A Powerful Reminder

Today’s appointment at the pier was a reminder of the power of wind and wave.
When the ‘Mighty’ Clansman entered the bay the wind was gusting to 44mph.
In the bay the gusts might even have been higher.
(The official figures are from the Airport.)

The waves crashing on the rocks close to the pier

Today’s sailing was on an  alert due to the sea conditions.
There was the possibility of delay or disruption.
There was to be only one stop at Coll.
Berthing was not guaranteed.

The MV Clansman out in the Passage of Tiree before entering Gott Bay

The traffic in the marshalling lanes was light.
The big question was ‘would the ferry manage to berth?’
These were not ideal conditions with a swell running and gusting winds.

The MV Clansman approaching the pier

Occasionally the waves were breaking over the pier wall.
If the ferry managed to berth it would require great skill.
The wind was blowing from the South-East.

The anchor (ready to be deployed) can be clearly seen on the starboard side of the vessel

As the vessel turned in order to berth the wind was striking it on the port side.
Consequently the cant to starboard was pronounced.
The anchor was ready to be deployed.

The MV Clansman approaches the pier’s roundhead

The ferry first of all dropped its anchor beyond the roundhead.
In spite of the wind the bow ropes were thrown and caught .

The anchor enters the water / The anchor deployed


The vessel then used its powerful thrusters.
And the stern was brought round.

The crew at the stern of the ferry

All the time the bridge was keeping a watchful eye from the wings.
The stern ropes were thrown and caught.
And the ferry safely berthed.

The skipper on the starboard wing of the Clansman

Understandably there was no hanging around.
Without delay the vessel headed back out to sea.
All the time the bridge has to think of the wind and the waves.

The MV Clansman heads out to sea

All of a sudden there was a loud bang.
It came from the direction of the pier’s roundhead.
One of the Clansman’s bow ropes had snapped under the strain.

The rise and fall of the vessel as she heads out to sea.

The snapping of the rope was a powerful reminder.
The pier can be a very dangerous place to be when the vessel is berthing.
Those who handle the ropes on the vessel and on the pier are in a snap-back zone.

More than a face wash!

As reported in a previous post
just last week the waves damaged a barrier on the pier
when a succession of powerful waves broke over the sea-facing wall.

The MV Clansman

The bang of the snapping rope is a reminder of the danger.
It is vital to follow the instructions given for our safety.
Most of all we owe all concerned our gratitude.

The MV Clansman out in the Passage of Tiree

This is a grateful Life-on-Tiree.

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