Friday 20th April dawned with blue skies and a bright sun. About 9.30 am, Waverley tied up at Largs Pier. As this is currently a work site, passengers had to wait at the pier gates the steamer. Promptly at 10.00, the paddler set sail for Rothesay. Visibility was crystal clear and the remaining snow on Goatfell, the Isle of Arran, could clearly be seen.
After the call at Rothesay, Waverley headed for the Kyles. Following the excitement of Saturday’s sailing, Captain Gellatly had been in close contact with the Clyde Ports Authority. The moorings of the buoys had been tightened in the meantime, and the Pilot cutter Gantocks was in attendance to observe the passage through the Narrows.
The situation had improved, but it was clear that the width of the channel was less than that intended.
After Tighnabruaich, the steamer set course for Tarbert, Ardrishaig and on to Inveraray, for Waverley’s first call at the Argyll town since 1996. This was also the first ‘last call’ of the season, marked in traditional manner by three long whistle blasts as the paddler backed away from the pier.
There was an opportunity for the people of Inveraray to sail on Waverley to Ardrishaig and Tarbert with return by West Coast Motors coach. One passenger was nearly left behind buying kippers on Tarbert Pier. Under unbroken blue skies, the paddler crossed Loch Fyne to enter the Kyles of Bute once more. After calls at Tighnabruaich and Rothesay, the steamer tied up at Largs for the night.
This article was first published on Martin Longhurst’s Waverley – The Unofficial Site.