Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Cruise woe

The cruiseliner season started a week ago, and it's hitting a spot of bother. A gentleman on board a liner off Edinburgh became unwell with stomach trouble, and needed to go to hospital. Unfortunately, the normal procedure could not be carried out. By normal procedure I mean: transfer him into a small boat and take him ashore. Why? He weighed 203 kg (447 lb), so a Sea King helicopter was drafted in, as that machine can lift 21,000 lb.

Here in Stornoway, we found ourselves playing host to 270 cruise passengers off the German liner Astor. Noticed that ship hovering just outside port early on Monday, ferrying its passengers ashore in tenders for tours of the island. When said tours were over, the passengers were unable to return to the Astor. The tenders could not safely take them on board as a result of strong tides, high winds and bad weather.

Local hotels sprang into the breach and provided lunch for the wet, miserable and hungry cruiseparty. As the weather nosedived into a full gale with driving rain through the afternoon, dinner was laid on and an appeal broadcast on local radio for anyone with a bed going spare. The town responded and all passengers could sleep in a proper bed.

Early this morning, the weather had calmed down sufficiently for tenders to take the German tourists back to their ship, and just before 10, Astor sailed direct for Rosyth, skipping its intermediate stop at Invergordon. One Austrian couple expressed their gratitude to the people of the town and were deeply impressed with the show of Hebridean hospitality.

1 comment:

  1. "Aye, cruising season has hit Orkney tae, though so far we`ve no` run intae any bad weather trouble like the Hebrides. I saw about this on the news this morning, and smiled...folks can pay large amounts o` money for wonderful cruises but they cannae control the weather. I bet everyone had a lovely time onshore though."

    Hermit from Sanday

    "Out of adversity comes a silver lining....missing a visit to Invergordon! "

    Flying Cat from Cheshire Grin

    "Seemingly the rumour is that the chef at the Caladh Inn found himself having to cater for the 270 unexpected guests on his first day in a new job."

    Annie B from the usual

    "Swamped, one could say. Fond memories will be had by all. It is not true, is it, that the chef at the Caladh Inn solved his problem by bashing open a barrel of sauerkraut and then preparing the bratwurst en masse. Home away from home sort of thing."

    mjc from NM,USA

    "If the chef at the Caladh served up several hundred seafood specials the size of the on I had from his predecessor some months back then the entire North Atlantic and its adjacent seas would be left bare."

    Hyper-Borean from Festival Town

    "Out of all those 270 passengers only one Austrian couple said "Thank you"? So much for the difference between Germans and their polite neighbours in the Alps."

    The Lederhosen from Almost in Austria