Update, January 2011

2010 was one of the best summers since our arrival in 1978, from a weather point of view, the excellent food, and the fun had by both passengers and crew.

After last years expense in replacing the stern decking and hull plating we had little cash to spare for major works. However the work parties carried out a variety of tasks aimed at keeping the VIC32 in prime condition.

The cabin ventilators/light boxes were replaced, the dinghies were scraped and varnished, the wheelhouse ladder and section of wheelhouse decking were replaced, painting in the engine room, re-painting name boards and overhauling the electric system.

The opportunity arose to tidy up the shed/store and, much to Nick Walkers chagrin, vast quantities of what he called marine artifacts, but was in reality rubbish were disposed of, resulting in a much tidier storage area. (Nick also owned up to a neat trick on his behalf, he has taken to appearing in the morning in his best clothes,wandering around the various jobs and because he is smartly dressed and not in overalls everyone assumes he is not in a position to help !)

The cruise to Glasgow resulted in a quantity of Apepe hardwood offcuts, surplus to their requirements after their re-fit, being given to the Puffer and the passenger responsible winning the collector of driftwood award.

Whilst at Jura we were visited by Neil the islands itinerant fiddler, poet,raconteur who entertained the passengers to their great delight, some hardy passengers also climbed the Paps of Jura.

On the Caledonian Canal one of the passengers played his bagpipes as we went down the locks at Fort Augustus,and because of a delay in opening the road bridge he played all the way down and received a well earned ovation from the bystanders, passengers and crew.

During the summer the 3 Men in a Boat team (Griff Rhys Jones,Dara Obriain, Rory McGrath) filmed an episode on board whilst steaming from Crinan to Craobh Haven with a dinghy race in between, it was a great success, full details can be seen in The Calliope (the episode was shown in Dec 2010 and resulted in a number of enquiries for holidays).

So a good season ….except for one cloud.

Earlier in the season it was noticed that the engines air pump had developed a crack (it was 67 years old), and temporary repairs were effected, however it was said at the time that a replacement woul be needed as further repairs were not viable.

We are still obtaining quotes but dependent on a number of factors, type of casting, type of mould, machining etc it is estimated that the cost will be anything between £15000 – £30000.

An appeal is being organised and all donations will be gratefully received.

As always the Trust values and appreciates all the efforts by the Friends and all those who help keep this marvelous vessel afloat and steaming… thank you.

Mike Smith