Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Lysblink Seaways - Day 8 Morning

At 6.30 this morning, in calm weather, we could see that the transfer of fuel hadn't begun as the two tugs lay seaward of the Lysblink Seaways, with the Forth Jester further into the bay to the north of her.  Last night we'd had a report that the tug Luca would be carrying out the tow once the fuel was offloaded.  A check on the AIS website found her passing through the Pentland Firth with the Sound of Mull as her destination, due here at 7.30 tomorrow morning.

To get a better view of what was happening we walked into the area to the east of Mingary Castle, into the hills which overlook the wide bay in which the ships currently lie.

This area is part of the Ardnamurchan Estate, where some of the finest red deer stags are often to be seen.  While the Estate farms sheep and cattle, it's also one of Scotland's premier stalking estates.

The hill immediately above the ships is the site of Choire Mhuillinn, one of the villages cleared during the middle of the 19th century to make way for sheep farming - the walls of one of the broken houses can be seen in the foreground.

By this time the Kingdom of Fife was along the starboard side the Lysblink Seaways so we couldn't see more than part of her superstructure, but the transfer of fuel had obviously started.

Taken from further round and higher in the hills, this picture looks westward towards the northern entrance to the Sound of Mull, with Mull at top left and Kilchoan Bay at top right.  This section of coast is one of the most beautiful on Ardnamurchan, a series of bays which, in contrast to the sands of Sanna, are shingle.  We walk here often, and hardly ever see another soul - yet it's one of the best places for seeing sea otters, and....

....both sea and golden eagles are often in the skies above Maclean's Nose.

Returning along the beach, we could see the Kingdom of Fife alongside.  By this time the southeasterly wind was beginning to pick up and it had started raining.  The wind is forecast to increase and come steadily round into the south-southwest, with gusts to gale force by midnight.  The forecast on XC Weather for the next few days isn't much better, and that for Monday is terrible - strong west-northwesterly gales gusting to force 12, hurricane force.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting how, although holed in the forward section, she angles down at the stern. Maybe, if double hulled, the water has flooded the rear section whilst held in that orientation on the rocks and balance keeps the status quo thus. I hope that when they pump out the fuel oil, she doesn't rise up and spill the oily bilge out into the Sound; a situation which still might happen when under tow without the benefit of an oil boom.