11th – 30th April (33 Arrivals)

Harbour News

Whitefish totalled 5000 boxes from 2 Scottish trawlers and 7 Anglo Spanish liners. The Scottish fleet continue to hunt for the seasonal Rockall haddock unfortunately to no avail; early indications would suggest that the adult population is well down on previous years.

Shellfish landings have been poor across all sectors with the offshore crabbers and local prawners struggling to make ends meet.

The non fishing sector was very busy with 9 visits from Smit naval support boats, the Marine Scotland vessels Alba na Mara and Scotia and the smolt carrier Victoria Viking. The first cruise ship of the season MV Arion called in on Sunday 15th April; the first passengers ashore were greeted with heavy snow showers, thankfully by 8am the sun was beating down. Many thanks to Chrissy Boyd and Celia Charity for greeting the passengers in the marquee and to Kayleigh and Angus for piping, much appreciated.

On Friday 13th April, Wylde Swan the world’s Largest, Fastest and Best Top Sail Schooner returned to her adopted home for 18 days of adventure on the West of Scotland. Five trips planned over the past 8 months, 80 paying passengers and 74 harbour sponsored trainees eagerly awaiting the trips of a lifetime.

Sleeping bags packed, quells purchased, musical instruments stowed and the occasional bottle of drams stashed the 3 adult trips destination St Kilda departed the pier in light winds and glorious sunshine. Through the Sound of Harris in daylight or dark Wylde Swan made light work of the 110 mile voyage to the mystical archipelago of St Kilda. All 84 passengers made landfall and explored the island in glorious sunshine with pipes and accordions playing welcoming tunes. The 7 day trip came home via Castlebay, Tobermory, Knoydart, Carbost and Gairloch with stories, new friendships and memories too many to mention. The first trip returned with a revitalised Budgie and the second a stowaway in Gary the Guga the third trip who knows as they are on St Kilda today? The High School trips went without a hitch cruising the Summer Isles in baking sunshine 56 youngsters aged 12-14 hoisted the sails and scrubbed the decks, certainly some senior trainees in the making.

The Wylde Swan crew have loved the experience commenting again and again on the lovely kind folk, fantastic music and stunning scenery. So farewell for 2012 to Jurgens, Willem, Adrian, Nele, Marlise, Kathi, Tony, Matthias, Andreas, Alex & Lawrence, haste ye back in 2013 for more of the same.

For those that have pictures they would like to share please email them to the harbour and when I get to grips with my techno they will might appear on the harbours facebook page.

View images of the 1st St Kilda trip on www.wyldeswan.com and click through to facebook.