Sunday 29 April 2012
MV Graemsay Skipper retires!
Stevie Mowat, who has been the skipper on the Graemsay and Hoy route for many many years has retired this weekend. He has skippered the MV Graemsay since it came into service in 1996 but before that he ran the wee boats the "Skapa Ranger" and "Jessie Ellen" to the islands for many years. He knows the waters well and could be assured to get you home even in the roughest of weather! The ferry has rarely been cancelled due to bad weather in the 13 years I've known him. Some days you wish it would have been so you didn't have to cross on rough water!!
His wife, Jean, took all the bookings for the ferry and has helped me find missing parcels that have gone for a sail around, advised on sailings and sorted out cargo deliveries too.
Both of them will be very much missed by those on the island. So on Saturday we presented Stevie with his retirement gift from us all and then waved him off (not exactly into the sunset!) wishing him a long and happy retirement.
Here's Stevie being presented with his gift by Irene Mathieson on behalf of the island folk.
Usually Stevie is "driving" the MV Graemsay (see top of post), but at the moment it's away having it's maritime version of an MOT so we have a replacement vessel the "Golden Marianna" (below) which usually goes between Westray and Papa Westray (two of the more northerly Orkney islands). It did seem a shame that we waved him off in this wee boat rather than our very own "Graemsay". But I'm sure he's not caring as long as he gets to retire at the end of his shift!!