Making a return to the Clyde today for her annual survey and overhaul at the Garvel Clyde repair yard, Caledonian MacBrayne's largest ferry, ISLE OF LEWIS, is seen passing two other products of her 1995 birthplace, Ferguson Shipbuilders at Port Glasgow. In the background SOUND OF SCARBA, built in 2001, is loading at the new linkspan which also came from Fergusons, and was installed at McInroy's Point in May 2007.
ISLE OF LEWIS berthed briefly at Gourock to discharge cars belonging to her crew, and while there met LOCH ALAINN, currently awaiting her next spell of relief duty, which will be on the Cumbrae service next week.
She then headed up the River Clyde channel past Ocean Terminal before turning in the river, and heading stern-first into the James Watt Dock. For the 101 metre long ferry, it seemed like a fairly tight squeeze through the dock entrance - her beam is 18.5 metres, and the entrance not much wider.
The final shot in this set shows her, after successfully negotiating the dock entrance, slipping past CORUISK, which is nearing the completion of her overhaul. Although ISLE OF LEWIS has gone to other UK shipyards for her annual surveys in recent years, she has been to Garvel many times in the past, her last visit being in May 1998 when she had to be drydocked to allow urgent repair work to be carried out. An excellent selection of other views depicting her arrival can be seen here.