Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Sounds for Bridging

There was a time when access to Eilean Dhamhnaill, Loch Olabhat in Griminish, North Uist was regarded as an ultimate achievement in crannog construction. Eventually the linking of Benbecula by causeway (below) was hailed as remarkable.

Then the road to Eriskay (below) was an engineering feat that drew observers as well as users. Now there is an appeal for visionary thinking about bridging the Sounds of Harris and Barra to create an end-to-end Outer Hebridean road. Look into it through The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - new ways of exploration are always opening
Digital Edition:  on foot, by car, through internet

Monday, 30 July 2018

A Successful Resolution

David Dawson wrote this about the MV Priscilla featured here on Saturday: 'She should now be in Silloth, after being successfully refloated last Thursday evening, following half her cargo being offloaded into a barge alongside.Towed into Scapa Flow where divers inspected her hull. Slight damage but not anything that affected her integrity. The incident is nothing short of miraculous, given that a week of entirely flat calm conditions in the Firth (even in summer) is very uncommon. Paradoxically, had the conditions been choppier at the time of grounding it is thought unlikely that she would have run aground as the sea breaking over the skerry would have indicated the rock just under the surface. A successful resolution all round!' 

The grounding of the vessel was not on the Pentland Skerries, but near Lother Rock (above) off Brough Ness, South Ronaldsay.

Scottish Islands Explorer - some discoveries lead to mishaps
Digital Edition: delivery through safe navigation

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Fair Isle Firefighters

Of the eight-strong Fair Isle Fire Brigade, four are female. See The Press and Journal for the background to this emergency force on one of Britain's remotest island settlements.

Scottish Islands Explorer - island communities are usually equally divided
Digital Edition: ready under most contingencies

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Pentland Poses Problems

The MV Priscilla encountered problems earlier this month when it ran aground on the Pentland Skerries, between Duncansby Head and Orkney. However, its cargo was transferred and it's now free to leave. See the BBC website item. To the south and west of Muckle Skerry (below) is

Little Skerry, an image of which was submitted by Richard Evans, 90 minutes after the blog was launched. This is where the Priscilla came aground.

Scottish Islands Explorer - explores without danger
Digital Edition: steers its way throughout the world

Friday, 27 July 2018

Bat Watch

Here's something rather different - watching for bats as well as touring a distillery and tasting liquor - at the Raasay Distillery on Wednesday 1 August. The details of the Bat Watch Night are here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - watch out for subscription details
Digital Edition: available day or night

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Pleats Complete

The geological formations of Kilt Rock, Skye, resemble the pleats in a garment. Tim Collier Photography sailed past the phenomenon on a blogged-and-illustrated journey from Raasay to Lochmaddy. Take a trip in the company of his team.

Scottish Islands Explorer - featuring comparable voyages
Digital Edition: complete and ready to complement computers

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Land Ahoy!

The Orcadian features an area of land for sale between South Walls and Longhope for offers over £29k. It is extensive, has elevation and detailed planning permission for a residence. It's a pick worth a click

Scottish Islands Explorer - worth picking up ...
Digital Edition: … or clicking onto

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Blogs Glorious & Galore

For a full, illustrated introduction to many aspects of travelling around the West Coast of Scotland, consider what Tim Collier Photography has to offer with its blogs. Why not start with the Skye to Mull journey?

Scottish Islands Explorer - here's exploration to relish
Digital Edition: convenient and inexpensive

Monday, 23 July 2018

Lottery Rescue?

Plans to restore Halligarth House on Unst have been put on hold - for the project to convert the former home of Dr Laurence Edmondston, medical doctor and ornithologist, into a visitors' centre has been termed 'unsustainable'. Perhaps the scheme will be rescued by National Lottery funding? The Press and Journal has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of restorative plans
Digital Edition: restores connections continuously

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Skye Diving

Country Living magazine has drawn attention to several places throughout the world where tourism is in danger of ruining the sights that people have come to experience. The Isle of Skye, apparently, came in third position of being endangered by this phenomenon.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of too much attraction
Digital Edition: light on resources; low on risks

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Scalpay Wool

'Enjoy your visit to Scalpay' and do take the opportunity - until Thursday 30 August on Tuesdays through Thursdays (11.00 - 16.00) - to take in the Scalpay Wool Exhibition put on by the local historical society. When fishing took a downturn during the Second World War, sheep provided a mainstay of the economy here. Combine your trip with a journey to an end of the island and the Eilean Glas Lighthouse?

