Western Isles Report

Waverley resting at North Pier, Oban on 5 May 2008 (Jim McIntosh)

Report from "Cruising Monthly" - the journal of the Coastal Cruising Association:

After 29 weeks lay up alongside Glasgow Science Centre, WAVERLEY resumed service on Friday 2 May 2008 with the 0700 Glasgow-Greenock-Campbeltown-Oban sailing, which was unable to call at Port Ellen due to wind and swell conditions, making the difficult approach and exit at this port even more problematic. Unusually WAVERLEY cruised (both going and returning) via the Sound of Gigha giving excellent views of Cara Island, Gigha and Tayinloan. Arrival in Oban was 35 minutes early.

Wind and swell conditions on Saturday 3 May also forced a change of plan with a cruise through the small isles with time ashore at Armadale, both of which would be exposed in the prevailing weather conditions, replaced by a cruise close into Ardnamurchan and the coasts of Moidart and Arisaig and continuing up Loch Nevis beyond Invene to Tarbert. Over 500 passengers were aboard on the Saturday while on Sunday over 650 passengers took the paddler’s ‘Four Lochs Cruise’ to Lochs Shuna, Melfort, Craignish and Crinan and the Corryvreckan Whirlpool in heavy rain, the only unpleasant day of the weekend; fortunately WAVERLEY’s morning and evening runs to Fort William were in slightly dryer conditions.

Almost 500 passengers enjoyed WAVERLEY’s annual trip to lona on Mon 5 May in ‘cracking’ conditions where ULLIN OF STAFFA tendered the paddler single-handed. The Tuesday trip south saw WAVERLEY routed outside Kerrera and then via the Firth of Lorne, Gulf of Corryvreckan, Sound of Jura, Sound of Gigha, Mull of Kintyre, Campbeltown (call), Kilbrannan Sound, and then most unusually, via the Kyles of Bute to Greenock — a magnificent end to a splendid weekend — thank you WAVERLEY and Captain Colledge.

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