|The Globe Travel Guide
Globe Travel Guide
© David Williams
Paddleship Waverley trip to Tiree
9 May 2004
The paddleship Waverley was built in Glasgow in 1947 and was named after the Waverley novels of Sir Walter Scott. During the summer months the ship carries passengers on trips in the Firth of Clyde and between ports on Scotland`s west coast.
This article describes a day trip from the west-coast town of Oban to the island of Tiree, with a brief stop at Tobermory on Mull. The voyage allows passengers to see some of Scotland`s most spectacular coastal scenery.
North Pier, 9.20am - and a queue of excited travellers snakes alongside
the Waverley, the world's only sea-going paddleship. The welcoming
smell of hot bacon rolls wafts up from the ship's galley and the sun is
beginning to peek out from behind the clouds. Good omens for a superb
day. All trips on the Waverley are special - such is the affection
west-coast Scots have for the ship - and today's trip is also an historical
journey as it will be the first-ever paddleship excursion to the Inner
Hebridean island of Tiree.
As the warming
rays of the sun suddenly break through the cloud, we head across the firth
towards the island of Mull, its tall volcanic hills draped with early-morning
mist. Most of the passengers are holidaymakers, Scots from west and central
Scotland, or paddleship fans; few foreign tongues are heard. Many passengers
chat, admire the scenery or while away their time reading the Sunday papers.
Others busy themselves by looking for minke whales, porpoises and seabirds.
One keen traveller keeps his eye on his GPS device, every few minutes
entering the ship's position in his notebook; he doesn`t need to watch
the scenery to know where he is.