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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The Management Committee of the ITA gratefully acknowledge the receipt of donations, in 2012, towards the new kit for our Meet & Greet Hosts.


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We would also like to acknowledge the time and effort put into sourcing suitable jackets by Spencer Ruck and his staff at SER Supplies, Invergordon.
 

NEWS and FEATURES
 

Visit of Marco Polo - 9th April 2013

Today's arrival sees the start of the cruise liner season for 2013. After a slow start once again, we were surprised by the numbers and spirit of the passengers who headed in to town, given the cold, but at least it was dry! Today people just wanted to walk around and, according to respones in and around the town, everyone enjoyed their day.

Visit of Marco Polo - 25th April 2012

This arrival saw the start of the cruise liner season for 2012. After a slow start, we were surprised by the numbers and spirit of the passengers who headed in to town, given the rain and the cold! The usual questions were asked and everyone seemed happy with their day, with favourable responses being received on the passengers' return to catch their shuttle bus back to the Saltburn Pier.
 

HOSTS ANNUAL SWAREE 2011

Saturday 3rd September was the date set for the annual swaree of the ITA hosts. We duly assembled at the Port awaiting the arrival of our transport and guide for the day. Bernard, Eileen, Dorrie, June, Dot, George A, Rosie, George C and, of course, Polo.

Nigel arrived on time, which was an event in itself, and was very mysterious about his planned route, but we did know we were heading to Cawdor Castle for a bit of “research” in the name of Customer Service!!

 

Nigel turned right out of the Port and we headed along Shore Road out through Barbaraville, Milton, Kildary and onto the A9 at Ken’s garage.  He turned off the A9 towards Nigg (Rosie had cheated as she and Nigel had colluded as to where the party were heading). We arrived at what used to be the Nigg Hotel and Nigel announced we were going on our own mini cruise across the Cromarty Firth onboard the new Cromarty Queen courtesy of Tom, the owner.

We set sail at 11.15am and crossed the Firth, admiring the splendour of Nigg Hill, and the rest of the Firth, in the sunshine. A superb gesture by both Nigel and Tom; we hasten to add we arrived at Cromarty without mishap with the exception of Rosie, who almost toppled down the stairs as we hit the Cromarty berth!! Luckily enough she was holding onto the handrail which saved one wee white dug from serious damage in the car below!

We toured the Black Isle until we reached Chanonry Point where we set out along the shore on the lookout for the dolphins. Yes, Bernard they do exist honest, they have been seen. Now, as we have come to expect, we waited in hope as Nigel should really have arranged with them to make an appearance, but in this quest he failed, miserably. As the rain started to fall,  we ran for the shelter of the vehicles with Nigel standing on dry land waiting with his customary brolly, until his already soaked guests made it off the beach and on to terra firma!!

Next stop Cawdor Castle.

At Cawdor we were greeted by Alison who gave us a very warm welcome, a little bit of an update on Lady Cawdor, a complimentary guide and an invitation to wander round the castle at our leisure and then indulge in afternoon tea in the Courtyard.  Nigel, Bernard and June took Alison at her word and really did indulge, so much so that Nigel requested another plate of sandwiches!  Bernard did refuse on one occasion but didn’t refuse on another 6 or 7 occasions!  June ended up with more scones than Harry Gow’s!  George A took the remaining cakes for his workmates in the Distillery.

Suitably stuffed we retired to the Garden for a stroll to walk off the excess food, Nigel and George C sat in the comfort of a roofed seating area blethering and putting the ITA to rights.  We paid a visit to the “Wool Shop” at Cawdor for a browse before setting off for home. Nigel led the way in his chariot while Rosie, George C and Polo followed. At one point the rear vehicle passengers were wondering if our Guide had got lost but apparently Nigel knew exactly where he was heading, the Clava Cairns, as his passengers had never been, so we parted company at this point. Nigel and party headed off to the Clava Cairns, the other vehicle sped for home.

The overall opinion was that the day was a great success, mainly due to the thought that had been put into the route, the additional excursions, the knowledge of the guide and main man: Nigel. Sincere thanks to all the hosts in attendance, who had chosen the destination, and to Nigel, for everything that he did to make it such a good day out. Further thanks to Tom of the  Cromarty Queen for the mini cruise, to Brett at Cawdor Castle for arranging our visit, and to Alison and all the other staff at Cawdor Castle for their hospitality and superb service.  A final two words to Jean in the Cawdor castle Gift Shop, Happy Retirement!

Roll on next year’s swaree.

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HMS Sutherland visited the Admiralty Pier on Saturday 26th March 2011.


It was open to the public to view and everyone who went on board were shown around by members of the crew.

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There's a Moose.......Loose....  Somewhere I think?

On 3rd Sep the ITA Hosts celebrated the end of the 2010 season by enjoying thier customary annual day out. This year, the theme was 'a walk in the wilderness'.

In brilliant sunshine, we headed of for our first stop at the Falls of Shin, where we were treated to tea a sticky buns, curtesy of Balnagowan Estates:-

 

 

After we eventually managed to extracate the ladies from the shop, we moved on and took a short visit to Carbisdale Castle on route to Croick Church.

