Waverley – 8th July 2012


Joint Charter with PSPS and CCA to commemorate
80 years since Club’s first charter.
Greenock, Helensburgh, Largs, Rothesay
to anchor Loch Riddon – off Ormidale, Rothesay,
Largs, Helensburgh, Greenock 
The Second Snark acted as tender at Ormidale
Notes and photographs:  Charles McCrossan
NB:  The first half of this report reflects travelling out on The Second Snark and returning by Waverley
On Sunday 8th July, 2012 the Clyde River Steamer Club (CRSC) celebrated 80 years of its existence with an excursion from Greenock to Loch Riddon and Ormidale involving paddle steamer Waverley and the historic Denny built motorship The Second Snark. This sailing was organised jointly with the Scottish Branches of the Coastal Cruising Association (CCA) and the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) and the CRSC are indebted to both organisation for their efforts and contribution to mark the Club’s 80th Anniversary.
Various options were available including out on Waverley and back on The Second Snark, or vice versa, or both ways on either vessel. The Second Snark was also used to transfer passengers landing or boarding at Ormidale, to and from Waverley.
While waiting to board The Second Snark at Victoria harbour, Waverley came downriver to Customhouse quay. Making a quick dash to catch a photo of Waverley, my plastic bag with lunch and flask was left safely (I thought!) beside a lamp-post.  Only just averted a major disaster on my return by managing to chase off a determined seagull that already had sandwiches and flask halfway across the road!
Some of Clyde Marine’s fleet
in Victoria Harbour
Waverley boarding passengers at CHQ

Ocean Countess and 
container ship Antje Schulte

The Second Snark left her base at Greenock’s Victoria Harbour at 1115 to be ready for Waverley departing Customhouse Quay at 1130. On leaving the harbour, The Second Snark moved out and waited at No 1 buoy for Waverley to depart.

During a brief period of parallel sailing, the RNLI managed to spoil the reflections on the calm water
Waverley then headed over to Helensburgh while The Second Snark headed further downriver,

passing on the way Argyll Ferries Ali Cat, heading for Gourock and the coaster Burgtor at anchor.

The Second Snark slowed off McInroy’s Point to view the Western Ferries
activity,with Sound of Scarba departing and Sound of Shuna arriving
As we reached the Cloch light, the small container ship Tistedal headed upriver and shortly afterwards, Waverley overtook us heading for Largs.
Distinct signs that demolition had started at Inverkip Power Station can be seen in the third photo with the cladding stripped off the lower section
of No 3 Boiler house, exposing the structural steelwork
(Retrospective update – the whole of No 3 boiler house area was demolished on Wed 31st October 2012)
We arrived off Wemyss Bay just as
the Argyle was leaving for Rothesay

Next we headed over to view the
site of the former Innellan Pier

As we turned towards Rothesay, 
Bute was spotted in the distance, 
heading over to Wemyss Bay.

The Second Snark waited off Bogany Point for Waverley to arrive from Largs
and then followed the paddler into Rothesay Bay where she met the Argyle departing
We passed the Ardmaleish yard where various smaller units of the Calmac fleet receive their winter overhaul. The run from Ardmaleish to the Kyles was a time for some to relax and for others to catch up with the papers.
Loch Dunvegan left the Rhubodach slip
after we were safely past her
Having passed through the Kyle channel, The Second Snark 
waited for Waverley to pass through the channel 

PS Mercury passing through the Kyle narrows
with a yacht in the dog-leg channel – note the size of the
buoy markers compared to the ones that Waverley is passing

(Image from CRSC Archive collection)

The two vessels sailed side by side into Loch Riddon where Waverley anchored close to Ormidale pier and The Second Snark landed her Greenock passengers for a short time ashore while she went alongside Waverley and picked up the first group of passengers to be ferried ashore.
Despite the very poor weather during the days preceding our outing, the day was mainly dry and fairly calm with lots of cloud and mist around but, of course, when the rain did fall it was probably at the worst time while passengers were being ferried to and from Waverley by The Second Snark. During the period in Loch Riddon, if it was not raining it was mostly misty so photographs were a bit of a lottery, depending upon at which stage you were ashore at Ormidale. The following selection show Waverley at anchor and The Second Snark busily and effectively carrying out her tender duties.
Passengers aboard The Second Snark 
wrapped up against the approaching weather
Passengers from Greenock 
disembark at Ormidale

Waverley at Anchor

Ormidale Lodge

The Second Snark heads to pick up her first load of passengers from Waverley
The Second Snark and Waverley

The Second Snark going alongside Waverley for the first time The Second Snark tied up alongside Waverley

It really did rain at times!

