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 DATE  NEWS
30/11/08 Argyle moved from Gourock to Garvel dry dock, which she entered with Hebridean Isles. Meanwhile, down on her usual route, the newly overhauled Bute suffered technical problems and her sailings from 1600 onwards were cancelled, leaving Coruisk to cover for the rest of the day, delaying her 1815 sailing from Rothesay until 1900.
Loch Striven arrived on Bute today and was immediately slipped at Ardmaleish, alongside Loch Alainn.
Picture: Zak (SoC Crew / Daily Bute)
Loch Striven passing Loch Striven!
Picture: Zak (SoC Crew / Daily Bute)
Loch Striven at Ardmaleish

29/11/08 Hebridean Isles left Kennacraig at 0600 this morning and made her way round to the Clyde for the second time in a week. She dropped off crew cars at Gourock, where she bumped into Bute, before moving up to JWD for the night. Isle of Arran is looking after the Islay sailings on her own for the time being, however Lord of the Isles is rumoured to be heading down to assist once she is freed up by the return of Isle of Mull at Oban. Picture: Andycam (SoC Forum / Clyde Naval Gazing)
Hebridean Isles and Bute at Gourock
Picture: Andycam (SoC Forum / Clyde Naval Gazing)
Heb Isles joining Isle of Mull in JWD
Until that time though, a one-ship service will operate, with departures from Kennacraig at 0700, 1300 and 1800. Inward sailings are 0415, 0945 and 1530 from Islay.
Argyle
came off the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay route this evening after her 1900 sailing from the island. She handed over the service to sister Bute for the 1945 return sailing and then proceeded up the river to Gourock for an overnight berth. Bute had emerged from a 24 hour survey in the dry dock at 1015 this morning and spent the day on trials before heading down to re-enter service. Loch Alainn came off the Colintraive - Rhubodach service today at 1000 when the regular vessel, Loch Dunvegan returned. The relief ship then proceeded straight to Ardmaleish where she was slipped without delay for her own overhaul.

27/11/08 Loch Striven handed over the Sconser - Raasay service to Loch Linnhe today and commenced her long journey to the Clyde and her annual overhaul at Ardmaleish.

26/11/08 Caledonian Isles is spending tonight at Brodick, with the result that her 0700 sailing tomorrow will not be running. Also, another common disruption, the 1800 ex Kennacraig is diverting to Port Askaig tonight instead of Port Ellen.
Loch Linnhe left Tobermory at 0710, 10 minutes ahead of her own relief vessel on the Kilchoan run, Raasay, as she headed onwards to Mallaig for an overnight berth. She will complete her journey to Raasay tomorrow.

25/11/08 Hebridean Isles returned to her normal service after the short-lived jaunt to the Clyde over the weekend. She will not be back home for long though as she is due to sail for her own overhaul this coming weekend.
Loch Linnhe appeared in Tobermory this evening. She is currently on her way up to Raasay where she is to provide relief for her former running mate at Largs, the Loch Striven.

24/11/08 After a night away from home, Hebridean Isles left Gourock at 1300 and proceeded back downriver, sailing unusually via the Largs Channel. With Caledonian Isles sailing as normal, after having mechanical issues dealt with last night, Hebridean Isles was heading back to Kennacraig to resume services to and from Islay. She arrived back at Kennacraig at around 2130. The only delay to the Arran service today was caused by a low tide at Brodick this afternoon when Caledonian Isles arrived with the 1515 ex Ardrossan.
Isle of Mull and Loch Dunvegan both came out of Garvel dry dock this afternoon and moved over to JWD to join Bute which is undergoing a wet survey.
Clansman made up for not going to the Outer Isles yesterday by sailing at 0530 this morning. She was destined only to sail to Barra though, with onward connections to South Uist being provided across the Sound of Barra by Loch Bhrusda. When Clansman returned to Oban she was able to pick up her scheduled roster with the 1600 sailing to Craignure.

