Steamship Group Preparing For Busiest Week Of The Year

scillonian aug 2015The Steamship Company says it is preparing for its busiest week of the year in the run up to the start of the World Pilot Gig Championships, taking place from Friday 29th April to Monday 1st May.

And it expects to ship a record amount of freight to the islands.

The Gry Maritha will carry 361 tonnes of freight next week, the equivalent weight of three commercial Boeing 757s!

The cargo includes 4,000 toilet rolls, 20 tonnes of beer, four trailers full of portable toilets and more than two tonnes of bacon and sausages.

That’s on top of the thousands of passengers coming to Scilly on the Scillonian III, along with 5,000 items of luggage, almost four times as much as on a normal weekend.

Transporting the 137 gigs, extra freight and passengers is a huge logistical operation, and one that the company has got down to a fine art.

The Steamship Company’s Debbie Hunt has managed the operation every year.

She said: “Essential supplies have to be transported to the islands throughout the year, and gig weekend is just on a larger scale.

“It takes months of careful planning on our part, but we’ve been doing it for so long it’s like second nature.”

The company can take two or three gigs on Scillonian III and eight on the Gry Maritha so between mid March and the Championships there have been gigs on every sailing.

The first gigs were carried to the islands six weeks ago, and it’s been a steady stream ever since.

The company will be providing four extra sailings of the Scillonian III over Gig Weekend.