As a nice contrast to yesterday's beautiful day, we've had a gale blowing since late last night, a relatively gentle southeasterly which seems to have kept many of the larger ferries tied up in port - but not our Raasay, which has done the usual day's runs. However, with the Clansman and Lord of the Isles in port, we were surprised to see the Loch Alainn passing us at ten this morning, travelling north. She's a sister ship to the Loch Linnhe which does the Tobermory-Kilchoan run in summer, a boat which the local crew prefer not to use in heavy weather. She was heading for Mallaig, where she has now arrived.
Quite unperturbed by the weather, the Yeoman Bontrup passed at lunchtime going south to Glensanda quarry where she joins both the Yeoman Bridge and the Yeoman Bank which are anchored between Lismore and Oban. That these three ships are together is surprising - ships earn their money while they're carrying cargo.
The forecast for the next few days is dire. This is this morning's synoptic chart from weathercharts.org which shows the densely packed isobars which are driving today's winds, but the next low pressure system, towards bottom left, is described on the chart as 'rapidly intensifying' as it tracks towards us. The BBC is forecasting winds of up to 68mph, force 11, tomorrow night as it passes, fortunately to the west of us on its way up to Iceland. Then we have another gale forecast for Friday night.