Harbour News 14 July to 7 August 2015

62 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 11,500 boxes from 5 Scottish trawlers and 20 Anglo Spanish liner/netter landings.  The Scottish fleet has spent the past two months unsuccessfully looking for squid at Rockall.  With haddock and monkfish quotas now exhausted the fleet has returned to the North Sea for the remainder of the year. The Anglo fleet has had a great year with an abundance of top quality hake and ling on the grounds. A few boats have now returned home for a month long break to overhaul their boats and conserve quotas.

Shellfish has once again been very busy with regular landings of frozen and fresh prawns from Minch groundsThe offshore crabbers continue to enjoy reasonable fishing with a decent lobster and crayfish by-catch.

The non-fishing sector was fairly busy with the fishfarm support vessel Tie Venture in for a layover, the Marine Scotland vessel Hirta was in for a crew transfer and the German cruise liners Artania twice and Albatros visited for scheduled day visits. The cruise business is slowly increasing with new cruise lines looking at Ullapool as a possible destination. As ever large numbers of passengers leave on coach excursions which is part of the deal for making the port call financially viable for the cruise line. Thankfully virtually all Ullapool excursions are half day tours, allowing all passengers the opportunity to explore the village for at least half the day.

Ferry works continue with the ships storage units progressing well.  Shot-blasting and painting on the other hand is still waiting for that elusive dry spell.  Loch Seaforth is carrying out three return sailings six days a week with a single crossing each Sunday. Since 26th June the Isle of Lewis has carried out two additional crossings on a Friday and Saturday afternoon to ease congestion on this busy route. This arrangement will continue until 29th August.

Tall Ships trainees and passengers had a wonderful time on Wylde Swan this year with all trips fully booked and lots of amazing memories, stories and pictures.  The final trip saw 15 harbour-sponsored sail trainees (pictured) from UHS and a further four students from Dornoch and Kinlochbervie set sail for Kristiansand in Norway.   The voyage was a huge success; some great sailing topped off by a swim in the sea outside Kristiansand and a great ceilidh on board on Saturday night.  Everyone returned safe, sound and tanned on Sunday. Plans will take shape over the winter for the Dutch ketch Tecla to return in May for a series of voyages possibly to Faroe and Iceland and the Wylde Swan in July for more fun in the sun.