The Unexpected

Sunday lived up to its name.
The sun shone brightly and beckoned us outside.
The question was, ‘Walk around Scarinish or venture further?’


It was mid-afternoon when we headed out.
We took the car still undecided exactly where to walk.
We would park somewhere along the shore of Gott Bay.

An occasional visitor to Tiree – the ‘Lady of Avenel’

As we made to turn right onto Pier Road we saw them.
It was the masts of a sailing ship in Gott Bay.
This was most unexpected.

The view from Milton towards Ben Hough (a slight detour took us here)

First things first.
Turn left and head towards the pier.
There we found a 102ft Brigantine square rigger.
We were able to identifier her as the ‘Lady of Avenel’.

The Island of Rum as seen from Caolas

Curiosity satisfied we headed back up Pier Road.
We stopped on the way to talk to a runner.
Driving off we naturally looked around.

The Machair at Caolas looking beautiful

There was no sign of the ship.
The ‘Lady of Avenel’ had vanished.

A yacht passing through the Gunna Sound

On our mobile phone we consulted the app ‘Marine Traffic’.
It looked as if the ‘Lady’ was heading for the Gunna Sound.
So off we drove to Caolas to see her pass through the Sound.

In the Gunna Sound

At Caolas we parked and walked over the beautiful Machair.
There we went to our usual viewpoint close to a small cairn.
With sails furled the ‘Lady’ passed through the Sound.
We later learned she was on a private charter.

Well! That was an unexpected treat!
There was still time to walk rather than drive.
So we headed back towards one of the car parks at Gott Bay.

Magnificent Gott Bay

At Gott Bay we parked the car.
There you are only a few steps and you are onto the sand.
We headed towards Rubh’ a’ Phuirt Bhig and the Island of Soa
We were rewarded with some magnificent views towards the Isle of Mull.

At the waters edge

At low tide you can walk over to Soa.
On this occasion it certainly was an island.
At Tràigh Cironiag we were entertained by some seals.

It is not unknown to see seals at this location.
What was unexpected was some of their antics.
At first we almost wondered if we were watching dolphins.
To us it looked as if some of the seals were playing together.

Pods at Sgibinis

At Sgibinis we saw for the first time the two ‘Pods’.
The scene was made by a pony grazing in front of them.
What a stunning view the pods have out across the bay towards Mull.

The view from Sgibinis towards Ben More on the Isle of Mull

We chose to walk part of the way along the road back to our car.
We then took the track that heads to the beach.
Along the track we saw a black and white calf.

They were just asking to be photographed.

By now the sky was quite dramatic and the sea equally so.
To the South and West the sky was turning inky black.
While to the North and East the sky was blue.

Stepping back onto the beach

It was time to head home – it was teatime.
It was an afternoon of unexpected treats.
But then this is what is so enjoyable.

What a dramatic change in the sky

This is Life on Tiree.

Tiree’s Big Sky divided