21st March – 10th April (28 arrival)

Harbour News

Whitefish landings totalled 3700 boxes from 1 Scottish trawler and 7 Anglo Spanish liners / netters. The Scottish fleet, having tried unsuccessfully for haddock at Rockall have returned to the North Sea and will head back west in mid April in the hope that the haddocks will put in an appearance. The Anglo fleet have fished well with vessels landing excellent shots of quality fish weekly from shelf edge grounds.

Shellfish landings have increased recently with several freezer prawners fishing the Minch and landing their catches before heading south to the seasonal Porcupine Bank prawn fishery. The offshore crabbers continue to land weekly and the local inshore fleet works away as weather permits.

The non-fishing sector has been busy with smolt transfers, the Sordyroy, Victoria Viking and Norholm transhipped a total of 800,000 juvenile salmon to various sea sites around the coast.

The scrap metal amnesty to raise funds for Ullapool High School electric car project has been an unmitigated success with over 18 tonnes of metal collected and sold off. The design engineer, team manager and all round good guy Topher Dawson was presented with £2000 towards the build with additional funds kept in reserve for travel expenses. Many thanks to everyone for being so generous and in particular thanks to Donald Ross for transporting load after load to the scrappies.

The first cruise ship of the 2012 season is due into Ullapool on Sunday 15th April 7am-2pm. The MV Arion on route from Dublin to Lerwick with 350 mainly British passengers onboard will anchor in the bay and tender passengers to the pontoon and marquee reception area. This year Visit Scotland have kindly offered to assist with the meet and greet process as passengers come ashore, handing out local leaflets, answering questions and generally making the visitors feel welcome. In many ports the passengers are left to fend for themselves when they come ashore which very much restricts their visit due to lack of local knowledge. Small touches like this make all the difference, many thanks in advance to Chrissy and the Visit Scotland team.

Tall Ship News

The Wylde Swan set sail from Holland today (9th) heading first for Aberdeen before sailing through the Pentland Firth and tying up in Ullapool on Friday evening (13th). The 5 scheduled trips are all more or less full to capacity with 160 people going to sea at some point over the 20 day visit. Ullapool Harbour Trustees have sponsored 4 trainees on the first voyage to St Kilda and 60 trainees plus 14 chaperones for the two 24hr Summer Isles cruises. Here’s hoping for some settled weather and good sailing conditions as Ullapool & Coigach prepares to invade St Kilda.