Life at the end of the road

December 17, 2012

The MV Hallaig launch and lunch :-)

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:32 pm

I have to say peeps that ‘I’m buzzing’ Smile for today I was at the launch of our new hybrid ferry, the MV Hallaig at Ferguson’s shipyard on the Clyde. Attending the launch of any vessel is quite special, being there when the very first hybrid sea going Ro Ro ferry in the world slips effortlessly into the Clyde is something else. Especially when it’s the first complete ship built on this magnificent river in five years, a river that spawned the saying ‘Clyde built’ something that became synonymous for generations with  anything that was durable, strong, long lasting and tough.

Me, well I can’t help thinking, how on earth did I arrive here !!!! Not that long ago I’m just this eccentric old git that keeps pigs writes carp on his blog in the evenings and today I’m shaking hands with Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s deputy first minister. Fifteen years ago I took great pride in launching the 24’ MV Conqueror with my good mate Willie Eyre and now I’m watching 700tons of steel and aluminium slip into the Clyde, it’s all a little overwhelming Smile


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There are certain moments in a persons life when you can look back and say ‘it has all been worthwhile’ the moment when the solicitor told me that my offer for 3 South Arnish had been accepted was one. Seeing the MV Conqueror slip in the water after I salved her from 18m of water and spent two years rebuilding her was another. The day my wife proposed to me in the ‘Sarry Hied’ after a Morcheeba gig


at the Barrowlands was another and today, well today may not have been ‘life changing’ but it was certainly very special.



My darling wife was at home looking after the croft but it was a pleasure to have her mum accompany me in her stead Smile

Ferguson’s yard being a mere 30 minutes drive from her house where I’ve been staying since my return from Holland. Arriving there early we met up with the rest of the Loch Striven’s  crew and had a coffee before the launch.


And I’m probably going to get ‘hung drawn and quartered’ for posting these Smile



but it’s so long since I’ve seen anyone smile that I don’t ‘give a fig’ Smile

After ‘mingling’ for a while we all went down to see the ship in the flesh so to speak


and I have to say, I was impressed. She will be a fine replacement for the trusty Loch Striven who I’ve come to know and love these past ten years. With double the capacity it should mean no more ‘short shipped’ vehicles and her diesel electric propulsion should make her far quieter and pleasanter to travel aboard for passengers and crew alike.



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Whilst all the dignitary’s, TV crews and suits milled about, Ferguson’s engineers and carpenters  got on with the serious business of sliding 700 plus tons of ship into the sea.




This will be the ‘box coolers’ for the generators and electric drive, yes, the electric motors and inverters really are water cooled.


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That’s 1000hp sat there on those girders Smile


Anyway after a couple of  speeches and a dedication by the reverend Andrew Maclean the MV Hallaig was sent down the slipway with a bottle of Talisker  single malt courtesy of Nicola Sturgeon


and a rendition of ‘Over the sea to Skye’ on the pipes  by an MSP who’s name I forget, which is dreadful for his father worked at this very yard Sad smile



Photo’s courtesy of mum in law Smile






Once our good ship had been launched and the ‘dust had settled’




we drove up to the Gleddoch house hotel for a three course lunch Smile




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and I have to say that I was ‘well out of my depth’ Smile However the lunch was spectacular, MiL had a ball and we all received a beautiful gift from CMAL of a glass paperweight depicting the MV Hallaig.


something that will really become a family heirloom Smile

Even better pictures here

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