Friday, 17 August 2012

Some Wait

Nobody has ever been a permanent resident on Stac an Armin, the highest sea stack - at 643' - in the UK. However, there have been involuntary stays on the islet in the St Kilda Group. 285 years ago, on Friday 15 August 1727, three men and eight boys from Hirta were landed on the islet. They had come to collect seabirds and eggs, expecting to be there for days before being picked up. However, a smallpox outbreak back on Hirta meant that there was no one sufficiently fit to make the four-mile crossing. They were there on the 24-acre rock until rescue came ... wait for it ... on 13 May 1728, which happened to be a Thursday. The image of gannets on Stac an Armin indicates that there were plentiful supplies of food, but how was it cooked throughout the long, dark winter? They were closer to Boreray, as Rob Woodall's image below, indicates, but there was no one there to assist.

Scottish Islands Explorer - once every two, not nine, months

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