View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Tuesday 25 February

The morning started so innocent and calm, not a cloud in the sky and all the rest of it. However, here we are, six hours later, and it is overcast and looking like serious rain in the next five minutes.

I was speaking to a passenger who had travelled on the ferry from Ullapool yesterday. Apparently, the MV Isle of Arran does not have enough space for all the vehicles that need to come across, so they are loaded on the MV Clipper Ranger whilst their drivers and passengers go on the Arran. Once at Stornoway, the passengers disembark at the ferry terminal and are then bussed to pier number 1 to be reunited with their vehicles. I was also told that the MV Isle of Lewis got a battering on the Friday morning crossing from Stornoway to Ullapool, with all the plates and crockery broken - my experience on the ferry is that whenever it gets rough the crockery gets smashed.

Monday 24 February

A very sunny day here in Stornoway, haven't had one of those for ages. The barometer is rising, as is the thermometer. We may even see double-digits this afternoon. Better enjoy it, as rain is due in during the evening.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing is pushing for the interconnector (subsea high voltage cable) to get installed. It could cost £800m ($1.3bn, €1bn) to be laid across 50 miles of sea, and 50 miles of land from Dundonnell to Beauly. Mr Ewing says it will help to alleviate fuel poverty in the Western Isles. What a load of tosh. If this infernal thing gets installed, we won't get a penny off our electricity bills. The only ones to financially gain from it will be the energy companies - our islands will not benefit, they will only lose. Did I say I was against?

Typical Hebridean day. Started off sunny, cloud bubbled up after lunchtime and now we're having showers.

Saturday 22 February

Right, a new permutation in the dance of the ferry boats. The MV Isle of Lewis is hovering just off Achiltibuie in Loch Broom, but the good ole MV Isle of Arran is ploughing its way across the Minch - providing they dare venture beyond Rudha Reidh.

Well, that has turned into a nasty wet and windy afternoon. The MV Isle of Arran made it into port half an hour late (she is slower than the Isle of Lewis) and is currently on its way back to the mainland. Pleased about events in Ukraine, but situation still in a state of flux and potentially hazardous. Do have a reasonable sense of optimism about it - but we shall see what we shall see.

Galeforce southerly winds this evening, with persistent heavy rain. The poor ole MV Isle of Arran is gallantly ploughing her way across the Minch this evening, trailing green smoke from its long suffering passengers. Am not expecting her back until 10pm.

Sunday 23 February

Wet and windy this morning, but that's pretty much par for the course here. And you know me, I'll never complain about a good blow. All sailings between Stornoway and Ullapool were cancelled. A large Norwegian fishing boat came in, the Rav.