8th July, 2019
At a similar time to that of many London commuters, I found myself waking for work just before sunrise on this Monday morning, as we entered the Clyde River just before 06:00.
Between the islands of Bute and Little Cumbrae our local pilot joined us for the trip of some 20 miles upstream to what used to be known as the home of British shipbuilding on the River Clyde. Greenock has a fascinating history; much of it closely tied with the sea.
Passing the towns of Largs and Dunoon, we then swung the ship and backed down onto our berth (without any last-minute diversions this time) in Clydeport. It was overcast but dry at least, and we had a bagpiper and a large hairy Scottish mascot dressed in a kilt on the quay to welcome us.
Today, apart from taking a short wander into Greenock itself, our guests’ options included a significant amount of tours, or one could also hop on the train into Glasgow. The tours we offered included journeys to Loch Lomond (although the description did not specify whether it would be by taking the high road, or the low road…), Inveraray Castle, Glorious Glenarn Gardens, the Greenock Cut Walking Tour, or Glasgow City Highlights.
For those in turmoil over the decision of whether to take the high or low road to Loch Lomond, there was a trip aboard a boat there instead called the Balloch Sweeny Cruise. Alternatively, if one loch wasn’t enough for you, then there was a trip to visit several scenic Scottish Lochs.
A cruise circumnavigating the UK is also a nice opportunity for our guests to meet relatives & friends who live in the further corners of the country – the same goes for our officers and crew who might have loved ones living in or nearby those UK ports we visit. As a result, we had several Scottish visitors popping down to the ship to look around and enjoy lunch with their friends & family.
The Captain doesn’t really know anybody worth visiting nearby, and so I had a rather dull day of catching up on paperwork instead. Still, as it was a grey day outside I didn’t consider it a great loss. All of a sudden I received a telephone call in my office from the Officer of the Watch on the Bridge to notify me that everyone was back on board, and it was 10 minutes until our scheduled sailing time. Seldom have I been so engrossed in paperwork that I have lost track of the time!
Having briefed the team of our departure intentions, the Staff Captain manoeuvred out of the port today and back into the centre of the Clyde River. Our friendly river Pilot saw us safely back out to the river mouth again and we waved him goodbye just before supper at 18:45, before heading northward to pass Islay overnight and towards the island of Mull, where we would conduct some scenic cruising in the morning after breakfast. All that we had to hope for tomorrow is for the Scottish weather to hold off…
Captain Kim Tanner
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