Going! Going! Gone!

Tractors and Floats on the ready
Tractors and Floats on the ready

Before the sun had even given a hint of rising on Saturday the 14th of February, the MV Hebrides cast its ropes and departed Oban for Coll and Tiree. The 05:30 departure was down to the alternative timetable in operation due to the livestock sale on Tiree. After the scheduled call at Coll the vessel arrived at the pier, Tiree, at 09.25. After disembarking, the articulated cattle trucks made their way to the auction mart at Tiree’s Rural Centre.

In lane and waiting for the ferry
In lane and waiting for the ferry

(In galleries double click for a slideshow of large pictures)

After a glorious sunrise, the sun continued to shinne down all day on the island for the “early spring sale of cattle of all classes’ The sale is under the auspices of United Auctions, who describe themselves as ‘Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers’. However, it wasn’t just the sun that gave those selling cattle reason to be happy, prices were encouragingly high. Farming and crofting are important to the island so today’s news was good news, even if it pains you to see your cattle leaving the croft for market.

(In galleries double click for a slideshow of large pictures)

With the sun already set in the west and only vestiges of daylight remaining, the MV Hebrides entered Gott Bay for the second time today. In the winter we have only five sailings a week, and the vessel never makes two sailings from Oban to Tiree other than on the occasional sale days. As well as the sale traffic, many took advantage of this additional sailing. After all, a 14:00 departure is to be preferred to one leaving at 5:30!

The gangway withdrawn and the doors secured
The gangway withdrawn and the doors secured

With the hours of darkness now upon us, and a good cattle sale behind us, dark clouds are gathering. With the clouds comes an ‘Amber Alert’ — Due to forecast adverse weather and swell conditions, this service may be liable to disruption, delay or cancellation at short notice.

Ropes cast we are Oban bound
Ropes cast we are Oban bound
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