Tim's One Photograph a Day

The Last Scottish Turntable Ferry.

Glenelg to Kylerhea Skye Turntable Ferry.

Scottish Turntable Ferry: Hand turning the deck to unload the cars.

Hand turning the deck to unload the cars.

This was unexpected. We had intended to go on the ferry to Skye from Mallaig, but it was fully booked. So, we set off to drive all the way. Approaching Kyle of Lochalsh, we saw a sign to a ferry. Little did we know it was the last operating Scottish Turntable Ferry.

From the sign, it was a 15 mile drive along a single track road with passing places. We kept hoping we had made the right decision! When we finally arrived, it was just setting off, with its full complement of 5 vehicles.

The Turntable Ferry, we learn, is a Scottish invention, allowing the crossing to continue to operate at any state of the tide. This is the shortest crossing to Skye from the mainland, operating since 1934.

The current vessel, the MV Glenachulish, was built in 1969 for the Ballachulish crossing, and was used there until a bridge was built in 1975. She was bought by the current owners, a Community Interest Company, in 2007, and is now the only example still operating. In fact, she is the only one still working in the world.

The crossing takes just under 10 minutes, and operates from May to October.

Photograph Details:

  • Taken: 25 July 2017
  • Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
  • Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS II USM
  • Focal Length 70mm
  • F/8
  • 1/200 Sec
  • ISO 100

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