I was all set to blip the lovely scenery into which we managed to escape during the Synod lunch break today, and indeed will add one of these as my extra - the coastline at Dunstaffnage, near Oban. However, as we neared home this afternoon, we heard that Synod members heading back to Cumbrae via the Western Ferries from Hunter's Quay had been unable to board because of the extremely low tide, and were even then heading back up the Loch Eck road towards the Rest and Be Thankful and the Erskine Bridge - a daunting prospect after a busy day.
We took the coast road past the Western Ferries terminal and found this: three ships, all loaded with cars and buses, unable to berth and unload their cargo. The right hand ship appears to be resting on the bottom, with the ramp unable to lower far enough to engage with the off-ramp on the vessel; the other two are clearly keeping just far enough out to avoid running aground. All very dramatic: I've been turned away in a tour bus because of low tide, but I've never seen such a stand-off before.
The second photo is taken near the Marine station at Dunstaffnage - an unexpectedly beautiful bit of coast beyond the very modern, utilitarian buildings in which we were meeting. It was blissful to be out in the fresh ari and hear the birds - though just about anything out of doors would be bliss after that rather airless hall ...