Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Chairman's Blog No 15 - An Opportunity to Say A Heartfelt Thanks.

Scottish Branch Hospitality Event - Waverley - Sunday 7th August

I think it is fair to say that all parties are not joking when they say that this season is "Make or Break" for Waverley and Balmoral - but when looking from the outside in it is not immediately apparent how much volunteer work goes on behind the scenes by PSPS members (and non-members as well of course!) to keep our ships sailing - through thick and thin. Just being able to sail on the ships during the season is reward enough for our willing band of volunteers but it is nice to be able to offer our thanks in a small way when we can.
The Scottish Branch will be holding their annual Hospitality Event on board ps Waverley as she sails to Tarbert, Loch Fyne on the above date. This event is our way of saying thanks to our ever loyal members for their ongoing support of Waverley and the PSPS in general.
Arrangements have still to be finalised but we hope to include a Welcome presentation by our Branch Chairman (me!) in the ship's Lower Bar followed by a few words from Waverley Excursions Director and Volunteer Liason James McMillan, after which an AV presentation will be shown whilst members relax and chat over a cup of complimentary tea or coffee. Events in the lower bar will be followed by visits to the Engine Room and Bridge.
Whilst there is no charge for the actual Branch event you must purchase a cruise ticket from either the Waverley Excursions Website, by phoning 0845 130 4647 or from the Ship's Purser on the day.

Proceedings should begin just after Waverley has sailed from Rothesay and will come to a close to allow members to view the approach to Tarbert so if you want to come along make sure you join the ship at or before Rothesay -the timetable can be found here

This event is restricted to members only but if you want to join you can do so by following the link to the application form on the left hand column of the blog or you can join on board at the ship's shop. Why not join on the day and come and meet us?

Fancy it ? See you on Sunday 7th August then!!!

Gavin Stewart
Scottish Branch Chairman

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Tarbert Take 2

With the weather being so good on Wednesday 13th July many passengers took advantage of it and joined Waverley for her 2nd visit this year to Tarbert (Loch Fyne). Those who did venture aboard were lucky enough to experience Waverley in all that she offers. The weather was perfect, the scenery stunning and the steamer provided the best way to appreciate it all. I thought a few more pictures of the paddler in such surroundings may be welcomed.

After a slightly delayed start the steamer left Largs with well over 500 aboard, deck space in the sun was at a premium. Once again a good number joined her at Tighnabruaich owing to the two coach loads waiting as she arrived. A good number of passengers took advantage of time ashore at Tarbert.
Tarbert marina in the afternoon sun
Arriving back at Tarbert

Berthing at Tarbert pier

On completion of the cruise and with all passengers landed at Largs Waverley was soon off to Greenock for her overnight berth before undertaking a private charter on Thursday 14th July.

Paul Semple

Friday, 8 July 2011

A Clyde Paddler & Two Traditional Clyde Piers

On 6th July Waverley completed her first revised Wednesday run, the previous Wednesday was altered to a round Bute cruise after a delayed start. This was Waverley’s first call at Tarbert without the need for assistance from a small boat owing to the fact the pier has been in need of structural work for a few years. Over the past few months both Tighnabruaich and Tarbert piers have had works completed to ensure that Waverley can continue to use them. We owe a great deal to the individuals who have worked hard to ensure that these traditional Clyde piers remain open. Indeed the best way we can repay their efforts is to use these piers as much as possible.
Waverley’s schedule on a Wednesday this year takes her from Largs to Rothesay then through the narrows calling at Tighnabruaich before she enters Loch Fyne and on to Tarbert. A change also introduced this year is that the steamer then heads back down Loch Fyne to give splendid views of the North Arran coast and Lochranza.
As Waverley made her way towards the narrows she passed the sailing vessel Lord Nelson, pictured below.

Arriving at Tarbert for the first time in 2011
Tarbert for me is a must at least once a year on Waverley. It brings back memories of the first time I ventured on Waverley without adult supervision. The weather on Wednesday was similar to that day back in 1993, which I can still recall so vividly, with some patchy rain to begin but brightening up as the day went on. The pictures which follow show Waverley leaving and returning to Tarbert pier from her afternoon cruise. I would encourage all to take a trip on what is my personal favourite Clyde cruise. If you are not able to do mid-week sailings remember she is scheduled to call at Tarbert on Sunday 7th August, which is also the Scottish Branch hospitality day.  

Full speed astern
Arriving back at Tarbert

Arriving back at Tighnabruaich
(Now complete with rubber fendering)

Paul Semple

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Ayrshire Summer Sunshine

The following pictures were taken on Sunday 3rd July. Waverley arrived at Ayr shortly after 2.40pm before heading south to call at Girvan for the first time this season. With over 500 passengers she then made for Ailsa Craig, otherwise known as “paddy’s milestone”. As the steamer sailed round the island a large number of birds were in flight, indeed more than I have ever seen before. Some puffins were also spotted on the north side of the Island.

Due to her second call at Ayr coinciding with low water Captain O’Brian took the precaution of using one of the rescue boats to take the lines ashore. Recent soundings in the harbour suggest that there is now insufficient water for the steamer to run astern up the river at low tide while attempting to berth at the Compass Pier.  In all Sunday was a perfect day to appreciate all that Waverley offers, indeed what other vessel could you sail on to experience the Firth of Clyde at its very best? In other words folks get aboard and support Waverley as often as you can in this crucial year.

Waverley entering Ayr Harbour

Just about to make the turn to Port to enter the North Harbour

Canting before running astern up the River Ayr

Leaving Girvan

Paul Semple