HIGHLAND LASSIE ISLAND CRUISES LTD
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A piece of OAK ART Highland Lassie is built entirely of wind-blown oak from our local estate, Dochfour, by a father and son team Dougie & Simon.
Built in Bangor shipyard 1980 for a Ronald Thompson she fished in Irish waters, however not a lot is known of her time in Ireland.
She began her Scottish story with Mr. McLean and retained her name up until 1995 when her new owner George Geddes re-named her Scotia, she worked hard as do all fishing boats, Scotia is well remembered for fishing 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 2004, she should have gone the way all decommissioned fishing boats go, to the ship wreckers to have her back broken; this was not to be, George managed to save her by way of a written agreement that would have to be adhered to by any future owner, that she would never fish again, anywhere in the world, this agreement was reached with The Marine Directorate Sea Fisheries (Management) Division. George Geddes sold Scotia to his friend Jim McCleod for £1
Jim McCloud who we are proud to have known, 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 seaworthy, the engine and gear box had to be rebuilt due to water damage. 2012 she proudly set to 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, all fishing gear & wheelhouse having been removed, a box over the engine and just a ships wheel on a bare hull she took a gentle swing around the harbour into the Moray Firth and into the peace of the Caledonian canal just 6 miles to her home at Dochgarroch.