It didn’t look good the evening before with a weather forecast of the wind gusting up to 46mph. Yet, in the morning the vessel sailed without even an amber alert. However, at 11.02, a text alert arrived: ‘Oban- Coll- Tiree 20/03/2014 may be disrupted/delayed due to adverse weather. The vessel failed to call in Coll & going to Tiree LastUpdated 20/03/2014 @ 11:02.’ The big question on most minds was, “Will she or won’t she?” Will she or won’t she be able to berth?
Under a dark sky and with the wind gusting the Hebridean Isles approached the pier. The bow rope was thrown, but because of the wind the vessel could not hold its own and had to withdraw. The word was that she would sail out, turn and then come in for a second attempt.
One again, the question was there, “Will she or won’t she?”
The sun was out, but the wind was still gusting and the vessel was rolling as she went broadside to the waves. Relief! Thanks to the skill of those on the ferry and on the pier, the Hebridean Isles was safely berthed. As the vehicles and passengers disembarked and embarked a rainbow appeared in the sky.
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Arriving home another message arrived ‘Oban- Coll- Tiree Service Details, Status: Disrupted Service. The vessel managed to berth, on the second attempt, at Tiree and has now departed for Coll. She is currently running 25 minutes late with an ETA of 13:30 hrs in Coll. Caledonian MacBrayne wish to apologise for any inconvenience.’ To be followed later by another, ‘Vessel dep Coll for Oban at13:39. ETA 16:50.’