Ships Of CalMac - 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PLEASE NOTE: the Fleet News pages are no longer updated on a regular basis.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!

Loch Riddon left Ardmaleish and returned to Rothesay to finish her overhaul at the inner berth. Loch Linnhe left Campbeltown and is assumed to be heading for Bute and her own overhaul at Ardmaleish. Loch Alainn in turn left Oban bound for Campbeltown where she is spending tonight.
was observed passing through the Sound of Islay at over 17 knots this afternoon – she obviously caught the ebb tide which increased her speed somewhat. She left Craignure this morning and arrived at JWD this evening, after a call at Gourock to discharge crew cars at 1720, following Jupiter departing for Dunoon.
Saturn is also back at the wires in Gourock now. Presumably she will be moving over to Rosneath to lie alongside the lonely Juno before too long.

Picture: Saturn (SoC Forum / Daily Bute)
Loch Riddon arriving back at Rothesay


Coruisk left Mallaig today and made for Craignure and an overnight berth. She is en route for the Clyde for her annual stint as relief Rothesay vessel as well as having her overhaul carried out.
Loch Linnhe left Oban today bound for an overnight berth at Campbeltown. She is making her way to Ardmaleish for her annual overhaul, once Loch Riddon re-enters the water.
Loch Alainn
was spotted leaving the Sound of Mull and following the Isle of Mull in to Oban. She is spending tonight there before continuing her journey to the Clyde. This means that Loch Bhrusda is now employed as the winter Barra - Eriskay ferry, having herself been relieved by the Lochnevis at Mallaig


Picture: Clipper (SoC Forum)
Loch Alainn entering Oban Bay

Hebridean Isles diverted her 0945 sailing from Kennacraig to Port Askaig instead of Port Ellen. Isle of Arran then followed suite with the 1800 sailing this evening.

Picture: Buff Funnels Forever (SoC Forum / Clydesights) Picture: Buff Funnels Forever (SoC Forum / Clydesights)
Loch Alainn following Isle of Mull towards Oban and then at the North Pier

29/10/08 Loch Linnhe provided two special sailings to and from Lismore today to convey a large load with a farm building, albeit in kit form, Meccano style! Eigg was in service on the normal roster and these sailings by Loch Linnhe were in addition and by prior arrangement.


Loch Linnhe was out and about today having travelled down from Tobermory, leaving Raasay in charge as the winter vessel in charge of the Tobermory - Kilchoan route.

All sailings on the Ullapool – Stornoway route were cancelled today due to the weather. Hebrides was again running approx 40 minutes late as a result of weather conditions.

Picture: Clipper (SoC Forum)
Loch Linnhe entering Oban Bay


Lochnevis was out and about on trials today before leaving Gourock and heading down the Clyde (spotted at 1500) She was later observed on AIS passing along the coast of Jura at 2340. She is due to arrive in Mallaig early in the morning ready to resume the winter Armadale and Small Isles rosters. Coruisk has now finished her Skye duties for 2008 and is free to head to the Clyde.
Isle of Cumbrae was also spotted on the move today with an expected arrival time at Rosneath of 1245. She will now await either a spell on relief or her overhaul, whichever comes first.
Out in the Western Isles the weather was once again causing trouble. Isle of Lewis was forced to cancel her 1345 ex Stornoway and return sailing from Ullapool. 
Hebrides was also running late due to the weather and the Islay ferries were this time diverting to Port Ellen tonight.


Isle of Lewis and Muirneag both sailed today, breaking the Sabbath curfew that is prevalent in Lewis. Presumably this is just a one-off occurrence to clear traffic that was unable to travel due to the awful weather over the last few days.

Loch Ranza was subject to disruptions today due to the weather, as were the Islay ferries once again, running to and from Port Askaig only.

