View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 25 May 2009

Boats galore - II

The ferry has finally left Stornoway, 9 (or 2) hours late. It had technical problems with its bowdoor. Whether these are now fixed I don't know. I can imagine there is a bunch of very fed-up passengers on board.

The cruiseliner Spirit of Adventure is still docked on the other side of the ferry pier. A number of its passengers were taken on tours of the island by coach, as is customary. Weather not too good; although the sun is out, there are some showers about and it feels cold. The other cruiseliner, Quest, is docked on the near side of pier number 1.

The Reaper has moved from the quay at Amity House to Lazy Corner, and was open for visitors today. The crew showed the interested (myself included) round. Tomorrow, they will continue on their round Scotland trip to Scrabster, 20 miles west of John o'Groats.

And I had the very minor inconvenience of an acute boot lace failure. Fortunately, Lewis Crofters had replacement laces, so that was easily sorted.

Missing walker found

The 60-year old walker who was missing around Glen Finnan, has been traced alive and well to Barrisdale in Knoydart, 20 miles away to the north. Automated messages were not being transmitted due to a fault in equipment. The man is continuing on his way to Cape Wrath.

Pointless in the 21st century

I found out last week or so that MSN Encarta is closing down. This morning, they have a list of 10 pointless things in the 21st century, and I can't say I agree with some of it.

Item 10: Ties serve a purpose; they started out as a lady's kerchief, that her champion knight would wear round his neck as he defended her honour. The 16th century ruff did have a purpose; they hid the scars, left on someone's skin if they were suffering from syphilis. That's a sexually transmitted disease with some very nasty symptoms.

Boats galore

Four big boats in port this morning, plus one smaller one - which is about four more than average. The MV Isle of Lewis, the ferry to the mainland, is tied up with bowdoor trouble. She had to sail with its bowdoor closed all week last week, meaning every vehicle had to come and go through the sterndoor; last night, I was going to see the FV Reaper (an old fishing boat), when I noticed the Isle of Lewis with its bowdoor open.

This morning, I was up at the unearthly hour of 7.45, and I saw a small cruiseliner in Glumag Harbour: the Quest. She has been in twice already this season, but was awaiting the arrival of the Spirit of Adventure, a much larger boat. This inched its way into a berth alongside number 3 pier, opposite the ferry. AIS tells me the Quest is docked now as well, by the look of it along number 2 pier. I cannot check it out from my position, as the Spirit of Adventure is blocking my view.

The Reaper is a herring drifter, built in 1902, which has seen service up and down the Scottish east coast. I may pop along later today.