Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The islands beyond the horizon

Sunday morning dawned bright and, more importantly, with light winds.  The Shipping Forecast was listened to avidly and options discussed.  Murdani felt that we'd have a good but limited weather window to get out to St Kilda - we were on!  After breakfast we weighed anchor and headed out of Loch Tamnabhaigh, passing the island of Scarp and so to the open Atlantic.  The passage would take around six hours, most of us passed the time by sitting and chatting in the sun on Cuma's decks.

 "Westward!" - Douglas emulates one of his great heroes; the resemblance is amazing! 

The trip can be followed (with much better pictures) on Douglas' super blog to enjoy the full St Kilda Stereovision (tm) experience!

St Kilda lies 41 nautical miles west of Lewis, well below the horizon when we set out.  The air was very clear, and after a couple of hours the clouds above the archipelago, then the islands themselves became visible.  The shapes we'd studied in photographs crept above the horizon.  I'd seen St Kilda several times from seaward, but this is the more usual view.

From right to left, Stac an Armin, Boreray, Soay and Hirta

Excitement mounted as we approached.  The sense of scale was difficult to judge - we were still several nautical miles away when this picture was taken. 

We had arrived at the edge of the world.

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