For the last eight years, Captain Alistair McLundie expertly sailed passengers aboard the NTS cruise ship around the Scotland isles. To mark his 'retirement' from the high seas he designed a special cruise featuring his favourite islands... naturally, this included St Kilda!
Of course, in September, a landing was far from guaranteed and staff on island pored over weather forecasts trying to guess whether the ship would make it to the archipelago. We received news yesterday that the Captain would like to try and use a weather window in the early morning to put passengers ashore for a few hours so we got busy preparing the shop for an influx of visitors.
We were up before six and caught a glimpse of the ships lights in the distance. Another hour passed and the ship appeared in Village Bay
Unfortunately, that is as much as we saw of her as within half an hour she headed back out to sea.
Sea conditions were changing rapidly and with so many passengers aboard there just wasn't the time for a landing.
I enjoy welcoming enthusiastic visitors and meeting fellow NTS staff from other properties so it was a great shame that no one made it on to land. The ship did circumnavigate the archipelago which is a small consolation, but being so near yet so far must be very disappointing.
Hopefully, people will get another opportunity to visit – we will be waiting!