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Ships Of Calmac - Fleet News

29/04/05 We have been told that Lord of the Isles was off duty yesterday because of bow-thrust problems. She returned to service ready for the 1700 sailing to Colonsay this afternoon. Isle of Arran has now finished relieving Clansman and sailed at 0500 this morning for Lochboisdale and Castlebay, in lieu of yesterday's missed sailings due to the weather conditions. She returned to Oban during the afternoon and handed over service to the repaired Lord of the Isles. Clansman is now back in service and running as per her roster, having been to Coll and Tiree this morning and going out to Castlebay this afternoon. Isle of Mull spent last night at Craignure as there was no berth for her at Oban.

28/04/05 Clansman appears to have returned to Oban yesterday still out of service. She was this morning missing from Oban once again. Strong winds have led to suspensions of the following services: Oban - Tiree - Barra, Clansman was unable to berth at Tiree and is returning to Oban, Ardmhor (Barra) - Eriskay suspended for the rest of the day, Kennacraig - Islay cancelled with the situation to be reviewed at 1500, no sailing to Muck today, Fionnphort - Iona and Tobermory - Kilchoan services suspended until further notice, Sound of Harris lunchtime sailings cancelled, Tayinloan - Gigha, Tarbert - Portavadie and Lochranza - Claonaig sailings all suspended until further notice.
: The Mallaig - Armadale service has now been suspended as well.
It looks like there may be a problem with Lord of the Isles. She  moved over to the North Pier and was tied up, out of service. Oban webcam then showed Calmac crew in high-viz yellow jackets inspecting the port side of the vessel.
Isle of Arran
was spotted entering Oban Bay at around 1440 and we assumed she would be going to the berth, however she has since vanished and we are not sure what, if anything, is taking the 1510 to Lochboisdale.
17:00 Update: Clansman entered the bay and unloaded her missed Tiree sailing traffic and has since departed. (Her whereabouts were not known but she was back at the Railway Pier by 1915.)
Further Update: Isle of Arran returned to the pier shortly after 1620 and has just left the linkspan to sit out of the way in the middle of the bay as Isle of Mull returned from Craignure. She was back at the linkspan by 1805 and subsequently loaded with traffic for a slightly delayed 1800 to Craignure, passing a slow-moving Isle of Mull and also Clansman returning to Oban. It is also reported that some of the crew of Lord of the Isles were taken off to crew Isle of Arran.
Meanwhile, the next batch of cancellations include: the Sconser - Raasay 1700/1730 return sailing from Raasay and the remaining sailings on the Lochaline - Fishnish route.

Picture: Oban Webcam
Isle of Arran sighted canting in Oban Bay today at 14:40.


Picture: Oban Webcam
IoA cants while IoM arrives.

27/04/05 Clansman looks to have sailed from Oban, destination unknown, possibly back in service although Isle of Arran appears to be still in Oban having recently done a Coll / Tiree roster. H.M. Customs & Excise cutter Sentinel is at Oban North Pier now. Bruernish was on the Lismore run as normal timetable today. No indication to what's happening on the Tobermory-Kilchoan crossing with the absence of a vessel but it is probable that the Loch Linnhe has returned from relief duties at Raasay to resume her summer timetable. Eigg is at her Oban berth.

Picture: SoC Crew
Clansman in a grey Oban today.

Update: Clansman appears to be now berthed at Craignure possibly for a few days to recover from her recent status.
NorthLink: Passenger Figures Keep Climbing for NorthLink Read More (external link)

