Yesterday was the final sailing of the season for the Paddle Steamer Waverley… the last sea fairing paddle steamer in the world.
A few of us got talking one afternoon, in our local village pub, about trying to book a trip on 16th October and in the end there were 15 neighbours that set off in a minibus at 11am yesterday.
We were sailing from Largs on the west coast of Scotland, out to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, then to Tighnabruaich on the mainland, down past Ettrick and Scalpsie Bays on Bute and around Inchmarnock island and back the way we came, stopping at each port on the way.
The trip lasted almost 6 hours.
We got a beautiful day for it. It’s Scotland, mid October so it could go one of two ways but we were very lucky. I had five layers on and spent the first 3 hours in only 4 layers!
With a hat…. Of course!
Since we had arrived so early in Largs, we had time for a walk around in the sunshine and time to capture the first sighting of the PS Waverley as she “hoved into view” (shameless Blackadder quote)
The Millport Pipe Band are playing her into port. Honestly the bagpipes would bring a tear to a glass eye!
(I should say here in true Rambling Sloth fashion…. I am feeling quite uncomfortable, not sure where to put myself in such a large group without Craigie boy… a trip like this doesn’t float his boat 🤭😂 but the feeling doesn’t last long and I soon relax).
We embark to The Skye Boat Song. My emotions runneth over…. 😆
Her maiden voyage was 16th June, 1947 and my maiden voyage was 16th October 2022. This was her last sailing of the season and it made it a very special trip.
We set sail for Rothesay on Bute.
I’m obsessed with the colours of the flags against the blue sky and of course… the Scotland flag.
When we arrive in Rothesay there’s a guy in a kilt on the dock with long hair and no top on, posing as the Waverley steamed in behind him!! We spotted him further up the coast in Rhubodach on Bute again about half an hour later. (Yes, I know, the guys were all saying it would be a different story if they were all ogling some topless woman…)
Anyway, I digress, we drop off and pick up passengers in Rothesay and head up the coast towards the Narrows on the East Kyle of Bute.
This was the view looking back towards Rothesay.
It’s just such a beautiful ship. We go for a wander around and leave our precious spot up the front!
I have no idea what’s going on below deck but there’s a whole new world awaiting you down there!
The engine room is fascinating.
You can look through portholes to see the paddles flying around. This is not the best photo!
The rooms are all so old and ornate looking. I could imagine people in Victorian times, sitting around drinking tea…. Yet it was build long after that!
Even the bathroom is pretty special!
Not to mention the steps…
Here we are at Tighnabruaich and the sky is changing… the clouds are coming over. There is a lone piper playing here. It’s beautiful.
We set sail down the west coast of Bute and the east coast of Inchmarnock island heading out towards the Isle of Arran.
Goat Fell looks mystical in the cloudy sunshine.
This is the southernmost point of our trip when we turn back up and sail around the west coast of Inchmarnock.
We got a few selfie shots through the day!
The Narrows are amazing. The ship has to sail between these bouys…. It doesn’t look like it will fit!
To the right we have Bute and to the left the mainland.
As we sail down the East Kyle we spot these white houses on the mainland near Colintraive. Apparently these were built for 6 daughters and their husbands but the father didn’t approve of one of the marriages so one of the houses is built behind the others and not in the obvious space. Fascinating!!
We are sheltered by land here and the wind has died right down. It’s so calm.
We head back into Rothesay on our return journey. As Waverley leaves each port there’s a tannoy announcement thanking the people of the ports for supporting the Waverley and it’s passengers. Three short blasts to say goodbye. That tugged at the heart strings!
We make our final journey back out from Rothesay to Largs. It’s cold now and the wind has picked up but really the first time I’ve felt the cold all day.
And finally heading back into Largs. Again the ship thanks Largs for its support. It feels a real privilege to have been part of this trip.
The Waverley is. It done yet and still has to sail to the Clyde stopping at Greenock and back to the Glasgow Science Centre.
I’ve rushed off the board and hared up to the Cumbrae ferry jetty to catch these next few shots. It’s lovely and calm and her lights reflect on the sea.
She gives 3 short blast to say goodbye to Largs.
And is on her way again.
I had THE best day. A lovely group of people and a very special cruise to be a part of.
I could have done it all again today….. and there are hundreds of photos I have not used. 😆
Back to talking about my sleep patterns and how happy or sad I am tomorrow….. 🤭😆
Stay safe everyone 🚢🏴♥️