As summer comes, the number of big ships moving through the Sound increases. Two unusual vessels passed us during the last few days.
The first was the RSS Discovery - the RSS stands for Royal Research Ship - whose main task is scientific research across the Earth's oceans. Funded by the National Environmental Research Council, she works for the National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton, and is the main platform for British marine research. With a scientific staff of 28, she was named after an earlier Discovery - Robert Falcon Scott's 1901 ship which carried his ill-fated polar expedition.
The second was the Price Albert II, an expeditionary cruise ship operated by SilverSea. She is designed, as the company's blurb puts it, 'specifically for navigating waters in some of the world's most remote destinations'. She has a strengthened hull with a Lloyd's Register ice-class notation 1A, and carries 132 guests.
I wonder why Kilchoan's local waters are suddenly of such interest to ships more accustomed to the world's most wild and remote places, such as the Antarctic?