More Like Midnight

It felt like the middle of the night.
It was 7:00am on a January morning.
The sun had not yet risen and it was pitch black.
The waning crescent moon was just about to set.
However, it was too windy to attempt to photograph it.

The Pier Office and Marshalling Lanes

With the wind and accompanying gusts forecast to rise
the ferry was sailing under an amended timetable
which meant it left Oban at 4:00am.

The Pier and its Approach

Can you imagine arriving at the ferry terminal no later than 3:15am?
If you were a foot passenger being there for 3:30am.
It must have been hardly worthwhile going to bed.
Perhaps you might try and sleep on the ferry.

The ferry swings to approach the pier

At 7:00am on Tiree the wind was gusting to 38mph from the South.
However, what struck you was not the wind, but the darkness.
It felt more like leaving the Oban Ferry Terminal than Tiree.
It felt like the middle of the night.

The MV Clansman approaching the roundhead

“The pier lights will be on.”
“Will you be photographing them?”
The question was posed by our first-born.
It was more of a statement than a question.

The MV Clansman across the roundhead

The pier lights have been on before.
The lights are on when it is a late evening sailing.
This is especially true when there has been a cattle sale.
This was, different somehow, this was a dark January morning.

Handling the bow ropes

The lights of the ferry could be seen out in the Passage of Tiree.
They became sharper and more distinct as it came closer.
Then there it was turning to approach the pier.

Securing the bow ropes

With the wind from the South the ferry came across the pier roundhead.
Can you imagine staying there attempting to catch the ropes?
The wind gusting all the time – today up to 38mph.
And the ferry can deflect the wind.

The MV Clansman alongside the pier

With the bow ropes safely caught the stern was brought alongside.
Then it was the turn of the pier staff to catch the stern ropes.
Safely berthed they proceeded to unload the vehicles.
Then it was the turn of the foot passengers.
There was no gangway.

With Saturday’s advertised sailing having been cancelled
this was the first ferry to arrive since Thursday
so there were several commercial vehicles
and a few foot passengers.

The stern ropes released and the stern pushed away from the pier – bow ropes still secured

As the ferry headed back out to sea there was the hint of first light.
The ferry would visit the Isle of Coll on its way back to Oban.
Unlike Tiree, the ferry cannot berth at Coll in the dark.

The MV Clansman ploughing its way out of Gott Bay

The following sunrise was colourful.
As the day has gone on the wind has risen.
Now the rain is being driven by the gusts of 50+mph.

The sun rising – the Scarinish Headland

Tomorrow the ferry is sailing once again to an amended timetable.
Instead of arriving at 11:05am Monday’s ferry will arrive at 2:20pm.
This service remains liable to disruption, delay or cancellation at short notice.

The rising colour brings colour

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.
There is never a dull moment.

A Golden Touch
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