We slept in our clothes last night, with just a couple of duvets, so that getting up at 5.15am would be slightly easier and the sun was beginning to colour the busy seaport of Oban with a rosy hue as we entered the town.

Our check in time was 6.30am and we had made it with time to spare.  We were directed to a very small queue for those cars travelling on to Barra.  Our ship was The Clansman and it was stopping at the islands of Coll and Tiree on the way, with most passengers getting off at these islands.


Boarding was quite quick and in spite of the early start, or perhaps because of it, we were hungry and joined the breakfast queue as soon as we could.  A full cooked breakfast was chosen by most of the passengers and CalMac lived up to their reputation for decent cooking on board their many vessels.


As we left Oban it actually started to snow!  However, Peter was determined to enjoy the whole experience up on deck and together we took far too many photos of Tobermory with its row of vividly coloured harbour-side houses.  This is where our extra long lens comes in handy!


After Tobermory I decided to go inside and relax in one of the comfie reclining chairs and found I couldn’t keep awake.  Peter woke me up when we reached Coll and then Tiree but, as I suspected, we couldn’t get much of an indication of what the islands were like, except Tiree was a lot flatter than Coll!


I was having a job staying awake and it was decidedly chilly on deck so slumped back into my reclining chair for much of the journey.

Peter, however, was happily taking photos of passing birds.




Manx Shearwaters





The cold air had made Peter rather peckish so I was persuaded to partake a meal of steak and ale pie with chips followed by a Mackies ice cream.

As we eventually neared Castlebay I was again persuaded, but this time to go back on deck!



This is why we love this place!




No chickens – just a lamb!

Mary greeted us with her usual enthusiasm at Croft No.2 and we parked up in our usual place with this view in front of us.


Could it be more perfect?  Well, only if the temperatures could rise a little more and we could access the internet!  But that’s the price for being virtually on our own (just one man and his dog in a tent!) in what must be one of the most glorious places in the world.  Two of our favourite Barra birds posed nicely (taken through glass!) and we settled down to our first night on the island for two years.