Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Ferry tales, ferry woes

The ferry service from Stornoway to Ullapool (and back) has been having a very bad winter, and not just due to the bad weather. A stormy period of two months came to an end in early February, but that is pretty much par for the course here. What is not, is the litany of mishaps that has bedeviled the boats.

It started when the MV Clipper Ranger crashed into pier number 1, and required a spell in drydock to repair her buckled plating. Her replacement, the MV Hebridean Isles, suffered a similar fate, but the damage to that boat could be fixed at Stornoway in a day. Meanwhile, the MV Isle of Lewis, was in drydock at Birkenhead for three weeks for its annual overhaul. Upon return to the run, she encountered a very rough crossing last Friday morning, and upon arrival at Ullapool, her rudder was found to be faulty. That could not be fixed locally either, so at the moment of typing, she is being patched up prior to returning to drydock in Birkenhead. The replacement vessel is the MV Isle of Arran, a much smaller vessel and local rumour has it that passengers are shipped on the Arran whilst their vehicles go on the Clipper Ranger. Allegedly.
Isle of Arran
Hebridean Isles

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Clipper Ranger

Our new freight ferry, the Clipper Ranger, suffered a mishap last Tuesday (28 January), when she lost all power whilst manoeuvering to dock at pier no 1 here in Stornoway. As a result, the impetus of the ship carried her forcefully into the pier. Then she bounced off the fendering and drifted in the harbour, narrowly missing running aground in the Castle Grounds.
The damage to the ship necessitated it being patched up prior to it being taken to drydock in Liverpool for repairs.

For the time being, the MV Hebridean Isles is taking freight back and forth to Ullapool


This morning, a 5.5 metre high tide overtopped the quays at Stornoway and flooded part of the town centre. North Beach was well under water, and police had closed Cromwell Street, North Beach Street and Castle Street. Some intrepid people even got their surfboards out.
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