Harbour News 20 November–2 December 2019

12 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 3,400 boxes from four Scottish and two Anglo-Spanish vessels. The Inverness-registered Adventurer II made a couple of decent landings of cod, monkfish, squid and haddocks from shelf edge grounds west of Lewis. The Hull-registered pair of seine netters Guiding Star and Guiding Light landed three lorry-loads of mostly hake and saithe from north of the Butt of Lewis. Built by Parkol Marine of Whitby for Andrew Marr International Ltd, Hull the boats are crewed and skippered by Scottish lads who in the main hail from Peterhead. The 26m sister ships primarily work the North Sea grounds, occasionally making a foray west when quotas are tight. With severe reductions planned for North Sea quotes in 2020, the skippers anticipate spending much more time fishing west next year and landing into Ullapool.

The Anglo-Spanish long liners Saint Gothard and Landora landed good shots of mostly hake and ling from north east of Shetland grounds. The boats steamed 325 miles to land in Ullapool before travelling a further 1,000 miles to their home port of Pasajes in northern Spain.

The shellfish sector was restricted to a single visiting prawn trawler alongside the efforts of the local fleet of trawlers and creelers. The Chinese crab market remains closed forcing the creel men to concentrate on prawns; the resultant increased effort has flooded the fragile market and negatively impacted pre-Christmas prices. There are tough times ahead for the shellfish sector with vulnerable live exports facing transport delays and doubtless they will pay heavily for the privilege.

Non-fishing business has been quiet.  There have been three visits from the fishfarm barge Meercat carrying out day-running to Ardmair and the MCA tug Ievoli Black called in for fuel and a crew change.

The two regular Dutch Tall Ship visitors to Ullapool – Wylde Swan and Tecla are currently far from home. Since leaving Ullapool in May, Tecla has covered 14,500 miles on a voyage which has taken her through the Northwest Passage, down the west side of America to Galapagos.  She is currently heading for Easter Island and will continue on to Antarctica before heading north before finally returning to Ullapool on 17 June 2020 at which point she will have carried out a 30,000 mile voyage. Wylde Swan departed Amsterdam at the end of October and headed south to the Canaries before setting sail for the Caribbean where she will spend the winter months before sailing back to the Netherlands in May 2020. Wylde Swan will return to Ullapool in late summer next year for the usual round of adventure voyages to various remote Scottish islands.

The harbour was very sad to hear of the passing of Laurie Chilton. Laurie had a heart of gold, was always seeking to help others and worked hard on community initiatives to improve village life. Our thoughts are with her family at this very sad time.