25/10/08 Yesterday must have been the metaphorical eye of the storm. Here is the state of play today (as updated at 1245):

Caledonian Isles
is currently at Brodick, following the cancellation of the 1105 and 1350 ex Brodick and 1230 and 1515 ex Ardrossan. A review will take place at 1600 regarding any further sailings this afternoon.
Loch Tarbert
is once again off awaiting a break in the weather. The situation will be reviewed at 1300 regarding this afternoon's sailings.
The Wemyss Bay - Rothesay sailing is currently suspended, although Argyle and Bute were running to Gourock earlier. Argyle was observed on AIS running against the wind and tide at 8 knots while Bute was doing 15 going the other way!
Loch Dunvegan
has been subject to disruption during the morning.
is at Gourock, following the suspension of the Dunoon service from 1110 this morning.
Isle of Cumbrae is back at Tarbert, as the service to Portavadie is off at the moment. Incidentally this is the last day of the individual service to Portavadie. She is due to hand over to Loch Tarbert for the combined Arran/Cowal service at Lochranza tomorrow lunchtime - if the weather allows her to sail!
Loch Shira
is also off due to the weather, with the situation to be monitored through the afternoon. Update: A successful attempt was made to run a sailing at 1315, though sailings through the rest of the afternoon are still subject to disruption.

Loch Linnhe
is idle in Tobermory as the Kilchoan service is suspended. A review will take place at 1430 with a view to attempting the 1500 sailing.
Loch Alainn has not sailed as yet today. A decision regarding the last sailing of the day will be taken at 1600.
Clansman did not sail for Coll and Tiree as scheduled this morning. Following a review, she will leave Oban at 1400 bound for the two islands, though only one call at Coll is planned. This sailing is subject to disruption.
Loch Ranza is not running at the moment as the Tayinloan - Gigha service has been suspended for the time being.
Hebrides is running late at the moment. The 0940 service to Lochmaddy left Uig at 1030 and is sailing via Tarbert for shelter and will continue to Lochmaddy as conditions allow. Further disruptions is likely later and the 1550 service from Uig to Tarbert is likely to be at least 2 hours late.
Loch Buie is off as the Sound of Iona is too rough to cross.
Islay is cut off again, as both ferries remain tied up. The decision regarding sailings later this afternoon will be taken at 1500.
As reported yesterday, Isle of Lewis didn't sail this morning and a decision was due at 1100 regarding the 1345 sailing to Ullapool and back. As yet there is no news of this.
Eigg is currently in Oban as the Lismore service is suspended at the moment. An update was due on this at 1330 however it was then decided to cancel sailings for the rest of the day.
Loch Fyne is stormbound at Lochaline and the service to Fishnish is currently suspended. This will be updated at 1245.
All sailings on the Sound of Harris are cancelled for the day.
No sailings today on the Mallaig - Small Isles run as Loch Bhrusda is staying in Mallaig for shelter.

We will update the news later on this afternoon. For more immediate updates, check the external link above, though don't go expecting that much of an improvement!

24/10/08 A few more problems caused by the weather today, though fortunately not to yesterdays extent. Here they are:

The 1920 sailing from Brodick to Ardrossan is cancelled yet again tonight, as Caledonian Isles will be berthed on Arran overnight. Once again the 0700 sailing from Ardrossan tomorrow will not run.
Loch Tarbert was off service as of 1320 today, however a review was to take place at 1420. It appears she resumed service as the amber alert status was removed on the CalMac website during the afternoon on this route.

