Harbour News 17 August – 6 September

36 arrivals for the period

Whitefish landings have tailed off with the majority of the Anglo fleet either at home for holidays or working further south and landing into Ireland. Likewise, the Scottish trawl fleet has dwindled to one or two boats with the remainder undergoing their summer refits. A total of 3500 boxes were landed from a single Spanish netter landing frozen processed monkish from deep water and there were two landings of Rockall haddock and monkfish from the Inverness-registered trawler Adventurer.

Shellfish remains the busiest sector with 17 landings from visiting prawn trawlers, weekly landings from the offshore crabbers and a single landing of scallops. The prawn fleet have had a decent few weeks with better than average fishing in reasonable weather. The crabbers have had a mixed time; the Heather K enjoyed good fishing of both crab and lobster but the Our Hazel has had to contend with fuel contamination from the recently floated oil rig Transocean Winner.

Non-fishing arrivals was limited to the cruise ships Silver Wind and Hebridean Princess, the fish-farm landing craft Ossian (in to collect a load of salmon pellets) and the pelagic trawlers Quantus and Unity in to drop off personnel. The Silver Wind with mostly American guests enjoyed a 6-hour maiden call to the village on a bright and sunny day. The bulk of the guests spent the time walking round the village, climbing Ullapool Hill and exploring the shops – a number of passengers remarked positively on the quality of the village’s two bookshops.

Cruise visits continue next week with the regular German ships Albatros and Amadea calling in on Monday and Tuesday respectively.  This brings to an end the 2016 cruise season.  A total of 13 ships carrying 5158 passengers and 2631 crew made the journey to Lochbroom and included 5 maiden calls to the harbour. For 2017 the diary is filling up.  Fifteen ships are now booked including a further two maiden calls – the Boudicca (Fred Olsen) and the recent Cruise and Maritime acquisition Columbus which at 63,786 tonnes will be the largest cruise ship to date. Numbers next year will increase with 8100 passengers and 2758 crew expected.

Tall Ship News The Dutch schooner Oosterschalde made an unscheduled call on her way from Tobermory to Blyth. The three-masted topsail schooner is the last remaining representative of the large fleet of schooners that sailed under the Dutch flag at the beginning of the 20th century. As the largest restored Dutch sailing ship, the ‘Oosterschelde’ is a monument for Dutch shipbuilding and maritime navigation under sail. In addition to the regular sailing trips for private persons and companies, the ‘Oosterschelde’ also provides opportunities for other groups, such as youngsters from deprived backgrounds, disability groups and long term illness sufferers.  With the assistance of professional coaching, individual groups are given the opportunity to get involved with running the ship, learning new skills and building self confidence through teamwork participation.

Picture Caption: Oosterschalde in Lochbroom taken by local photographer Steven Gourlay.

The Oosterschalde recently competed in the tall ship race from Blyth to Gothenburg and came third in the Class A race – not bad for an almost 100-year old lady. Next year she will join Wylde Swan and the rest of the fleet to tackle the transatlantic races from London to Canada; I’m sure she will return to Ullapool in subsequent years.

Check out their website or take a virtual tour, http://www.oosterschelde.nl/en/ http://www.oosterschelde.nl/vtour/virtualtour_oosterschelde_e.html

Tall Ship Tecla is on her way back to Ullapool this Sunday following the summer in Iceland. Spaces are available for the forthcoming three-leg trip from Ullapool to Amsterdam sailing firstly to Oban, then through the Caledonian Canal to Inverness and the final leg over the North Sea to Holland. Anyone interested in joining Tecla for some or all of the return voyage should contact the ship’s office via info@tecla.nl. The opportunity to sail from your home port on a Tall Ship is a rare privilege and I would urge you to take part as the ships will only continue to come if the trips are financially viable.

Funding, Ullapool Harbour Trust allocates up to 2% of gross profit to stakeholder initiatives annually. (Historically funding applications were fairly infrequent, and as such more often than not requests were met, albeit not necessarily 100 %.) More recently the number of funding requests has increased to a level that requires a more structured application and award process. The fund will now be allocated on a quarterly basis with applicants submitting a written application for consideration by the Trustees. The application should contain the following information; brief outline of the project, total cost, funding avenues explored and timeline. Applications will be assessed collectively at the end of each quarter with the funds allocated accordingly.  A summary of the quarter’s applications and awards will be published in the Ullapool News. The ethos of the award scheme is to fund local organisations and youth projects with an emphasis on community enhancement. Applications to be submitted by 30th September 2016

We were interested to read of Bear Scotland’s speedy cleaning of up some ancient graffiti on the cliff face outside Ullapool during the week (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-37255434).  If only they’d show a similar level of eagerness to fill in the patchwork of cracked road surfaces and potholes throughout the village.

Harbour Trustees and staff wish to convey their sincere condolences to the Dawson family following the death of Benje Dawson who died on Friday night; our thoughts are with you all at this sad time.