bhrusda at a grey north pier in Oban today

PICTURE: SoC Crew
Lochnevis at Port Ellen tonight

  Sconser - Raasay (Loch Striven)
Service was disrupted due to adverse weather.

Fionnphort - Iona (Loch Buie)
UPDATE 0930:

Service is currently cancelled due to adverse weather.
Next sailing is at 1000 weather permitting
UPDATE 1030:
The next sailings will be
1215 ex Fionnphort - Iona
1230 ex Iona - Fionnphort
(weather permitting)

Ullapool - Stornoway (Isle of Lewis)
UPDATE 0600:

Due to adverse weather conditions the following sailing has been cancelled:
0715 ex Stornoway - Ullapool
Isle of Lewis spent the night in Ullapool after a cancelled sailing last night. She will remained there until her scheduled departure later today.

Mallaig - Armadale (Coruisk)
UPDATE 0820:

Due to adverse weather conditions the following sailings have been cancelled:
0840 ex Mallaig - Armadale

TERMINALS:
Oban:
An update on the new gangway / linkspan at Oban. The new gangway is similar to Rothesay on the Clyde or Stromness on Orkney where the connecting unit slides along to suit each vessel. When the vessel is berthed at the linkspan the gangway can be altered in height and positioning along the pier side to fit correctly. It is unlike the current one at Oban in that it is fixed directly to the Terminal building. It seems it will be finished soon and they will finally shut the old berth to get it ready for the 2008 season.
Hebrides (although being a sister ship to Clansman) is unable fit in the existing gangway because her passenger access door is further astern than her sister. Clansman's was brought forward on one side to accommodate the new gangway at Oban, the other side is the same as Hebrides.

CLYDE:
Lochnevis appears to be alongside Gourock HQ as of 1400 today making ready for her long trip back up to Mallaig for her winter service.
She departed shortly after and is currently (1430) just north of Inverkip heading down the Clyde at 11.5 knots.
UPDATE 1602:
Lochnevis is just rounding the Cock of Arran very close to land.
Her destination on AIS shows Mallaig at 1700 today - which is obviously impossible! She is expected to berth overnight in Port Ellen.
UPDATE 1832:
Lochnevis is just passing Sanda Island with a ETA in Port Ellen of 2230 tonight.
Pictures to follow.

Ardrossan - Brodick (Caledonian Isles):
UPDATE 1845:
Service is running approximately 30minutes late due to volume of traffic and weather conditions.
Vehicle drivers are still to check in as normal.

Gourock - Dunoon (?):
UPDATED 0650:

Due to adverse weather conditions the following sailings have been cancelled:
0650 ex Gourock - Dunoon
0720 ex Dunoon - Gourock
UPDATED 0750:
Also cancelled:
0750 ex Gourock - Dunoon
0820 ex Dunoon - Gourock

Wemyss Bay - Rothesay (Argyle, Bute):
Continuing refurbishment work on Wemyss Bay Pier will mean that the following services this Sunday morning (28/10/07) will operate between Rothesay and Gourock.
Bute
 will operate a revised timetable as follows:
0800 dep Rothesay
0900 arr Gourock
0910 dep Gourock
1010 arr Rothesay
She will then carry out drills and take up No 2AS roster from 1215.

Argyle
 will carry out drills then operate the revised timetable as follows:
1020 dep Rothesay
1120 arr Gourock
1130 dep Gourock
1230 arr Rothesay
She will then take up No 2S roster from 1300.

Jupiter will carry out No 1 roster with drills being carried out prior to service.

Tarbert - Lochranza (Loch Tarbert):
UPDATED 0850:
Service may be liable to cancellations or disruptions due to adverse weather.
UPDATE 1030:
This service has been suspended until further notice. A review will be made at 1300.
UPDATE 1315:
This service is still suspended until further notice. A review will be made at 1415.
UPDATE 1420:
This service is resuming at 1430, although landing is not guaranteed.
Updates to follow.

As always, please check the Official CalMac website for current live disruptions.
 