Out at the Sound of Barra, Loch Alainn came of service following her first trip to Eriskay. She remained at Ardmhor for the rest of the day.
Clansman managed to get to the Outer Isles today, sailing first for Castlebay and then Lochboisdale before returning to Oban.
Loch Ranza was able to resume her service between Tayinloan and Gigha from 1100 this morning. At first she was sailing on opposing times to her schedule but was able to pick up normal timings from 1400.
Isle of Arran and Hebridean Isles were once again both sailing to Port Askaig today, as Port Ellen was deemed inaccessible.
Isle of Lewis saw her afternoon sailing from Stornoway to Ullapool cancelled. As a result traffic was redirected to Hebrides which took her 1500 sailing to Lochmaddy via Tarbert. Staying with Stornoway sailings, Muirneag is once again not venturing out tonight and Isle of Lewis is not going to be taking her 0715 service to Ullapool in the morning.
Loch Portain saw her afternoon sailing to Leverburgh cancelled again today.
In non-weather related news, Saturn and Lochnevis both reappeared in JWD today for the last bits of their overhauls to be carried out. Lochnevis is due back at Mallaig on or about 31st October to allow Loch Bhrusda to head up to the Sound of Barra and relieve Loch Alainn. Picture: Andycam (SoC Forum / Clyde Naval Gazing)
Lochnevis sitting pretty in JWD
Picture:Andycam (SoC Forum / Clyde Naval Gazing)
Lochnevis nearest with Saturn ahead

23/10/08 It would actually be quicker to list the routes NOT affected by the weather today...

The 0820 service from Brodick was diverted to Gourock, the 0945 from Ardrossan being retimed for 1100 and departing from Gourock, due to arrive in Brodick at around 1300. the 1105 ex Brodick and 1230 ex Ardrossan were cancelled as a result. The next sailing wasn't until 1640 and was again bound for Gourock. On returning to Brodick this evening Caledonian Isles tied up for the night. Tomorrow's 0700 sailing from Ardrossan won't operate as a result.
Staying with Arran, the Loch Tarbert saw her service suspended during the morning, before being cancelled altogether from 1300.
Argyle and Bute were initially able to get in at Wemyss Bay, however they too were diverted to Gourock from 1300. The last departure from Rothesay was at 1700 and from Gourock at 1900.
Isle of Cumbrae was next to succumb, with the Tarbert - Portavadie run cancelled from 1345.
Ali Cat didn't escape either as her 1745 sailing to Dunoon and back also fell by the wayside. Jupiter did appear to sail through the day though.
Loch Dunvegan does appear to have sailed today though, however the CalMac disruptions page was showing the Colintraive - Rhubodach service on amber alert (liable to disruption) later this afternoon.
It appear that Cumbrae did have a normal day though, with nothing showing on the disruptions page.


Picture: Buff Funnels Forever (SoC Forum / Clydesights)
Argyle returning from Gourock to Rothesay

Picture: Saturn (SoC Forum / Daily Bute)
Caledonian Isles seen from Kilchattan Bay on Bute

Things were just as bad, if not worse in the Western Isles. Loch Linnhe was unusually off this morning, however a sailing from Tobermory was attempted at 1000. Later this afternoon though, she was unable to get in at Kilchoan on her 1545 sailing and had to return to Tobermory.
Loch Alainn was unable to sail at all today and remained alongside at Ardmhor. At first there was to be a review at 1000, however when the situation hadn't improved this was put back to 1200 with a view to attempting the 1230 round trip to Eriskay. In the end this was ruled out and a final review took place at 1600, which then ruled out the last sailing of the day as well.
The 0645 sailing from Oban to Coll and Tiree was delayed and Clansman set sail at 1300. She sat in the shelter of the Sound of Mull for a while before a break in the weather allowed her to proceed to Coll and then Tiree before returning direct to Oban and omitting the 2nd Coll call. She was due into Coll at approx 1830 and Tiree at approx 2000, with an anticipated arrival time back in Oban of 2330. As a result, Clansman's afternoon sailing to Uist, Barra and returning overnight to Oban was cancelled. The next sailing is due at 0830 tomorrow when she will sail, weather permitting of course, for Castlebay and Lochboisdale before returning to Oban direct.
Loch Buie was off during the morning and a review was to take place at 1000 and then at 1200, 1300 and finally at 1400 when it was decided to cancel the service for the remainder of the day.
Loch Ranza was initially sailing on the Tayinloan - Gigha run, albeit subject to disruptions. In the end her day came to a premature end following the 1600 ex Tayinloan.
Both Hebridean Isles and Isle of Arran both fell foul of the weather during the course of the day. the 0945 sailing from Port Askaig was cancelled and the simultaneous departure from Kennacraig was suspended, pending a review at 1200. In the end the 1300 ex Kennacraig sailed on time and the other vessel also left Port Askaig at the same time. All remaining sailings were cancelled and tomorrow's 0700 inward sailing will now depart from Port Askaig instead of Port Ellen.
In the Outer Hebrides, Loch Portain's morning sailings were cancelled and the situation was to be reviewed at 1400. This then led to the decision that the 1400 ex Berneray and return sailing from Leverburgh would not be running. Isle of lews was stormbound all day at Stornoway due to conditions in the Minch. Muirneag is also not sailing tonight.
Coruisk missed her 0840 sailing from Mallaig and 0935 return leg from Armadale, while Loch Bhrusda and Ullin of Staffa both remained in port for the day; the 1020 sailing for the Small Isles being ruled out.
Even Loch Striven was affected by the weather; the Sconser - Raasay route showing on amber alert on the disruptions page.
Back in Oban, Eigg fared a little better, sailing as per timetable until she too was forced to miss her 1700 sailing to Lismore, returning at 1800.

