Winter ferries are a little like the weather – they are a popular conversation topic especially at this time of year!
Squalls of wintery weather passed over the farm throughout the morning, the waves out at sea gained size and then it started to snow, albeit a sleety variety. I was heading through the glen (Glen Bellart) to Aros Bridge and down to Craignure and parts of the road were a complete blizzard and white out. When I got across to the east coast of the island it was almost sunny, and there were lots of mallard ducks where the Aros river meets the sea. Further down the Sound of Mull this fishing boat looked tiny as it slowly made its way down the Sound. I assumed, but didn’t see, that it would turn into the relative shelter of Lochaline.
Today we were anxiously watching the ferries service status on the Calmac website as Farmer needed the Lochaline to Fishnish ferry to be running so that we could an urgent cattle feed delivery. In the past our feed (the ‘short’ ration) would arrive in either dumpy bags which Farmer lifted off the lorry with his tractor and loader, or we got it in 25kg bags. Last year we discovered that it was possible to get the bulk feed lorry along the road between Calgary and here, and therefore we could order food to be ‘blown in’ – saving money on the cost of the food and also, importantly saving the use of all that plastic. The one slightly nerve-wracking aspect of this, is that we need to time the delivery of additional feed quite carefully so that the food bin is empty when the new fresh food arrives.
We needed the lorry to arrive today, as we did not have enough to feed the animals tomorrow! With that at the back of our minds, it was quite tense checking the weather forecast and the winter ferries to see whether Calmac were putting them on Amber alert.
We woke up this morning and the sea did look quite rough. Sure enough, both services were on Amber. The first morning sailing from Oban to Craignure was disrupted, and then subsequent sailings postponed until 3pm this afternoon. I was at a meeting in Craignure and we could see the ferry sitting on the pier. Thankfully though, the winter ferries didnt disrupt the delivery. Farmer did have to go out to look for the lorry though as the driver had not been here before!
The meeting over, I headed for home, stopping in at Salen to admire the view over Salen Bay.
The light when I got home was beautiful, past Shieling and out to sea.