04 May 2018One of world's largest cruise shops docks in Invergordon
The largest cruise ship to dock in Scottish waters arrived in Invergordon on Tuesday. MSC Meraviglia sailed from Hamburg as part of a round-British-Isles-and-Ireland tour. The huge ship has a capacity for 5700 passengers and will make five further visits to Invergordon this summer.
The 19-deck MSC Meraviglia is one of 90 ships to visit the Cromarty Firth this year bringing an estimated 170,000 pasengers to the port (an 11% increase on last season's number of paseengers).
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the first cruise ship to dock in the Cromarty Firth.
Photo: Jeremy Price
27 April 2018First windfarm components arrive at Nigg
A Siemens vessel entered the Cromarty Firth this morning carrying blades for the £2.6billion Beatrice offshore windfarm.
Global Energy Park at Nigg has secured a number of contracts from the German firm to assemble the turbines in an 18-month project.
According to an article in Energy Voice, the yard "is being used by Siemens for major assembling, marshalling and load-out works for the array’s 84 turbines".
Offshore work began last year with the installation of piles in the Beatrice field. Windfarm owner SSE expects to generate the first electricity from the site this summer.
25 April 2018Rug raffled for Townlands Barn Project
Ewa Mackenzie was the winner of the Townlands Barn Project raffle, drawn at the Cromarty Post Office yesterday afternoon.
The wool rug was started by Alan Quick and completed after his death by Irene Mackay and senior residents of the Black Isle.
The sale of raffle tickets raised £335 for the Townlands Barn Project. The community now owns the barn, and, when restored, it will be available for a variety of public uses.
The photo shows Irene Mackay who supervised work on the rug and Sandy Taylor from Munlochy who finished the rug and drew the raffle.
Photo: Estelle Quick
22 April 2018Crime returns to Cromarty
Mary Paulson-Ellis was one of the opening speakers at this year's Crime & Thrillers Weekend hosted by the Cromarty Arts Trust. Her debut novel (a "detective story without a detective") The Other Mrs Walker was named as the 2017 Waterstones Book of the Year.
Other weekend speakers include crime novelist Ian Rankin, former Northern Ireland police officer William Matchett, forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black and archaeologist Mary Peteranna.
A curry supper and trio of 'fairy tale crime' plays launched the weekend on Friday evening and was followed by a special episode of Scot Squad with Jack Docherty and a screening of Blood Simple on Saturday evening.
17 April 2018700th oil rig enters Cromarty Firth
The Press & Journal reports this morning that the 700th oil rig has entered the Cromarty Firth indicating a "further sign of activity picking up in the North Sea oil and gas sector". After undergoing repairs, the 35,500-tonne West Phoenix will depart for the UK and Norwegian continental shelves.
Concerns have been expressed by the local community about the number of rigs currently clustered near Cromarty, especially at the start of the summer tourist season. Comments should be made to the Port Authority or MSP or MP.
31 March 2018Follow the bunny trail
Children have two opportunities to hunt for Easter eggs in Cromarty this weekend. The popular Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt takes place over three days of the holiday weekend (31 March–2 April) starting from Hugh Miller's Birthplace Museum on Church Street from 1.00–4.30pm. Price £2.
On Easter Monday the Great Cromarty Easter Egg Hunt leaves from St Regulus' Church between 10.30–11.00am. Search through the fields and woods around town, then return to the church for a chocolate egg after you have found the treasure clues. 50p for map.
10 March 2018Peace campaigner comes to Cromarty
In a talk sponsored by the Cromarty Peace Group, veteran anti-nuclear activist Brian Quail spoke yesterday evening of his many protests against nuclear conveys and the dangers of nuclear weapons. As a 'veteran' in both age (78) and experience of sit-down and lay-down protests at Coulport and Faslane, the retired classics teacher has a record of more than a dozen convictions and has been jailed many times for failing to pay his fines. The National described him as "the Glasgow pensioner who can stop powerful 100 kiloton nuclear warheads using nothing by a pedestrian crossing."
In his talk he referred to the Doomsday Clock which was moved last month to just two minutes to midnight, the closest point to 'apocalypse' since 1953 when the US and the Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs.
L to R: Brian Quail, Simon Evans, Sandy Thomson
01 March 2018March blows in like a lion
Cold east winds and occasional snow flurries arrived with the first day of meteorological spring. The 'Beast from the East' weather front continues to affect British weather for the third day, soon to be joined by Storm Emma arriving from the Atlantic.
Fortunately, travel disruptions have been minimal on the Black Isle, and we can enjoy the wintry view of snow-covered hills and Ben Wyvis. Anyone travelling further afield, though, should take heed of the weather warnings and check latest transport updates.