Most readers will be aware that since we went to press with the March issue, the inadequate and unpopular ‘MV Loch Frisa-only’ timetable for the Craignure-Oban crossing was extended not once, but twice, and as I write is finally due to end on 25th March, although given the chaos of this winter, with delayed refits due to the ageing and ‘broken’ fleet, we are prepared for anything!
Don’t get too happy about the idea of a 2-vessel timetable from 26th March – MCA has given special permission for MV Coruisk to begin operating that day for the season (rather than 1st April, which she is licensed to do). So the plan is for us to have MV Coruisk and MV Loch Frisa on the route – at least until 16th April, which will cover Easter and the school holidays! It does not take a genius to work out that capacity will be severely limited with this scenario, MV Coruisk accommodating roughly half the number of cars and about one quarter of the number of passengers carried by MV Isle of Mull – which used to be our designated vessel (ah, those were the days!), and even along with the Coruisk could barely meet demand in the summer season!
A timetable for the period 26th March – 16th April has now been issued, and we note that the crossings operated by MV Coruisk have been magically extended to 55 minutes! She is perfectly capable of completing the trip in 40 minutes, as we have seen in the past. Is this an underhand way of convincing us that the very slow MV Loch Frisa is not so bad after all?… more in the printed issue