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Back by popular demand, Picture of the week.


On the damp and overcast morning of Tuesday 30 May 2017, six intrepid adventurers, who also happen to be members of Glasgow Richmond Model Boat Club set sail from The Glasgow Science Centre warf onboard the PS
Waverley, well four of the six did, namely Susan, Norrie, Neil and Bill at the ungodly hour of 07.00 bound for the fair city of Oban via Greenock, Campbeltown and Scarinish on the Island of Colonsay, the remaining two passengers namely Kenny and Arthur joined the ship at Customhouse Quay in Greenock mainly due to the fact that they both live in the town and there was no sense in  getting up at an even more ungodly hour and driving to Glasgow to join the ship, and in any case it would have been more expensive - Greenock folks are not daft altogether.

Leaving the Clyde Waverley sailed from Greenock at 08.40, bang on time, in what could only be described as very overcast conditions compounded by a slight drizzle, however by the time we were passing the Gantock’s off Dunoon, the drizzle had stopped and if you were quick little patches ofBlue Sky blue sky were visible every now and then.  With the drizzle having stopped, never to be seen again all day the course taken down river ran parallel with the Cowal shore and then further south down the side of the Island of Bute to starboard with Great Cumbrae to port.

 On reaching the southernmost tip of the island of Bute, PS Waverley turned to starboard and set course for the north end of Arran but by the time we rounded the headland and passed Lochranza it had become very overcast but Davaarthe rain still stayed away. Heading down Kilbrannan sound towards Davaar Island and Campbellton Loch there was a very slight sea from ahead but as we turned to starboard into Campbellton Loch the wind direction changed causing a slight lump from ahead coming from across the Kintyre Peninsula however this did not stop the Waverley arriving on time at 14.30.

At one point the Harbour Master and the Skipper could be heard discussing the weather with the Skipper commenting “that if the wind did not shift it did not look to good for when he got round the corner and stated that if that was the case he might be back”, we left Campbellton on time and headed out of the Loch turning to starboard for Sanda Island and the bottom of the Mull of Kintyre at Southend – the bit around the corner, however the sea state was not as bad as expected with a steady roll coming in from the Port Quarter which was not unpleasant.

On rounding the Western tip of the Mull and passing Kintyre Point and lighthouse, we headed out towards the bottom of the Sound of Islay, the channel between the islands of Mull and Jura passing the entrance to Port Ellen on the Port side and after a short while eventually turned slightly to Port and entered the Sound of Islay. This change of course eased the sea state and with the rain still off and more and more blue sky appearing the day was getting better by the minute.Jura

After a while we passed Port Askaig on the port side and headed further up the Sound towards the open sea and the Island of Colonsay, the weather still improving, however within about 5 minutes of clearing the north end of the Sound of Islay the more robust force of the Atlantic swell made itself known just as the majority of our group decided to have our evening meal, causing an interesting exercise of trying to keep the garden peas on the plate, let alone on the table.Lighouse

The increased corkscrewing and pitching motion which had developed was interesting enough for the Captain to announce “it would be advisable to remain seated for the next while”, this state of affairs continuing for the next 20 minutes or so but as we slowly entered the lee of the Island of Oronsay this extreme sea state dissipated and the further along the coastline we sailed with the Island of Colonsay to Port the calmer conditions became, so much so that by the time we were approaching the pier at Scalasaig the sea was almost calm. We arrived at 17.30 and were informed that the ship would leave again at 18.00 allowing those who wished to go ashore the opportunity to do so for the princely fee of 1.00 per head landing fee. ColonsayApparently two passengers shot off towards the Colonsay Hotel and managed to down a quick half allowing them to boast that they had had a drink on Colonsay, Waverley sailed on time after a couple of rather damp toots on the ships whistle.

On departing Scalasaig we proceeded in a Northerly direction with Colonsay still to port and after a short while, once we cleared the lee of the island a more pronounced gradual roll from the port stern quarter became apparent which allowed a very pleasant seat on the starboard side of the ship in the lee of the forward superstructure which gave a tremendous view of the east coast of the Island of Jura in the distance being highlighted by what was now becoming the setting sun making the Island and the mainland stand out against a beautiful blue cloudless sky.

White Horses

This light level also picked out the increasing line of white horses in the distance to starboard which were partly caused by the sea state but compounded by the boiling tide eddies making their way towards the direction of the Sound of Corrievrecken and its whirlpool.

As Waverley headed further North, passing the Garvellachs to Port using the rocky outcrop to shield from the swell, the ship gradually passed the Islands of Luing and Scarba to starboard and headed up towards thOban Baye Sound of Kerrera and eventually the entrance to Oban Bay docking at the Old Pier on time at 20.30 and marking the end of an enjoyable passage.

Coaches were waiting to transfer passengers, one to Campbeltown and two for Glasgow, the first one of which was heading to the Science Centre direct, and the second one, initially heading to Greenock, and then onto Glasgow. After travelling through the Pass of Brander and Loch Awe village both coaches turned right and headed down the road to Inverarray and on arrival turned left onto the main road heading for the Rest and be Thankful and Arrochar at the head of Loch Long. On reaching Tarbert the road was followed down the side of Loch Lomond to Dumbarton and eventually to the Erskine Bridge and just prior to joining the M8 the lead coach went left for Glasgow and the other turning right over the M8 and heading for Greenock arriving at Customhouse Quay at 23.30 -  bang on time once more.

An end to a pleasant day which brought good weather and companionship to all concerned.

Report by Arthur Wilkins, GRMBC Chairman
Photographs by Bill MacCowan & Norry Mason

GRMBC 2017