What will tomorrow hold, as more bad weather is expected...?

22/10/08 Not as much disruption through today, even Port Ellen saw some ferries today, however the 1800 sailing from Kennacraig was diverted to Port Askaig once again.
Caledonian Isles is spending tonight on Arran rather than at Ardrossan. She will cross light to Brodick ollowing her 1920 sailing to Ardrossan. Tomorrow's 0700 sailing to the island is once again cancelled.
Loch Shira is spending tonight at the wires in Gourock in favour of Fairlie.
Muirneag is not going out tonight, again due to the weather. Isle of Lewis was also reported running late earlier today.

It is expected that there will be numerous disruptions over the coming few days, with poor weather conditions on the forecast.

21/10/08 All services to Islay were once again operting to and from Port Askaig today due to the swell to be found at Port Ellen.

20/10/08 More bad weather today. This lot were affected:
Caledonian Isles - 1350 ex Brodick and 1515 ex Ardrossan were cancelled, while the 1640 ex Brodick was diverted to Gourock. She eventually arrived back in Brodick at around 2215 for the night. Tomorrow's 0700 ex Ardrossan is off as a result.
Argyle and/or Bute saw diversions to Gourock as well while Wemyss Bay was inaccessible.
Jupiter missed her 1620 round trip to Dunoon.
Loch Tarbert was at Lochranza for most of today, with the service initially suspended pending a break in the weather, only to be cancelled altogether.
Loch Buie was off service this morning, to be reviewed at 1415 with a view to resuming service
Loch Ranza was forced to abandon her schedule following te 1400 ex Tayinloan.
Isle of Arran and Hebridean Isles have been operating the Islay service to Port Askaig only, as Port Ellen was inaccessible.
Isle of Lewis was reported running about 2 hours late at one point earlier today .

In other news, Loch Riddon proceeded to Ardmaleish where was lined up with the slip and taken out of the water for her annual overhaul. Her place at the inner berth at Rothesay was taken by the Corran Ferry, herself freshly overhauled.

Isle of Arran
left Oban at 0645 bound for Coll and Tiree, however she was unable to get alongside at either pier, returning to Oban at 1500. Clansman diverted her inward sailing from Barra via the Gunna Sound and successfully berthed at Tiree shortly after 1000. She then sailed direct for Oban, arriving at around 1400.
Hebrides was reported running about half an hour late due to the weather and the need for bunkering.
Loch Portain didn't sail at all today due to the conditions in the Sound of Harris, while on Islay the Hebridean Isles was unable to get away from Port Askaig with her 0945 sailing. A review was to take place at 1200 and all remaining sailings were subject to delays or cancellation for the rest of the day. The 1800 sailing from Kennacraig was later diverted to Port Askaig instead of Port Ellen once again.
Loch Buie fell foul of the weather in the Sound of Iona, first seeing her 1230 sailing cancelled then later making for the Bull Hole for the rest of the day. Similarly Loch Ranza came off duty this afternoon, as did Loch Alainn which missed her 1630 round trip to Eriskay.

