Standing on a rocky outcrop at Vaul, watching the sun set over the Outer Hebrides and the great Atlantic Ocean, our son remarked that it is like living on the edge. The Hebrides are literally the islands on the edge, not just of Scotland, but also of the continent of Europe. A possible derivation of the word ‘Hebrides’ is ‘Islands on the Edge’.
This sense of the edge was dramatically demonstrated by the fact that our son arrived to blue skies and calm water and less than twenty four hours later there was an amber alert for the boat due to adverse weather. At 11.00pm we visited the pier and to the west there was the remains of an amazing sunset. It was so light you could have read a book. Yet, to the south and east there was a hint of the storm that was brewing.
In the morning the storm broke with flashes of lightning and peels of thunder – probably as the MV Clansman was making its way between Coll and Tiree. Only twelve hours after walking on the pier it was a very different scene.
Grey was now the dominant colour and the peace of that late hour of the previous evening was now replaced by the hustle and bustle of the ferry’s arrival.