Loch Linnhe

could this be the last time

the last time we’ll look out the window and see

the world’s last ocean-going paddle steamer, the PS Waverley docking at the Fort William town pier?

Could be, because she’s under threat. The company of enthusiasts (Paddle Steamer Preservation Society) who bought the ship from Calmac for £1.00 in 1976 are having serious difficulty keeping her going with current fuel prices.

So this may be the last shot we’ll get of her reversing away from the pier, beginning her characteristic reverse U-turn across Loch Linnhe, before heading off down the loch to Oban and beyond. Let’s hope not….

You can see more about the PS Waverley, and maybe contribute to help her survive another year, here, and on her Facebook page here

we're back

from our first, long-delayed, much prevaricated

trip to the Eilean Siar, the Western isles.

Ten days across Lochaber and Skye to Harris, Lewis and North Uist. With a very brief foraging trip to Benbecula.

And now we’re back in the metropolitan hubbub that is Fort W...

Yachts on Loch Linnhe

... and it’s another regatta night at the yacht club. So it’s good to see the Lochaber light again, and yachts on the water below the kitchen window.

Backfill of blog with tales and pics from the Isles to follow in the next few days....

For tonight, no more. This being the tenth anniversary of Jim’s mother’s death.

that time of year again

each year about this time we here in Fort William get one or two visits from the last ocean-going paddle steamer in the world.

Some years we’ve sailed on the Waverley, down Loch Linnhe to Oban and beyond to Iona, or out by the Sound of Mull to Tobermory and into the Atlantic beyond Mull and Ardnamurchan. This year we just happened to meet her as we were driving home from the Kilmallie Singers’ annual concert at Ardrishaig.

Saw her first by Castle Stalker, and drove on to await her by the Corran lighthouse,
PS Waverley passing through Corran Narrows

then finally as she arrived at Fort William’s town pier
PS Waverley arriving at Fort William

(Note: Built in Glasgow in 1948, the PS Waverley is just a wee bit older than Jim, and we wondered if she’d make it back this year. Not her age, you understand: just that a couple of days ago was the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuations, and we wondered if the Waverley might be over there, since her predecessor, the previous PS Waverley, was sunk at Dunkirk.)

hailstones and rainbows

sometimes it's hard to explain

how magical the climate up here can be, even when it's not the best of days weatherwise

So here's a pic from our window this morning as a hailstorm made its way down Loch Linnhe, passing across a pair of rainbows