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Thread: CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

    The Ferries that operate on the west coast of Scotland are vital links for the island communities that they serve.

    MacBrayne's (or Caledonian MacBrayne) as it now is, is part of folklore. There are songs, lots of jokes and even a Scottish dance tune, written about CalMac. It is, as we would say, something of an institution that's woven into the fabric of the communities it serves. It's been operating, in one guise or another, since 1851.

    We, obviously, got a ferry to and from Gigha for our holiday/vacation last week. The one in the first image. The Loch Ranza ploughs its way between the mainland and Gigha every day from 7:30am to 6:30pm. This is the first run of the day at 7:30am. What you don't see in this are the young people going across on the 20-minute run to the mainland to go to school (they got on after the vehicles). There is a primary school on Gigha, but secondary education involves a ferry journey and a 20 mile bus ride at the other side and return, each day.

    CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles
    40D, 70-200mm f/4L IS @ 70mm. IS100. 1/90@f5.6.


    Larger ferries do the longer runs. The Finlaggan serves the island of Islay and this is her on her morning run from Islay to the mainland. In the background is the island of Jura. These hills are known as the Paps of Jura.

    CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles
    40D, Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS @ 140mm. ISO400. 1/1000@f8.
    Last edited by Donald; 16th June 2013 at 10:35 AM.

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    Re: CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

    Lovely photos, thank you for the reminder of home :-)

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    Re: CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

    I like the first one best. Thanks for explaining the history and importance of the ferries.

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    Re: CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

    Two nice shots Donald and a reminder of a great holiday. I worked in Glasgow for a while and my wife and I spent one weekend just island hopping using the ferry services provided by CalMac. It was a very nice way to see a great deal in a short space of time. The amazing thing was that they were relatively inexpensive then (Late 90's) and you could do it. Don't know what it's like now.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne22 View Post
    Lovely photos, thank you for the reminder of home :-)
    You're very welcome, Anne. Have you been back again since 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by John 2 View Post
    The amazing thing was that they were relatively inexpensive then (Late 90's) and you could do it. Don't know what it's like now.
    Probably much the same, John. Although people will always moan about the pricing. The Scottish Government did introduce a Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) pricing structure as a pilot some years ago. Not sure where that is at and whether it is still being used.
    Last edited by Donald; 16th June 2013 at 02:04 PM.

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    Re: CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

    I like both images, Donald. The second one really cements for me the history and legend of the line especially with the Paps of Jura as a backdrop.

    Sergio

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    Re: CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

    The first gives a feeling for the the land and sea of these islands. Nicely done.

    If you like ferries then one between Tswassen and Victoria is a nice combination of transport and mini scenic cruise. Some people even chose to do it as a round trip, not take the car and just go there and back. If memory serves, you are planning a trip that way.

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    Re: CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

    Donald, very nice photographs.

    Bruce

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    Re: CalMac: Lifeline to the Isles

    I haven't Donald, it is such a long way to travel and I only get 4 weeks annual leave a year ....maybe 2014 :-)

    Sorry, didn't know how to reply with quote!!!
    Last edited by Donald; 16th June 2013 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Inserted 'close quote' [/quote]

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