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PLEASE NOTE: the Fleet News pages are no longer updated on a regular basis.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!
30/12/05 Western Isles:
Due to high volumes of traffic there will be an additional sailing from Craignure - Oban on Monday 2nd January 2006 at 1100.
The 1200 Oban - Colonsay sailing on Wednesday 4th January 2006 will operate the following revised schedule:- Depart Oban 1200, arrive Colonsay 1420, Depart Colonsay 1520, Arrive Oban 1740. (see external links above for more information)
29/12/05 Due to weather conditions Loch Buie was on 'Amber' alert today resulting in sailings likely to some disruption. The same applied for Loch Bhrusda on the Sound of Barra roster.
28/12/05 Western Isles:
Due to technical problems the Fishnish - Lochaline roster is currently off service, the Chargehand is hoping to resume sailing at 1600 ex Lochaline. Loch Linnhe on her way from Skye is now covering at Gigha to allow the Loch Ranza to move to Fairlie to await her overhaul. Loch Striven is confirmed back in service at Raasay now.

CalMac Confirms Money-Saving Move (external link to BBC's Website)

Picture: SoC
IoA and Loch Ranza at Fairlie Today

27/12/05 Clyde:
Caledonian Isles
has suffered a flood in the starboard lounge and as a result it was coned off today. Juno is still on the Dunoon run. Bute and Coruisk changed rosters yesterday - Bute is now on 2a till next Monday. There will be no sailings on the Ardrossan - Brodick roster at 1230 and 1350 on 07/01/06 and 09/01/06.

Western Isles:
Lord of the Isles
did the 0800 sailing from Oban this morning to Craignure in place of the Isle of Mull. Reason currently unknown.
26/12/05 Clyde:
Loch Fyne
was spotted arriving back at Largs at 1100, presumably to load crew cars ready to leave for Lochaline. She should be back in service on the Lochaline - Fishnish crossing in the next few days, allowing Isle of Cumbrae to return to the Clyde as spare vessel.

Update: Loch Fyne is reported to have called at Lochranza this afternoon. She may have been carrying a dangerous load, which the Caledonian Isles could not carry.

Picture: Conway McCulloch (
Loch Fyne arriving at Largs

25/12/05 There are NO services operating today for both CalMac and Northlink. A limited timetable will operate tomorrow. (see external links above for more information)
24/12/05 Clyde:
Loch Fyne
is still lying at Fairlie's inner berth so it looks like she will stay there over Christmas

Western Isles:
As per yesterdays news both
Hebridean Isles and the Lord of the Isles will depart at 0945, one sailing from Port Ellen and the other from Port Askaig both vessels bound for Kennacraig. (see external link above for updates).

Other News:
Today makes one year since Pioneer (now renamed Brenda Corlett) left the Clyde for her pastures new. She is reported to be settled down on her roster but a timetable has yet to be decided.

23/12/05 Clyde:
Loch Fyne departed JWD today heading for Fairlie, on her way down the Clyde she made a brief stop over at Largs outer berth. Loch Alainn followed the Loch Fyne down from JWD to Cumbrae Slip where she resumed service, taking over from the Loch Tarbert.

Western Isles:
Hebridean Isles has suffered some technical problems and was unable to take the 1800 sailing from Kennacraig to Port Ellen. A bus was laid on for all the foot passengers to go up to Oban and the Lord of the Isles is sailing down to Port Askaig at 1930 this evening. The 0700 hour service from Kennacraig tomorrow will operate as per timetable and there will be an 0945 sailing from Port Ellen AND from Port Askaig presumably using both the Hebridean Isles and the Lord of the Isles. Normal service will resume at 1300 ex Kennacraig.

Contest Narrows for CalMac Routes (external link to BBC's Website)

Picture: SoC
Loch Fyne & Isle of Arran @ Fairlie

22/12/05 Saturn suffered some engine trouble this morning with her gearbox so Juno took the Gourock - Dunoon sailings.

CalMac Press Realise:
CalMac Welcomes Oban Linkspan Go-Ahead (external link to CalMac's Website)
21/12/05 Western Isles:
Lord of the Isles
was missing from Oban this evening, presumed to be back in Craignure to allow both Isle of Mull and Clansman to occupy the berths.


Coruisk was today back on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay roster with the ex 1300 from Wemyss Bay along with Bute. Saturn is operating the Gourock - Dunoon roster to allow the Juno to lay-up for the winter. Loch Fyne and Loch Alainn emerged from James Watt Dock and there annual overhaul today. Loch Fyne was later sighted out on trials retuning to JWD at 1400. Loch Striven departed Rothesay this morning bound for Raasay, she will make a stop over in a unconfirmed location en-route.

