Galathea, built for the Orkney crab fishery, arrived home to the small port of Pierowall, on the island of Westray, last month.
Brothers Paul and Adam Tulloch, opting to fish for shellfish rather than follow their father Tommy, who for many years targeted whitefish on the Keila K 121, sailed the Galathea, named after the Greek goddess of calm seas, from the Isle of Lewis, where the boat had been fitted out by Murdo Kennedy.
The Gerry Smyth-built hull was transported by two ferries, with a long overland haul in between, for the full fit-out. It was one of three fishing vessels completed by Murdo Kennedy’s yard in 2023, with other deliveries for Skye and Tiree.
Galathea was also the name of an iconic schooner that provided a vital lifeline for Westray for many years, serving the island continuously from 1869 until her decommissioning in 1915. Galathea’s PLN number, 112, adds up to 13 – a longstanding tradition in Orkney.
Shortly after arriving at Pierowall, a naming ceremony for Galathea was held, following which the vessel was blessed by the Rev Iain MacDonald, the local minister from the Church of Scotland.
After their first two days’ fishing, Adam Tulloch told FN that the vessel exceeded their expectations. “We were amazed at the stability in poor weather. With the old boat we would have had to stop – there is no way we could have continued hauling in those conditions. She is proving to be an excellent boat.”
A full report on the new vessel will appear in Fishing News soon.