A further update on the situation at Iona now. With the slipway in need of urgent repair work, Loch Riddon is operating a restricted timetable until 7th December which involves her giving only four return sailings from Fionnphort each day.

23/11/08 With the Arran ferry having problems, Hebridean Isles was despatched from Kennacraig at 0100 this morning and arrived off Brodick shortly after daybreak. Caledonian Isles spent all morning tied up at Ardrossan, having returned there from unsuccessful trials in the early hours of the morning. She was by this time stern in at the Irish berth.
Having sailed through the night,
Picture: Brodick Webcam
Hebridean Isles circling off Brodick
Picture: Brodick Webcam
Caledonian Isles and Hebridean Isles (circled) at Brodick
Hebridean Isles was unable to berth at Brodick due to strong north-westerly winds and spent the whole morning circling between Holy Isle and Corrie. She did attempt to berth at Brodick several times but was unsuccessful.
Caledonian Isles
left Ardrossan on further sea trials shortly after 1200 and then crossed to Brodick where she was able to get alongside. The relief ship then headed north to Gourock in search of an overnight berth. The regular Arran ferry then left Brodick for yet more trials mid afternoon, returning around 1730 to await a lull in the weather. She eventually got away from Brodick at 2015 with an ad-hoc passenger sailing to Ardrossan. She is due to return to Brodick for the night and then pick up her roster from 0820 tomorrow morning.

Also on the Clyde today, Loch Linnhe left Rothesay at 1030 and proceeded to Lochranza where she then spent the afternoon running to and from Claonaig on an unpublished emergency service following the problems with the Ardrossan service over the last 36 hours. Her departures from Lochranza were at 1515, 1625 and 1735, returning from Claonaig 35 minutes later.

In addition to the fun and games to be had on the Arran services today, other disruptions were noted. Details as follows:

Loch Tarbert was forced to come off the Tarbert - Portavadie service this afternoon due to the weather. Her arrival from Lochranza was over half an hour late so she picked up her roster again with the 1615 ex Tarbert. Loch Bhrusda was stormbound at Ardmhor all day and didn't manage to get across the Sound of Barra at all. Neither did the Loch Portain have any more luck on the Sound of Harris run and she spent the day lying at Berneray.
Clansman has not ventured out to Barra and South Uist today.

Further to yesterday's report, we have now discovered that the situation on the Fionnphort to Iona crossing (ie the restricted timetable) is due to emergency slipway repairs being required at Iona.

22/11/08 Caledonian Isles appears to be having more problems today. She left Brodick at 1105 and her 1230 sailing from Ardrossan is cancelled. She will be alongside until the problem has been rectified.
Update (1510): The 1515 ex Ardrossan and 1640 ex Brodick have now also been cancelled. Caledonian Isles is receiving the attention of engineers and will hopefully run sea trials at 1600. If successful she will then return to service with the 1800 ex Ardrossan and 1920 ex Brodick.
Further Update (2340): No such luck for the folks trying to cross to Arran. Caledonian Isles went out on trials a short while ago having had attention to this 'ongoing problem'.

From Monday CalMac are advising that a restricted timetable will be operating on the Fionnphort - Iona crossing. As yet we are unsure why this is.

21/11/08 Clansman picked u her roster with the 1335 sailing from Lochboisdale to Castlebay and then back to Oban this afternoon. Her 0830 sailing from Oban was cancelled due o her being stormbound last night at Lochboisdale.
Caledonian Isles today saw her 1230 round trip from Ardrossan cancelled due to a technical problem. She then ran late on the 1515 sailing and didn't leave Brodick until 1735, almost an hour late. She was observed with her bow visor raised whilst alongside at Brodick.

Elsewhere, today signalled the end of the construction work at Rothesay. All that remains is to have a few fences erected here and there, but now Argyle, Bute and of course relief ship Coruisk now find themselves arriving at a pier rather than a construction site. Pictures of the rebuilding work from the last couple of years can be found here.

