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Displaying items by tag: ArdrossanCampbeltown (Kintyre)

#SeasonStarts – CalMac’s Ardrossan-Campbeltown (Mull of Kintyre) summer-only ferry route which began on a trial pilot basis in 2013, resumed seasonal service last week on what is now a ‘permanent’ route in the Scottish operators network, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The permanency of the Ayrshire-Kintyre route in south-west Scotland was announced in January by Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay following three successful summer seasons.

In total the route transported an average of over 10,000 passengers and 2,000 cars annually on the season route that began in April and concluded at the end of September. This season the route that began almost a week ago by Isle of Arran (1984/3,296grt) will continue operations up to the 25 September and the permanent route is part of an enhanced summer timetable for CalMac services.

Prior to last week’s reopening, Afloat noted that the Isle of Arran had received a scheduled dry-docking at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead. The veteran vessel dating to 1984 will as usual provide additional summer sailing capacity on the Arran service: Ardrossan-Brodick served by Caledonian Isles (1993/5,221grt).

According to the CalMac website, essential improvement works on the island port of Brodick are being carried out around to boarding and disembarking areas. Sailings will be unaffected by these improvement works.

Published in Ferry

About Conor O'Brien, Irish Circumnavigator

In 1923-25, Conor O'Brien became the first amateur skipper to circle the world south of the Great Capes. O'Brien's boat Saoirse was reputedly the first small boat (42-foot, 13 metres long) to sail around the world since Joshua Slocum completed his voyage in the 'Spray' during 1895 to 1898. It is a journey that O' Brien documented in his book Across Three Oceans. O'Brien's voyage began and ended at the Port of Foynes, County Limerick, Ireland, where he lived.

Saoirse, under O'Brien's command and with three crew, was the first yacht to circumnavigate the world by way of the three great capes: Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin; and was the first boat flying the Irish tri-colour to enter many of the world's ports and harbours. He ran down his easting in the Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties between the years 1923 to 1925.

Up until O'Brien's circumnavigation, this route was the preserve of square-rigged grain ships taking part in the grain race from Australia to England via Cape Horn (also known as the clipper route).

At a Glance - Conor O'Brien's Circumnavigation 

In June 1923, Limerick man Conor O’Brien set off on his yacht, the Saoirse — named after the then newly created Irish Free State — on the two-year voyage from Dun Laoghaire Harbour that was to make him the first Irish amateur to sail around the world.

June 1923 - Saoirse’s arrival in Madeira after her maiden passage out from Dublin Bay

2nd December 1924 - Saoirse crossed the longitude of Cape Horn

June 20th 1925 - O’Brien’s return to Dun Laoghaire Harbour

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