It was so tempting blue skies and flat calm seas, day after day. Perfect conditions for a trip to Skerryvore and onto Lunga courtesy of Tiree Sea Tours. Who could resist it?
Today, Friday, the weather has finally broken, the air is still, the sea calm, but harr (sea mist) is rolling in over the island. At present it appears that this has led to the cancellation of the flight from Glasgow. Thankfully we had not chosen to wait until today to make the trip.
The choice was ours did we want to don the protective suits or to travel light. Although the sunshine has been so uplifting and there often been hardly a breath of wind, out on the water it might be rather fresh so we considered it better to put on the waterproof suits. A wise decision. You know what they say, ’Ne’er cast a clout till May is out’.
It was then down to pier where the rib ‘Aurora’ was waiting for crew and passengers. The skipper is Donnie MacInnes and alongside him is his enterprising nephew Frazer. Local knowledge is a great asset, especially when it comes not only to matters of history, but knowledge of the waters that we will be navigating.
With the Aurora’s powerful engines purring we made our away towards Hynish. We hove to just off Hynish Pier and the related buildings The pier and complex were built for the construction of the lighthouse. Here we were provided with relevant information without it being over long. From my point of view I felt that we were given all the information we required.
The weather was almost unbelievable. To port there was a view of the Isles of Mull and Colonsay and the Paps of Jura. To starboard there was a view of Tiree and it appeared as three islands. No wonder Tiree is sometimes called ‘The Land Below The Waves’. At one point it looked like the houses are floating on the water!
White water provided ample evidence of the chain of skerries. It was these dangerous rocky outcrops that made Skerryvore vital. Depending on the state of the tide the skerries are often submerged. All on board agreed how impressive the lighthouse is. It is in fact the tallest and most majestic lighthouse in Scotland. She is a monument to the amazing expertise of the engineer Alan Stevenson. it is also a tribute to those who built her in one of the wildest locations imaginable.
The Sea Tour to Skerryvore ranks right up at the top. As one person said, “It is the trip of a lifetime”. I would have no hesitation in recommending Tiree Sea Tours to anyone. Whether you live on Tiree or a visitor the tour to Skerryvore is worth every penny.
However, our trip was not over yet. For on this occasion we sailed towards the Treshnish Isles and to Lunga in particular. At Skerryvore, you are unable to land, but not so at Lunga.
Lunga is a puffin lovers paradise. They are not the only sea birds to nest there, but they are the star attraction – those clowns of the sea.
Once on Lunga we had an hour and half to explore. You could spend a whole day there and not tire of the island.Yes! We saw what we had come to see – the colourful clowns – puffins.
You didn’t have to walk far to observe the puffins. In fact you actually saw them as you approached the island. However, many people choose to take the narrow paths and explore. The effort was more than rewarded by the sight, sound and smell of the birds. You don’t have to be a bird watcher, twitcher or birder to enjoy the experience. You could go there simply to enjoy the views of the Treshnish Isles.
Sadly it was at this point I realised . . . I was . . .
It ought to be said that no social distancing regulations were broken.
STAY SAFE _ KEEP YOUR DISTANCE- STAY AT HOME
God willing the island will reopnen.
HELP PROTECT TIREE