We rose at 8:00 to decamp and head off to the ferry terminal to catch the 9:45 boat to Colonsay for our three-day visit to the inner Hebridean Island. This was a change of plan as we were initially due to set out from Oban further north, but CalMac had advised us that, due to 'technical difficulties', the ferry would now depart from Kennacraig. As we were 'fluid' in our plans, this alteration was of no consequence to us, and we happily joined the merry morning throng to board the ferry. The only disappointment for us was that rather than a direct trip from Oban, we would be stopping at Port Askaig on Islay, which inevitably extended our journey time. Once most of the passengers had disembarked, we set off again, our happy band of some seven passengers!
After about another hour and a half, the ships' master started to manoeuvre the vessel into position to dock; Nadia and I readied ourselves to leave the ferry. I then noticed that the scenery outside the porthole did not tally with my understanding of the ships architectural layout! We seemed to be moving away from the jetty. It was just then that an announcement was made to advise us that the first docking attempt had been unsuccessful and a second was to be undertaken. Hmmm, I thought, and so we went out onto the deck to watch our second effort to dock. To my untrained eye, it looked like a pretty lame effort as the seas did not look too choppy, although the wind had undoubtedly risen and was blowing 'a hooley' as we say around these parts! I then noticed that we were moving at speed away from the pier as a another announcement was made advising us that, as the second attempt had also been unsuccessful, we were heading back to Islay!
So much for our three-day, pre-paid accommodation on Colonsay, I thought as we ploughed our way back to Port Askaig. The upshot was that we were booked on another ferry from Islay that would get us back to Kennacraig at 18:00, and we would have to make our way north to Oban, a journey of some 55 miles and one hour twenty-five minutes. As it turned out, we discovered that our accommodation was available on Sunday evening, so we could extend our visit to the original three days if we could alter our Sunday return journey from Colonsay to Oban to Monday.
Therefore after an aborted trip of some 90 miles and over five hours, we drove to Oban, had a curry and found an excellent overnight spot to tackle it all again tomorrow. Ah, the joys of 21-century ferry travel in Scotland!
Photo taken from the Oban curry restaurant
As it happens, I had set a tracking app on our way out of Kennacraig, which shows our trip; enjoy!
We woke this morning to the news that the Colonsay ferry could be cancelled at any moment due to the high winds. So no change there then! We spent the morning wondering if we were destined to get to the island or not; however, Que sera, sera! By the time we were due to head to the ferry terminal, there was still no indication if we would be leaving Oban or not, but on a positive note, the wind had abated quite a bit. In the end, lady luck was to be on our side, and the ferry set off on time, and the journey was smooth and pleasant. After a couple of hours, we eventually set foot on Colonsay, and our adventure was back on track!
So for the next few days, we will be posting from the Inner Hebridean Island, and we hope to be cycling around much of the ten-mile-long by two-mile-wide dod of God's green land!
We made it to Colonsay!