View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Wednesday 13 February

A very wild day to start with, and the gale did not subside until the second half of the afternoon. Winds touched force 9 in the southern isles, leading to extensive cancellations and delays on the ferry network. Nonetheless, people served on the Uig / Tarbert / Lochmaddy triangular route felt it necessary to moan about the cancellations suffered by replacement ferry MV Finlaggan. Their regular boat, the MV Hebrides, has been on the Stornoway to Ullapool route, and the Uisteachs are demanding their boat back as the Finlaggan is allegedly unfit for purpose. Well, I'm sure that the Finlaggan would not be sailing here if she was not licensed. Breakdowns can happen at any time, and to any boat - the Hebrides did not sail this morning due to a breakdown. I think people would come down like a ton of bricks on Calmac if anything happened because a vessel went out in unsuitable conditions. It has been a very wild few weeks, and disruptions to the ferry service are to be expected. It is the Hebrides, not the Med.

Tuesday 12 February

Although the day started brightly, cloud gradually increased and so did the wind later in the day. The remnants of a major snowstorm in the eastern USA, nicknamed Nemo, is on its way in, and will give us much wind. The mainland can expect a lot of snow. Although that would be welcome for the ski centres, one of them suffered a major malfunction, when a skilift derailed. Six people were hurt, and 36 others were stuck on the lift for up to 90 minutes. In strong winds and temps of -2C, this made it all a bit cold. The Health & Safety Executive is due to investigate the accident.

I am quite disgusted with the mess surrounding the horse meat scandal. Everybody blaming everybody else, and there is an almost impossibly complicated tangled web of meat, crossing up to half a dozen border from beast to fork. For American readers, processed food that claimed to contain 100% beef was found to contain up to 100% horse meat. In the UK, eating horsemeat is almost anathema. At any rate, it is in flagrant violation of the Trade Descriptions Act, which stipulates that labelling should accurately represent the content.

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