Saturday, 28 March 2009


Also returning to the Western Isles following her annual docking at Garvel, CalMac's LOCH PORTAIN was seen on Saturday morning as she passed McInroy's Point shortly after leaving Gourock Pier. Although she had initially set off the day before, she only got as far as Garroch Head before she had to turn back because of bad weather. Most unusually, she lay alongside Millport Pier for a short time before heading back to Gourock. LOCH PORTAIN is one of two vessels in the CalMac fleet specially designed for operation in the shallow sandy waters of the Sound of Harris. For that reason, both she and LOCH BHRUSDA, the ferry that she superseded, are fitted with Schottel Pump-Jets. LOCH PORTAIN was built at the McTay shipyard at Bromsborough on the River Mersey, and joined the CalMac fleet in 2003. She can carry 200 passengers and around 30 cars.