Monday, 29 June 2009

You can't have a birthday without a CAKE

Last week's evening cruise organised by the Scottish Branch of the PSPS had two objectives:
  1. To raise funds for the Scottish Branch in support of keeping Waverley sailing
  2. To recognise that this year the Scottish Branch of the PSPS celebrates it's 40th birthday.
As already reported, the evening was a great success and the weather was wonderful, and despite some enforced changes to plans at the last minute, due to tidal conditions, over 700 passengers enjoyed a memorable evening - and some of that number got a piece of cake to celebrate the 40 years of the branch. I'm afraid I was a bit slow off the mark and the cake was all gone before I got there!.

The following photos will hopefully give just a little impression of the sort of night we enjoyed and the beautiful scenery to be enjoyed in the upper Firth of Clyde.

(My thanks to John MacFarlane for providing the cake photographs)


Scottish Branch Chairman Stuart Mears says a few words before the cake cutting cermony


Waverley's First Officer, Lorraine Gouland, cuts the 40th birthday cake watched
closely by Stuart who maintains pole position for the cake distribution phase!!


Branch Committee member and Cruise and Cake organiser, Peter Reid,
hands out the second piece of cake while in the background - yes!
the first bite of the first piece of cake is well on its way.

We left Greenock bound for Helensburgh (we thought) and it was only when I looked up from conversation with some friends that I realised that we were running parallel to the Gourock - Dunoon ferry, Jupiter, and that Cloch Lighthouse was up ahead. Not the normal course for Helensburgh. It was announced that due to the very low tide at Helensburgh, it had been decided to change the order of calls and eventually we veered away from the parallel course to make our first call at Blairmore. Above Jupiter can be seen continuing on her way to Dunoon, with the Cloch Lighthouse and the chimney of the former Inverkip Power Station in background.

Western Ferries Sound of Scalpay makes her way across the firth

Visibility was very good - scenery was fantastic

Eventually we arrived at Helensburgh where a large crowd was waiting

A photograph kindly provided by Allan Comrie, (one of the crowd on the pier)
showing Waverley approaching Helensburgh Pier

By the time we passed Cloch Light for the second time, the sun was
getting lower in the sky and the white building had taken on a golden hue

Sailing on the upper firth at this time of year, and particularly when closer to the north side of the river, you can see the sun setting several times, over a period of about 30 minutes, as your line of sight changes with different hills and mountains of varying heights coming into view.
This was one of the sunsets seen during our cruise.

Finally back at Greenock, unloading her passengers at 23:00, at this time of year the sky to the north never really gets dark on such fine evenings.

Charles McCrossan

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