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29/12/04 Clansman sailed through the night from Oban to Gourock where she berthed at 0625 to offload crew cars. She then sailed to JWD for repairs to her bow visor, following her recent incident in the Western Isles.  Isle of Mull will be joining her Oban fleetmate tomorrow following a totally separate incident. Isle of Mull has also been involved in a collision in Oban. Whilst manoeuvring into the linkspan berth she hit Lord of the Isles causing some superficial damage to the latter. It is reported that Isle of Mull's stern was punctured about 1 metre above the waterline. The crew of Lord of the Isles were observed hosing her visor, presumably to check the seal is not compromised and that she can continue in service. With Clansman in JWD at present it would appear that Isle of Arran will be in service covering for the damaged Isle of Mull, which is to sail at 0530 tomorrow,  until Clansman returns on 2nd January.

Brenda Corlett (formerly Pioneer) is now reported to have set sail from Falmouth and is leaving British waters for probably the last time.



Isle of Lewis is stormbound at Ullapool and consequently her 1715 sailing to Stornoway and tomorrow's 0715 return to Ullapool have been cancelled. Loch Portain's 1330 ex Berneray and 1440 ex Leverburgh are both cancelled - no extra sailings can be made due to the poor weather. Loch Bhrusda is stormbound at Ardmhor and the 1710 to Eriskay and 1815 return are both cancelled. Lochnevis's 1600 sailing to Armadale and return are cancelled due to weather conditions. The 1630 ex Gigha and 1700 ex Tayinloan are both cancelled due to the weather. The 1600 sailing from Wemyss Bay and 1645 from Rothesay were both cancelled due to the vessel being unable to berth at Wemyss Bay. Coruisk and Saturn were both diverted to Gourock, with Saturn  performing an 1830 sailing to Rothesay which was the last sailing of the day.

Elsewhere, Brenda Corlett is now to be seen in Falmouth Bay, anchored offshore. She will sail for Gibraltar at 2359 on Thursday night.

Northlink: Due to poor weather conditions and in the interests of safety the 0345 from Stromness and 0600 from Scrabster tomorrow morning have been cancelled and will not be running.

24/12/04 14:15 NEWS FLASH: We have just received reports that Brenda Colett (ex Pioneer) is about to depart James Watt Dock for Gibraltar - more information as we receive it...
  14:20 Brenda Corlett has now left James Watt Dock and is heading down the Clyde estuary.
  14:25 She's just passed Waterfront leisure centre.
  14:53 Pioneer sited off Inverkip with pilot boat along site making its way down river. The pilot boat left the side of Pioneer at 14:53 and swung away and headed back up river. Pioneer is now heading towards the open sea and looking in fine condition...
  This will be the last time that faithful and respected Pioneer will see of her home waters. Good Luck from the SoC Team and all on her long Voyage to a new career. She will be greatly missed.
  More Updates on her Progress to Follow...
  Left: Just leaving JWD and about to embark on part one of her long voyage. Picture: David Watson


  Right: Progress Map Showing Latest Reported Information and Position. Updated when we receive additional Data.

Left: Making her final passage down the Clyde for the open sea. Picture: Gerry Deegan


  Other News...
  From North Tonight: Cal Mac 'rescue' Santa Claus. The ferry company Caledonian MacBrayne have sailed to the rescue of Santa Claus in the Western Isles. Along with his reindeer he'd been due to attend a Christmas Fair in Lewis. But, as we all know, the magical animals can only fly on Christmas Eve, so in a festive gesture Cal Mac stepped in. Read the Full Story and Video HERE.
More high winds have hit the country and the following  routes have been affected... Colintraive / Rhubodach was for a time suspended but is now back on as timetabled. Loch Dunvegan, having recently completed her overhaul and ramp replacement was stormbound earlier today. Wemyss Bay / Rothesay  sailings had been affected by winds but Coruisk was observed sailing throughout. This timetable is now back to normal. Largs / Cumbrae Slip service is suspended until further notice. Following earlier gales, Loch Buie picked up the Iona service with the 1015 ex Fionnphort sailing. The 1350 ex Brodick and 1515 ex Ardrossan were cancelled. Isle of Mull's 0645 sailing to Coll and Tiree were delayed by nearly two hours this morning. Loch Bhrusda had been stormbound at Ardmhor, missing her morning sailing although an extra sailing was slotted in at 1100 ex Barra and 1145 ex Eriskay. The timetable was picked up with the 1230 ex Ardmhor. After earlier disruption the Tayinloan / Gigha sailing is now back to timetable. This morning's sailing from Mallaig to Armadale and return were cancelled. Loch Riddon's 1215 ex Tarbert and 1345 ex Lochranza were cancelled. Next scheduled sailing being Christmas Eve. A technical problem on Raasay saw the 1000 ex Tobermory and 1045 ex Kilchoan sailings cancelled. Hebridean Isles was diverted to Port Ellen this afternoon due to weather conditions making berthing difficult at Port Askaig.

