The vintage paddle-steamer Waverley brought down the curtain on her shortest-ever schedule of sailings from Penarth last night.
The popular paddler had undertaken only a three-day programme of excursions from Penarth Pier during what turned out to be a weekend of disappointing weather. Last night she departed into the damp dark mist of a late Monday evening, heading for Swansea and – ultimately – her home waters on the Clyde.
The ship’s sailing from Penarth last night appeared to be delayed by the necessity to wait for a Bristol Channel pilot to arrive by launch from Barry. In the past Waverley‘s captains would always have been qualified to navigate all the channel’s tricky waters, ports and piers.
Once the pilot was aboard, Penarth Piermaster Peter Andrews and his staff cast off Waverley’s warps.
Without even a departing toot on her ship’s whistle, the elderly lady’s paddle wheels bustled into action as she gathered up her skirts for a night voyage to Swansea – leaving many local supporters with the hope that she’ll return to Penarth next year .
Meanwhile the MV Balmoral‘s season continues and she’ll continue sailing from Penarth Pier into October.