26/04/05 Clyde:
Loch Ranza is slipped at Ardmaleish. Juno was reported at the wires this AM.  Eigg has now entered the Clyde estuary on her way to JWD for repairs. Also, Juno has returned to the Dunoon run. At around 15:00 Isle of Cumbrae responded to a mayday rescue of 3(?) sailors from a upturned dinghy 1 mile NE of Tarbert harbour. They launched their fast rescue boat and escorted the sailors into harbour. The coastguard thanked the Captain and his crew for all their efforts.
Western Isles:
Isle of Arran was reported on the Dunoon run this morning but appears now to be in Oban near the linkspan having arrived at around 16:00 hours. Correction to earlier report: Isle of Arran was berthing stern in at Gourock and not Dunoon. Clansman is in Oban currently and appears to be inoperable. Isle of Arran seems to have been sent to cover for her. More updates to follow...
Crossing News: CalMac urges passengers travelling to the Bute Jazz festival to use the Colintraive ferry if possible to help relieve strain on the two main Bute ferries.

25/04/05 Clyde:
Isle of Arran has taken over the Dunoon run today, reason unknown, starting with the 1620 ex Gourock She is berthing bow-in at Dunoon and stern-in at Dunoon. The streaker, Juno, is sitting at the wires It is unsure how passengers are being loaded at Dunoon. Loch Striven has just left Ardmaleish Slip and is on her way to [presumably] Raasay where she can replace Loch Linnhe which will in turn allow Bruernish to take over the Lismore run. Loch Ranza is expected to arrive tomorrow, so work can get started on her. Services are continuing with Isle of Arran on the Dunoon roster, and Juno at the wires.
Western Isles:
The 1645 ex Oban and 1745 ex Lismore ran today, using Bruernish as a relief vessel. Service during these times only runs on a Tuesday and Friday. I is assumed that the 1600 and 1800 ex Tobermory and 1645 and 1845 ex Kilchoan did not run to allow this to take place. This crossing could be solely to allow service vehicles and / or stranded vehicles to move, or could be a temporary occurrence, however, there is no confirmation as of yet. Also, Eigg has not yet returned to Oban from her venture south.

24/04/05 Isle of Arran continues to keep us guessing, she is now back at the wires at Gourock. Loch Striven still on the slip at Ardmaleish not sure what is happening there. Loch Riddon is at Gigha, covering for Loch Ranza, which is due to be slipped once Loch Striven is launched. Loch Ranza is currently sitting at the outside berth at Largs. No more additional news of Eigg today.

Picture: SoC Crew
Loch Ranza at Largs with Loch Alainn behind (Photo: Mary Neill)

23/04/05 Eigg has left Oban en route to JWD for repairs with engine problems. This means there is currently no Vehicle ferry to Lismore until Bruernish is free to move south from Tobermory. Raasay is now at the wires (Gourock). Loch Striven is confirmed to be  at Ardmaleish. Isle of Arran has now moved back to Rothesay. Reason unknown but possibly more berthing trials or overspill for some event.

22/04/05 Clyde:
Isle of Arran returned for yet more berthing trials at Wemyss Bay today, but berthing bow in before returning to the wires at Gourock. It appears her berthing trials are over. Raasay is heading up to, presumably, Gourock, and, at time of reporting (approx 2030), has passed Wemyss Bay terminal.
Western Isles:
There was no Lismore Service today. Eigg is currently out of action at Oban. As previously thought Bruernish is NOT on Lismore run. Passengers only are currently having to go via the Port Appin - Lismore ferry.

21/04/05 Clyde:
Isle of Arran was doing berthing trials at Wemyss Bay, possibly for the upcoming Jazz festival and moved to Rothesay, where she is now berthed. Isle of Cumbrae arrived at Tarbert this evening, from Rothesay. The Isle of Cumbrae is due to take over Portavadie service from 08:00 tomorrow, thus freeing up Loch Riddon to depart Tarbert in the morning for Gigha, to relieve Loch Ranza that is coming back to the Clyde to be slipped at Ardmaleish to have a Voith unit repair carried out. We believe Loch Striven is now slipped at Ardmaleish, Bute - we will try and confirm this in the morning. Once Loch Striven is repaired we beleive she is to head back to Raasay and allow the Loch Ranza use of the slipway at Ardmaleish.
Western Isles:
This morning's 0900 Oban - Tiree - Barra sailing did not sail, as a result of engine problems (reportedly a cracked cylinder lining) on the Clansman. Barra traffic was rescheduled onto the 1510 sailing to Lochboisdale on Lord of the Isles this afternoon. After unloading at Lochboisdale, she will then make an additional crossing to Castlebay before picking up her roster with the 0900 sailing from Lochboisdale to Oban tomorrow. It is hoped that Tiree traffic will be carried on a special extra sailing this evening, if the Clansman is fixed. See Calmac's disruptions link above for up-to-date details. There was no Lismore service until 1045 ex Oban today, all other sailings (0845 ex Oban and 0945 ex Lismore) were cancelled.

