HIGHLAND LASSIE CRUISES
HISTORY OF HIGHLAND LASSIE
Built in Bangor shipyard, 1980, a beautifully shaped wooden hull, she fished the irish seas under the name of 'FRAGRANT CLOUD II' (Honest!), her registered number was B340, she must have been sold to a Scottish fisherman in Peterhead as there are records of Fragrant Cloud II with a new registered number of PD233 fishing out of Peterhead. We have only known her as PD233 but by the time we acquired her she was re-named Scotia.
We know the history of the owner of Scotia PD233, then owned by Mr. George Geddes who fished her out at Rochall, an uninhabited granite islet in the North Atlantic Ocean, 184 miles nearly due west of St. Kilda where the waters are unforgiving, it appears she never seeked shelter in a storm!
Decommissioned in 2003, George could not bear to see her broken up, as all decommissioned fishing boats have to be by 'breaking their backs' to ensure they never fish again, instead, being on the fisheries commission himself George managed to obain an agreement that she could be sold to a private individual on the understanding they signed a long document stating she would never fish again anywhere in the world, along with a list of penalties should that not be adhered to, (the same document we too have signed now as her owner).
George sold Scotia to a friend for £1.00 (yes, one pound!!). That lucky and happy man was a Jim McCloud who we are proud to have known, Jim set about making her his home from home, re-naming her Sunshine. He regualrly took her out to sea and proudly told tales of his solo expeditions with her.
We aquired her in 2008 by which time she had endured a desperate few years, Jim explained that he got too old to take her out alone so she just sat in the harbour, all he could do was visit, during one of these visits a couple of chappie came by and offered Jim a swap for a smaller boat, Jim seeing this as an opportunity to set to sea again, agreed. The chappies after several years of trying to raise funds to do whatever they intended to do, failed, everything of value was stripped off and she was abandoned and left in a state of forlorn on a pier in Stromness, Orkney.
It took us a further 4 years to get her sea worthy as the engine and gear box had to be rebuilt due to water damage. 2012 she was proudly at sea again travelling the 100 miles to MacDuff shipyard for a bit of a tidy up! Another 100 miles and she was in inverness harbour where her fishing gear and wheelhouse was removed, a gentle swing around the harbour and into the peace of the Caledonian canal, a mere 6 miles to her home at Dochgarroch.