A group from Albion church went on a pilgrimage to Iona, and despite the bad weather the journey went fine until they boarded the first ferry, from Oban to Mull. Halfway through the sailing, an announcement was given that the weather was too bad, and that all of the ferries to Iona were cancelled for the rest of the day. We were instructed to go to Mull, in case the situation changed, since there was accommodation on Mull anyway.
We caught our coach on Mull and travelled to the other end of the island, where the ferries that go to Iona depart from. The report was correct, there were to be no more sailings to Iona that day. Just to add insult to injury, the hotel owners came out to announce that none of them had any vacancies – it later turned out that there had been no sailings to Iona all day!
Just as we thought that we would be stranded on the Island with no accommodation, a local sailor came into the coach, and enquired whether we wanted to pay to get across to Iona on his boat. Everyone on the boat said yes, so he went off to get his boat. Everyone waited on the jetty, and watched the huge waves nervously, knowing that they were going to have to go over them in this little boat.
As promised, the sailor arrived with the boat, and everyone got across safely, but the story stuck with our group all week. After this irregular beginning, the rest of the week was enjoyed by all in the tranquil surroundings that Iona offers.
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A seal that was spotted as we disembarked the ferry on the return journey The Isle of Staffa A view of the village that is on Iona Iona Abbey St. Columba’s Bay A view on the Pilgrimage around Iona A Celtic cross