We crossed the Sound of Mull to Tobermory yesterday, leaving on the Raasay's first sailing of the day, at 8.00am. We don't go to Tobermory or, for that matter, to any other local town unless we really have to. That's no reflection on the pleasures each has to offer, it's just that West Ardnamurchan is so much preferable.
As with all modes of transport these days, the ferry is festooned with warning signs, including one at the entrance to the passenger accommodation warning users to treat the door with respect - or risk losing their fingers. We were told that this dummy was a warning to passengers who failed to pay - and then reassured that it was, in fact, used in a recent 'man overboard' exercise. The Diary's opinion is that the ferry should never sail without having it hanging from the yardarm.
Tobermory has plenty to offer. The Western Isles Hotel, seen at top left in the picture, has the best view in town, from its conservatory, where you can eat while watching events in the bay. They're very good, too, at serving early morning coffee. Tobermory is also a pleasant place to pass time outdoors, as there are two muddy walks along the cliffs on both sides of the bay. Finally, and most importantly from our point of view yesterday, there's a branch of our bank, an excellent dentist, and a hairdresser who is so good that our daughter comes up from Suffolk to make use of her services.
However, the Diary's day was made by this, another sign of the coming of spring. It's a pied wagtail sunning itself on the jetty beside the Tobermory RNLI lifeboat. They don't overwinter here but travel south, to England or France, so it's good to see them back.