Harbour News 9-22 July 2019

30 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 12,000 boxes from nine Scottish trawl and three Anglo-Spanish long-line landings. The Scottish fleet continues to fish at Rockall for haddocks and squid with a decent bycatch of monkfish. As expected, catches are starting to decline and a number of vessels have returned to the east coast for their annual refits. A handful of Scottish boats will continue to work west, fishing along the shelf edge for groundfish. They may well all return to Rockall later in the year for the autumn haddock fishing. The Anglo fleet is largely fishing north and landing into Shetland with only three boats putting small catches of hake and ling ashore.

The shellfish sector was unusually quiet; there were only five prawn trawl landings, scallops from the Oban-based dredger Star of Annan together with the local inshore fleet’s efforts.

Yet again, the non-fishing sector was both busy and diverse. The exploratory cruise ship Variety Voyager made two scheduled calls and the ocean-going cruise liners Viking Sun and Viking Jupiter called in for half-day visits (The latter was making a maiden call). Viking Cruises is a private company owned by the Norwegian billionaire Torstein Hagan who founded Viking River Cruises in 1997. Today the company runs ninety river cruise ships and has six identical ocean-going ships at sea with a further ten on the order books. Hagan was very keen to see cruising revert back to the golden age and has developed a luxury offer complete with five-star food, entertainment, surroundings and no casinos, gaming machines or children. The emergency towing vessel Ievoli Black called in for the Rotary weekend and performed open ship duties; special thanks to the officers and crew for their hospitality. The fishfarm tank ships Viking Junior and Aqua Senior called in for layovers and the bulk fish food carriers Eidholm and Mikal With were in for fuel. Tanera-based landing crafts Cromarty Queen and Claudia called in briefly.  Cromarty Queen landed 2.1 tonnes of beach litter collected by a group of volunteer kayaking beach cleaners and Claudia called on a maintenance visit. Finally the offshore tug Sima (pictured) called in for fuel and a crew change.  Sima is a versatile multipurpose offshore installation vessel suited for a variety of tasks and is currently working west of Lewis.

In Tall Ships news, the harbour has sponsored seven Ullapool High School senior pupils to join Wylde Swan for an Erasmus International Youth Exchange in 2019. The lucky seven will join the ship in Aarhus on August 3rd and sail along the Danish coast, visiting Copenhagen and Samsø before making their way to Esbjerg. This unique sailing journey is a perfect mix of sail training and cultural programs with over thirty trainees from other countries on board.  The main focus of International Youth Exchanges on the Tall Ships are leadership skills and intercultural learning and this year, particular attention will be given to sustainability and the challenges of a circular economy. On completion of the exchange voyage Wylde Swan will head to Scrabster for a seven day island adventure voyage before arriving in Ullapool on August 29th. There are still several vacancies on the two scheduled St Kilda trips at the end of August early September – for further information, please check out Wylde Swan’s website for details – https://www.wyldeswan.com/