Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Hebridean colour, Scarp and Cearstaigh

Although our time in St Kilda was finished we still had two days of our trip remaining.  The morning was damp, grey and drizzly which suited a slow morning onboard Cuma.  About mid-morning Murdani took Cuma to the narrow Caol (strait) between the island of Scarp and its small neighbour Cearstaigh.  The southerly wind was still fresh but reducing in strength, and Simon hoped to film some towing sequences here for the DVD.

As we anchored, the cloud tore away and the sun came out - Murdani's Cloud Lever (tm) had been operated again!  The Scarp shore is mostly steep and rocky, but occansionally there are beautiful beaches.

Looking across to Harris and Lewis, we reflected that the landscape that had seemed hard and rocky prior to our visit to St Kilda now looked much more accessible with numerous opportunities to land.

Scarp, like most of the Hebrides is composed of Lewisian Gneiss, one of the oldest rocks on the planet.  Here, the summer sun picks out the warm colours and characteristic banding in the bedrock.

Even in this hard landscape where the bones of the earth are close by the surface, people have scratched a living.  The characteristic ridge and furrow pattern of runrig cultivation were clearly visible.  The ridges would have been formed using hand tools and fertilised using seaweed - a back breaking labour seemingly totally mis-named as "lazy beds"

Beneath the cliffs the water was a beatiful turquoise green colour.  All our tiredness from the previous day fell away - we couldn't wait to get back on the water!

On days like these, the Hebridean colours are simply matchless.  We were truly lucky.

1 comment:

  1. That beach on Scarp is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been. We went around Scarp as a day trip, but I will go back and camp there one day. I think you could travel the world and struggle to find its equal.
    Happy days.