Other news to report is that Isle of Arran is now at Oban's North Pier, having crossed over from Craignure. She is still there ready to step in to relieve Clansman, the latter having damaged her bow visor some days ago. Clansman was today subject to delays on the Craignure route. Jupiter is now back at Gourock ready to go back into service.

21/12/04 An update from Oban: Isle of Mull has taken over Clansman's Coll, Tiree, Barra and 'Boisdale schedule at Oban. Due to Clansman's bow visor seal leaking, she is restricted to the Mull service only. Clansman is due to go dock on Thursday for repairs. Isle of Arran is currently berthed at Craignure and Lord of the Isles at Tobermory to take over as required for Colonsay etc. CalMac now have 50% of their major units based in this area. Isle of Arran was berthed at the Railway Pier today having returned late from Tiree, causing Clansman to circle in the Firth of Lorne, awaiting a berth for Craignure traffic. Looks like they could do with the second link span NOW...
  A revised timetable for the NorthLink Pentland Firth service will begin in February following recent discussions with local communities. Delaying the start of the revised 2005 timetable for Scrabster to Stromness should allow haulage companies more time to find ways to adjust to the new schedule. More Information Available from NorthLink's website above.
  The tolls on the Skye Bridge have been abolished today from 07:30 this morning resulting in a uncertain future for the Mallaig to Armadale ferry. It is possible CalMac will give it the 2005 summer season to see what happens but could it mean the Coruisk based permanently on the Clyde or chartered. With two new ferries on order for the Rothesay run and Dunoon in the eaves of privatisation her future could be a rather interesting one...
Disruptions: Northlink: Pentland Firth route cancellations. Due to adverse weather conditions and in the interest of passenger safety and comfort, the 16:30 sailing from Stromness and the 19:00 sailing from Scrabster have been cancelled. The 03:45 sailing from Stromness and the 06:00 sailing from Scrabster on Wednesday 22nd December have also been cancelled. The next scheduled sailing will depart Stromness at 09:00 Wednesday 22nd December to arrive in Scrabster at 10:30.
  CalMac: Notice of change to scheduled sailing Craignure - Oban 24/12/2004 Friday 24th December 2004 Customers are advised that due to operational reasons the 2230 Craignure to Oban sailing on 24th December 2004 has been cancelled.
20/12/04 It was Craignure that either Isle of Arran or Lord of the Isles was berthed at on Sunday not Oban. Today, Monday 20th, Clansman lay alongside at Oban from 1100. It is unclear which vessel did the morning Mull and Colonsay service but presumably the mystery ship from Craignure. Isle of Mull returned to Oban from Barra and took the 1600 to Mull at 1610. At 17:55 Clansman is still at Railway Pier, Isle of Mull is at the linkspan. Clansman's port side visor has been scraped leaving scuffed paint and a dent from Saturdays ordeal. Nothing too substantial we understand. On the Clyde: Jupiter has emerged from JWD on trails after her overhaul. It is expected that she will also spend tonight in the dock.
