29 June 2018Pacific Orca arrives for Beatrice wind turbines
The Pacific Orca has arrived at Nigg to uplift the first group of ten wind turbines destined for installation at the Beatrice offshore wind farm.
The purpose-built, heavy-lift jack-up vessel is the biggest wind farm installation vessel in the world and designed to conduct wind farm installations under extremely rough seas and wind conditions.
At the end of May the Pacific Orca successfully completed the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off the coast of Aberdeen which holds the record for the world's most powerful wind turbines.
23 June 2018Sun shines on Cromarty's gardens
Welcome sunshine brought locals and visitors outdoors to enjoy to Cromarty's Art & Flower Festival and 'Cromarty in Colour' Open Gardens.
Twenty-nine gardens are open over the weekend of 23/24 June from 11.00am–4.00pm each day. A map and guide is available from East Bellevue, Church Street at a price of £5 for a weekend pass. Tea and biscuits, music, children's activities and plants are available at several venues.
Proceeds will go to the RNLI, Care in the Community, Cromarty Courthouse and the East Church.
From 23 June–1 July the East Church hosts the Arts & Flowers Festival with colourful floral displays by Evelyn Wilson and her team of flower arrangers and botanical paintings by Julie Price and her pupils. A special section of the display contains 'gardens on a plate' contributed by children of Cromarty Primary School. Entry is free, but donations are appreciated.
16 June 2018"Fantastic first day" at Black Isle Regatta
Several hundred people watched and rowed in the first day of the Black Isle Regatta hosted by the Avoch and Cromarty community rowing clubs.
Races for age-based categories were scheduled from 10.30am to 4.00pm both days over a 1km (juniors) or 2m (seniors) course with prize-giving at 5.00pm both days.
A family-friendly evening social will be held on the Links from 7.30om with music and stovies. BYOB and a camping chair if you want to sit.
15 June 2018Another reason to visit Cromarty
Cromarty's newest retail shop opened this morning — just in time for the busy Regatta weekend. Calluna (Calluna vulgaris or common heather) is the brainchild of Phoebe Fox who spotted a gap in Cromarty for a shop specialising in clothes, shoes and accessories.
In addition to clothing, customers will be pleased to find books, jewellery and other gift items previously stocked in Couper's Creek. (The move of stock has made room for three more tables in the popular Church Street coffee shop.)
During the summer Calluna is open daily from 9.00am to 5.00pm.
Photo: Phoebe Fox and Pauline Buchanan
02 June 2018It's June - it's summer
The first of June marks the start of the meteorological summer and also the start of the summer ferry run between Cromarty and Nigg.
The Highland Ferries' vessel began its half-hourly service yesterday and will run until 30 September. The ferry departs from Cromarty at 0800 and every 30 minutes until 1800. It departs from Nigg at 0815 and every 30 minutes until 1815. The ferry arrives five minutes before its departure time.
Fares range from £1 for a cyclist's single ticket to a family return ticket (one car, two adults, three children) for £29.
If you are waiting at the Cromarty slipway, take advantage of the refreshments on offer at the Slaughterhouse.
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.