diverted her delayed 1215 sailing to Gourock, leaving the island 15 minutes late. Wemyss Bay was inaccessible for the remainder of the day as both Bute and Aryle sought refuge at Gourock.
Loch Tarbert came off service early in the day, remaining stormbound at Lochranza.
Caledonian Isles is missing her 1920 sailing back from Brodick and is spending the night on Arran. As a result her 0700 sailing from Ardrossan is cancelled.
Jupiter was reported running 10 minutes late this afternoon. Later on however she was forced to cancel a sailing due to tidal conditions at Dunoon.

So the winter has arrived then...

18/10/08 Isle of Arran left Kennacraig following her rostered inward sailing from Islay and proceeded to Oban in order to take tomorrow morning's 0645 sailing to Coll and Tiree, normally carried out by Lord of the Isles. Lord of the Islesleft Oban this evening and is currently heading for Aberdeen, where she is expected to arrive tomorrow at around 2200.
Hebridean Isles diverted her 1800 sailing from Kennacraig to Port Askaig, instead of Port Ellen due to the weather forecast overnight. Her 0945 sailing tomorrow will be from Port Askaig as a result.
Both the 0730 and 1425 round trips to the Small Isles were cancelled today, with an unscheduled sailing taking place at 1300 with Loch Bhrusda and/or Ullin of Staffa.

17/10/08 Coruiskwas forced to miss her sailing at 1335 due to low tides.
Lord of the Isles spent the day at the north pier in Oban and was repaired in time for her 1700 sailing to Colonsay and back. Traffic from yesterday's failed sailing to Lochboisdale was taken on Clansman to Barra on the 1340 sailing and an extra sailing was available acros the Sound of Barra to Eriskay on the Loch Alainn at c1930.

16/10/08 Lord of the Isles had to turn back on her sailing from Oban to Lochboisdale and Castlebay this evening due to technical difficulties. AIS showed her returning at approximately 10 knots. Isle of Mull sailed for an overnight berth at Craignure in order to create space for the stricken Lord of the Isles in Oban, with Clansman unusually spending the night at the north pier.


Picture: Buff Funnels Forever (SoC Forum / Clydesights)
Clansman at the north pier tonight

15/10/08 Coruisk had to miss her 1215 sailing from Mallaig today due to tidal conditions in the Sound of Sleat. She resumed the roster with the next sailing.

14/10/08 Clansman suffered further technical problems while crossing from Barra to Oban this morning. Reports claim a large cloud of black smoke could be seen from Barra above the ferry after she had sailed, indicating a recurrence of the problem she encountered last week. She again completed her crossing on reduced power and arrived in Oban approximately 2 hours late. The 1500 sailing to Coll and Tiree was cancelled.

Loch Riddon carried out the Cumbrae Slip crossing on her own until 1555 while Loch Shira was out of service for repairs. The larger vessel then resumed service having sailed from Fairlie direct to Cumbrae Slip and the two ships worked together to clear the backlog of traffic.
Saturn and Lochnevis entered Garvel dry dock today as part of their annual overhauls.

13/10/08 Loch Bhrusda sailed for Eigg at 1030 this morning, following behind Ullin of Staffa. She arrived at Eigg at 1200 and left again at 1300. Her inward sailing was diverted via Rum in order to pick up a large student party that the smaller vessel was unable to carry. Arrival in Mallaig was further delayed awaiting the departure of Coruisk.

Picture: SoC CrewPicture: SoC CrewPicture: SoC Crew
Loch Bhrusda at Mallaig, Eigg and Rum today

12/10/08 Loch Tarbert returned to Lochranza today and resumed her normal roster, allowing Loch Riddon to return to Largs.
Lochnevis left Craignure early this morning and continued her sailing to the Clyde, arriving at Gourock at 1620 to unload crew cars. She then proceeded to JWD to await entry into Garvel with Saturn.

