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16 October 2014


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there she blows and off goes the ferry

Getting on and off Gigha has become rather unpredictable due to high tides and strong southerly winds. For over a week we have had major disruption to the ferry service. The school kids have already missed quite a few days of school - although I suspect they are not complaining.
Due to work being based on the mainland at the moment I am more dependent on the ferry than ever before. I have become obsessed with the met office website - inshore waters forecast (the BBC forecasting continuing to let us down..). Last week I arrived for the 12 noon ferry last week to witness it hot tailing it to the south pier on Gigha with no passengers… It was blowing a hooley, but they could at least have taken us with them!! So, I settled down to work in the car on the lap top all afternoon, hopeful that we would have a teatime sailing - all the builders were on the island and I was sure the ferry staff would make an effort to get them off. Even though the wind was constantly dying down, no sign of a ferry and eventually we found out that the crew had decided not to sail - leaving about a dozen of us stranded (including tourists). Other tourists destined for a few nights in the Hotel had already given up.

But all was not lost. Kenny spotted a fishing boat at the pier on Tayinloan and negotiated a trip over to Gigha for us all. They were more than happy to take 6 locals, 5 tourists and a dog over!

The sailing was magnificent. The wind had dropped back, we had porpoises sailing along side us and a wonderful sunset. We had a whip round for the boys, who were embarrassed to take money. Not only did we get a lift, but they gave us some fish for our tea – so Monkfish was on the menu that night!! It was truly a marvellous way to arrive on the island. Stepping onto the island was even sweeter when remembering that we were saved another night away from home.

With the forecast for next week not looking any better, its fingers crossed as not only do I lose money - the company I work for loses face when no one turns up for meetings. If global warming continues to give us these strong but warm winds the islanders will need to campaign for a better ferry service to safe guard the future of the island. No ferries means no trade - either way and without that we have no island.
Posted on buttondiva at 21:16


Gigha? Sounds lovely. Does BLOG mean Bonnie Lass of Gigha. Ask Christine Haddow about that one and say hello to her for me. Ta

Dave Doak from San Francisco

Good to hear again from Gigha - what's happened to Rhoney-Ro? LTNH

Mike from Glasgow

The weather sounds pretty bad there. How often does the ferry NOT sail in the winter, and do you have emergency strategies

Cate from Fort William

Visited Gigha on a very hot summer's day many years ago. Wonderful memories.

noseyparker from Muir of Ord

I spent a wonderful holidy on Ghiga nearly 25 years ago and one of the fondst memories i have is my mother making the ferry crew use the turntable on deck because she refused to reverse off the ferry! i hope you have a new ferry now ;-)

Calum from Orkney

I spent the weekend of 24/25 September 2005 on Gigha, staying at the hotel. I'm cycling around the whole of the coast of the UK (in stages!) and this was part of that journey. There was a 'severe weather' warning on the Sunday evening for the following day when I was due to leave Gigha to travel on around the Mull of Kintyre. This was of course the remnants of hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans! The ferry did get away but it was rocking badly in the strong south westerly wind. The ferryman told me the wind was force five and would soon be force 9, by which time the ferry would be tied up! I got across okay and turned staight into this SW wind cycling down towards Southend and eventually back up to Campbeltown. I can honestly say that this is the worst day's weather I have ever encountered whilst cycling. The gale force wind as far as Southend was relentless and the rain was horizontal! However, I loved Gigha, and I am hoping to return in early March with my wife to do some walking. I hope the wind keeps away!

Arthur McArdle from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire

I was lucky enough to sail to Gigha on a chartered yacht which we anchored near to the ferry. The weather was very rough and we had trouble with the outboard of our small dinghy. Eventually we all got ashore for a drink and evening meal at the local hotel and a couple of us were treated to a drink by a chap with a beard. Can't remember his name but he featured in the 'Open Country' programme which was broadcast from there. Thanks for the drink Mac. Unfortunately the weather worsened and we couldn't get back to the boat that night and had to book in to the hotel. At least the beds were comfortable. I'd love to go back when the weather improves.

Frank Smith from West Midlands

Bad weather! Pooey! It is very rare that the ferry doesnt go, and with a sailing every hour you should be ok. The weather has been great recently, can't wait for summer, but then we have to share the beaches with the less hardy only-visit-in-summer types. P.S. Can we have some georgeous single men visit please? Or how about starting an inter-island singles do?

Little Fish from Gigha

Joe passed on your message Mr D. Glad to hear ur alive and kicking in San Fran. Been to the Boathouse for brilliant scran, thanks to Joe and Lindsay. Well worth the visit. Hope to come to Gigha again soon.

wee fi from London

Little Fish - an inter island singles do? What is one of those or them? Is that like wearing your vest all day? Vatersay is looking forward to hosts of single women during next summer. I am going to organise a flower arrangeing and sheep dipping competition - not on the same day you understand. This should cater for all types of ladies.

CrofterBill from Vatersay

what has happened to the blogging from Gigha. I would have thought you might have a few comments regarding your transport off/on the island! ! !

hi fi from lowlander

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