 

 

We took lunch here, kindly provided by our Chairman. It was so good, Bernard & Eileen disappeared with thier goodies thinking that nobody would find them........they failed however.

 

Our final destination was the subject of our theme......this being Alladale Wilderness Lodge.

 

We were given a short guided tour by Hugh (Director of the Estate) and shown the area where two wild moose roamed.........we did not see them however (exept for the rear end of one hiding in the distance). The scenery more than made up for this and, given that we were no more than a few miles away from our home port, this was truly a wilderness.

 

On the way back home we took the scenic route over the Struie and were treated to a most unusual spectacle of mist crawling over the mountains. Someone asked if we were having a tsunami?

 

It must be said that the weather enhanced the experience and everyone commented on the superb day out  ............. roll on next year!!!!!

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Carry On Cruisin' !!!

As the season draws to a close, the hosts once again celebrated their annual day out on 4th Sep 2009. The event has become very popular as, this year, there were 12 Oystercatchers wishing to take the tour. Malcolm kindly volunteered to put on his own car in order to take the people not able to fit in the bus with Cyd & Bruce.

Given that the hosts 'meet and greet' many cruise passengers during the season, it was suggested that we arrange for an OysterCatcher cruise on 'The Royal Scot' in order to give them an opportunity of sailing themselves. The trip was kindly donated by the owners of Cruise Loch Ness at Fort Augustus.

After first sampling the delights of the many wines made at Moniak, we headed for Holm Mills where we took shelter from the weather and provided some free time for shopping. Whilst the ladies enjoyed this, the men were seen drowning their sorrows taking a free sample of promotional whisky.

From Holm Mills we traveled over the hills on the south side of Loch Ness and ate lunch huddled under our umbrellas high above Foyers (Many thanks to Malcolm once again for his 'Hm & Ch' and 'Ch & On').

We finally arrived at Fort August to take the 2pm sailing of Royal Scot and everyone appeared to really enjoy the cruise (albeit a short one).

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A Brodie good day out !!
 
As a busy and enjoyable season draws to an end the ITA ‘Oyster-catchers’ celebrated by taking their annual day out on Monday 25th Aug 2008……..this time to Brodie Castle and Findhorn Eco Village.
 
On route they quenched their thirst at the Back Isle Brewery and headed off in bright sunshine towards Brodie, where they were treated to a VIP guided tour of the Castle. All were very impressed by the venue and the professionalism of the staff at Brodie.
 
Freddy appointed himself as chief footman and bottom pusher throughout the day, and appeared to relish the task of helping all the girls in and out of the bus at each stop. He had a permanent grin on his face for the whole trip!
 
After touring the Castle, we all gathered round a table in the grounds and ravished a superb picnic lunch kindly provided by our Chairman….Malcolm.

 
Lunch devoured, we departed Brodie and headed for Findhorn and the Eco Village. Here the ladies decided they wanted to look at the houses and disappeared into the depths of the village leaving the men folk wondering where they had gone. Given that a tribe of scantily dressed Namibian dancers (!Gubi family) were on an official visit at the same time, Bernard was worried that they had joined the tribe and suggested we consider calling the police.
 
Leaving Findhorn, we headed home via Forres, where the ladies enjoyed some shopping; after which we drove back through Inverness on our way to Invergordon.
 
The day must have taken its toll as, on the way, both Bruce & Freddy were sleeping soundly until Dori decided it was too warm and wanted to take off some clothing. This woke the sleeping pair up as they were not sure what clothing was going to be removed, and did not want to miss the show.
Safely back at base, the only question being asked was……Where are we going NEXT YEAR???
Many thanks once again to Bruce & Cyd for organising the trip.
 
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From Mey to Septmember

Oystercatchers Grand Day Out !

On Staturday 8th Septmember the ITA Oystercatcher Hosts celebrated the end of the 2007 season by visiting John  'O Groats and the Castle of Mey.



The trip, organised by Bruce & Cyd of Ocean Links Golf, appears to have become an annual event as all available seats were taken up immediately the day was organised.

Whilst the weather was cool and breezy, this did not dampen the ethusiasm of the team as the Ladies had to be physically restrained from visiting a raunchy lingerie shop in the centre of Wick. Norman skillfully prevented this unscheduled stop by pointing out that a massed pipe band procession was just about to start.

Our Chairman (Malcolm) had kindly provided a picnic lunch which was hurriedly eaten, huddled in the lee of the only hedgerow in Caithness. Given the force of the wind, hot soup and a wee dram might have been more appropriate !!!. Nonetheless, our lunch was enjoyed and welcomed.

Obviously a great day out was had by all as the Ladies were overheard, on the way back, already planning next year's trip.

 ..........to SPAIN ????

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Invergordon Fleet Festival

Saturday 15th September 2007 

 

The festival celebrated the history of the area and included the launch of the town's Heritage Mural Trail.

A big heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed in any way to the success of the Fleet Festival - the generosity of people with both their time and money was really appreciated. A grand community effort, in spite of the weather.
THANK YOU

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