Festive Cruise Report

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

Festive Cruise Report

This year’s joint PSPS and Coastal Cruising Association (CCA) Festive Cruise on M.V. Clyde Clipper to the Kyles of Bute and Ormidale was a great success with the trip being fully booked in advance. Indeed there were a number of members and friends who have not joined us previously for a cruise and all aboard appeared to have an excellent day out with good company, good food and fantastic mid winter sailing conditions.

With just short of 110 passengers aboard Clyde Clipper eased out of Greenock’s Victoria Harbour just after 10:30am on Wednesday 27th December and made her way past Custom House Quay with the snow covered peaks on the North Bank in clear view. The passage from the upper Firth to Toward Point allowed those on board to socialise on deck before lunch was served as we entered the Kyles. With almost a full lounge lunch passengers were called up to the buffet by giving each table a Lighthouse name. Names were then announced in order of height starting with the tallest which was Skerrymore at a height of 48m.

Toward Lighthouse on the southern tip of the Cowal Peninsula with the distant snow capped hills around Loch Long and Gareloch. Graeme Phanco

Clyde Clipper made her way through the narrows, on past Tighnabruaich and turned off Kames before entering Loch Riddon. This was Clyde Clipper’s first call at Ormidale Pier and the crew berthed her with ease as if it was part of her usual routine. About 30 minutes was allowed for those on board to have a short walk with many taking photographs to record the unique call. By 2pm Clyde Clipper was making her way for the narrows and with a following light breeze conditions were excellent for the return sailing.

Looking back down the East Kyle with the ferry crossing from Bute to Colintraive as Clyde Clipper approaches the narrows on the outward journey. Paul Semple

Passing Tighnabruaich pier before Clyde Clipper turned off Kames. Graeme Phanco

The spacious lounge on board Clyde Clipper with members and friends enjoying lunch. Paul Semple

Passengers disembark Clyde Clipper at Ormidale pier – the first call for the Clyde Marine vessel at the remote pier. Graeme Phanco

Clyde Clipper berthed at Ormidale Pier. Paul Semple

A unique call as Clyde Clipper rests at Ormidale. Graeme Phanco

Clyde Clipper departs Ormidale and Loch Riddon for the return journey. Graeme Phanco

The sunlight starts to fade as Clyde Clipper makes her way back up firth to Greenock. Paul Semple

A raffle was held on board with prizes donated by Waverley Excursions and PSPS Scottish Branch Committee members. The proceeds of the raffle were split between the PSPS and Waverley Steam Navigation Co Ltd. With the trip being fully booked in advance a surplus will be made on this excursion. Thanks are due to all who purchased a ticket to support this event and to the crew of Clyde Clipper

The next joint outing by the Scottish Branches of the PSPS and CCA will be on Saturday 19th May from Glasgow to Lake Windermere. Full details of the trip and how to book will be issued with the spring Paddle Wheels.