Scottish Islands Explorer - weaves items into the bi-monthly publication
Digital Edition: casts light on the publication day and night

Friday, 20 July 2018

Spring Into Action

The St Ninian's Isle tombola is a beach that's pristine. It may well have been part of the Shetland tradition of an annual spring-clean of its coastline with Da Voar Redd Up. For those on the Mainland, the opportunity comes towards the autumn with the Great British Beach Clean from 14 - 17 September 2018 organised by the Marine Conservation Society. Click on to discover where.

Scottish Islands Explorer - also depends on some volunteering
Digital Edition: a quick and clean method of downloading

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Top Rung

The views from Unst - Hermaness (above) and Woodwick (below) - are fit for an island above all others in the British Isles. Now that the UK spaceport project is to be developed in Sutherland, at the top end of the Mainland, the company behind the comparable Unst scheme is to link with the Shetland Islands  Council and Lockheed Martin, one of the world's largest aerospace companies, to develop a satellite tracking and communications centre on the island. Shetland News reveals more. 

Scottish Islands Explorer - is something of an island-tracking centre
Digital Edition: promoted by advanced technologies

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

A Billionaire's Boat

Jim Simons from New York City, has been sailing the West Coast of Scotland in his yacht, Archimedes. Harris has been one of his destinations and Taransay was part of the itinerary. The 80-year-old is apparently worth £20 billion - among this year's richer visitors to the Western Isles. Hebrides News has more details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aspiring to be among the great and the good
Digital Edition: this high-end technology available to all

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Ben Fogle Returns

Ben Fogle looks forward to returning to Taransay, his favourite part of the world. Read about his past encounters with the South Harris island in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - presents many a castaway-style place
Digital Edition: always space for more

Monday, 16 July 2018

Loch in Twatt Warning

Loch of Collaster in Twatt, Shetland, has a warning posted about blue-green algae lurking in its waters. The Shetland Times carries the news of potential problems for humans.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of harmful elements in local waters
Digital Edition: good and bad news travels fast

Sunday, 15 July 2018

One Show in Two Places

This week will see The One Show appearing from the West Harris Trust's Talla na Mara (above) on Thursday and Stornoway's HebCelt Festival on Friday. The Press and Journal has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - one day the show will come its way
Digital Edition: the technology is in place for all sorts of shows

Saturday, 14 July 2018

2000-Year-Old Bowl

A wooden bowl, estimated to be 2000 years-old, has been excavated at Cairns Broch, South Ronaldsay, Orkney. For full information and an image, go to The Press and Journal

Scottish Islands Explorer - not yet 20 years-of-age
Digital Edition: will it still be around in two millennia?

Friday, 13 July 2018

Into Space from Scolpaig?

Scolpaig looks as though it is a crannog. The technology to build defensive islands in lochs must have been, at one time, state-of-the-art. The area of North-west Uist  has been chosen as a possible site for Britain's first spacesport. See Hebrides News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - ready to take copies to faraway places?
Digital Edition: cutting technologies of the early 21st Century

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Georges Dif Exhibition

The work of French photographer, author and ornithologist, Georges Dif (1946 - 2015) is commemorated in an exhibition at the Isleburgh Community Centre, Lerwick. It closes on Saturday - 14 July - but has brought pleasure to many who recall his passion for Shetland during 30 years of returning each spring and autumn. He was well known for his early starts to acquire the images he wanted - and in that latitude - 'early' can be exceptionally so. His magnificent Shetland - terre de vent has been produced in an English edition.

Scottish Islands Explorer - worth getting up early to discover
Digital Edition: always there on time … when wanted

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Buildings in Style

Some people have the knack and resources that lead to large constructions. Walter Douglas Campbell, great-grandfather of the Duke of Argyll, built this house on his island, Innis Chonain, situated in Loch Awe. Nearby he created St Conan's Kirk - in an eclectic mix of church-styles - which is memorably described and illustrated in a blog called Big Daddy Dave.