The Second Snark approaches Ormidale with the first load of passengers from Waverley The Second Snark alongside at Ormidale

Waverley at anchor, from The Second Snark

Can you see yourself 1?

The Second Snark heads back
to the shore
The Second Snark going
alongside Ormidale pier
Can you see yourself 2? Can you see yourself 3? Can you see yourself 4?
Keppel at Ormidale on a CRSC Charter 
17th May 1980
(From CRSC Archive Collection)
The Second Snark and Waverley at Ormidale 21st May 1972

The charter was arranged to help the CRSC celebrate the occasion of the Clubs first outing to Ormidale in 1932. It is now also 40 years since the PSPS chartered Waverley to ferry land at Ormidale so the charter this year was a double celebration.
After several transfer runs The Second Snark collected her group of passengers for the return trip to Greenock and headed back down the loch to await Waverley’s departure on the return trip. For a short time Waverley and The Second Snark sailed in parallel back towards the Kyle narrows before Waverley lined up for the narrows passage and headed off to Rothesay.
Another unusual feature of this special day was a rare display of some CRSC Club Archive material, arranged and set up by Curator Archie MacCallum, in Waverley’s lower bar. A small sample of material on display is shown below.

Meanwhile The Second Snark followed to Rothesay and again waited off Bogany point. As Waverley left Rothesay bay, the cruise ship Ocean Countess was seen heading downriver and Car ferry Bute followed Waverley out of the bay. The ten minutres later, Bute and Argyke were to be seen in the distance passing off Toward light

Back at Largs, Loch Shira was being supported on the Cumbrae slip service by, appropriately, Loch Riddon

As we passed upriver, three Western Ferries could be seen on the Hunter’s Quay to McInroy’s point service with Sound of Scarba, Sound of Sanda and Sound of Shuna passing in mid firth

Final vessel of the day was the Type 23 frigate
HMS Richmond (F239) anchored off Greenock.  
Friendly waves were exchanged between both ships
as Waverley headed for her final stop at Greenock.

Overall the day was memorable and is unlikely ever to be repeated (the same may have been said 40 years ago!). Sincere thanks are due to Iain Quinn (CCA) and Neil Guthrie (CRSC) and Paul Semple (PSPS) for all their efforts in organising what, in today’s terms, was a complex programme and challenging itinerary.  Special thanks are due to Paul Semple for his untiring efforts in the background to agree many of the details around the day’s sailing schedule.  Thanks must also go to the crew of PS Waverley and The Second Snark who ensured that the day went to plan.  
Perhaps numbers on the day would have been better if the sun had shone and a certain Scot had not been playing a wee game of tennis at Wimbledon on the day.  He probably won’t be playing in 2052! 
Photographs:  John Crae
NB:  The second half of this report reflects travelling out on Waverley and returning by The Second Snark

Waverley at Custom House Quay   Ocean Countess The Second Snark  The Second Snark 
 The Second Snark Float plane having a close look Ali Cat  Tistedal 
 Sound of Sanda with Ali Cat Sound of Sanda with sister   The Second Snark HMS Richmond 
Argyle at Wemyss Bay   Loch Shira Argyle  Bute
The Second Snark The Second Snark The Second Snark Waverley heaving anchor
Waverley heaving anchor Waverley Waverley Waverley heading for Kyles

Waverley through the Kyles  Waverley through the Kyles  Loch Dunvegan   Waverley 
Waverley heading up river Waverley heading up river Dredger Shoalway Antje Schulte
 Helensburgh Pier Largs Pier   Loch Riddon Loch Riddon 
Passenger transfer at Ormidale   Passenger transfer at Ormidale  The Second Snark  The Second Snark 
 Waverley  Waverley  Waverley Waverley