11/10/08 Coruisk was unable to sail until 1335 due to high winds. She resumed her roster with the 1335 sailing and carried on as normal from there.
Lochnevis completed her morning sailing round the Small Isles and then left Mallaig during the early afternoon and made for an overnight berth at Craignure. Loch Bhrusda took the second round trip, leaving Mallaig at 1425, Eigg at 1605, Muck at 1655, Canna at 1935 and Rum at 2105. She finally got back to Mallaig at 2230. She is being partnered by the chartered Ullin of Staffa for the next few weeks and is expected to concentrate on only extra runs where vehicles are expected. Ullin of Staffa  is to carry on the main roster, roughly following the scheduled timings.

10/10/08 Loch Riddon had to divert her 0930 sailing from Lochranza to Tarbert, arriving at 1100 and departing again for Arran at 1105 and then repeating the process with the 1315 sailing, leaving Tarbert at 1520.

09/10/08 Isle of Lewis spent much of the day at Ullapool today, as her 1030 sailing to Lewis and 1345 back from Stornoway were cancelled.
Loch Buie was subject to disruptions today and was operating an hourly roster.

08/10/08 Lord of the Isles undertook the 0600 sailing to Coll and Tiree again, handing over to the repaired Clansman  for the 1340 sailing to Barra.

07/10/08 Clansman suffered technical problems on her inward sailing from Barra to Oban. As a result her Coll - Tiree sailing was undertaken by Lord of the Isles and left Oban at 1530, leaving Tiree for the inward leg at 1940. The 1530 sailing to Lochboisdale and Castlebay was cancelled as a result.

06/10/08 Lord of the Isles failed to call at Tiree this lunchtime and subsequently returned direct to Oban, abandoning her inward call at Coll (stranding 2 of SoC's team on Coll in the process).

05/10/08 Loch Riddon left Largs at 1020 this morning bound for Lochranza, passing the visiting QE2 en route. She then picked up the Claonaig - Lochranza sailing with the 1315 sailing. Loch Tarbert came off the service at 1305 and made for Gourock Wires via Largs for repairs and maintenance.
Saturn undertook two special cruises to see the QE2, leaving Gourock at 1000 and 1400, and Dunoon at 1030 and 1430.


Picture: SoC Crew
QE2 seen from Saturn

03/10/08 Lord of the Isles returned to Oban at midday in lieu of her cancelled inward sailing from Barra and Lochboisdale. She then picked up her normal roster with the 1700 sailing to Colonsay.

02/10/08 Clansman was forced to miss her 2nd call at Coll this evening due to the weather conditions. Instead she left Tiree and had to sail for Oban instead.
Coruisk was duly repaired and was then stormbound for the rest of the day.
Isle of Lewis was late back into Stornoway at lunchtime and her afternoon sailing was then cancelled due to the first autumn gales.
The Oban - Craignure service was subject to delays this afternoon. Isle of Mull arrived at Craignure nearly 45 minutes late with her 1600 sailing from Oban due to weather conditions experienced earlier in the day.
Loch Alainn ran on her normal roster until 1715. She then performed a 1730 sailing from Barra, returning at 1820 and then an additional sailing from Barra at 1910, returning from Eriskay at 2000. This was due to Lord of the Isles being unable to sail to the Outer Isles. She instead crossed to Craignure for an overnight berth, arriving after the Isle of Mull left on her last inward sailing.
The 1205 sailing from Berneray and 1330 back from Leverburgh were cancelled as Loch Portain was stormbound.

01/10/08 Coruisk suffered problems this afternoon and was forced to turn back to Mallaig on her 1625 sailing from Mallaig. She returned to the linkspan by 1645 and remained there out of service.
Loch Bhrusda left Mallaig at 1000 this morning and made her first venture into Loch Nevis. She conducted berthing trials at Inverie and Armadale before returning to Mallaig.

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