25/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Loch Bhrusda
will tonight berth at Tobermory after calling briefly in Oban en route for Eriskay.
UPDATE 1900:
Loch Bhrusda will tonight berth at Oban and not as stated above before making her way out to Barra.
PICTURE: David Livingstone
Loch Bhrusda arriving at Oban
 
Ullapool - Stornoway (Isle of Lewis)
UPDATED 1700:

The following sailings are cancelled due to adverse weather conditions in the Minch:
1715 ex Ullapool - Stornoway
0715 ex Stornoway - Ullapool (tomorrow morning)

Ullapool - Stornoway Freight (Muirneag)
UPDATED 1700:

The following sailings are cancelled due to adverse weather conditions in the Minch:
Tonight's Sailing ex Ullapool - Stornoway

TERMINALS:
Craignure

Passengers are currently boarding the ferry at Craignure via the car deck for the time being following technical difficulties encountered with the gangway on Wednesday night.
 
  CLYDE:
Lochnevis will leave JWD tomorrow for trials and then make for an overnight berth at Port Ellen (weather permitting) on her way back to Mallaig. It is then expected Coruisk will leave Mallaig and make her way down to the Clyde over the weekend for her annual overhaul and winter Clyde relief duties.

A few recent shots of Raasay and chartered vessel Ullin of Staffa covering for the Lochnevis at Mallaig are depicted below. The regular vessel is expected back on station by the end of the week after completing her overhaul on the Clyde.
 
PICTURE: SoC Forum, Andycam
Lochnevis yesterday in JWD
  PICTURE: SoC Crew PICTURE: SoC Crew PICTURE: SoC Crew
Ullin of Staffa Departs Mallaig While Raasay Loads at the Linkspan - and Returns From the Small Isles
 
24/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
TERMINALS:
Oban
Clansman
today trailed the new Oban linkspan at 1500 berthing bow towards the facility and lifting her visor. The Isle of Mull also trial berthed at the new pier this evening which is directly behind the current linkspan.
 
PICTURE:
Clansman at the new Oban linkspan today
  CLYDE:
Loch Bhrusda
left Rosneath today to commence her journey to Eriskay for winter service. It is believed she will spend the night at Campbeltown before heading for Tobermory tomorrow.
 
  Lord of the Isles is now in James Watt Dry Dock, Greenock for her annual overhaul. It was thought that the crane pictured right was going to lift the bow visor, but a reporter noted no action for a considerable period. As reported previously is is not 100% clear as to weather her bow visor was welded shut around its outer seal or inner securing mechanism, updates to follow. The resulting damage to the bow was caused by striking the new Oban pier for a second time, she also hit it with her stern as well and caused a little dent at her stern. She also hit Tiree pier hard last winter. Her crew have been monitoring the visor, taking weekly measurements all season to ensure safety was 100% satisfactory. PICTURE: SoC Forum, Andycam
LOTI in Dry Dock
 
23/10/07 CLYDE:
A clearer image depicting the bow visor damage to Lord of the Isles has been posted in the SoC-i Forum.
It shows the damage to the upper part of the visor to the left and the weld seam where the visor has been sealed for safe operation until the fault can be fixed. It is anticipated a crane will have to open her visor as she is understood to have problems with the mechanism required to lift it independently. Full repairs will be carried out during her annual overhaul currently underway in JWD.
Updates to Follow.
Lord of the Isles Overhaul Thread on the Forum (internal link)
PICTURE: SoC Forum, Andycam
LOTI Bow Damage
 
22/10/07
WESTERN ISLES:
Uig - Lochmaddy (Hebrides)
UPDATED 1245:

Hebrides
departed Lochmaddy at 1240, 50 minutes late due to an engine problem.
Updates to follow
 
  CLYDE:
Lord of the Isles was still in the wet dock this morning. She will deploy her Port side shoot before entering dry dock later today or tomorrow. Saturn has now left JWD and returned back over to Rosneath this afternoon. She sailed over to Gourock first at 1500 then did a lap of the Clyde to Hunters Quay, then turned and sailed direct for Rosneath, arriving at 1730.
PICTURE: SoC Forum: Andycam
Saturn Fresh in JWD Today
 
PICTURE: SoC Forum: Andycam PICTURE: SoC Forum: Andycam PICTURE: SoC Forum: Andycam
Lord of the Isles Testing her Port Side Life Shoot Today in JWD
 
  Claonaig - Tarbert / Lochranza (Loch Tarbert)
UPDATE 1015:

Service currently disrupted due to adverse weather conditions.
 
