Loch Shiel Cruises in meet­ing spot­light

The Oban Times - - Districts -

MEM­BERS of the Fort Wil­liam branch of the Scot­tish Women’s In­sti­tute (SWI) were joined by guest speaker Jim Michie from Loch Shiel Cruises at their April meet­ing.

Mr Michie told his au­di­ence how the loch was formed dur­ing the last Ice Age and how the River Shiel con­nects it to the sea.

He il­lus­trated his talk with his­toric and scenic slides and told of CalMac founder David MacBrayne be­gin­ning the first ferry ser­vice in the loch. This was fol­lowed by a steamer ser­vice link­ing with mail coaches to Fort Wil­liam and Ari­saig.

When the rail­way started op­er­at­ing, the ser­vice was aug­mented by tourism and by the time the new road was opened be­tween Lochailort and Kin­lochmoidart in 1967 there was a week- day pas­sen­ger and mail ser­vice.

These ser­vices stopped in the 1980s and in 1997 Mr Michie, spot­ting a niche in the cruise mar­ket bought an ex-ad­mi­ral­ity pin­nace from 1940, which he got ready for ser­vice over the next year and Loch Shiel plea­sure and wildlife cruises were born.

In­sti­tute pres­i­dent Iso­bel McGavin thanked Mr Michie for an in­ter­est­ing and in­for­ma­tive talk.

Kathie White won the cen­tury book­mark com­pe­ti­tion and Iso­bel McGavin and Ali­cia MacLean were the raf­fle win­ners.

The next meet­ing of Fort Wil­liam SWI will be the AGM on Mon­day May 8 at 7.15pm in the Mon­trose Cen­tre, In­ver­lochy.

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