View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Friday 7 November

At this time of year, there is an increase in interest in my WW1 (and WW2) output, and tonight I found this very touching tribute to John Macarthur, late of 8 Cromore, who was lost on HMS Invincible during the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916.

"In loving memory of my Great Uncle John MacArthur, 8 Cromore, South Lochs. Who died so young for his country. 100 years has passed and we never had the opportunity as a family to have memory's of you. We are so very proud of you, and of all the men from the islands who give their lives. RIP. "

PB071038 PB071042

Thursday 6 November

City Archives [Stadsarchief] Rotterdam recently unearthed this collection of photographs of internees at HMS Timbertown, Groningen, during the First World War. You can search for each of the internees and it should come out with a photograph. One note of caution: when searching for anyone with a surname commencing with Mac or Mc, you need to spell this as Mc., including the trailing period and followed by a space. Unfortunately, the Stadsarchief omitted the letter N from the word internment...

It's pretty wet and windy here this morning. Force 7 from the south-southeast. MV Loch Seaforth rounded Cape Wrath at 7.20 this morning, and is currently headed south-southwest past Stoer Head at 19 knots. She'll reach her destination, Greenock, by this time tomorrow morning. The ship passed Stornoway at a distance of about 6 miles, making its closest approach to Lewis near Milaid lighthouse, east of Lemreway.

I'll just repeat and expand my comment to one of my FB contacts about the performance of MV Loch Seaforth in a force 7, when the MV Isle of Lewis is sitting in port. One of the considerations in sailing a passenger ferry is not just whether it's safe for the ship, but also whether it's comfortable if not safe for the passengers. Earlier this week, the MV Isle of Lewis was cancelled, although the sun was out and it wasn't that windy. The northeasterly wind that day created very rough seas in the Minch, and you wouldn't want to be there. At present, MV Loch Seaforth is NOT carrying passengers, although I don't know how her new crockery is faring...


Wednesday 5 November

MV Loch Seaforth is now headed northwest along the south coast of Norway. She is currently 30 miles west of Egersund, and I'm expecting her to turn west off Stavanger to commence the North Sea crossing towards the Pentland Firth. She will just about dodge tomorrow's high winds, until she is south of Stornoway.

Power went off at around 5.15, and came back on at 6.25. The whole town was dark, as the Battery Point powerstation went off. A few emergency lights here and there - otherwise utter darkness. The arc lights at the ferry terminal works only exacerbated things, and I nearly ran into someone walking the other way when I nipped round to Tesco to see what was doing there. Emergency lights, but all the customers had been sent away.

PB051018 PB051023 PB051031

Tuesday 4 November

MV Loch Seaforth is currently heading north down the Kattegat into the Skagerrak, west of Gothenburg. The vessel will head round the northern tip of Denmark, into the Skagerrak. Currently running at 12 knots, Loch Seaforth will pass into the North Sea by late morning. It will take her 24 hours to cross to the Pentland Firth, and will probably pass her future base, Stornoway, on Thursday evening - assuming her speed will be rather higher than the current 12 knots.

The sun has set on the 4th November day, weather wasn't too bad actually. The ferry was cancelled because the northeasterly wind whips up a bad swell. It was 2 hours late coming in at lunchtime.

PB041008 PB041012 PB041013

Monday 3 November

PB030996 PB031000

Sunday 2 November

Stornoway Port Authority under fire as its chairman quits - over what? The SPA commissioner, leaking worse than the MV Pathfinder. A journalist, leaking the leaks is threatened with legal action, which could see his internet blog closed down. Appeals to report any misdeeds of SPA, however piffling, to the Scottish Government. Ever thought this was a quiet, sleepy little port, settling down to its annual period of hibernation until next Easter? Think again.

Saturday 1 November

Dreadful day, lashing rain and strong winds. Nonetheless ventured out to Balallan on the bus, to view an exhibition by Kinloch Historical Society on WW1. My websites had been extensively used, which I was more than pleased to see. The exhibition will also be open next Saturday, 8 November, between 11 am and 3 pm in the old school / community centre, in the middle of Balallan - it's signposted along the main road.

PB010981 PB010979