Hebridean Isles - a trip to Port Askaig

vitalspark
16th July 2008, 16:35
A short record of a day visit in 2005 to Port Askaig, Islay. For what it is worth I believe that Hebridean Isles is the best vessel currently operating within Calmac's stable. On HI passengers are still treated as valued clients, not as annoying supercargo to be tolerated only until the really important merchandise, the vehicles, can get off-loaded at the ship's destination. The accommodation is excellent, the catering robust, and the viewing facilities on deck first-class. Try finding a nice place topsides on Clansman to go seabird-watching, and you will understand what I mean.

Best Wishes,
Dave

JimC
16th July 2008, 21:15
One of our memebrs 'Argyll' is 2/o on that one

Jim C

John N MacDonald
16th July 2008, 21:43
As an ex Calmac catering boy I can vouch that the catering has improved vastly since 1974. I have to agree that there isn't much space on open deck but you have to remember the poor weather the ferries operate in. Not just in winter but the Minch for example can have horrendous weather right through the year.
I found that the Hebrides had plenty of outside deckspace but can't remember if she is of a slightly different design to the Clansman.

william dillon
16th July 2008, 22:09
As an ex Calmac catering boy I can vouch that the catering has improved vastly since 1974. I have to agree that there isn't much space on open deck but you have to remember the poor weather the ferries operate in. Not just in winter but the Minch for example can have horrendous weather right through the year.
I found that the Hebrides had plenty of outside deckspace but can't remember if she is of a slightly different design to the Clansman.

(Jester) Calmac operate in "poor weather" ???????????:[=P]

John N MacDonald
16th July 2008, 22:27
The rain doesn't stop them Billy but a 4 or 5 might!

vitalspark
17th July 2008, 00:19
As an ex Calmac catering boy I can vouch that the catering has improved vastly since 1974. I have to agree that there isn't much space on open deck but you have to remember the poor weather the ferries operate in. Not just in winter but the Minch for example can have horrendous weather right through the year.
I found that the Hebrides had plenty of outside deckspace but can't remember if she is of a slightly different design to the Clansman.

John, I've been sailing on Calmac ships and their predecessors since the wee Duchess of Fife, and I appreciate that the weather can be bad, especially crossing the Minch. But I am also a keen birder, and I live for the chance to see a skua or a whirring puffin, and I can't do that sitting in the Clansman's lounge. Clansman has an upper deck at the stern which is OK in balmy weather.......what it hasn't got are all those places topside where you can shelter from the blast if the weather is at all unpleasant. I live in South Africa - my opportunities for ferry trips in Scotland are therefore limited - so the last thing I want is to have to experience them from inside a soulless lounge where I can't feel the wind or the rain, or hear the seabirds crying. Daft, maybe....but it is important to me. The Hebridean Isles is one of the best vessels I've seen for topside space.

Best wishes,
Dave

vitalspark
17th July 2008, 00:21
One of our memebrs 'Argyll' is 2/o on that one

Jim C

Thank you, Jim, for this information. I can only hope that "Argyll" reads this - he can be proud of his ship.

Dave

John N MacDonald
18th July 2008, 19:09
Dave, It would be nice if they built ferries with plenty of open deck but I'm afraid that new builds all seem to be built without thought for people that enjoy the open air.
I have memories of being on the old "Heb" on the triangle run from Uig to Lochmaddy north to Tarbert and back to Uig with passengers packed on the open deck in fine weather for the rest of it.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday and we get better weather for the remainder.
Cheers
John

StewartM
18th July 2008, 19:28
I found that the Hebrides had plenty of outside deckspace but can't remember if she is of a slightly different design to the Clansman.

The Hebrides has slightly more outside deck space because Clansman has conventional lifeboats whereas Hebrides has no lifeboats, relying on a MarinArk Escape System, the lack of conventional lifeboats frees up a bit more space.

John N MacDonald
19th July 2008, 13:55
Thanks Stuart. I knew there was extra deck space on the Hebrides but couldn't remember why.
I don't fancy abandoning ship down a chute in the Minch in the middle of winter. I suppose if you couldn't get onto a lifeboat it would be better going down the chute and hopefully straight into a liferaft.(?HUH)

jimmys
19th July 2008, 20:07
I must agree with Vital Spark the Hebridean Isle is a very nice ferry. I like the traditional ferries.
I am not a great fan of the Marine Evacuation Systems, having witnessed at least 20 deployments it is difficult to be enthusiastic. We do not need to go into the Minch to anticipate problems. James Watt Dock in the shelter of the Clyde is enough.
I have similar reservations about the 150 person lifeboats now fitted to ferries and having witnessed the deployment of these they are as much use as the Marine evacuation systems.
I have no doubt in the future we will see both of these in action.
The only problem I have seen in the older Calmac ferries was the MB275 engines. I now note an engine change in the new builds. I wonder why.

regards
jimmys

Argyll
1st August 2008, 14:31
Thank you, Jim, for this information. I can only hope that "Argyll" reads this - he can be proud of his ship.

Dave

Thank you for kind words Re- Hebridean Isles she is a fine ship with a great a great worling atmosphere among all crew which of course transmitts to all the Passengers,
Argyll 2/o

vitalspark
1st August 2008, 21:58
Thank you for kind words Re- Hebridean Isles she is a fine ship with a great a great worling atmosphere among all crew which of course transmitts to all the Passengers,
Argyll 2/o

Glad you saw this, Argyll - please pass my thanks and good wishes on to the crew.

Best wishes,
Dave