View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Windy nook

Blowing a force 6 to 7 out there, with occasional rain. And it's going to get worse, with severe gales in the offing over the next few days. Not necessarily for us, but all points in the west of the UK. Cumbria could be in line for as much as 8 inches of rain (200 mm), which makes flooding a distinct hazard.

Nothing more to report on the hurricane front: the Atlantic season is effectively over, although the northwestern Pacific season still has 6 weeks left to run. Anja has disappeared from the weather charts in the southern Indian Ocean, the first of presumably many storms in the southern hemisphere summer. A nasty looking storm appears to be lashing the northeast of Argentina, if the satellite imagery is anything to go by. However, I have no Spanish and the Google Translator is usually awful.

London is a long way away from Stornoway, and I watched this morning's state opening of parliament with a degree of bemusement. Her Majesty appeared to be battling a cold, and I even discerned a sniffle in amongst all the Bills, set to be introduced by Her government. A General Election is due by May 2010 at the latest, so all those policy statements sounded more like a party manifesto.

The wind continues to blow outside, but I'm signing off here for the night. Tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday 18 November

Bright and sunny this morning, although still quite cold - just over 5C / 41F at the moment. The "Almi" that I thought had departed is still about in the Minch, but slowly moving about to stay away from rocky shores. This is quite a large bulk carrier, 180 m / 600 ft in length, and a girth of 31 m / 100 ft, with a tonnage of 42,000 dwt.

Normally, if you get lost, you stop and ask for directions. OK, us men have a reputation for not doing so, and one Australian chap decided to keep going. And going. Until he was 370 miles from home - in Melbourne, rather than Sydney. He realised he was lost, but liked to drive.

Jump from a height into water? For heaven's sake DON'T. Down in southern Scotland, a teenage girl was killed after falling onto rocks in a pool near Dumfries. She was going to jump, then tried to abort, but was already too far gone. The 16-year old died a day later in hospital. I have seen footage on YouTube of local youngsters jumping off breakwaters and cliffs, out of bravado. You don't know what is below the water, if there is much water at all (tide) etc. Tombstoning? You could well find yourself below a tombstone with that trick.