20/04/05 Loch Striven is due at the Ardmaleish boat yard tomorrow morning to receive attention to her recent fault. The 16:45 from Oban to Lismore did not run, neither did the 17:45 ex Lismore service. Reason unknown, but following the deployment of Bruernish on the run recently it appears Eigg may be having technical difficulties. It is unclear what, if any vessel is currently on the Lismore run due to the fact that Bruernish has had to make a move for emergency service at Tobermory to cover for Loch Linnhe.

19/04/05 Loch Riddon is at Tarbert to cover for Isle of Cumbrae who has been slip'ed at Ardmaleish to get a leak fixed. There also appears to be problems with either  the Coruisk or Loch Nevis at Mallaig as due to technical problems a sailing has been cancelled. Sailings now seem to have resumed at Mallaig.

18/04/05 Loch Striven has gone to Stornoway for repairs following problems over the last couple of days. Loch Linnhe has sailed north to Raasay to cover the timetable there and Bruernish has sailed up the Sound of Mull to cover on the Tobermory - Kilchoan crossing until the Loch Striven has been repaired and the vessels can return to their normal duties.

17/04/05 Bruernish was deployed on the Lismore service today. Reason unknown. Lord of the Isles abandoned her call to Coll / Tiree due to adverse weather conditions today and headed back to Oban. Loch Striven appears to be having technical difficulties at Sconser.

15/04/05 Raasay is reportedly currently lying at the old naval pier at Fairlie. She was assumed to be either at Largs, Rothesay or Gourock to tie-up as Clyde small vessel.

11/04/05 Service Disruption: Lochaline - Fishnish Service. Due to slipway damage and low tides, the 14:25 from Lochaline and the 14:50 from Fishnish sailings have been cancelled today.
Eigg was unusually using the large vessel linkspan in Oban this morning to unload her traffic from Lismore. The linkspan was reportedly touching the water as she withdrew from the berth. No indications why this was although it could be tide related making large / low vehicles exit / entrance difficult at the slipway. Saturn was having mechanical problem this morning. As a consequence the 06:30 ex-Rothesay and 07:15 ex-Wemyss Bay sailings were cancelled, but normal service were resumed after the 080:0 sailing ex-Rothesay.

10/04/05 One of the Island Class Vessels (either Raasay or Bruernish) is currently lying in Largs marina. Its is assumed it is Raasay as she was last sighted on the move. Confirmed reports to follow. Update 18:00: Confirmed Island Class at Largs is Raasay recently arrived from Oban.

09/04/05 Low tide related disruption: Caledonian Isles' 6pm sailing from Ardrossan on this evening couldn't berth at Brodick due to a lack of water at the pier. Caledonian Isles cruised Brodick Bay for a short while before berthing successfully at the second attempt. Later sailings ran 30 minutes late. First time I can recall this happening in 13 years of travelling to and from Arran comments a SoC reporter.

