In these islands we rely on ferries for all our supplies, both of goods and of people. During the winter months, these ships all have to undergo their annual overhaul in a drydock. This means that other vessels have to cover a run whilst the regular ship is away. Here in Stornoway, this means that we now have our old ferry Isle of Lewis. Things have not been going smoothly this week; the boat has been an hour late coming in on its evening call. Ferry company Caledonian Macbrayne have this SMS (text message) service which advises those who wish to be informed of disruptions. They do get it wrong.
Yesterday, the message read that MV Isle of Lewis had arrived in Ullapool at 1734 (5.34pm) and departed Stornoway at 1818 (6.18pm). Now that's a fast turn-around. Discharging and loading the vessel, sailing the 50 miles to Stornoway, then discharging and loading again and sailing once more, all in the space of 43 minutes? Wow!