The weather here in Stornoway is pretty dismal this Saturday, with frequent heavy squalls, carrying rain and gusts up to 40 mph. Monitoring the ShipAIS.com output for Stornoway, I nearly needed that site to identify the Northern Lighthouse Board's Pharos, as it was barely visible from a few hundred yards away as it left port. ShipAIS also showed the cruiseliner Delphin approaching from the south, closely hugging the Lochs coast. About half an hour ago, it hove into view from my position but then it made a graceful turn from a northwesterly to a northeasterly course and went on its way again.
ShipAIS shows a vessel's destination, which was marked as Stornoway until about 12.30pm; now, with the Delphin moving away into the Minch again, it is due into Invergordon at 6 am tomorrow morning.
I can understand why the ship chose to abandon its date with Stornoway. The southerly wind, blowing at a steady force 6 with higher gusts, has already whipped up the sea to choppy state, making transfer by tender a hazardous undertaking. The Delphin has a draught of 6.3 metres (21 feet), which is only 1 metre / 3 feet below the maximum draught that Stornoway harbour can take.
I hope the passengers on the Delphin have a comfortable crossing to Invergordon today, and that they will one day return on a better day to see what the Isle of Lewis has to offer.