On Tuesday 27th December the Scottish Branches of the PSPS and Coastal Cruising Association (CCA) chartered MV Clyde Clipper for what turned out to be a unique festive cruise blessed with excellent conditions.
Members of both groups started to gather at Greenock's Victoria Harbour shortly after 10am with the prospect of a good cruise given the weather forecast. Clyde Clipper departed Greenock prompt at 1030 and headed to the first of what became a 3 lochs cruise. The cruise was advertised to visit the Gare Loch and Loch Long with a brief call at Blairmore but thanks to skipper Thomas Klein the cruise included Loch Goil in addition to a close up of what remains of Arrochar Pier.
On departure from Greenock Clyde Clipper made her across the tail of the bank and into the Gare Loch passing Rosneath and Rhu Point before turning off Faslane.
After making here way back down the Gare Loch the 2010 built catamaran headed for Blairmore where a brief photo stop was made. Many of those on board took advantage of the call to capture the bright mid-winter scene.
On departure from Blairmore the buffet lunch was served while Clyde Clipper made her way up Loch Long towards Arrochar. Skipper Thomas Klein slowly approached the remains of Arrochar Pier to give those on board a good close up of Waverley's former calling point. Waverley's first call at Arrochar was almost 70 years ago on her first day in service on 16th June 1947 and her last call was in September 1972 after which the pier closed.
Clyde Clipper turned off the pier and moved slowly astern towards the wooden structure before finally sailing back down Loch Long and briefly entering Loch Goil to clock up the 3rd loch. On the final section of the trip further tea/coffee and hot mince pies were served.
Clyde Clipper arrived back at Greenock just before 1630 with all on board enjoying the unique cruise in excellent conditions. A surplus was made for both clubs with PSPS holding a raffle which produced just over £400 thanks to the generous support of members.