Picture: SoC
Coruisk passes Bute off Toward

20/12/05 Western Isles:
Lord of the Isles
retuned to Oban as Isle of Mull regained her normal sailings. Hebrides suffered a snarled propeller today in Uig harbour. The debris which was apparently 'dumped' in the harbour got caught around her starboard propeller and she limped on one engine back to the pier where it was eventually removed by divers. See link below for more information.

Coruisk moved back to the wires (Gourock) after completing her annual overhaul. Loch Striven was out on trials from Rothesay today and is due to make fro Raasay tomorrow.

Picture: SoC
Hebrides at Uig 21/12/05

CalMac Press Realise:
CalMac to Raise Illegal Dumping Issues at Uig with Highland Council (external link to CalMac's Website)
19/12/05 Western Isles:
Isle of Mull
was out of service today with unknown bow damage, as a result the Lord of the Isles took her sailings including Colonsay. Lord of the Isles later vacated Oban in the evening to free up berths.

Loch Striven arrived back at Rothesay after her overhaul and is due to depart for her home waters on Wednesday 21/05/05.

Picture: SoC
Loch Striven at Rothesay Pier

18/12/05 Western Isles:
Lord of the Isles
berthed again tonight at Craignure to free up space in Oban while she is currently out of service.

Coruisk, currently in JWD was undergoing her annual overhaul with some work on her bridge mast being completed (see picture).

Picture: John Crae (
Coruisk at JWD

17/12/05 Western Isles:
Lord of the Isles
berthed tonight at Craignure to free up space in Oban while she is currently out of service. It is reported that Laig Bay has been sold from the fleet to a unknown owner in the Oban area.
15/12/05 A change to the timetable for the Barra - Eriskay ferry Loch Bhrusda will be in operation on the 26/12/05. Intending travellers should note that this timetable replaces existing published times and is NOT an additional sailing. (see external link above for more information).

Caledonian MacBrayne today announced an invitation for a one year tender which involves the supply and crew of a vessel. The route is the Monday to Friday Gourock - Dunoon Passenger only roster (1A) run currently by the chartered Ali Cat. The three daily sailings will commence on the 1st April 2006 after Ali Cats current charter ends on the 30th March 2006. Interested operators are asked to submit there proposals to the company by 28th December 2005.
13/12/05 CalMac Press Realise:
CalMac respond to CNES Vice Convenor on MV Muirneag (external link to CalMac's Website)
12/12/05 Coruisk was sighted heading up Holy Loch this morning at 0920 where she stayed for sometime. She was making her debut call at Sandbank Pier up the Loch.

The Following Extract from Clyde Shipping explains more:
Following the example set by Western Ferries a couple of years ago, Caledonian MacBrayne have now elected to dry-dock certain fleet members every other year, instead of annually as before. This is permissible for vessels where the main propulsion units can be lifted out whilst the vessel remains afloat, and Coruisk is one such vessel. However, the MCA insist on having an underwater inspection carried out, by divers using video equipment, and can still require that a vessel is

Picture: John Newth (
Coruisk at Sandbank Pier

  dry-docked if there's any sign on anything untoward. Today, Coruisk was having an underwater survey carried out by Shearwater, the Sandbank-based commercial diving company, as part of her annual Passenger Certificate survey. Once this was finished, she left Sandbank and headed (via Gourock) to the James Watt Dock where the rest of her overhaul will take place.
11/12/05 It was noted this evening that Bute was berthed stern into Wemyss Bay necessitating a HGV to reverse onto her. Reason currently unknown.
The Press and Journal, Scotland 11:56 7-Dec-05

Work is to start on a 2.75million second ferry linkspan for Oban early in the new year. But ferry operators Caledonian MacBrayne said yesterday the facility, which will speed up ferry traffic using the busy port, will not be ready for operation until the 2007 season. A drilling rig in Oban Bay, which is competing with McCaig's Tower as a town landmark, has enabled bore holes to be dug to test the seabed in preparation for the linkspan structure. Hugh Dan MacLennan, CalMac's public affairs manager, said: "The rig is just parked there now, it has done the site investigation. It has been testing the floor of the bay for depth and mapping out what is there." "We are just concluding some negotiations with potential contractors, which should enable us to set a timeframe to the project. "Some work will be carried out early next year but it will not be completed for next summer, that is for sure, and we have given a commitment not to work during the summer. "The exact timeframe cannot be established yet but we would be looking to get it into operation for the 2007 season." Mr MacLennan promised that as soon as all the final details were available the company would be holding another meeting with fishermen and other pier users to give them a progress report. Various user groups objected to the original linkspan proposal because it will permanently reduce the berthing space at the pier. But the project, which CalMac says is needed to cope with the growing amount of ferry traffic at Oban, was approved following a public local inquiry earlier this year. Berthing space at the Railway Pier will be reduced while the linkspan work goes ahead and CalMac is trying to identify ways of limiting the impact on users. Mr MacLennan said when the project originally got the go-ahead: "You can't possibly build something like this without disruption, but what we have to try and do is to minimise the ferry disruption and the disruption to all the businesses that rely on the harbour." The company has agreed to dredge the harbour to give a deeper berthing space for fishing boats. Arrangements will be made for fuel facilities to be moved around the pier.
10/12/05 Isle of Mull left Merseyside after her completed overhaul today around 1800 and is heading back to home waters in Scotland. She has had a internal re-vamp of her lounge area, the layout remains the same but a new carpet and curtains have been fitted. Coruisk will go into dock on Monday 12/12/05 for her annual overhaul being relieved by the Saturn who is now back in service after her annual overhaul

