PS Waverley's third day of the main Clyde season was looking to be a great day out and a great day out it was!
Waverley began the day in Glasgow where she set off for her next stop at Largs. After sailing downriver, she arrived at Largs where a large number of passengers were eagerly waiting to board.
The arrival went very smoothly and the passenger transfer was swiftly made. Once again she set sail and began the journey to Lochranza. The sun was out and the majority of passengers could be found on the outside decks. As the passengers soaked up the sun, Waverley crossed from Garroch Head to the Head of Arran where some marine life was spotted in the distance. On arriving in Lochranza bay, passengers were treated to a view of the tall ship Thalassa, which was resting in the bay.
While berthed at Lochranza, CalMac's Hybrid Vessel Catriona arrived from Claonaig. In previous years the smaller ferry Loch Tarbert could easily berth at Lochranza slip while Waverley used the pier to transfer her passengers. Now however, the Catriona's larger size makes doing this a lot trickier. After some expert ship handling, the vessel managed to berth and discharge her vehicles and passengers but did so at an angle to the slip.
After Lochranza, Waverley proceeded down the Kilbrannan Sound towards the whisky filled Campbeltown Loch. Again the passengers continued to enjoy the sun and the commentary as they sailed the length of Arran. When approaching Campbeltown Loch, H.M.S. Pembroke could be seen positioned just East of Davaar Island.
A swift passenger transfer was again made in Campbeltown and the ship set sail for the Island of Sanda.
Turning just half a mile from Sheep Island, all on board were given a brilliant view of Sanda and its accompanying islands. Ireland was also clearly visible in the distance.
With Waverley now at the end of her outward journey, the return leg was commenced as she headed for Campbeltown once more. Arriving into Campbeltown, CalMac's Isle of Arran could be seen lying at the ferry berth after travelling from Ardrossan.
Waves were exchanged between both Isle of Arran and Waverley's passengers and crew. With the passenger transfers completed, both vessels began their departure procedures and the two well acquainted vessels left the loch one behind the other.Isle of Arran led the way but Waverley fell behind slightly as she performed her turn.
To watch a video of the full departure, click on the video below.
With the sun behind them, the vessels parted ways as they headed for their next destinations. Isle of Arran headed South of Arran towards Ardrossan and Waverley headed North up the Kilbrannan Sound. With the wind behind her, the sun was again present and I imagine a few passengers wished they had remembered the sun cream. Waverley returned to Lochranza and then Largs where she began the final leg back to Glasgow.
A good day was had by both frequent and fleeting travellers. A day which would not be possible without the efforts of all those involved in the preservation of Waverley, both in the early years and in recent years. We owe our thanks to them for allowing us to enjoy sailing on Waverley today.
Pictures provided by Allan Smith and Paul Semple.