Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ferry bad show

It's been a grim day. The gales have blown, the rain has fallen in merciless torrents, the drips have breached the cornice in my sitting room. And thinking, as I have been, about Cal Mac ferries, I took a look at the page which gives you status reports on the various routes covered by this redoubtable company. So far, so good. But then I noticed that the status report for the Cumbrae ferry had been filed at midday - yesterday. I've just checked again - it's 5.45pm right now - and it's still as you can see above.

Now, yesterday turned a bit unpleasant as the afternoon wore on, but at 12.42pm it really wasn't bad. So presumably this was put up in anticipation? Ok. But if I were an anxious passenger for Cumbrae and wanted to check today if there was any point in turning up at Largs, what does this tell me? Either I take fright and assume that the island has been cut off for hours or I think this is a company who posts worse case scenario just in case and leaves it, safe in the knowledge that no-one can blame them if their journey fails. And if I get used to paying no attention whatsoever to this site, then what purpose does it serve?

And of course this is all relevant in the light of the debacle on Sunday, when aspiring travellers were put off by the tooth-sucking pessimism of Cal Mac personnel. As I write this, I can see the lights of the Western Ferries disappearing in the murk; the CalMac is just about to leave the pier. And my correspondent in Cumbrae assures me that he has just returned from the mainland.

And he wasn't swimming.


  1. Anonymous10:13 AM

    This conjures up so many memories of life ruled by the ferry. When we first moved to Cumbrae we packed our house in S Wales into a van on a Saturday, stayed in Ledbury with my Mum overnight and headed up the motorway on Sunday to a new life on Cumbrae. Late that afternoon we discovered that the clocks had changed and not one of us had realised. There was a mad dash for Largs, arriving just in time to see the last ferry draw away frm the slip. It was the sign of so many journeys to come!

  2. It would be difficult being at the mercy of the judgment of another. I tend to be a bit more on the daring side, while Mark ALWAYS errs on the side of "conservative"!
    (obviously a throwback to his engineering training)

    Your weather does sound bone-chilling! I can take 0 degrees with snow much better than 40 degrees with rain! Wind and rain seem to go right through the bones!

    I must get a map of your particular area to better understand the ferries. Off I go to Google maps!