08/04/05 Loch Alainn has this morning left Millport Pier bound for Largs to pick up her duties on the 10:15 run out of Largs. She spent last night at the pier due to high winds and another low tide. The Stornoway ferry has been cancelled all day again, like yesterday due to high winds. Raasay has just passed Clansman off Craignure heading for Oban 15:21. Loch Fyne is subject to disruption due to low tides and her first sailing should be 14:25. There also seems to be some heavy congestion at Oban at the moment with Isle of Mull using the Linkspan with Clansman circling near the Bay entrance. She in turn was followed by the Lord of the Isles who hung around nearer Lismore waiting for Clansman to emerge again. Isle of Arran was sighted inbound up the Clyde heading for Gourock around 14:00.
NorthLink: Both Today's 06:30 (Stromness - Scrabster) and 08:45 (Scrabster - Stromness) have also been cancelled. Hrossey only departed Hatston at 07:45 this morning and is expected to arrive in Lerwick at 13:30. The adverse weather did not affect the South bound Hjaltland due to the following sea.

07/04/05 Due to high winds and rough seas, the following sailings were cancelled, Mallaig-Armadale, Ullapool-Stornoway, Tarbert-Portavadie and the Small Isles. The following services are back on, Oban-Mull, Lochranza-Claonaig, Lochaline-Fishnish. Certain sailings have been cancelled on the Lochaline-Fishnish and the Sound of Harris due to low tides, contact local offices for more information on these sailings. The Clansman had to proceed from Tiree to Barra via the Cairns of Coll rather than Gunna Sound due to the rough weather, this has delayed her by approx 2 hours. The Isle of Arran spent last night at Colonsay, and possibly tonight as well and then she is due to return to the Wires. Isle of Lewis braved the Minch in the high winds only to turn back after safety was put first. Muirneag is not expected to make her overnight freight run.

Picture: SoC Crew
Recent storm damage to Eriskay breakwater.

NorthLink: Due to the strong North winds over the last few days there have been serious disruptions to Northlink's services. Hamnavoe made a Stromness - Scrabster sailing this Morning, however she returned from Scrabster without any paying passengers or cargo. She then made no further sailings.

06/04/05 The port of Eriskay has been reported to have major structural damage to the breakwater after the storms last January. The winds were reported to reach 130mph, no wonder it was damaged. Photo's to come soon as Dave returns from his trip north. Lord of the Isles has returned to service after completing repairs to a continuing fault to her stabilisers. She replaced Isle of Arran this afternoon after the Arran arrived in from Barra. Lord of the Isles taking the Port Askaig run this evening. Isle of Arran then moved to the fuel berth to prepare for her return to the clyde. She may stick around at Craignure to make sure the stabiliser fault doesn't re-surface on the Lord of the Isles. Isle of Arran relieved loti from Sunday until Today, I was very fortunate to be returning to Oban from Tiree on Sunday, and was able to travel on the Arran. This vessel re-deployment shows the great capability the fleet has to cover when a breakdown occurs, with minimal disruption to the timetable. 

Clansman was sighted in the sound of mull on route to barra on Sunday with her new windows in her bridge. These help to make her bridge look more balanced, and help the skipper have better visibility while berthing. They have been lengthened on her bridge wings only. 

Picture: SoC Crew
Isle of Arran arriving at Tiree.

Picture: SoC Crew
Clansman in the Sound of Mull.

03/04/05 Loch Tarbert is at the Largs outside berth out of service still following her recent technical problems. Loch Riddon is  covering at Lochranza. Isle of Arran is thought to be covering for Lord of the Isles at Oban (Update: arrived at 17:25). Eigg is back at Oban after her stint on charter at Islay. Lord of the Isles was sighted this morning at the railway pier in Oban out of service resulting in the Isle of Arran going out to Tiree. Lord of the Isles was later noted at 16:10 making her way 'light' out past Kerrera towards Craignure. More updates to follow as and when.

02/04/05 Once again the Lochranza - Claonaig service is off until further notice. This is due to mechanical problems again.

01/04/05  Due to mechanical problems with the Loch Tarbert, sailings between Lochranza and Claonaig have been suspended until further notice. Check with the link above for further updates.
Update: It would appear that sailings have now been resumed on the Kilbrannan Sound crossing (time 1350)

News Logs:
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