20/11/08 Clansman made it out to Barra and then Lochboisdale, however she is spending the night on South Uist, having had her overnight inward sailing to Oban cancelled.

19/11/08 The 1800 sailing to Islay is yet again diverting to Port Askaig this evening, with the 0700 inward sailing tomorrow morning now sailing from there instead of Port Ellen.
Pentalina B is not sailing tonight due to adverse weather conditions in the Minch. Next scheduled sailing will be the Isle of Lewis' 0715 ex Stornoway tomorrow morning.

18/11/08 Changeover finally happened on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay run today, with Coruisk leaving Gourock and proceeding to Wemyss Bay, where she lay off until approx 1250. The rare spectacle of all three 3rd Generation Clyde ferries together was attained briefly this afternoon, as Argyle took the 1215 ex Wemyss Bay, Bute lay off with the 1145 ex Rothesay and Coruisk waited patiently to enter service. The latter then swapped places with Bute which in turn headed north for her overhaul. Coruisk will remain on the so-called 2A roster for the duration of her time on the Bute run, while first Argyle and then Bute will carry out the main roster.
Meanwhile, over on Bute, Loch Linnhe was out and about on trials around Rothesay Bay too this afternoon.

Picture: Saturn (Daily Bute / SoC Forum) Picture: Saturn (Daily Bute / SoC Forum) Picture: Saturn (Daily Bute / SoC Forum)
Loch Alainn conducting drills, Loch Linnhe out on trials and Coruisk arriving on Bute


17/11/08 Coruisk was noted out and about this afternoon undergoing sea trials following completion of her overhaul.
Further north, Pentalina B was noted on AIS leaving Loch Broom late this afternoon, indicating that she is continuing to carry out sailings in addition to the rostered overnight freight runs.

15/11/08 Loch Linnhe is now back at the inner harbour at Rothesay, having re-entered the water at Ardmaleish this morning. Her next tour of duty will see her relieving her sister Loch Striven at Raasay, however for the time being she will be lying at Rothesay while her maintenance work is completed.

14/11/08 Loch Buie did indeed sail early from Campbeltown this morning, passing through the Kilbrannan Sound and the Kyles of Bute before arriving at Rhubodach at 1130. She unloaded crew cars and then set sail for Ardmaleish where she was to go straight up onto the slip.

Picture: Saturn (Daily Bute / SoC Forum) Picture: Saturn (Daily Bute / SoC Forum) Picture: Saturn (Daily Bute / SoC Forum)
Loch Buie meeting Loch Alainn at Rhubodach and then Loch Linnhe at Ardmaleish

Elsewhere, Hebrides was running approximately 4 hours late this evening on her inward run from Tarbert to Uig. This was due to a combination of weather and technical problems. She returned to Uig and then sailed for Lochmaddy where she is staying the night.
Lochnevis was running late on her afternoon Armadale sailing. She actually sailed at 1500 from Mallaig on an additional sailing, which in turn delayed her 1600 run. Her Small Isles sailing was showing as disrupted earlier today.

13/11/08 Loch Buie was observed to the south of Gigha this afternoon. She is making for an overnight berth at Campbeltown later this evening and will continue to Bute tomorrow.
Isle of Mull arrived at Gourock at around 0720 this morning and unloaded crew cars before moving upriver to Garvel, entering the dry dock behind Loch Dunvegan.

Picture: neil0379 (SoC Forum) Picture: neil0379 (SoC Forum) Picture: neil0379 (SoC Forum)
Loch Dunvegan and Isle of Mull arriving at Garvel and Ali Cat joining Coruisk in JWD


12/11/08 Isle of Mull left Oban at 1800 this evening and will be sailing via the Sound of Islay and through the night to Gourock where she is to unload crew cars and then proceed to JWD. She will be going into Garvel dry dock along with Loch Dunvegan, now that Coruisk has vacated the dock. Lord of the Isles will now take the Mull and Colonsay sailings until the return of the regular vessel, from which time she will be relieving elsewhere.