21/10/07 CalMac Winter Timetable Starts Today

WESTERN ISLES:
Lord of the Isles
is well on track for the Clyde, she was noted rounding the tip of the Mull of Kintyre at around 1030 this morning having left Oban in the early hours.
UPDATE 1245:
Lord of the Isles
is now making her way up the east side of Arran approaching Holy Island near Brodick.
UPDATE 1315:
Lord of the Isles
is now passing the stern of Caledonian Isles as the Arran vessel makes for Brodick.
UPDATE 1500:
Lord of the Isles has now arrived at Gourock and docked Stern First onto the Ro-Ro Berth to unload Crew Cars (1451).
She will then proceed to Garvel wet dock before entering the dry dock later on this evening.

Rathlin Ferries:
Canna now has the company URL printed below her builders plate under her bridge windows.

LOTI rounding the Mull

PICTURE: SoC Crew
 SoC LIVE  LOTI arriving at Gourock

PICTURE: SoC Crew
 SoC LIVE  Stern first at Gourock
 
20/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Lord of the Isles
is due in for her overhaul on Monday on the Clyde. She is still currently sailing with her bow visor welded shut awaiting repairs and operating as stern loader only.
UPDATE:
Lord of the Isles
will depart at 0500 ex Oban tomorrow, passing Port Askaig around 0800 - 0900 before rounding the Mull of Kintyre en route to the Clyde for her overhaul.

It is reported that Saturn will only cover at Islay if there is a breakdown during the two ship scheduled service to the island. She wont be covering for overhauls as anticipated.

CLYDE:
It is confirmed Isle of Mull will defiantly cover at Arran on the Brodick - Ardrossan roster while the Caledonian Isles goes for overhaul on the 26th November.
 
19/10/07 CLYDE:
In James Watt Dock Saturn looks very fresh after newly overhauled and Lochnevis now in the dry-dock.

Forthcoming Service Alteration:
Wemyss Bay - Rothesay (Argyle, Bute)
The linkspan at Wemyss Bay is to be painted overnight on Saturday 27 / Sunday 28 October as part of a redecoration of Wemyss Bay pier.
This will mean that the following services will be Cancelled on Sunday 28 Oct:
0845 ex Wemyss Bay - Rothesay
0930 ex Rothesay - Wemyss Bay
1015 ex Wemyss Bay - Rothesay
1100 ex Rothesay - Wemyss Bay
1215 ex Wemyss Bay - Rothesay

Instead the following sailings will take place:
0800 ex Rothesay - Gourock
0910 ex Gourock - Rothesay
1020 ex Rothesay - Gourock
1130 ex Gourock - Rothesay

Unconfirmed which vessel will operate these sailings as of yet.
 
18/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Service Reminders:

Mallaig - Eigg - Muck - Rum - Canna (Raasay, Currently on Charter TO CalMac Ullin of Staffa)
While a Island Class vessel is operating overhaul relief this service is NOT suitable for day cruises from Mallaig. The timetable is also slightly effected.
Contact CalMac for official updates on the service using the above link.

Kennacraig - Port Ellen / Port Askaig (Hebridean Isles, Isle of Arran)
1800 sailing Mondays & Fridays ex Kennacraig - Port Askaig
0700 sailing Tuesdays and Saturdays ex Port Askaig - Kennacraig
Both will operate to and from Port Ellen until further notice due to the ongoing Pier Work at Port Askaig.
 
15/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Mallaig - Eigg - Muck - Rum - Canna
Due to weather conditions today's sailings were disrupted
 
14/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Loch Linnhe
is assisting Loch Fyne at Lochaline today with Fishnish traffic for the Mull Rally. She commenced the second boat sailings at 1030.

CLYDE:
Lochnevis arrived on the Clyde today for her annual overhaul. By mid-afternoon she was moored in the James Watt Dock, Greenock

Company News:
Ardmaleish Boatyard has received a 3 year deal with CalMac to overhaul there Loch Class vessels with Loch Riddon due first for overhaul this winter as soon as the winter timetable starts.

