View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Saturday 5 October

An overcast and at times wet day, with the wind picking up to force 6 in the evening. Our ferry, the Isle of Lewis decided to break her propshaft last night, so she couldn't go out. Although she still has one engine to run on, this still means she can't carry passengers. At midday, the ferry departed for Greenock (near Glasgow) for repairs, and there was no ferry service to Ullapool today at all. Meantime, the Hebrides, which does the run between Uig and Tarbert (Harris) will be deployed to our waters tomorrow, and the Finlaggan (which normally does the Islay run) will go to the Uig - Tarbert/Lochmaddy triangle today. After last winter's shenanigans, the Finlaggan is really popular there. I'm being sarcastic; there were more cancellations than sailings, and I could just about hear the collective moan from the Uists this afternoon when that name was mentioned. The Isle of Lewis will be out of action for a number of days, even now she has only just passed Oban on her way to Glasgow - am expecting her there by midday tomorrow.

Meanwhile, our former freight ferry, Muirneag, is now far from her old home and further from land than she has been for a long time. Although currently out of range of AIS monitoring stations, her last position was 200 miles westsouthwest of Brest, France, in the Bay of Biscay. I'm expecting her past Cape Finisterre (northwestern Spain) by tomorrow evening, and through the Straits of Gibraltar on Tuesday. I'll continue to follow her journey until she arrives safely into Istanbul, which is anticipated on October 16th.