Harbour News: March 2020

By March 11, 2020News

It has been another month of poor weather, with none of the boats really moving until the last week of February. However, this has allowed us to undertake some maintenance in the Harbour and at the pontoon. This has included some new safety fencing for marshalling ferry passengers, ready for the new season. As I am writing this on Monday 2nd March, the Loch Bhrusda is on the first day of the additional sailings to Skye. Looking out my window, there has been a wee queue of cars for each sailing, which is heartening to see. These additional sailings in March are on a trial basis, so hopefully they will be well-used and become a permanent addition to the timetable.

Although it has been a month of poor weather, we’ve had lots to cheer us up in other different ways. Fort William Shinty Club have been posting photos of one of their shinty balls in various locations throughout the area, and featured the ball at Mallaig Harbour on 4th February. Peat and Diesel released the video for their new song ‘Island’ on 18th February, and among many other views, there is a nice aerial shot of the Harbour, and also on 18th February, we were the lucky recipients of a crochet flower. You may have been fortunate enough to come across one of these flowers (ours was number 31), which have been left throughout the local area. Each is attached to a gift tag which says, ‘if you find this flower, please feel free to take it home. I hope it makes you smile #yearofhappyflowers2020’. Ours has certainly made us smile, and it is now hanging in the office to make other people smile so thank you to the mystery crocheter!

On the 21st February, Fort William and Mallaig Coastguard Rescue Teams used the pontoons to practice Water Rescue Assessments. It was a cold, miserable night, so they were hardy but I suppose you don’t get to pick the conditions for a rescue which means you have to practice in all weather!

I keep plugging the #yearofcoastsandwaters2020 but there really is a lot happening, and it’s a great opportunity for local businesses to get involved in promoting the area. Highlands and Islands Enterprise are running a series of workshops – ‘Immerse Your Business in West Coast Waters 2020’, including 2 days in Fort William on 23rd and 24th March. There is no cost to attend these workshops but you do have to book – you can find the details at www.hie.co.uk/events-and-training. Sail Scotland have also produced a series of 360˚ videos #MustSeaScotland to promote sailing, as part of the year, and these include Canna and the Isle of Skye. You can find them at https://sailscotland.co.uk/news/posts/2020/mustseascotland-360-videos/.

Not strictly Mallaig Harbour related, but it’s great to see that a new Community Council for Mallaig has been formed at the third attempt. I know the effort that Audrey put in to promoting the nominations, so it’s great that this has paid off.

Last month I mentioned the upcoming Board vacancies, and you will see an advert for these under Vacancies on this website or in the West Word. This year we have two vacancies to fill as we lose Johnny MacMillan and Allan Henderson, who have both served their maximum term. We’re very grateful for all the support they have given over the years. The Board meets 5 times each year, usually on a Friday morning and as I said last month, I am happy to have an informal discussion with anyone who thinks that they might be interested in applying, or would just like more information.   

Jacqueline McDonell

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