French amphibious assault helicopter carrier Tonnerre (L9014), captured by ClydeNavalGazing correspondent Bill Dow, heading upriver 03 October 2008

Wild weather!

A yacht got into difficulties off Southannon Sands in the Gale force 8 winds 04 October 2008. Caledonian Macbrayne's Loch Shira and Clydeport pilot cutter Mount Stuart were tasked by Clyde Coastguard to stand by the casualty until Largs lifeboat arrived and successfully resolved the incident.

Loch Shira returning to service after the incident. She had just left Cumbrae Slip when the incident occurred.

Mount Stuart returning to Largs Yacht Haven after the incident. She was just roundiing the head of Great Cumbrae after delivering a pilot to Nena M when the incident occurred.

Boa Fortune

Support vessel Boa Fortune alongside Solitaire 03 October 2008.


Police launch Strathclyde heading for Princes Pier 02 October 2008.

Havila Faith

A busy scene around Solitaire 28 September 2008. (left to right) Havila Faith, Second Snark, Solitaire and Carron (with barge). Havila Faith later sailed for Killybegs with a cargo of pipes from Solitaire.

Red Baroness

Coaster Red Baroness heading for Sandbank 28 September 2008.

HMS Grimsby

Sandown Class minesweeper HMS Grimsby 02 October 2008.

RFA Mounts Bay

Tug SD Nimble heading for a rendezvous with RFA Mounts Bay 02 October 2008.

HMS Pembroke

Minesweeper HMS Pembroke (M107) heading upriver ahead of SD Impetus 02 October 2008. Impetus (and SD Nimble) had chased HMS Manchester all the way from Loch Striven, but Manchester got to Faslane before them!

Glen Tarsan

Passenger cruiser Glen Tarsan leaves Millport Bay for Largs 02 October 2008.

A spot of fishing?

Two Royal Netherlands Navy landing craft (L9523 in the foreground) from Johan de Witt L801 enjoy a spot of angling in Millport Bay 02 October 2008. Even the squally showers did not appear to dissuade them!

Scot Venture

Coaster Scot Venture inbound for KGV 02 October 2008.


Tanker Meltemi inbound for Finnart 01 October 2008.

Mount Stuart

Pilot cutter Mount Stuart heads for a rendezvous with tanker Meltemi inbound for Finnart after lying in Irvine Bay 01 October 2008. A bit brisk from the West!

Grigoriy Aleksandrov

Less than 24 hours after berthing, the pilot leaves Grigoriy Aleksandrov, outbound for Vysotsk Russia, for pilot cutter Mount Stuart 01 October 2008. The lee side proved a boon!

RRS Discovery

Research vessel RRS Discovery outbound for Santa Cruz, Tenerife 28 September 2008.


Customs vessel Sentinel, outbound for an undisclosed location, passes bulk carrier Loxandra in the autumn sunshine 28 September 2008. Sentinel spent the night at Fairlie Quay.

Bulk changeover

Bulk carrier Loxandra outbound for orders with Grigoriy Aleksandrov inbound 30 September 2008.

Bugsier 21

Tug Bugsier 21 (seen here at 11.00 29 September 2008) also later ran to JWD, although she was riding out the waves north of Great Cumbrae at 16.00 when everyone else ran for cover! Met Office forecast appears to have changed to reflect the abating winds (I hope). She is on station to handle the return of the barge which Carron took upriver earlier.

RFA Bayleaf

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Bayleaf inbound for Loch Striven 29 September 2008.


The Met Office Forecast caused some disruption to the ongoing Solitaire maneouvers 29 September 2008, Second Snark was sailing from Largs Yachthaven as Largs Pier was OOB, and Carron hauled her barge to JWD for safe haven. It was a bit brisk from WNW about 16.00, abated a bit now(19.00), I hope that it has not all for nothing!


Customs vessel Sentinel arriving at Fairlie Quay 27 September 2008.


Pipelayer Solitaire still lying off Skelmorlie 27 September 2008.


Caledonian Macbrayne's Jupiter on service to Dunoon 27 September 2008.

Western Ferries

Four Western Ferries' "Sounds" were on service 28 September 2008 Pictures taken from Sound of Sanda.

Sound of Scalpay

Sound of Scarba

Sound of Shuna


A minor incident occurred whilst transferring personnel between RN minesweepers, Oban Bay, 26 September 2008.

All appeared well as the RIB left Bangor at the North Pier heading for Penzance lying outside the bay to the West.

Oops, just off the Cathedral, the outboard gave up! "Of course I can't fix it, I am used to bigger engines!"

It was then discovered that they were off a lee shore in a mild south-wester. "How do we work these again?"

Hurrah! Rescuers appeared from Bangor. "Catch (please?)"

Finally the tow was made fast and an ignominious end to the journey began. I'll bet the Skipper of Penzance will have a few words to say about maintenance etc.!


Two "Sandown" class minesweepers were in the Oban area on 27 September 2008.

HMS Bangor (M109) lying at the North pier.

HMS Penzance (M106) lies at the Western entrance to Oban Bay awaiting the transfer of personnel from Bangor. She had quite a wait! (see next thread).


Hurtigruten's liner Fram arrived in Oban Bay 27 September 2008.

Disembarking passemgers by flit boat to the Oban Times slipway.

Caledonian Macbrayne's Lord of the Isles passing enroute to Coll.

A different scale?

Caledonian Macbrayne's Isle of Mull outbound for Craignure with Eigg inbound 26 September 2008.


Argyll and Bute Council's Easdale Island ferry, Easdale, on service 26 September 2008

Kerrera Ferry

Duncan MacEachan's Kerrera Ferry on service 26 Spetember 2008.


Caledonian Macbrayne's Clansman on service to Barra 26 September 2008.

Passing Hebridean Princess.

A regular encounter with Isle of Mull in Oban Bay.

Lord of the Glens

Lord of the Glens operated by Magna Carta Steamship Co Ltd transfers passengers at Oban via local vessel Purple Heather 26 September 2008. She maintained station just off the North Pier for most of the afternoon, berthing at the Northern Lighthouse Board pier following the departure of Hebridean Princess.

Glen Massan

Passenger cruiser Glen Massan arrives at Oban 26 September 2008.


Caledonian Macbrayne's Eigg arriving at Oban ex Lismore 25 September 2008. The monument that can be seen on Kerrera in the background is to David Hutchison, a shipping line owner whose partner was one David Macbrayne!

Hjalmar Bjorge

Northern Light Charters' vessel Hjalmar Bjorge lying at Oban 25 September 2008. More information on this vessel, originally built as a rescue vessel, can be found here.

Hebridean Princess

Luxury passenger vessel Hebridean Princess arrives at Oban 26 September 2008.


Customs vessel Seeker heading south past the Garvellachs 25 September 2008.


Norwegian live fish carrier Brudanes waits to unload at the North Pier, Oban 25 September 2008.

A fine cargo!