Waverley 2001 – Waverley’s Winter Cruises

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

Waverley 2001 – Waverley’s Winter Cruises

From the ‘scotships’ egroup:

“Good Morning All,

I am just up, after a late night cruising on the Waverley, I thought some scotships members might be interested to know that all went well last night (Friday, 14th December 2001) for the first of her two evening pre-Christmas dinner cruises. The steamer left Anderston Quay on time at 19.30 and after turning in the river, (she had been bow up stream since return from Wales on 23rd October) she proceeded down river. The first unusual thing to catch my eye was the new bridge under construction a short distance down stream from Bell’s Bridge. In the dark, it did not appear to me as if there is a great lot of room for a wide vessel to pass through. However Waverley had no problem.

We sailed as far down the Clyde as both time and her passenger certificate would allow, turning off Dunoon pier. On the homeward leg, we cruised over towards Roseneath before re-entering the main river channel for the sail back up the Clyde. It was pleasing to observe that the entire crew were all well-kent Waverley personnel. Well done to all of Captain Gellatly’s team. In particular, to the extremely hard worked catering crew, which it was encouraging to see, included the shore admin staff, who throughout the year always work very hard ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure all the organisation runs smoothly.

Just under 300 people were on board last night. They were served their Christmas meal in three sittings. Needless to say, the two bars did extremely good business all night. Entertainment was provided in the Jeanie Deans bar. Waverley berthed at Anderston Quay (again bow up river) on schedule at midnight, a good time having been had by all.

A disappointing observation I would like to make, is that other than myself, I recognised only two other enthusiasts (other than some of the crew, of course). These were a couple of chaps who had travelled to Glasgow by train from Oxford, arriving mid afternoon yesterday and leaving again mid morning today. How’s that for enthusiasm? But how sad it is that there wasn’t more support from those who claim to want to see the ship continue sailing for many years to come. I certainly hope that the PSPS charter tomorrow gets a lot more support from shipping enthusiasts. I suppose, understandably, a day time sail really does have much more appeal to enthusiasts. Anyway I hope all who venture down the Clyde enjoy it tomorrow.

Finally, although as I said, there didn’t appear to be many passenger enthusiasts on board last night, I was pleased to discover that there were at least four ‘scotshippers ‘ in the crew — two stewards, one of the engine room staff and one of the pursers.”

W.A.V. Castle

 
This article was first published on Martin Longhurst’s Waverley – The Unofficial Site.