It has been a disappointing month - or more like six weeks - since the last 'Ships in the Sound' feature. Poor weather hides passing ships, as do the long nights, when all we see are distant lights moving steadily up or down the Sound.
This is the Viktoria Viking disappearing into the murk. She's one of the well boats which has been ferrying top quality, Kilchoan-nurtured salmon from the Maclean's Nose fish farm to Mallaig.
She's passing one of the Tobermory-based creel boats, the Dawn Treader
Her owner is Alasdair Hughson who writes, "We are doing fine but as usual for this time of year the weather could be better. At least the boys got a wee break with the easterlies which allowed them to get round the point in relative comfort. They have been working from Mallaig for the past couple of months.
"We are over the hump with Christmas behind us so a slower time of year now to catch up on the jobs. We are all waiting with bated breath to hear the decision on the Marine Protected Areas for the West Coast. These could make our business more productive and efficient if they protect and enhance the inshore scallop fishery as we hope they will. Given time we may not need to cover such a large area to catch the product we require. The stock needs a breathing space as the sheltered areas have been hammered over the last three stormy winters."
See a previous post about Alasdair's business here.
CalMac have been shuttling ships between their various services to allow boats go off for their annual maintenance. This is the Isle of Arran which usually sails from Ardrossan to Campbeltown, and spends her winters as a relief vessel at Kennacraig.
CalMac's sailings have been severely hit by poor weather during storms Gertrude and Henry.
Many thanks to Derryck Morton for bringing the webcam to my attention, and to Alasdair Hughson for his insight into local scallop fishing.