Captain’s Choice Indeed
The circumnavigation of Arran on 2nd August promised to be a great day as it was, quite rightly advertised as a Captain’s Choice cruise. And so it turned out to be although not in the way intended. On the day the wet and windy weather resulted in many cancelling their sailing. Nevertheless 174 dedicated souls left Largs at 1100 for whatever the day might offer.
Before leaving Largs, Captain Andy O’Brian announced that the deteriorating weather may prevent the advertised sailing but that he would do his best to provide an interesting cruise. At Keppel Pier we were advised there was to be no call at Brodick as that the weather was deteriorating and there was already a one metre swell at Brodick pier. Andy advised us that he was in making this decision he was concerned that, even if the ship had been able to dock at Brodick, it was likely that it would not be possible to get passengers who boarded there back to Arran.
Nevertheless we were to sail around most of the island. Although it was raining for the sail between Arran and Holy Island around Pladda and up the east side of Arran, there were a few hardy souls on deck to see the still impressive scenery. Some folk even admitted to enjoying the rain. Inside everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves socialising, watching the engines or enjoying the Equinox band in the Jeanie Deans bar.
It was just after Lochranza that we left Arran’s shore to start Andy O’Brian’s magical mystery tour which included sailing between Bute and Inchmarnock Island and keeping close inshore at Kilchattan Bay. Like the rest of us, commentator John Galloway had no idea where we were going but did a great job of providing a detailed commentary about wherever Captain Andy chose to take us. His tour was timed to arrive at Keppel Pier at 1800 as timetabled and thence to Largs where most folk left the ship.
On the sail to Glasgow the weather deteriorated further with high winds preventing the call at Greenock and spectacular monsoon rain keeping the decks clear. Someone remarked that rarely had he seen the ship’s scuppers unable to cope with rain. Fortunately for those of us walking to public transport, the rain cleared on arrival at Glasgow at 2115.
Ten hours on the ship on a wet and windy day doesn’t sound like a great way to spend the day. Yet the ten hours on the ship had passed quickly. It was a shame that there wasn’t good weather for this cruise but in such conditions the Clyde can still be spectacular and not knowing where you are going added to the attraction.