The ferry serving on the shortest crossing in the CalMac network, LOCH DUNVEGAN (on the left), was replaced today by LOCH ALAINN, to allow the former to go to the Garvel Drydock for her annual survey and overhaul. No stranger to the waters of the Kyles of Bute, LOCH ALAINN arrived this morning at Colintraive having spent last night at Campbeltown. This view shows the pair at the slipway at Rhubodach, on Bute. It was on this run that LOCH ALAINN was commissioned in 1997, although she had been built for a crossing on the Sound of Mull, but the slipways there needed modification before she could enter service. Once she did get there, she suffered from a major breakdown, leading to a lengthy spell in dock while repairs were effected. Her replacement was none other than LOCH DUNVEGAN, which at the time was laid up in the James Watt Dock, Greenock. She had been rendered surplus to requirement after the opening of the Skye Bridge, having been built in 1991 specifically for the Kyle of Lochalsh-Kyleakin service. Ironically, soon she too suffered from major mechanical problems and so her sister, LOCH FYNE, replaced her, and has in fact remained on the Lochaline-Fishnish run since. Following repairs, LOCH ALAINN has spent most of her time employed as the main Largs-Cumbrae ferry, until she was replaced by a newferry, LOCH SHIRA, earlier this year. Since then she has been used in the Western Isles. LOCH DUNVEGAN has, in the meantime, become the mainstay of the Colintraive-Rhubodach service.