19/12/04 Update from yesterdays Fleet News: Today Isle of Mull departed before Clansman at 1530 presumably on Barra run, Clansman then loaded about 60 / 70 cars by her stern ramp and departed 1600. As of 17:00 it is unclear if she replaced Isle of Mull due to Heavy Traffic or because of bow visor problems. Either Isle of Arran or Lord of the Isles is currently berthed at Oban Pier.
18/12/04 It is possible that the Isle of Mull broke down on Friday afternoon in Oban, Updates to follow. Clansman hit something - possibly the pier during a gust of wind at Oban terminal and fractured her bow visor / ramp, her current status in unknown, she was sighted leaving Oban later today possibly back in service. The Isle of Arran as reported yesterday didn't go into James Watt Dock but is presumably heading for Oban to cover for either the Isle of Mull or Clansman. She left Gourock pier around 1830 on Friday night.
17/12/04 Northlink: There was no early morning Pentland Firth Route this morning. Hamnavoe departed Stromness at 09:00 to arrive in Scrabster at 10:30.The next scheduled sailing will depart Scrabster at 12:00 to arrive in Stromness at 13:30. This was due to heavy winds.
Isle of Arran attempted to relocate from Gourock to JWD but had to abort due to squally winds. She returned to Gourock and tied up at the wires berth. Isle of Cumbrae has returned to her winter role of spare vessel, having handed the Kyles of Bute crossing back to Loch Dunvegan. The Cumbrae is now tied up at the inner berth at Rothesay where she will remain until required for further relief duties.
  All CalMac routes appear to be back to normal.
The strong winds sweeping across the country are causing disruptions to the following: Fionnphort / Iona service cancelled due to severe weather conditions. Ardmhor (Barra) / Eriskay service: 1230 ex Barra and 1410 ex Eriskay cancelled. Oban / Barra / Uist 1530 service cancelled - next sailing will be the scheduled 0930 departure tomorrow morning. Oban / Coll / Tiree service cancelled today, although there is the chance of an extra sailing tomorrow - to be confirmed. Mallaig / Armadale afternoon return crossing cancelled due to poor weather in the Sound of Sleat. Sconser / Raasay sailings cancelled due to earlier technical problem but later due to worsening weather conditions. Mallaig / Small Isles service cancelled due to weather. Tobermory / Kilchoan service cancelled - Raasay left Mull as scheduled at 1000 this morning but had to turn back off Kilchoan, unable to berth safely - the chargehand advised that later sailings would probably be cancelled. Lochaline / Fishnish sailings cancelled due to sever weather in the Sound of Mull. This afternoon's sailing on Ballycastle / Rathlin route cancelled due to adverse weather. Tarbert / Lochranza sailing cancelled due to weather. Wemyss Bay / Rothesay 1515 and 1600 departures from Bute and mainland respectively are cancelled. All Ardrossan / Brodick sailings are cancelled. Tarbert / Portavadie sailings cancelled. Colintraive / Rhubodach service has been cancelled. And finally -  all Tayinloan / Gigha sailings are also cancelled.

