This was a sailing arranged by and for steamer enthusiasts. From Largs, Waverley, under the command of Captain Steve Michel for the weekend, made the short trip northward to Wemyss Bay Pier with around 200 passengers. Here about 150 joined the ship at this unusual calling point for the paddler.
Then we sailed across the Firth to Toward before cruising the Kyles on the unusual eastern bank, passing close to Ardyne. The buoys at The Narrows had been adjusted once more and Captain Michel was able to pass through at Full Ahead. Two calls were made at Tighnabruaich Pier, to allow those who wanted to go ashore to photograph the steamer in action.
Then southward to Arran, passing close to Skipness on the way to Lochranza for a rendezvous with the CalMac ferry Loch Striven.
Then around the Cock of Arran to Brodick. On the way round, Waverley passed through the Measured Mile in 4 minutes 5 seconds, just over 14.5 knots.
Passengers were given about an hour ashore in Brodick during which Waverley made a couple of circuits of Brodick Bay for the benefit of photographers.
After Brodick, the weather deteriorated with a strongish wind setting up a swell from the south. The next scheduled call was Millport, but these conditions precluded this. Instead the steamer sailed round Wee Cumbrae before crossing to Kilchattan Bay. Waverley followed the eastern coast of Bute on the way to Toward. She hugged the Cowal coast north to Innellan and almost to Dunoon before crossing the Firth to Inverkip and turning south to Wemyss Bay once more.
The final leg was made to Largs into the wind. In the evening, Waverley had been chartered by the Fairlie Yacht Club to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. Despite the bad conditions they enjoyed their trip because they had brought their heavy weather gear with them.
This article was first published on Martin Longhurst’s Waverley – The Unofficial Site.