Harbour News 16th March – 4th April 2016

54 arrivals for the period

Whitefish landings continue to rise with 14,000 boxes of haddock, hake and ling coming ashore. The seasonal Rockall haddock fishery is now well underway with boats reporting decent hauls of good quality fish on the bank. Closer to home a few trawlers have tried their luck on traditional grounds north west of the Butt of Lewis with mixed results. The Scottish trawler Endeavour experienced main engine problems and was towed in from west by the Beryl with both boats landing quality fish. The Harvest Hope, Ocean Endeavour and Adventurer all put ashore full boat loads of haddock from Rockall. The Anglo Spanish fleet are also enjoying a bit of a bonanza with hake and ling in abundance.

Shellfish landings have also seen an increase with a number of visiting vessels fishing North Minch waters with mixed results. The Fladda Maid put ashore her maiden landing for Gairloch skipper Angus Macleod who is delighted with his new vessel.

Non-fishing saw the fishfarm tugs Tie Venture and Nitrox in for layovers, the Briggs dive support vessel Kingdom of Fife in to drop off personnel and the cruise liner Azores in for an unscheduled half day visit. The Azores was originally due to call into Stornoway but adverse weather promoted a rethink and the ship was diverted to Ullapool. 550 passengers came ashore and wandered around the village, took walks and did some shopping. Some businesses were not yet open for the season; many thanks to the Museum and visitor centre who opened specially for a few hours in the afternoon. Hebridean Princess will overnight in the Harbour April 29th followed by L’Austral, a smaller vessel carrying French passengers, on 22nd May.

Tall Ships

Tall Ship voyages from Scottish harbours are something that Ullapool has had the monopoly on for the past 5 years with the Dutch top sail schooner Wylde Swan returning year on year and more recently the Tecla in 2015. To date over 250 local youths have enjoyed fully sponsored voyages, and 650 largely local adventurers have sailed to St Kilda and beyond creating fantastic memories for all concerned. This year we are lucky enough to have 2 ships visiting with the return of both Wylde Swan and Tecla. These opportunities will not last forever and I would urge those of you who have perhaps considered but not taken the plunge to seriously consider a voyage in 2016.

The Tall Ship season kicks off later this month with the arrival of Tecla on April 25th. Tecla, with eight 2-bed cabins, is offering some fantastic longer sailing adventures with trips to St Kilda and The Flannan Isles from 2-9 May and from 10-16 May followed by a trip to Reykjavik from 17 May to 7 June. This unique 100 year former herring drifter is owned and run by a Dutch family with mum Janette the owner and her son Gijs and daughter Jet the skippers. Please check out their website for trip details, and if nothing else, why not try a day sail on Sunday the 1st May round the beautiful Summer Isles.

Wylde Swan returns for the sixth year in succession undertaking a number of four day sails to St Kilda, Ullapool to Oban trips and milemaker trips (to Ullapool from Hamburg and Ullapool to Aalborg). Sadly Wylde Swan will take a year out in 2017 to compete in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta with a series of races starting in Greenwich on 13th April taking in Portugal-Bermuda-Boston-Quebec finishing in Le Havre on 31st August. As in previous years, Ullapool Harbour Trust will sponsor a trainee voyage for Ullapool High School pupils in 2017, voyage details are still in the planning stages. Please check out the Events Calendar on the front page of the Harbour website for further information – www.ullapool-harbour.co.uk.