Scottish Islands Explorer - island-owners usually establish residences
Digital Edition: look around it and see what's on offer

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Back Come the Birds

The American Mink was introduced to Scotland as part of fur farming enterprises in the 1950s. Some of them escaped and have become feral. However, a Scottish Natural Heritage eradication programme has been successful, leading to birds returning to their breeding grounds, particularly in the Outer Hebrides, now safe of a relentless predator. See the MailOnline.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has been evident in Scotland for a far shorter time
Digital Edition: now has quite a presence in America

Monday, 9 July 2018

Ten Feet in the Air

Members of the Davidson Family were captured, ten feet in the air, by Craig Davidson with his camera on an Isle of Gigha beach. They are one of the many subjects in the current BBC - Your Pictures of Scotland series.

Scottish Islands Explorer - causes some jumping for joy
Digital Edition: images and items that stream around the world instantly

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Beware the Idyllic

Uyea is a deserted and appealing island off the coast of the northern parts of Shetland Mainland. One family visited it earlier this week and had to be rescued. Read the account in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - safer, on occasions, to read rather than to explore
Digital Edition: check matters first ... ahead of the print issue

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Dream, Then Roam

Do you dream about running a company in an idyllic location? There can be nowhere in Britain as attractive as Seilebost, South Harris - it's almost too stunning for work! However, that's where Andrew Reeve has recently set up Roam Outer Hebrides to encourage both young and older people to enjoy Sea Kayaking. Go straight to his website and linger over what's on offer around the shores of Harris. His venture could well be your first step to a new adventure.

Scottish Islands Explorer - many an exploration by kayak
Digital Edition: will get there first!

Friday, 6 July 2018

Numbers that Numb

Here is Baile na Cille Glebe, a stretch of land near the idyllic Uig Sands. In the 1820s - that's almost 200 years ago - there was a religious revival on the Isle of Lewis and some 9,000 people would gather to take communion here. A commenorative ecumenical service is planned for the evening of Friday 27 July and all are invited to attend. The last time this occurred was in 2010 when 250 worshippers from across Lewis were attracted. There are currently around 18,500 residents and so, if one in two went, it would replicate the 19th Century figures. Details of the background to this item are in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - if all enthusiasts subscribed … if only!
Digital Edition: well, at least people can be informed (or subscribe) quickly

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Marine Litter Louts

Shetland News reports on the comments of Sean Whyte, a campaigner against marine litter, who has labelled the islands 'the worst in the world'. His interests also include the protection of orangutans, obviously in a far different environment. Take a look at Shetland Storm Force Photography and the work of Robbie Ashbee to see the extent of the pollution problem.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to avoid its copies being dropped
Digital Edition: worldwide, but no threat

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Re-live the Ride

Arran has a distinctive shape. David Gartside and his grandson, Josh, have experienced cycling around it and have compiled another illustrative presentation of one of their routes - via 'The String'. Here's an opportunity to Re-live the Ride by clicking here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoys visiting from all angles
Digital Edition: gets around the world in a flash

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Clyde Waves

Jet-skiing on the Clyde could be a hazard to shipping - with the CalMac crossings. This image by Bill McCrorie was taken near Largs close to the ferry route to Cumbrae. Watch out for a video clip from near Ardrossan.

Scottish Islands Explorer -  skiing not the recommended way of access
Digital Edition: gets there faster

Monday, 2 July 2018

Arran Re-run

David Gartside has recently completed a re-run of a cycle-ride around Arran, first made with his grandson  20 years ago. Share the stimulating journey with them with images presented on the innovative presentation through Relive. It will start the week well.

Scottish Islands Explorer - gets around islands at speed
Digital Edition: another of the technological changes of the past 20 years

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Tallest Land-based

The North Ronaldsay Lighthouse is the tallest of Britain's land-based lighthouses. Take a closer look with the websites for its Visitors' Centre and of the Northern Lighthouse Board.

Scottish Islands Explorer - lights up on an eight-week cycle
Digital Edition: always casting around for custom