For the third weekend in a row the Isle of Tiree along with much of the United Kingdom has experienced stormy conditions.  There has been little respite from the strong winds and the hail that has come in the form of short, sharp shocks. On Friday evening there was a bright flash of lightning followed by a loud peel of thunder and torrential rain. Thankfully the homes on the island have been spared flooding.

The LoganAir Twin Otter over Scarinish on Saturday

Overnight the wind gusts peaked at 62mph around 2:00am. This morning we carefully chose our moment to walk carefully, but even then we had to take refuge when we were being peppered with hail. Throughout the day the gusts have been in the 50s and at 9:00am they peaked at 72mph. Walking in these conditions is challenging. On occasions you almost came to a standstill! Nevertheless the Saturday flight to Tiree left Glasgow International Airport around 1:00pm. It was delayed but at least it was in the air.

The Twin Otter over Scarinish on its third attempt at a landing

The pilot approached Tiree Airport three times but was unable to land. This was no doubt due to the wind gusts which at that time were around 60mph. From the ground it is impossible to tell how much turbulence the passengers experience, but having coming out to Tiree they had to return to Glasgow. It does look like the wind will drop overnight and providing there is adequate visibility they should make it to Tiree tomorrow.

Stormy conditions at Scarinish Old Harbour

From our home we could see the waves breaking high over the Scarinish headland. This needed closer inspection. Wave after wave break broke on the rocks close to the entrance to the harbour. At times the waves dwarfed Shore Cottage. Feet had to be planted firmly on the ground when attempting to photograph the scene. Not only were the gusts trying to propel you forward they made it most difficult to hold the camera steady.

A wave towering over the entrance to Scarinish Old Harbour

On the beaches wave after wave came crashing onto the beaches at Scarinish. The west wind meant that the spray turned into spindrift. The height of the waves as they crested was so impressive.

Wave after wave came powering in accompanied by spindrift

With the powerful gusting wind pushing at your back, and with safety in mind, you had to stand well back from the beach.

The waves at Scarinish’s beaches

High tide and sunset were around the same time at 5:40pm. The storm clouds successfully masked the setting sun. Nevertheless the sky conveyed the fact that Tiree was experiencing stormy weather.

The old school and house st Scarinish

It was time to drive to the CMAL pier in Gott Bay. Although the wind was from the west the sight was breathtaking. From the pier the spindrift could be seen on the distant beach as the waves broke in front of the Lodge Hotel.

Spindrift in front of the Lodge Hotel

With the wind coming form the west It was impressive that the waves were breaking over the wall protecting the pier approach. The sea was indeed restless and the waves powering in relentless.

Waves crashing over the pier approach

Little wonder that during the recent storms the pier and its furniture has been damaged. Such is the power of the sea!

The wow effect

Then the hail came on once again. No wonder fingers were almost numb!

Hail clouds Gott Bay and the Passage of Tiree

The Atlantic facing beaches will once again have taken a pounding. With the linkspan renewal to begin in less than a week petrol has to be conserved. No unnecessary trips to the remainder of the island. It is stormy enough around Scarinish.

The stormy weather has almost been relentless. This has led to the ferry been cancelled day after day. At one point the island had no ferry for seven days. Tomorrow the wind is forecast to drop and an attempt will be made to bring the ferry out twice.  However, a storm is forecast once again for Monday.

The hail laden squad will soon hide Ben Hynish

CalMac Have Advised

Friday 28 February 2020 to Saturday March 21st 2020.
Following the previous communication regarding the Tiree Linkspan closure,
CalMac and CMAL can confirm that the closure is now expected
to commence on Friday 28 February 2020 until Saturday March 21st 2020.

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.