Pioneer – 31st August 2003


Nominated excursion – “Pioneer Farewell Cruise”  
CalMac organised special sailing to mark vessel withdrawal.
Gourock, Largs Channel, between Cumbraes,
round south end of Bute, Tighnabruaich (time ashore),
Kyles of Bute, Rothesay Bay, Gourock
(Note:  Pioneer was subsequently pressed back
into service a few days later on the Mallaig services
due to a technical fault with the new vessel – Lochnevis)
A number of members joined CalMac’s PIONEER at Gourock, for what had been billed as her “Farewell Cruise”. We sailed down the Renfrewshire coast, past Largs and then between the Cumbraes, round the south end of Bute, and up to Tighnabruaich, where we were able to stretch our legs ashore. From there we sailed through the Narrows and down the East Kyle, meeting up with the WAVERLEY in Rothesay Bay. A brief race took place, which the paddler won, before the PIONEER returned to Gourock Pier.
Photographs:  John Newth 

 Pioneer at Tighnabruaich
 Pioneer at Tighnabruaich
CRSC Pennant flying

on Pioneer for the last time 

As we now know, the PIONEER was to return to Mallaig a few days later, to replace the new vessel on the Skye service, which had suffered a major breakdown.
Photographs:  Charles McCrossan
 Kennilworth Juno arriving at Gourock   Juno at Gourock
Pioneer arriving at Gourock
to take up charter 
Pioneer arriving at Gourock

to take up charter  

 Pioneer at Tighnabruaich
 Pioneer at Tighnabruaich Last trip through the Kyles   Loch Dunvegan
 Waverley heading for Largs
Sunset as the day drew to an end
Waverley seen arriving at Greenock
while on the way home 
Photograph:  Eric Schofield
          Pioneer at Tighnabruaich