11/11/08 A bit of normality today with not as many disruptions. However, the morning sailings to and from Arran were cancelled until the 1105 sailing from Brodick.
In the Western Isles, the first two round trips across the Sound of Barra were cancelled as Loch Bhrusda was stormbound. Hebrides was sailing to an amended timetable today (even more amended than running on a summer timetable in winter that is...) to clear traffic from yesterday, serving Harris all day with the exception of the 1400 round trip from Uig to Lochmaddy. As events turned out, Isle of Lewis was brought from Ullapool to Uig and she carried out an additional sailing to from Uig to Tarbert and back before returning to Ullapool and then Stornoway this evening. The chartered Pentalina B was noted as still being at Uig this morning, having not returned to Stornoway overnight.
Further south the Loch Ranza was again off service for a time this morning, while nearby, Hebridean Isles and Isle of Arran were both running to and from Port Askaig once more.

Loch Riddon spent last night at Tobermory and today proceeded down the west side of Mull to Fionnphort where she changed over with Loch Buie. The regular Iona ferry then made for an overnight berth at Craignure (we think) and should continue her journey tomorrow, with an eventual destination of Ardmaleish at the end of the week.

10/11/08 More routes affected today! See below:

CLYDE:
Caledonian Isles
diverted her 1105 ex Brodick sailing to Gourock and was in good company while she was there, for the Rothesay ferries were also using Gourock, and even Loch Dunvegan put in an appearance, making for the
shelter of the wires.
Picture: Buff Funnels Forever  (SoC Forum / Clydesights)
Jupiter off Dunoon
Picture: SoC Crew
Caledonian Isles and Argyle at Gourock
Loch Alainn left Gourock at 0845 this morning and battled through the swell, round Toward Point and into the Kyles of Bute where she took over the Colintraive - Rhubodach service.
Jupiter was off service for a while once again today, though this time it was due to the weather rather than technical problems. She did resume sailings from 1120, however by 1730 she was running late and it was decided to cancel all remaining sailings.
Loch Tarbert actually managed to sail to Lochranza and back, though by the time she returned she was an hour late - the 1515 ex Tarbert and 1545 ex Portavadie being cancelled as a result.

Picture: Saturn  (SoC Forum / Daily Bute) Picture: Saturn (SoC Forum / Daily Bute) Picture: SoC Crew
Loch Alainn, Loch Dunvegan and Caledonian Isles on the Clyde today

WESTERN ISLES:
Isle of Mull
ran an hour late on the 0700 sailing to Craignure and back this morning due to the weather and the remaining sailings during the day were also liable to running late or cancellation. As it was she didn't even attempt the 1200 sailing to Colonsay.
Lochnevis didn't venture out from Mallaig at all today, cancelling her morning and evening runs to and from Armadale and her round trip to the Small Isles.
Eigg didn't manage to get onto the slipway at Lismore on her 1000 sailing this morning. She returned to Oban where she remained stormbound for the rest of the day.
Hebrides was running very late again today, with the 0940 sailing from Uig leaving at 1400, and the 1400 leaving at 1800 etc... The scheduled 1600 inward sailing from Tarbert was cancelled, as was the 1800 sailing to Lochmaddy.
Loch Bhrusda failed to manage any sailings across the Sound of Barra today, remaining instead at Ardmhor. Similarly, Loch Buie was unable to get across the Sound of Iona today and Loch Ranza saw her service cancelled for the day.

From today the linkspan at Ullapool is closed while its cables are replaced. All vehicle traffic is being routed via Uig and Tarbert on the Hebrides, while Isle of Lewis will be doing a passenger only service from Stornoway to Ullapool at 0715 and back at 1715.