As there was no sailing out to the small isles today, there will be an additional call at Rum tommorow; the timetable will be as follows:
Dep Mallaig 1020 Arr Eigg 1140 Dep Eigg 1200 Arr Muck 1230 Dep Muck 1250 Arr Rum 1400 Dep Rum 1420 Arr Mallaig 1540

Please Note: For Up-to-date Information and Service Changes Check the Official Site Here
Northlink: sailings appear to be running to schedule.

15/12/04 MCA reports that Lord of the Isles offered assistance to a Norwegian flagged coaster which suffered engine problems and was drifting close to Inish Island near Mull in high winds yesterday afternoon. BBC news website reports that the Stina, a 76-metre vessel, was escorted into Oban harbour at around 10pm. Not sure if LOTI had any role beyond the offering of assistance though.
  All CalMac services seem to be back to normal now.
14/12/04 Isle of Mull has returned from overhaul and is now lying off Oban pier off duty. Juno and Coruisk are diverted to Gourock instead of Wemyss Bay due to high winds. Saturn is running late on the Dunoon run. Coruisk headed to Gourock with the 0710 sailing from Rothesay, but Juno is currently tied up at Rothesay Pier due to mechanical troubles (situation, to be reassessed at 11am).
Update: Juno remained tied up at Rothesay for virtually the whole day, from 8am to 5.30pm, when she completed one return sailing to Wemyss Bay (though even this arrived back at Rothesay some 20 minutes late). Coruisk's day consisted of three return trips between Rothesay and Gourock. Both ships tied up for the night early.
Disruptions: Inner Isles Service Due to adverse weather conditions, the 06.45 sailing to Coll & Tiree has been delayed until 0900 hrs and the vessel will only be making one visit to Coll. Tayinloan / Gigha Service Due to adverse weather the 0740 and 0800 sailings have been cancelled on the above route. Kennacraig / Islay Service The 0700 hours sailing to Port Ellen on Islay has been diverted to Port Askaig due to adverse weather conditions. Fionnphort/Iona Service Sailings cancelled meantime due to weather conditions will look again at 10.00hrs. Wemyss Bay / Rothesay Service The following sailings have been cancelled on the above route - 12.15 & 13.00 ex Wemyss Bay & also 13.00 ex Rothesay. Mallaig / Armadale Service The 0840 sailing ex Mallaig and the 0930 sailing ex Armadale are both cancelled due to adverse weather. Tarbert / Lochranza Service Please be advised that due to adverse weather the 1215 sailing from Tarbert to Lochranza and the 1345 from Lochranza back to Tarbert have been cancelled. Next sailing from Tarbert to Lochranza will be 1215 tomorrow.
  Please Note: For Up-to-date Information and Service Changes Check the Official Site Here
  Northlink: sailings appear to be running to schedule.
13/12/04 Loch Tarbert has abandoned her timetable on the Fishnish - Lochaline run and is undertaking shuttle runs to clear back logged traffic. Her capacity is smaller than that of the Loch Fyne normally employed on this service and currently on overhaul.
  Clansman returned via Craignure this evening from the outer isles. Lord of the Isles was nowhere to be seen at 15:00 and was supposed to do the 16:00 to Craignure from Oban and back. She was possible storm bound in a bay. Eigg arrived back at Oban at 18:20 fully loaded presumably making a call at Craignure to clear traffic.
Disruption: Ardrossan-Brodick Service Due to operational reasons, the 1230 sailing ex Ardrossan and the 1350 sailing ex Brodick have been cancelled.
11/12/04 Muirneag is reported to been seen in the mouth of Loch Grimshader to to shelter from a gale, she came into Stornoway first but could not berth due to strong winds off no1 pier. She left Harbour and headed for Loch Grimshader and later berthed at 4PM back at No1. Isle of Lewis was also late arriving in to Ullapool at 5.30PM. Stuart Macleod
  Loch Fyne has appeared at Largs today on her way for annual overhaul in JWD, Gourock. She berthed there at the slipway briefly and then waited off to allow the Loch Alainn to use the slip. Just before 3pm the Loch Fyne joined her sister Loch Dunvegan in James Watt Dock - it is now quite rare to see the two Ferguson-built vessels together having both been running mates on the Skye service before the bridge opened. The difference between the once identical sisters ramps can be clearly seen now both lye together.
  Ongoing work to remove old rusted paint on Brenda Corlett (ex Pioneer) is continuing in JWD. Fresh Water tanks for the long voyage to Gibraltar and onward to Africa have been added to her car deck a few days ago.
09/12/04 Fionnphort - Iona Service Due to adverse weather conditions, today's sailings between Fionnphort and Iona have been cancelled until further notice. For more information please contact local Caledonian MacBrayne port.
08/12/04 (18:14)
Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has welcomed the Minister for Transport’s announcement of major funding for two new vessels and associated infrastructure works in the coming years...

The announcements, confirmed by Minister for Transport Nicol Stephen in Parliament today (Wednesday, December 8) arise from the Executive’s  2004 Spending Review, which considered CalMac’s long-term capital investment needs.

The Minister has confirmed that CalMac should order a further 2 new vessels.  The first will be a second new vessel for Wemyss Bay-Rothesay service costing an estimated £9.5 million.  The other new vessel will serve on the Largs-Cumbrae route, costing an estimated £5.8 million.  Both new vessels are likely to come into service by 2007.

CalMac Managing Director Lawrie Sinclair said: “CalMac is delighted to have confirmation today of the new build commitment. We are currently building a new ship for the WemyssBay to Rothesay service and this will enable us to further enhance the links between the island and the mainland. It is vitally important now that all the relevant organisations come together to improve the infrastructure to enable us to operate at maximum efficiency and that means having a new linkspan in place in Rothesay as quickly as possible. The new vessel for Largs to Cumbrae slip is also great news in that it benefits the Oban to Lismore service which will see one the current Largs vessel cascaded to Oban to work that route bringing with it significant improvements in terms of capacity”.

