Harbour News 3–16 August 2016

30 arrivals for the period

Whitefish landings were once again fairly quiet with three Scottish trawlers and one Anglo Spanish liner landing 1600 boxes. The Scottish trawlers Adventurer and Keila continue to fish for haddocks at Rockall with reasonable success. In the last decade squid has been a large component of the Rockall summer fishery but this year they have failed to appear. Skippers have reported very few squid and in their place huge rafts of common jellyfish are covering the grounds. Jellyfish tend to live alone but as they are at the mercy of wind and tide sometimes they are found in huge groups called blooms. Globally jellyfish are an important food for humans and catches are increasing.  They are usually preserved by drying and are considered a delicacy in some parts of Asia.

Shellfish has once again been the busiest sector with sixteen offshore prawn landings, three crab and lobster landings plus the local fleet working away as weather permits.

Non-fishing was unusually busy with four cruise liners Albatros, Pacific Princess, Ocean Majesty & Seabourn Quest carrying 2600 passengers and 1300 crew calling in to sample the delights of the village and surrounding area. Despite mixed weather a mix of German, American, Australian and Canadian passengers came ashore in positive mood thankfully stating they don’t come to Scotland for the climate.  This Sunday, Cruise Ship Silver Wind undertakes a half day maiden visit, arriving Ullapool at 8:00am and departing at 2:00pm.

Dutch Tall Ships are becoming a regular sight in the harbour with Wylde Swan and Tecla both using Ullapool as a base for summer adventure voyages. The Wylde Swan made a welcome return last week on her way from France to Norway with a group of young university trainees from Houston Texas. The youngsters had a great time exploring the village and Ullapool Hill.  They also made a day trip to Scoraig courtesy of Scoraigers Jessie Johnson and Topher Dawson – many thanks to both. Jessie has been working on board Wylde Swan again this summer along with Becky from Lochinver and Matu from Ullapool – lucky people!  Wylde Swan won’t be back in 2017 as she is transatlantic racing next summer from London to Canada and back to France but she will definitely return in 2018 for more adventures in the west.

Tecla will return to the village on 11th September having spent the summer exploring 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. Tecla has just posted her 2017 Scottish itinerary online which includes a circumnavigation of Skye, a St Kilda week, plus voyages to Iceland and Greenland.  Check out their website http://www.tecla-sailing.com/sailing-schedule/  for full details.

What an incredible weekend, Ullapool & District Pipe Band crowned World Champions 2016 and Champion of Champions 2016 in both piping and drumming.  Massive congratulations and thanks from all at the Harbour to the band members, tutors, volunteers, sponsors, parents, supporters and fund raisers, you’re amazing.