It’s Sunday and Dennis continues to menace the Isle of Tiree. While the wind gusted up to 71mph, thankfully the island has been spared the disastrous flooding which has destroyed the homes and businesses in many parts of the Mainland. In England, Wales and Scotland many have been made homeless.
Storm Dennis is the second named storm to strike the island in a week and the third in this season of storms. Both Storm Ciara and Dennis have been characterised by prolonged powerful gusts with little relief over a period of 48 hours. As a consequence of the high winds the island was without a ferry service for a whole week and there is a strong chance this might be repeated in the week ahead.
On Sunday, there were brief occasions when the sky was blue and if it was not for the roof tiles rising and falling you could be forgiven for thinking it was the beginning of Spring. Then abruptly the sky would turn an inky black and the clouds would break. At times the rain sounded louder than hail – and yes we have had hail too!
On Saturday the wind was from the south-east and south, whereas on Sunday the wind was from the south-west. Thus on Saturday the swell created waves that broke over the pier and pier approach – sometimes the spray over topping the lamp-posts. Sunday was dramatic but just in a different way. The drama unfolded just to the right of the pier.
Standing well away from the shore and the crashing waves the view was out to a stormy Gott Bay and the Passage of Tiree. Wave after wave broke on the rocks and sent a powerful surge and spray high into the air.
Even in the high winds cormorants and gulls were in evidence. One cormorant appeared to be struggling to get airborne. The gulls added to the drama unfolding before your eyes.
With the sky turning an inky black refuge was sought in the pier office. It is always a pleasure to call into this friendly space whether or not you are planning on boarding the ferry. There would certainly be no hope of a seeing a ferry far less boarding one today. Pity there was a slight miscalculation when leaving the office. Let’s just say more than the coat had to be hung up to dry.
We don’t have to leave our home to storm watch. From our south facing windows we can watch the waves breaking on the rocky shore and inlet aptly named ‘Millport’. There are several places named ‘Millport’ around the island and we happen to live right beside one.
We are aware that it is wild outside when we can see the result of waves breaking on the rocky shore below the Scarinish headland or in front of us at Millport. Meal times can be dramatic with sharp intakes of breath and exclamations of “Wow!”
It was said that Storm Dennis would bring with it heavy rainfall and while homes might not be flooded the fields are sodden. Many areas of pasture around the island are under water. While working on this post the power went off briefly but the day was saved by our automatic power control which protects the computer and phone – giving an uninterrupted power supply.
In the interest of the safety both the Church of Scotland and the Baptist Church cancelled their Sunday services. God’s Word encourages Christians to meet together for worship, but worship is not confined to church premises. It is stimulating to meet with others but our care for one another meant cancelling the church services. The God who has made himself known in Jesus Christ can be seen in the power of the waves. He is also to be heard in the gentle whisper. However, most of all he he speaks through his revealed Word, the Bible.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea —
the Lord on high is mighty.
This is Life on Tiree.
Below a short slideshow of Dramatic Dennis