Sunday, 23 December 2007
Hebrides, Faeroe, Bailey: Northerly violent storm force 11, backing southwest, gale 8 later.. Seas high or very high decreasing, very rough, occasionally severe gale 10...becoming psychotic...

I think I'll sit this one out. Well I wouldn't want to loose my hat aye... The seas around Rubha Robhanais, aka the Butt of Lewis, & the drum are shown above. The only way to get these shots was to lay down at the very edge of the abyss, under the lighthouse with it's pulsed light scanning in set clicks out toward the growing dark, 100ft plumes of spray screaming into the atmosphere, white lava streaking black volcanic incisors, the communication rig wires droning in the midst of an endless onslaught. Just inland, the active kayak is held down by 4 large gneissian boulders & 2 ballistic straps. The chimneys are rattling & the collie has gone into hiding. Squalls like these go some way in justifying why I have a woolly sock collection of gargantuan proportions, a bomb proof jacket & boots, & more often than not, a pot of hot coffee chattering to itself on the stove.

posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 19:42:00 |

2 Retorts:

At 23 December 2007 at 23:19, Blogger Douglas Wilcox

Greetings Si, never mind your hat, I hope you keep your roof on! :o)

Do you know about the Sunday ferry petition?


At 25 December 2007 at 15:03, Blogger •≈ Sgian Dubh

Hi Douglas,

Aye this Sunday ferry thing. It's a difficult one to commit to signing since I can't decide on either argument. On the one hand, closed Sundays, even beyond religious protocols, are part of traditional island ways. It separates the islands from being part of Glasgow so to speak. It runs deeply as a lifestyle & has it's benefits within the communities. They are structured to fit into a 6 day week where everything closes on Sunday. People work with that in mind. Would opening an extra crossing day force retail to then open on Sunday? I see a snowball effect possibly, but then the islands suffer from access issues that need resolving. Local buses that actually link up with ferries would be a more practical start, rather than backhand dealing HCB out of the picture & handing the contracts to SCL behind closed doors! This has led to a totally impractical bus schedule for any islander without a car. But then practicality is often superseded by profiteering & margins that leave an old woman in the winter rain for 3 hours, just trying to go shopping in Portree.. On the other hand, opening up an extra day of travel will as many have said, allow those who work on the mainland to return to their families on a more frequent basis. I'm not sure if this is Calmac pushing for profit for themselves, rather than profit for the islands, & simply dressing it up as local demand...In the community meetings it is certainly not black & white.

Would it not be better to bring the island employment opportunities up to date, tourism & leisure to a point where an extra sailing would be a necessity through demand, rather than throw up an extra crossing in the hope of creating that demand & a more cosmopolitan island chain? Would you put face paint on an open wound so it looks good, or heal it the right way round?

Tricky aye. I think the agenda, just as in the English trying to dump windfarms out of the way up here, the social economic benefits or pitfalls need further examination.

All that said, it's an extra sea-taxi, not a proposal for a nuclear power station or an Al Qaeda training base aye...

All the best,