Whitefish totalled 1500 boxes from 3 Scottish trawlers and 1 Anglo Spanish liner. The Scottish boats continue to fish for squid at Rockall with catches and quality starting to tail off after a period of concerted effort. The harbour received the terrible news that the BF registered twin rig trawler Audacious sprang a leak and sank 40 miles off Aberdeen on the 10th August. Owned by the Gatt family from Whitehills the Audacious
has been the top Scottish whitefish boat for a number of years and a regular lander in Ullapool. Thankfully the weather was fair and the skipper and crew made a text book evacuation to their life raft in a matter of minutes as the vessel sank beneath their feet. The Anglo Spanish vessel Anchousa made her first landing in Ullapool due to Lochinver harbour being closed for the annual Lochinver Games weekend.
The shellfish fleet have had mixed fortunes, the offshore crabbers continue to make decent landings of crab and lobster whilst the local prawn fleet are struggling with very poor returns for their efforts.
The non fishing sector saw the Dutch bulk carrier Leonie on route from Finland to Belfast call in for fuel and the German cruise liner Astor in for a half day port visit. Once again the sun shone and the cruise passengers, greeted by Chrissy Boyd from Visit Scotland, had a lovely time exploring the village. Many thanks to Chrissy, Donna and the girls from West Highland Woollen Co and Gregor Couper for piping the visitors ashore.
Ullapool Harbour Trust recently won the Inverness Architects Association northern area award for innovative design with the Ullapool Whale project. The initial concept was to build a walkway/reception area for tourists and visiting cruise ship passengers in the form of possibly a herring skeleton. As the project developed the SBA architects came up with the blue whale canopy as this gave a much larger and more useable space.
Fundingwas forthcoming and feedback from cruise lines was very positive. Unfortunately as the project evolved the construction costs increased and the board of Trustees took the decision to shelve the project given the tough financial times. The design will now go forward to the IAA national finals in Strathpeffer this November. Who knows if successful perhaps sufficient funding could be unearthed to complete the project. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBuFxRAAX4E
The Wylde Swan is scheduled to return to Ullapool on the 25th September for a 5 day voyage round Skye and a 3 day voyage in the Minch. To have a tall ship of the Wylde Swans stature and reputation operating from Ullapool is fantastic and I would urge anyone interested to grab these once in a lifetime opportunities.
For more details check out the harbour website or contact Wylde Swan at email@example.com
Congratulations to the Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club for organising and hosting another fantastic community regatta on the 11th August. Skiff crews from far and wide plus droves of spectators witnessed some great racing in near perfect conditions, ideal preparation for next year’s inaugural World Skiff Championships in Ullapool 6th – 14th July 2013 (C’mon the Lass).