NORTHLINK FERRIES:
All Passenger & Freight sailings are operating to timetable.
PICTURE: SoC Crew
 SoC LIVE  Loch Linnhe at Fishnish Today

PICTURE: SoC Forum: Andycam
Saturn in JWD During her Overhaul
 
13/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
If the anticipated Colas charter goes ahead on Wednesday 17 October the following rosters will take place.

Sunday 14th Oct
Lord of the Isles: Oban - Coll - Tiree - Coll - Oban - Colonsay - Oban
Clansman: Castlebay - Tiree - Oban - Castlebay - Lochboisdale
Vessel to have mezzanine deck in use from Barra due to surf traffic boarding at Tiree. Vessel will be full from Tiree, as will Lord of the Isles on her scheduled run.

Monday 15th Oct
Clansman: Lochboisdale - Castlebay - Oban - Castlebay (as normal)
Lord of the Isles:
0600 Oban - Craignure (positioning)
0700 Craignure - Oban (extra sailing for rally traffic)
0800 Oban - Coll - Tiree - Coll - Oban - Colonsay

Tuesday 16th Oct
Clansman: Castlebay - Oban - Lochboisdale - Castlebay (taking LOTI roster from Oban at 1530)
Lord of the Isles: Colonsay - Oban - Coll - Tiree - Oban (taking Clansman's roster from Oban at 1500)

Wednesday 17th Oct
Clansman: Castlebay - Lochboisdale - Oban - Tiree - Oban (*see note)
 *Colas Charter ex Tiree - departure subject to speed of embarking traffic. If possible vessel to arrive back in Oban at or around 0130 OR arrive back in Oban 0600 due availability of pier staff. Either way vessel to vacate No1 berth by 0725 to allow access for the arriving IOM which is due to arrive Oban 0731
Lord of the Isles: Oban - Coll - Tiree - Oban - Castlebay - Oban

Thursday 18th Oct
Both ships back to normal roster.
Clansman to perform last Oban - Coll - Tiree - Barra - Tiree - Coll - Oban sailing of the season.

As a result the following sailings will be affected:
Oban - Coll - Tiree - Coll - Oban - Colonsay
Oban - Coll - Tiree - Barra - Tiree - Coll - Oban
Oban - Castlebay - Lochboisdale
Please contact official CalMac Port Offices for further information (external link).

A final decision on weather this will take place will be subject to the weather forecast on Monday afternoon / Tuesday morning.
If the decision not to go ahead with the charter takes place then normal Tuesday / Wednesday vessel scheduling will prevail.
 
02/10/07 TERMINALS:
Brodick (Arran):
"Improvements Hope for Brodick Pier" (opens in a new window, external link to Arran Banner)

Oban (Mainland):
A few recent pictures of the construction work currently underway at Oban Terminal to install a second linkspan. The first image shows the new linkspan in place, the middle image shows the new passenger walkway (or 'airbridge') from the second floor of the terminal building that will directly like it with the vessel berthed there. The last image shows contractor lifting in the tinted glass for the side panels of the airbridge.
This morning they also tried to position the new gangway with Lord of the Isles but couldn't physically connect the two together because of the lack of the connecting ramp. A large section of the new assembly was also noted heading north on the M6 near Carlisle late last night bound for Oban.
Larger images have been posted in the SoC Forum (see links to the left).
 

Oban Second Linkspan Construction Work Continues
 
 

Port Askaig (Islay):
An update on the current situation at Port Askaig.
The first photo shows the new slip for the Jura Ferry or Loch Class vessels, the steel structure will curve round now to the mini round head where the entrance to the harbour will be. The second image shows the new Jura slip which hasn't gone down well with the Jura ferry crew, it apparently is set too high for the vessel. Either to the left or right of the mini roundhead shown in the last picture will be the entrance to the Small Fishing Boat Harbour.
Larger images have been posted in the SoC Forum (see links to the left).

 

Port Askaig Construction Work Continues
 
01/10/07 WESTERN ISLES:
Kennacraig - Port Ellen / Port Askaig (Hebridean Isles, Isle of Arran)

Service Reminder:
1800 sailings Mondays & Fridays ex Kennacraig - Port Askaig
0700 sailings Tuesdays and Saturdays ex Port Askaig - Kennacraig
Both will operate to and from Port Ellen until further notice due to the ongoing Pier Work at Port Askaig.
 
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