How Time Flies

It seems incredible that over a month has past since our last post, ‘Home To Tiree” and to think that it is only ‘two sleeps’ until we set out to visit family in the South of England. A whole month has gone by and not a single post. Perhaps it could be down to the busyness of retirement.

Rainbow over Pier View, Scarinish

A possible sub-title to this post could be, ‘Sky, Sea and Street View’. November 2021 and early December has felt particularly grey and dark. Rain and sodden fields make it tough on livestock and crofters, but for us rain is preferable to grey skies that hang low over the island.

Rainbow arcing over Gott Bay

Some days we have hardly left the house when we have been caught in a heavy shower. In fact it has been a joke with one of our neighbours that as soon as we cross the cattle grid at the entrance to Pier View that the tap is turned on! With sunshine and showers come rainbows and there have been some beautiful ones over the past month.

Double bow over Ruaig
Double Rainbow through the linkspan
A hint of a double rainbow at Baugh (from the Surgery)

Neither storm, Arwen or Barra, had a major impact on on Tiree. Gusts were in the 60s and we suffered power cuts, but thanks to the heroic efforts of the resident power engineers the cuts were short lived. How we appreciate their willingness to go out in the worst of weather. In this instance the east of Scotland suffered the most and in some locations they were without power for a week.

The MV Clansman berthing at Tiree

Not unexpectedly high winds and swell have led to some cancelled sailings, but this is all part of island life. We have learned to factor this in when planning Mainland visits. There is a saying that when you cannot see ‘Ben Hynish’ the plane will be unable to land. The other limiting factor is high winds – on one occasion the plane was blown off the runway.

Cloud formations on a clearer day

When the sky has been clearer we have enjoyed a variety of different cloud formations, with some more colourful than others. It has not been unknown for Mrs LifeonTiree to exclaim, “Look out the window!”

Red sky over Scarinish Old Harbour

We have our first snow fall this year! Well not quite literally! Snow has not yet fallen on the island but we have enjoyed views to snow capped peaks on neighbouring island, such as Rum and Jura. On occasions we have even caught sight of snow capped peaks on Skye and the Mainland

Snow capped peaks on Mull – including Ben More

It was on a late afternoon walk on Sunday the 28th November that our curiosity was aroused by a small vessel working in Gott Bay not far from the pier. Just what was going on?

What was this all about?

We then saw the vessel lower a yellow coloured buoy into the water. In the dark it even flashed! But what was it all about? What was it for?

The bouy being lowered into the water

Apparently, if I have understood it correctly, the bouy is designed to measure the swell in the bay and it sends the data back via the mobile phone signal. This could indeed prove helpful.

The bouy in place.
Ben More provides a chilly backdrop

In December you don’t have to rise early to catch the sunrise. In fact at this time of the year you can be out walking before the sun has risen over the Passage of Tiree. What it is these dark days to draw back the curtain and be greeted by a striking sunrise.

Drawing back the curtains!
And there are the Paps of Jura – 50 miles away

Many if not most mornings have been dull, but then how you appreciate when you head off out for a walk under a colourful wintry sky. There was one walk when the view south was so dramatic.

The view south from Scarinish
Look closely and you can make out the distant the Paps of Jura
The harbour mouth Scarinish

Sky, sea and Street View. First of all we caught sight of the vehicle when we were out delivery meals across the island. Then the car passed close to our house. Street view – it was a car recording for Google Street View.

Smile! You are on camera.

This morning, the same vehicle was in the marshalling lanes waiting to board the ferry. It reversed onto the ferry – a sure sign that it was off the Isle of Coll. The slogan on the car said, ‘Exploring the world at’. You can watch out for the latest refresh of the map. You never know you might have been caught on camera.

Santa makes his annual fly past over the MV Clansman

Thankfully we were able to catch sight of Santa making his annual fly past over the MV Clansman. (Who thought the photograph had been doctored!) He had early presents to drop off for the children. This year we will be opening our stockings with our grand-children. Naturally we will be having a lateral flow test before leaving and taking every precaution as we travel south by ferry and train.

This year we will miss meeting with the church family for the Christmas Day celebrations on the island. However on Boxing Day we will be able to join the Boxing Day Sunday Gathering online. If you would like to join in details will be published next week on the Baptist Church Facebook Page.

This ‘Life on Tiree’.