View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Kathy made an interesting observation on my previous post "Change" - does writing blogposts form relationships between people?

I think it does. Very much so. The "Call for Support" blog is demonstrative of that, as we share the sad and the happy, the triumphs and disasters in our lives. And sharing such does form a bond. The blogs being abandoned means the bond is weakened if not lost. I don't think that Facebook could really replace that, and certainly Twitter cannot. We'll have to see how things pan out.

Missing diver's identity confirmed

On October 3rd, a diver went missing whilst spear-fishing off Ardnamurch Point, on the Scottish mainland. Ten days later, the body of a man, dressed in a wetsuit, was found washed up on the shores of Loch Slapin in the Isle of Skye, 30 miles to the north. Police have tonight confirmed the identity of the man as that of Iain Rodger, a 66-year old man from Kilchoan in the Ardnamurchan peninsula, who had been reported missing by his wife on October 3rd.

My sympathies are with Mr Rodger's family and friends.


This evening, as I was browsing my Twitter-feed, I noticed a message from Sandra about her dog, Jake. See Call for Support for details. The fact that I found this on Twitter was already an indication about the changes that have happened in our erstwhile community that we called J-land. Many have moved over to Facebook and use Twitter alongside. I browsed some of the blogs that were in Sandra's sidebar, and found many to be defunct or not updated since the move from AOL. Jan, who was once the figurehead of AOL Journals, has now not updated her journal since last June. And there are so many others like her.

Makes me quite sad in a way. But, such is life. Change happens, and not always for the best. Facebook is cluttered with the messages about various games, and I usually don't bother to trawl through all that. I am following about 140 people on Twitter, and as I glance at my Tweetdeck window, it is about as much as I can handle.

Just a memory from 3 years ago

Tuesday 20 October

Fairly bright today, although there is a cloud cover. The sun peeps through some of the cloud at times. The easterly wind is gradually increasing, but the gale we were promised is not likely to materialise on the coast.

The RNLI is now offering a service whereby you can be notified by text if your local lifeboat is launched - or any lifeboat indeed. They also relay on Twitter whenever they launch. The texting service involves a monetary donation for each text. I take an interest as I have an open view of the harbour entrance, and frequently see the lifeboat coming or going.

One of the most dramatic rescues I have witnessed myself took place 3 years ago. Within about 20 yards of me. I copy the entry from my Northern Trip journal for 1 July 2006:

... Just as we're having lunch, the sound of the helicopter becomes noticeable. The helicopter is right outside the house, hovering over the basin. Hotel Lima is tending to a yachtsman that we noticed earlier, struggling to control his boat in the force 6 winds. His boat lies overturned, and a winchman is going down to assist the hapless sailor. Newton Street very quickly fills up with spectators, the police are in attendance, directing traffic and all who are outside are drenched by the water which the helicopter's updraft is spraying around. The yachtsman manages to make dry land under his own steam - his own two legs. Meanwhile, the wrecked boat lies on its side in the basin, and slowly drifts towards its mouth. The lifeboat moves to the mouth of the basin and launches a dinghy. There is a sandbar across the basin, which makes it impossible for boats to leave it at low tide, and the tide is falling right now. The wreck is towed to Goat Island, where the damage is assessed. The boat is not holed, so it's left anchored on a mooring....