While our usual ferry, the MV Graemsay, is away on it's annual refit (boat equivalent of an MOT) we have a replacement vessel for a couple of weeks. In the past this has been the Golden Marianna, a very old boat, not easily accessed even if you are fit, and takes a limited number of passengers and no cargo. This boat has been needing replaced for many years. Finally a "new" boat was bought by the local authority. Much controversy has surrounded this vessel as to suitability etc. Costs are unknown but the vessel was purchased for £500K and has had new engines, new crane and other modifications made. It was a former river cruiser in Norway. Anyway this last week or so island residents had an opportunity to sail on her and here are some photos. She's called the "Nordic Sea".
Now she had completed standing in for our ferry she has sailed up to the island of Papa Westray, on one the Northern Orkney Islands. There she will sail between "Papay, as the island is known, and Westray. Taking children back and forth to school and any residents or visitors who want to go over to the larger island of Westray. There is also a 7 minute air service between the islands!!
Anyway here are a few pictures of my sail over on the Nordic Sea - it has a ramp at the bow, which was at quite a steep angle on arrival at Stromness. Depending on pier and tide either the ramp at the bow is used, or stepping off the rear deck onto the pier steps. You have to be fairly agile for either!
Up the ramp we go!
This wee boat can't take cargo either, although hand carried parcels can be delivered. But we are usually given fair warning when our own ferry will go away so we make arrangements to get deliveries before and after!
Sailing past the island of Graemsay a while ago (when we had snow). She makes quite a noise in comparison with our usual ferry. I could hear her coming round from Hoy!