Harbour News 1-23 January 2024

43 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 3,700 boxes from six Scottish trawl landings. The trawl fleet normally goes to sea on Boxing Day but delayed by 24 hours this year due to the gale force winds. The first landing of the year tends to attract the highest prices with vessels being richly rewarded for their efforts which generally take place in stormy conditions. Boats have worked along the shelf edge looking for high value monkish, cod and haddock and have been rewarded with reasonable returns.

The shellfish sector is always later to return to sea after the festive break and boats tend to start back on the first week of the year. In an unusual period of very settled frosty weather, seventeen prawn trawlers landed their catches which combined with the efforts of the local fleet.

Non-fishing activity continued at a steady pace.  There were fifteen arrivals of aquaculture vessels for crew charges, fuel and supplies. Additionally the survey vessel Roman Rebel laid over waiting for work and the MCA tug Ievoli Black called in for fuel and crew. The ferry Loch Seaforth largely remained on timetable with only a few weather-related cancellations.

Very sad to report that it seems our intrepid Russian single-handed sailor Roman Titov who set sail on the 13th December bound for Istanbul has been lost at sea. Large sections of his yacht Forvard have been identified along the shores from Strathan to Stoer.  Many thanks are due to the emergency services and local coastguard units for completing countless hours of searching the shorelines.  Roman first arrived at Ullapool Harbour in January 2022 having spent 17 days marooned at sea after being pitchpoled and dismasted 300 miles off the coast of Scotland.  It’s possible to read an account of his remarkable survival in online article – https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/boat-events/golden-globe-race/roman-titov-pitchpoled-dismasted-300-miles-off-scotland-84935. Roman returned home to his family in Russia and reappeared in Ullapool a couple of months ago to continue his adventure. Aided by a team of local helpers he installed a new mast and the boat was tidied up ready for sea. His determination to proceed is to be admired but sadly it seems the relentless stormy weather in December proved too much.

Finally there is further sad news as we mark the passing of Roddy Mackenzie from Lochside. Roddy managed the Breedon quarry here in Ullapool and was instrumental in the production and supply of 16,000 tonnes of quarry products for the Shore Street development.  It is fair to say that the success of the project was down in no small part to Roddy’s meticulous daily supply of materials to keep the squads working and the job progressing. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.