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