Friday, 20 November 2015
November is two-thirds done and has finally remembered that it stands at the gates of winter. A quick gale blew up after dark, but the day was perishing cold: only a few degrees above freezing. The ferry was tied up all afternoon, because the northerly winds whip up quite a swell. It was the old Isle of Lewis; the new ferry, Loch Seaforth, is heading north from an extended refit at Birkenhead. Every passenger ship has to undergo an annual overhaul, to ensure it is still in a fit state to carry fare-paying passengers. In a fit state to run a ship was most certainly not the first mate of the bulk carrier Lysblink Seaways, back in February. He was EIGHT times over the Scottish legal blood alcohol limit, and he was so blootered that he ignored all warning sirens, hooters and noises from his navigational equipment. The Lysblink Seaways disputed passage with the Ardnamurchan peninsula at 12 knots, and lost. She is an insurance write-off, and has been scrapped.