The latest edition of Scottish Ferry News covers all known movements by members of the CalMac fleet in November and December 2023. It also includes a ship-by-ship ‘distribution of vessels’ on 31 December, listing exactly where each ferry was at the end of the year.
If you wish to read this authoritative update on Clyde and West Highland ferry movements, and have not yet joined CRSC (introductory membership for the first year with full benefits: £15), click here.
If you are already a member but have not yet renewed your subscription for 2023-24, please do so now by clicking here. The cut-off date for ‘Members Only’ access is mid January.
Scottish Ferry News is an invaluable resource for enthusiasts and professionals who wish to track where vessels have been, what overhauls took place and which routes were affected by weather disruptions and vessel substitutions.
We are grateful to John Newth, compiler of Scottish Ferry News, for unravelling two months that found CalMac coping as best it could with various fleet exigencies (November) and some atrocious weather (December).
The new edition of CRSC’s Scottish Ferry News covers the Tarbert-Lochmaddy relief service undertaken by Alfred (which also visited Ayr, Troon, Stornoway and Uig in the November-December period), the charter of Arrow for the Stornoway freight service, and Caledonian Isles’ first trip to the Hebrides — for berthing trials at Port Askaig, Oban, Coll, Tiree and Craignure.
We record Hebrides’ long stint on the Lochmaddy-Ullapool service up to 22 December, when the pier at Uig became available again after a period of reconstruction. We also note the annual overhauls of Catriona, Coruisk, Hebridean Isles, Isle of Mull, Loch Tarbert and Lord of the Isles.
The most stable vessel (in terms of roster) was Loch Frisa, although even she broke new ground when — wait for it — she briefly berthed at Oban’s North Pier on the morning of 18 December for a generator repair. The most peripatetic was Isle of Arran which, on completing annual survey at Greenock on 2 November, undertook stints over the following eight weeks on services to Islay, Mull, Colonsay, South Uist and Barra. In December Clansman suffered an unusual number of weather-related disruptions.
Otherwise, apart from some essential maintenance stoppages, most of the heavily stretched CalMac fleet managed to keep going with remarkable dependability.
The above details are just a ‘taster’. There is a lot of fascinating information in Scottish Ferry News, clearly and precisely laid out — all of it awaiting your inspection and dissection.
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Published on 9 January 2024