Picture: SoC
Isle of Mull's new lounge

09/12/05 Saturn has been fitted with an additional passenger loading platform on her main deck to allow her to use the new walkways at all levels of tide. The new structure if fitted where the current gangway entrance used to be. It looks like a temporary / permanent (if it can be called that) structure.
07/12/05 Saturn was sighted out on trails today clearing the channel at 1215 heading out the ToB. She headed for Wemyss Bay where she abruptly turned around and headed back up-river to complete her annual overhaul.

Picture: John Crae (
Saturn on trials today

05/12/05 Loch Alainn and later Loch Fyne were both sighted heading up river towards dry docking at Garvel for there annual overhaul. Clyde Marines tugs Beaver Bay and Biter eased Saturn from Garvel dry-dock at 1345 and assisted her into JWD for final touches. Loch Tarbert has moved from lay-up at Rosneath to Largs to replace the Loch Alainn. Soon after the Loch Alainn arrived and entered the dry-dock at 1400. She was soon followed by her fleet mate Loch Fyne at roughly 1425.
Caledonian Isles is due to go to Aberdeen for her annual refit & overhaul in a month (roughly around the 5th of January). Clansman will be standing in for her duty as per previous year. Coruisk has returned to normal service after her absence yesterday.

Picture: John Crae (
Saturn being assisted into JWD

04/12/05 At roughly 0800 Coruisk apparently suffered a technical problem with her engines. As far as we can gather this problem lasted for roughly a hour whilst she drifted towards Millport. As a result the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay service was slightly altered and the 1215 ex Rothesay & 1300 sailings ex Wemyss Bay have been cancelled. Later and apparently still suffering technical difficulties the route was operating a one vessel service with the Bute and the following sailings have been cancelled; Ex Rothesay 1515, 1645, & 1815 Ex Wemyss Bay 1300, 1600, 1730, & 1900. Coruisk appears to be in Rothesay tied up undergoing maintenance.
Jupiter and Loch Tarbert are both at Gareloch for winter 'hibernation' until they are needed or there summer rosters have begun.
Loch Striven on her way for her overhaul on the Clyde, berthed last night at Tobermory.

Picture: Charles McCrossan  (
Jupiter and Loch Tarbert at Rosneath

03/12/05 Loch Buie left Rothesay late on Wednesday 30/11 and took over her own run between Fionnphort and Iona this morning. Loch Linnhe has gone to Raasay via Mallaig to relive on the Sconser crossing which has allowed the Loch Striven to head for her overhaul.
02/12/05 Loch Fyne has arrived in Gourock ready for her annual overhaul at JWD. She is currently sitting at the wires berth while Juno is currently on the Gourock - Dunoon roster. Isle of Cumbrae is now relieving on the Lochaline - Fishnish crossing until just before Christmas.

Reported in the Arran Banner - Saturday 3rd December

'Ardrossan Pier struck by Arran Ferry'

Friday 25th November, MV Caledonian Isles was involved in a collision with the pier at Ardrossan

A spokesperson for Cal Mac said : 'Minor damage was sustained by the ferry after it hit the pier at Ardrossan on Friday afternoon. This was a weather related incident. The MV Caledonian Isles was virtually the only vessel in our fleet to sail on Friday because of the weather conditions.'

1640 sailing arriving in Ardrossan 'seemed to go nose first into the pier & took a chunk of concrete out of it'. This passenger quoted believed that the hull had been punctured above the water line leaving a hole the size of a golf ball.

The boat was welded at Ardrossan & all work was completed on site. The ferry eventually left Ardrossan & returned to Brodick at 10.50pm. The spokesperson continued: 'Sourcing welders contributed to the time factor as did thorough checks afterwards to ensure the repairs had been successful. The work was inspected by CalMac staff and MCA. This occurence is nothing out of the ordinary. Ferries make contact with the piers on a regular basis. By Saturday everything was back to normal & it was business as usual.'

News Logs:
Click HERE to see the other months' fleet news logs

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