Friday, 30 March 2012

Celebrating the Comet - Part Five


The Dorus Mhor


Due to heavy competition on the Clyde, with twenty something steam boats being built within four years, Bell decided to change the route of the Comet to a more leisurely journey from Glasgow to Fort William. Below is an example of an advert posted in a Glasgow newspaper on the 5th of August 1812.

CHEAP CONVEYANCE TO FORT WILLIAM
By the Comet Steam Boat

The Comet is appointed to sail from Glasgow to Greenock, Gourock, Rothsay, Tarbert, Loch Gilp, Crinan, Easdale, Oban, Port Appin and Fort William, on Thursday first, Sept. 2, 1812, for the above places, at 9 o’clock morning, and to continue during the season every Thursday from Glasgow, and from Fort William on Monday. The hours of sailing will be seen on the boards at each of these places.

Below is an example of some of the journeys the boat travelled and the prices for each journey:
From Glasgow                               Cabin.        Steerage
          To Greenock,…………… ….4/…………….2/6
          To Rothsay,………………….7/……………. 5/
          To Appin,……………………18/…………..13/6
          To Fort William,……………22/……………15/

The voyage took four days to complete, with reasonable time at each stop for the passengers to go out.

However, In December  1820, when driven by a rip-tide on to rocks at Craignish point, near Oban, the Comet could not cope with the tidal race and the vessel broke in two in the Dorus Mhor channel. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but this signalled the end of the first Comet.



Next week, we will look at the rebuilding of the Comet in 1821.

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