The sight of the distinctly cheesed-off looking cow being swung from Naomh Eanna’s derrick says it all – why things can be unloaded easier when it involves wheels and a ramp.
The traditional oar driven urrach alongside the ship indicates the cow is about to be swum ashore towed behind the currach, probably at Inisheer or Inishmaan. I detect an aura of studied disdain from this cow, biding its time until it can take its revenge on somebody or something for this indignity.
Regular readers of Ferry World might have surmised I have fond memories of ‘good old days’ when ferries had derricks and cranes to load the holds at one end or other of the ship that was otherwise given over to passengers. My first trips in the early ‘60s were very much those types of vessels, witnessing Bergen line’s Leda and DFDS’s Parkeston loading cradles and nets of cargo. Then there was the Northern Isles service of the little Earl of Zetland, the Naomh Eanna and the Lochmor to the Small Isles from Mallaig where the cargo and passengers at some islands that lacked wharves offl oaded into to flit-boats.
Readers will realise there is still one UK related Lo-Lo service and that is the fine St Helena to her island namesake which I watched taking shape in the Hall Russel yard Aberdeen in the late ‘80s. She should have been retired many months ago after the British government announced plans to construct an airport on Saint Helena, to be operational by 2010. Unsurprisingly, the project was delayed several times and didn’t commence till 2012. And approximately £240 million later, with the airport due to open in early 2016, it was found not fit for purpose due to concerns about wind-shear.