Go West

It has been a week of windy, wet weather on Tiree. Squally showers have been a frequent occurrence. Thankfully the ferry has managed to berth every day at Tiree, although on two days, Tuesday and Friday, the ferry was unable to berth at the neighbouring island of Coll due to the sea conditions – the swell.

The ‘berthing shower’ past, a rainbow appears behind the MV Clansman

Today, Saturday, has been characterised by rainbows. Instead of grey skies, the sun has shone. There have been showers but most of them have been around Tiree, rather than over the island. Today the arrival of the ferry was accompanied by a ‘berthing shower’. However it was short-lived and soon a rainbow appeared behind the MV Clansman.

A small area of the seal colony at West Hynish

This was the day to be out and about with our visitors. They had arrived on Thursday’s ferry, on a relatively calm morning, and we briefly ventured to the island’s east end. So today it was the turn of the west end.

Double click on the gallery for larger pictures

Having had morning coffee at the Yellow Hare, we packed lunch and headed for West Hynish and its seal colony. We were not disappointed – the seals were clearly to be seen. Some were lazing on the rocks, others were swimming, others still were on more distant skerries. Seals are so inquisitive and they never fail to impress.

On the horizon Skerryvore Lighthouse

Out at sea, about 12 miles distant, we could make out Alan Stevenson’s Skerryvore Lighthouse.  A trip to the lighthouse in the summer months comes highly recommended. Tiree Sea Tours provide such an excursion aboard their rib ‘Aurora’.

The sun dances on the sea while clouds act as curtains to the theatre.

Sky and sea were amazing. The sun was dancing on the sea while the clouds acted as theatre curtains. It was clear that all around the island were showers. In fact for a brief moment we thought we might get soaked, but thankfully we were spared.

As we tucked into our packed lunch, the seals were visible from our parked car. However wanting to get closer, I made my way over the grass and rocks. In doing so I disturbed some geese and I was treated to a take off and fly past.

Balephuil beach a favourite of our eldest . . .

West Hynish is a dead end by car so we had to return by the way we had come. Balephuil and Kenavara were bathed by sunshine. The colours were intense and we could appreciate why this bay and beach are our eldest son’s favourite beach on Tiree.

In the background is Ben Hough – and a rainbow is over Loch a Phuil

As we made our way towards Balemartine and looked over Loch a’ Phuill towards Ben Hough, there was a reminder that rainbows were the theme for the day.

Looking over Hynish Bay towards Scarinish

At the road junction at Balemartine there was yet another rainbow. This time it appeared to touch earth behind the township of Scarinish.

Another popular beach is Soroby beach.

Soroby (or Balinoe) beach is another popular beach. The east end of the beach is the starting point of the Tiree 10k, half marathon and ultra marathon races. Today several people were pony treking.

A silhouette of one of the Western Isles

Such were the conditions at Balevullin that we could make out the outline of several of the Western Isles or as they are otherwise known the Outer Hebrides. They are separated from Tiree by the Sea of the Hebrides and to think that they are a minimum of 50km from Balevullin.

A surfer on his sail board at Balevullin

This past week Tiree has had a large population of surfers. Some left the island on this morning’s ferry, but they were more than replaced by those coming for the;’Tiree Wave Classic’. This is one of the major surfing events in the UK.

Double click to see the surfer in action

There were only a few surfers in the water today. This was very different from yesterday. Come next week the real action will begin.

Baugh Beach

At Crossapol off Baugh beach there was another reminder of next week’s event.

Simply paddling

Go West! What a great idea. What a wonderful afternoon we enjoyed with our friends at the island’s west end.


Just as we were about to sit down for our evening meal, our friends exclaimed, “Just look out the window.”  South facing the sky was black but to the west the sun was setting. And as it set the sky was suddenly filled with birds.

Bird after bird

This is Life-on-Tiree.