13th August – 2nd September (25 arrivals for the period)
Whitefish totalled 700 boxes from the Anglo Spanish liner Ayr Dawn who made 3 good landings of hake and ling in settled weather. The west coast monkfish fishery has been subject to a 4 week closure. As a consequence the Scottish fleet continues to work in the North Sea and around the Northern Isles.
Shellfish landings continue to make up the lion’s share of pier activity with a number of visiting prawn twin-riggers fishing the Minch and landing into Ullapool. The offshore crabbers continue to work well, making decent landings of crab, lobster and crayfish weekly.
The non-fishing sector was dominated by leisure craft; the luxury cruise ship Hebridean Princess made two overnight calls and the Fred Olson cruise ship Braemar a day visit. Apart from a late visit from Hebridean Princess, the 2013 cruise season is largely over. A total of 8300 passengers and crew came by sea to Ullapool this year and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and highland hospitality on offer. The Tallship Wylde Swan had another very successful trip to the village with all but 1 of the 6 trips completely sold out. In total 230 lucky people went sailing, visiting amongst other places Shiants, Taransay, St Kilda, Fair Isle, Westray, Stromness, Stornoway and Amsterdam. Wylde Swan arrived in Amsterdam this morning (2nd Sept) having had a fantastic voyage home in favourable winds maintaining speeds of 8-9 knots for the duration. Ullapool Harbour Trust placed 50 trainees onboard in 2013 with funds raised through car washes, coffee mornings, calendar sales and international funding bodies. Plans are taking shape for the 2014 fund-raising harbour calendar – see our advertisement for details of how to submit pictures for consideration.
Ferry Infrastructure (Press release for Stornoway Gazette)
Ullapool Harbour Trust (UHT) conducted a STAG appraisal of existing ferry infrastructure in 2011 and from this concluded that the Do Minimum requirements which must be completed prior to the Loch Seaforth taking up the route are as follows:
Extend the ferry pier southwards by 35 metres, install a new Passenger Access System (gangway) and address the ferry traffic / trunk road interface. UHT have appointed Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) to oversee management aspects of the entire project. Wallace Stone have been appointed as consulting engineers to design the pier extension, berth fendering and traffic management. Royal Haskoning consulting engineers have responsibility for designing the new gangway and Matheson Mackenzie & Ross architects are looking at options for expanding the existing ferry terminal.
Following on from a pre-qualification questionnaire process, 5 companies have been invited to tender for the pier extension with tenders returned on the 4th October. Contractors have been given 2 designs to price; the more traditional Combi-Pile build and a floating Caisson option. Completing a pier extension over the winter months will not be without challenges and with that in mind the Caisson option is being considered as a serious contender. This gives contractors the opportunity to build the new pier in a controlled dry dock environment, tow the completed structure to Ullapool and sink onto a prepared seabed. The gangway design has been agreed and will go out to tender on the 29th August with a 6-week tendering process. The passenger terminal options are currently being considered and will be finalised after consultation with the ferry operator and likewise the traffic management options are under review.
The estimated total cost of the works is in the region of £9.5m with a significant element coming from Transport Scotland’s lifeline ferry Grant in Aid scheme. All works are on schedule and every effort will be made to complete by the July 2014 deadline with minimal disruption to the ferry services throughout.
Scrap Metal Amnesty
The scrap amnesty is going very well with several tonnes of high quality metal being kindly donated to the cause. Many thanks to all concerned for your continuing generosity and support which is very much appreciated by all concerned.
Once again Ullapool High School has plans to compete in the Greenpower electric car challenge in 2013, qualifying round at Aintree and hopefully the national final at Goodwood. The home-built supercar Insane Bolt requires further modifications plus additional funds are required for the 2 trips south. Ullapool Harbour Trust collected almost £3000 for the project in 2012 by selling scrap metal kindly donated by local businesses and the community. If you have any old scrap getting under your feet please ring the Harbour Office to arrange collection on 01854 612 724. Many thanks in anticipation