Round Bute – Scottish Branch Charter 2017

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

Round Bute – Scottish Branch Charter 2017

Wednesday 19th July was the date for the Scottish Branch annual evening fundraising charter of Waverley and following the success of our 2016 cruise this year’s cruise was once again round Bute. However, unlike last year the weather did not improve during the cruise and it was a rather damp evening.

Following a delay at Rothesay Waverley arrived at Largs at 7:15pm just after the rain had started. She left Largs about 7:30pm with over 300 on board and made good time crossing to Keppel in 15 minutes where another 160 or so boarded, bringing the total on board to just short of 500 – an impressive number considering the weather forecast.

Waverley made good time sailing round Garroch Head then between Inchmarnock Island and Bute before entering the West Kyle. On this occasion Captain Steve Colledge took the dog leg channel through the narrows which did bring some passengers out on deck to admire the scenery despite the damp conditions.

After passing Rothesay Bay and rounding the northern end of Great Cumbrae the air pump started to play up which resulted in a loss of speed with the main engine on half revs. After calling at Keppel Waverley sailed at reduced speed to Largs where at the time of reporting she has remained. Repair work to the air pump has taken a week so far. Her engine room crew have been working very hard to effect a repair as quickly as possible knowing that every day lost means a loss in essential revenue. It is a hard fact that Waverley must earn sufficient funds in 5 months to cover 12 months of expenses and therefore it is hoped that those who have been disappointed in the past week will still choose to sail once she re-enters service.

The annual evening charter by the Scottish Branch has been very successful over a number of years and this has allowed the Branch to support key projects by providing grants. The Branch has also been in the position to fund publications such as the 70 Years of Paddle Steamer Waverley Photo Souvenir which helps raise further funds. The 2017 charter looks set to produce a good surplus even though it did not go exactly as planned. The Scottish Branch committee and myself as Chairman would therefore like to thank all those who have supported our charters over many years and I hope that PSPS members will continue to show support for all Branch activities for many more years to come.

The following pictures help record the evening.

Waverley berths at Keppel on the outward journey.Graeme Phanco

The prevailing weather conditions which passengers braved at Keppel are illustrated in this picture. Note also the PSPS flag flying above Waverley’s bridge since she is on charter.Graeme Phanco

Waverley passes through the dog leg channel at the narrows.David Shirres

Passing through the narrows.Paul Semple

Passengers waiting to disembark at Keppel.David Shirres

Approaching Largs.David Shirres

A screenshot image from the Marine Traffic app showing part of Waverley’s track on Wednesday 19th July including her evening cruise round Bute.

Waverley at Largs while work is carried out to repair the air pump.Graeme Phanco

Graeme Phanco

Graeme Phanco