Harbour News – 5 August to 5 September

55 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 7800 boxes from 6 Scottish and 12 Anglo Spanish landings.  The Scottish fleet have finally exhausted their Rockall haddock quota and with squid catches dwindling the vessels have headed north and east to fish out the remainder of the year. The Anglo fleet have now returned from their summer break and continue to fish long-lines along the deepwater shelf edge for quality hake and ling.

Shellfish landings have been quieter with the visiting North Sea vessels heading back east, the offshore crabbers undergoing annual refits and the local fleet working as weather permits.

Non-fishing sector has been very busy with 17 arrivals for the period. The most notable visitors were 3 German cruise ships Ocean Majesty, Delphin and Artania over a 4 day period with 3500 passengers and crew coming ashore to plunder the shops looking for a bargain. After the recent abnormally wet weather, it was great to see so many visitors enjoying sparkling sunshine with many opting to stay around the village and take in the spectacular views from Ullapool Hill.  We are set to welcome another German cruise liner, the Albatross on September 9th.

Ferry works The principal contractor RJ Macleod has largely completed their element of the works with the main pier extension 95% complete, new fender system installed, bollards positioned and steelwork fabricated. The installation of the new fenders at the beginning of August heralded a milestone in the project with the berth able to accept the new ferry Loch Seaforth. The new Passenger Access System has been fully assembled with the Spanish manufacturer Adelte now completing the wiring, commissioning and training prior to handover. We anticipate that the new PAS will be available for use by the majority of passengers in mid September. Unfortunately anyone with mobility difficulties will still have to use the ferry car deck until the terminal is completed and should contact Calmac locally for assistance. The terminal building is evolving with the roof being installed next week and replacement windows shortly thereafter. The heating systems have now been agreed along with the majority of internal details and finishings. The lifts have been ordered and will be installed in November. (It had been hoped to install the lifts earlier in the contract but unfortunately that was not possible).  All being well the terminal building will be completed by the end of December with Santa cutting the ribbon. Ullapool Harbour Trust would once again like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued patience during the construction phase.

Tall Ships Our friends on the Wylde Swan left Ullapool for Stavangar in Norway on 21st August after yet another wonderful visit here.  31 S2 pupils together with six adults and the crew had a great day sailing around the Summer Isles with lots of onboard games, fun and laughter. Everyone got wet but there were lots of smiling faces at the end of the day.  Aime Henderson and Billie Houldsworth presented Ullapool Harbour and the Wylde Swan crew with two beautiful hardback books of photos and quotes compiled during the harbour-sponsored sail trainee trip from Bergen to Ullapool.  This really thoughtful gift is much appreciated by everyone and is a fantastic memento of what a great experience our 11 trainees had.  The previous weekend, we were delighted to welcome the 3-masted Statsraad Lehmkuhl’s return to the Harbour in her centenary year.  As usual, local interest was overwhelming; there were 909 visitors on board during the day who toured around the vessel and listened to some great story-telling from Lewisman Ian Stephen. In the evening, a further 250 guests joined the crews of both vessels and enjoyed a great ceilidh with members of the extremely talented Feis Rois ceilidh trail.   We have invited both ships back to Ullapool in 2015 and feedback is overwhelmingly positive; they gain huge enjoyment from the warm welcome they receive every time they come here.