Scotline boats with their distinctive, though none too visible, grey hulls. Despite its name and the saltire on the funnel, the company is based in Romford, Essex, with its own terminals on the Medway, but it was founded in Inverness in 1981. They now have eight of their own vessels and manage two others.
Torbulk, which claims on its website to, "operate a fleet of vessels capable of carrying between 1500 and 3500 tonnes of dry cargo including hazardous and dangerous goods."
On the subject of dangerous goods, this is the first time I can recall seeing a ship like this pass through the Sound. She's the Mersey Spirit, a small oil products tanker which is licensed to carry Hazard A class products, the top category. She's fairly high in the water in this picture, taken when she passed us on 4th October, but she's precisely the sort of vessel that we don't want in these confined waters.
Scotmarine based in Kirkwall, Orkney, the Orcadia II passed us on 19th October going north.
Briggs Marine's extensive fleet. Her role is in lighterage, ferrying, and transport of cargo and construction materials in what the company describes as 'placid waters' which, fortunately, the Sound of Mull was when she passed us.
Majestic Line's Glen Massan, a small cruise ship which operates in West Highland waters, seen proceeding down Loch Linnhe on a blustery day, picture taken from the Corran ferry. The Glen Massan was the company's first vessel, a wooden hulled Irish trawler which they converted, but they also operate the Glen Tarsan, and are obviously doing well as they are currently building a third, due to come into service in 2016, the Glen Etive.
The Oban-registered Ceol na Mara is seen here hauling creels in Kilchoan Bay. She operates out of Tobermory harbour but isn't always popular on this side of the Sound as she has been accused of laying her creels across those of more local fishermen.