Day of Contrasts

Boxing Day 2019 was a day of contrasts. For a start it was a sharp contrast from Christmas Day. Yesterday looked like a summer’s day. The sun was shining, the air was still and the sea was calm.  How different, for most of today the island was under a blanket of high level cloud, the wind was blowing and the sea was characterised by white horses.

Ben More was just visible across the Passage of Tiree

Before the ‘MV Clansman’ could berth the decision was made to drop the anchor. Thankfully it was low tide which always helps when the wind is gusting from the South East.

The anchor is dropped

Inbound the ferry was lightly loaded. Outbound there were a few more vehicles and foot passengers heading for Oban and the Mainland. There was no hanging around. As soon as the vessel was loaded and secured, the ropes were released, the anchor raised and she headed out to sea sailing directly to Oban

The anchor is raised

With the wind from the South East there was once again an impressive bow wave. Again and again the MV Clansman had her faced washed. It was certainly not a morning to be standing out on the deck towards the stern of the vessel.

It was hard to hold the camera steady against the biting cold wind

The bow waves continued until she was well out into the channel where she turns to port, heads north, before entering the Sound of Mull.

Around lunch time a responsibility took us the length and breadth of the island. First of all we headed west before heading east along the north facing coastline. At Balevullin there was another contrast. On this side of the island the sea was much calmer.

The calmer waters at Balevullin beach

From Balevullin we could make out the the Island of Rum with its distinctive Cuillin. As we drove around the island we remarked on how quiet the roads were. Indeed, the whole island felt quiet.

Looking across the Machair towards the Island of Rum

We paused for a moment at Balephetrish to photograph the beach and the outline of the Rum Cuillin.


Hillcrest Farm, Balevullin adds a landmark at the end of the beach.

Hillcrest, Balevullin

Our final stop on our travels was Milton at the east end of the island. From here we returned to our home in Scarinish.

Milton Harbour with the new Pier and landing shed

The final contrast was encountered when we had a walk around Heanish. The wind was stiff and biting. The white horses were still dancing across the waters of the Passage of Tiree. The contrast was to be seen in the sky.

Heanish – To the south and east the clouds had taken on the colours of the setting sun

As we headed across the Machair towards the beach the wind was striking us in the face. However, the walk was worth it as we looked beyond Heanish and out to the Passage of Tiree.

A red roof set against contrasting skies.

Having come this far we stepped down on the beach. The sand was covered with ‘tangles’. Stormy seas give a bountiful harvest. On occasions tractors and trailers can be seen full of tangles to be used as fertiliser.

Tangles strewn across the beach

What a contrast from the morning sky. The wind might still be blowing. The sea might still have prancing white horses, but the sky was transformed.

A panoramic view of the beach at Heanish

The sunset was not visible but the effect of the setting sun was enthralling, even if we had to endure the biting cold wind.

You can feel the cold as you look on the waves

This is Life on Tiree on a day of remarkable contrasts.


“Good Evening”