(Words by Gavin Stewart, Pictures by Gerry Deegan)
Early in the afternoon of Tuesday 26th May our little paddler came out of her temporary home in Garvel Dry Dock, Greenock.
Gerry Deegan - a native of Inverclyde and a former shipyard engineer - was on hand to record the event on camera. Many thanks to Gerry for allowing the branch to use his excellent photos.
Clyde Marine tugs Boojum Bay and Beaver Bay assemble on the dock wall ready to assist.
The dry dock gates open and the tugs take up position.
Waverley's deck crew get a line out to the tug as the paddler's bow edges clear of the dry dock entrance.
Waverley looking a million dollars - glistening in the afternoon sun - complete with new Edward Waverley on her starboard paddle box. The previous one was washed away during her particularly stormy passage down the Irish Sea en route to the Solent last year. The new one was cast from a special resin by volunteer Jim the Joiner and attached last Saturday. More on this in a later article.
The tugs begin to turn Waverley and head towards Custom House Quay - a regular calling point for the ship during her Clyde season.
Coming alongside - note the bow rope already ashore. Once safely tied up works would proceed to ready her for passengers on Friday 29th May.
Whilst all the attention was on Waverley the vessel with which she had shared the dry dock with for the past 8 days - Irish roro ferry Foyle Rambler emerged and headed down river eventually out to sea to return to Ireland. Must have been interesting when she got to open sea!!
So there you have it - the plan is for her to sail on trials with an MCA surveyor on today before heading back up river to her berth at Glasgow Science Centre where she will welcome her first passengers of 2009 on board on Friday - sailing at 0700 to Oban.
Heres hoping for good weather!!!
Vice Chairman - Scottish Branch