The ordering of new vessels will be conducted in accordance with EU public procurement procedures and Mr. Sinclair confirmed that the process will begin immediately with a view to both new vessels being in operation by 2007. The Company will place individual orders in accordance with those procurement procedures with value for money, reliability and delivery being key factors.

In addition to the ongoing terminal developments at Oban the Executive also confirmed today that it plans to provide Piers and Harbours Grants to CalMac towards new projects totalling around £15.8 million over the period to March 2008.  These new projects include a major upgrade of berthing facilities at Kennacraig, which serves the route to Islay, and works at Largs, Cumbrae Slip, WemyssBay, and Lismore to accommodate the vessels to be introduced, as well as a replacement linkspan at Brodick.

CalMac Chairman Dr Harold Mills said: “ We are obviously also delighted that the Minister has agreed to look further at CalMac’s future capital investment needs, in particular for Islay, following recent appraisal work carried out by CalMac. Enhancements to that service now moves to the top of our wish-list and we look forward to receiving Ministerial guidance on that in due course.”

  Press Release From Caledonian MacBrayne -
BBC NEWS PRESS CENTRE Also in the News...
BBC NEWS LINK "Executive Loses Vote on Ferries"
Disruptions: Small Isles Service: The Lochnevis's call at Muck and second call at Eigg have been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.
06/12/04 Fionnphort - Iona Service: Due to adverse weather conditions, today's sailings may be liable to disruptions or cancellations. For further information please contact local port.
  Northlink: Cancellations Affecting the Pentland Firth Route: Hamnavoe arrived in Stromness at 13:30. Due to adverse weather conditions, the 16:30 sailing from Stromness to Scrabster and the 19:00 sailing from Scrabster to Stromness on Monday 6th December and the 03:45 sailing from Stromness to Scrabster and the 06:00 sailing from Scrabster to Stromness on Tuesday 7th December have been cancelled. Hamnavoe is scheduled to depart Stromness at 09:00 to arrive in Scrabster at 10:30 on Tuesday 7th December. All other NorthLink sailings are to schedule.
05/12/04 Coruisk's Overhaul Changes: On the top deck the deckhouse under the wheelhouse has been extended outwards across the deck leaving only a narrow passageway between the forward and aft ends of the deck. The deckhouse now contains five cabins as opposed to three previously. On the port side the gallery deck, except for the gangway gate at the forward end, has been totally enclosed; this now contains two additional rooms one of which is a provision store while the other is a drying room for the crew. There are the new stairs fitted up to each of the four rope handling areas. These provide quicker access to these area compared to the previous ladders. Yesterday she was carrying one more seaman than last winter and had a qualified Mate as opposed to the Chargehand / Second Mate of her first season.
  Loch Dunvegan seems to be having slight problems with her new hydraulic ramps. She has gained an entirely new set up including toe plates which seem to be he problem on slipways.
04/12/04 As of 23:15pm it is not yet reported that Brenda Corlett (ex Pioneer) has left the Clyde area. Her port of registry has however changed from Glasgow to Kingstown on the hull. It seems Loch Dunvegan had some sort of mechanical problem with her new ramps or gear. She was sighted passing McInroys Point, heading back to Greenock. She was being escorted by the Clyde Marine tug Biter.
03/12/04 Coruisk is in service on the secondary Rothesay roster today in place of MV Jupiter. She took up service on the 0930 ex Wemyss Bay. Loch Dunvegan was sighted heading down river from JWD at about 09:45 this morning complete with newly fitted ramps, she is presumably heading back into service. Jupiter has arrived at Garvel Dock for her annual overhaul, depending on which sister is sold first - this could be her last overhaul before withdrawal and the entering of service of the new Bute.
  News Flash: There are rumours that Brenda Corlett (ex Pioneer) is due to leave the Clyde sometime tomorrow, as of this evening we are still unclear weather she will go for compass trials and checks before she heads for Gibraltar - stay tuned for updates.
02/12/04 Today marks the 30th anniversary of MV Juno entering service on the Upper Clyde. She was a development of Jupiter's design with such features as her flying bridge - something which was subsequently added to her elder sister.

01/12/04 Clansman is currently covering for the Isle of Mull on the Oban - Craignure run and her additional duties. Isle of Mull has gone to Birkenhead for her annual overhaul.
News Logs:
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