09/11/08 Autumn appears to have been bypassed altogether with winter becoming well established - at least in terms of the weather anyway. This was how things took shape today:

CLYDE:
Argyle
made for Wemyss Bay on her 0800 sailing from Rothesay, passing Loch Shira battling down towards Largs in

Picture: SoC Crew
Argyle and Jupiter off
Gourock

Picture: SoC Crew
Jupiter off duty at the wires
with Loch Alainn

the process, however after seeing the state of the swell at the pier, made a sharp turn and proceeded instead to Gourock, arriving at 0920. She then left at 1000 for Rothesay and continued to divert for the rest of the day. Bute did fare a little better, managing at one point to get in at Wemyss Bay, though she too was diverted during the afternoon and evening.
Jupiter missed her 0920 sailing, instead tying up at the wires to have an oil problem tended to while Argyle occupied the linkspan for the first call of the day. She then returned to service with the 1020 ex Gourock..
Loch Tarbert was noted running approx 15 minutes late at one point this afternoon, but at least she kept going!
WESTERN ISLES:
Clansman
failed altogether to get alongside both Coll and Tiree today, returning to Oban for 1500. She then remained in Oban while her 1530 sailing to the Outer Isles was cancelled. Her sister Hebrideswas also forced to suspend sailings for a while, with the situation due for review at 1400. She eventually sailed at 1620 for Lochmaddy.

In non weather-related news, Loch Riddon has left Rothesay (we're not sure exactly when) and is somewhere between there and Mull, where she is due to relieve the Loch Buie in the next few days.

08/11/08 A little disruption today, with Caledonian Isles once again spending tonight at Brodick, although rather than cancelling the first sailing tomorrow, she will carry out an unscheduled 0820 sailing from Brodick -weather permitting of course!
This evening's sailing to Islay will divert to Port Askaig instead of going to Port Ellen, while out in the Hebrides, Loch Bhrusda did not sail on her 1730 round trip.

07/11/08 Clansman is calling in reverse order at Castlebay and Lochboisdale today for technical reasons.

04/11/08 It was revealed today that when Muirneag goes for her overhaul this coming weekend, she is to be relieved by former CalMac vessel Iona, now sailing under the name Pentalina B. The former CalMac ferry has spent the last few months on livestock sailings out of Dover and is now being chartered back to her former owners for the second time (the first being when she sailed in tandem with Pioneer on the Oban - Craignure shuttle service while Isle of Mull in turn covered for a breakdown of the Isle of Lewis a decade ago). With Ullapool linkspan closing at the weekend, Pentalina B will carry out two sailings a day between Stornoway and Uig, while Isle of Lewis will sail in the mornings to Ullapool and returning in the evenings in a passenger-only mode. All vehicle traffic normally carried by Isle of Lewis will be redirected via Uig and will sail on Hebrides to Tarbert.

Elsewhere, Saturn is back in service following her overhaul and is currently carrying out sailings on the Gourock - Dunoon crossing while Jupiter lies at the wires.

03/11/08 Having undergone minor modifications at Ardmaleish, Loch Alainn left the Bute yard today and made her way to Gourock where she will lie until the time comes for her to relieve Loch Dunvegan on the Cointraive - Rhubodach crossing. This is expected to happen this coming weekend.
Coruisk took her place in Garvel dry dock today to undergo her annual overhaul.

 

 

Picture: Buff Funnels Forever (Clydesights / SoC Forum)
Loch Alainn heading for Gourock


01/11/08 Loch Alainn left Campbeltown early this morning and proceeded up the Kilbrannan Sound and via the Kyles of Bute to Rhubodach where she unloaded crew cars. Shortly afterwards she headed down to Ardmaleish where she met with Loch Linnhe. The smaller vessel had arrived earlier in the day and tied up at the pier. Loch Alainn was aligned with the slipway and then taken out of the water.

Picture: Saturn (SoC Forum / Daily Bute) Picture: Saturn (SoC Forum / Daily Bute) Picture: Saturn (SoC Forum / Daily Bute)
Loch Alainn, Loch Linnhe and Loch Dunvegan around Bute


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