August has once again been a month of visits. We had representatives from Transport Scotland on the 8th August, and Richard Ballantyne, who is Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, visited with our new Board Member, Lorna Spencer on 13th August. We also had another visit from our refrigeration engineer, Bruce Thomson and representatives from Snowkey, who made the plant and Recomm, who manage the software, to look at the remaining issues with the ice plant. This visit had to be delayed as the Chinese representative from Snowkey, was caught up in the protests in Hong Kong Airport. Who would have thought that would have impacted on Mallaig Harbour! (photo Jacqueline and Richard)
The Harbour also had a week-long visit from Carlos Paredes, who was undertaking the Annual Survey of the fleet for Seafish. By the end of the week he was a familiar figure, ‘mucking in’ to get the answers he needed while fishermen were working, and figuring out that he was fairly likely to meet some of the fishermen in the Marine Bar, even if he might not be so likely to get the answers to his survey there!
On Thursday 15th August, we welcomed the Santa Maria III (formerly the Jasper) into Mallaig, with her skipper Donald Archie (DA) MacKinnon. Donald Archie has Mallaig connections, having served his apprenticeship in the boatyard here. The Santa Maria III was one of 9 ring net fishing boats owned by the MacKinnon brothers from Eriskay, and was built in 1968 by Alexander Noble & Sons of Girvan. She was originally named as SY379 Jasper and built for M&E MacDonald of Scalpay, Harris before beig sold to DA’s uncle Calum in 1971. Around 1988 she was sold again, and moved to the Clyde, renamed BA19 Fair Morn. In 1998, she ceased fishing and was saved from decommissioning by Cuddy MacKinnon and operated as a pleasure boat from Mallaig for a number of years. She has since been bought by DA and been restored at Rothesay Dock, Clydebank, and her call at Mallaig was en-route back to Eriskay. (photo to follow)
Audrey’s love of penguins has become so legendary that this month she received a gift of two penguin tea-towels and a stuffed penguin toy all the way from the Falkland Islands. Celia Bull, who owns and skippers the Selkie Explorer has a friend in the Falklands, who heard about Audrey’s love of penguins, and her copy of the Penguin News, and very kindly sent them on.
We have three new fishing boats in the Harbour this month. Damian MacDonald has bought the (soon to be renamed) ‘Lucifer’ which is a creel boat with the registration M666, and Michael Morrison has bought the ‘Primrose’ CY233, which has already featured as ‘Boat of the Week’ in the Fishing News, and the ‘Northern Star’ SY11. We wish all three boats every success.
Mallaig Harbour Authority has submitted a response to the consultation on the proposed ‘Sea of the Hebrides’ MPA, agreeing with management of the area but expressing our concerns that the proposals indicate that the designation would have a minor environmental benefit, but significant economic costs to commercial fishing, and other sectors. Many of the proposed management measures are related to the adoption of ‘best practice’ measures, and MHA is of the opinion that these could be implemented without a blanket designation of such a huge area.
Fion Construction have been awarded the tender to upgrade the road at Westbay between the old net stores and the fishermen’s gear stores, and work started w/c 26th August. Works are expected to take between six and eight weeks and there will be some disruption around the area while work is ongoing, but access to all the stores will be maintained.
Finally, we know that the summer season is just about over when the Eda Frandsen leaves Mallaig for the last time, which was the case on 24th August. We’d like to wish owners James and Chloe all the best for their impending marriage – they’ve promised to send a photograph as Audrey and I have been entertained all summer by the parcels arriving for Chloe at the Harbour Office – more than one of which contained a dress – and we can’t wait to see the final choice! Gabriel and the other James, who have crewed the Eda Frandsen in previous years, and sailed to Greenland this summer to go climbing are making straight from there to Cornwall on the ‘Safe Arrival’ to be home in time for the celebrations!
Jacqueline McDonell, CEO