View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Saturday 22 May

The day started with dense fog, which lifted shortly after 8am. After that, it stayed bright (if not overtly sunny) and quite mild today, with the mercury once again at 18C / 64F. No coat required for walk to shop (which was very busy, and the inevitable screaming mites adding to the fun). Cruiseliner Polar Star (1st pic) was docked alongside the ferry pier, but it has now left for the Shiants (20 miles south of here). Better make the best of the nice weather (like sitting outside under the tree), because on Monday we'll lose the "1" on the temperature and go right down to 8C / 46F. It is still May, and we're not having a good spring. Those low temperatures will signal a return of the northerly winds and the Icelandic ash.


Dandelion puffball

Early morning fog lifting from the Castle Grounds

Friday 21 May

What a strange day. It rained like I've not seen rain for ages. We certainly get more than our fair share of rain in these islands, but we rarely get vertical rain of monsoonal proportions as we had for hours yesterday. The total rainfall amount is quoted as 0.6" (15 mm).

Tropical cyclone Bandu is moving just north of the Horn of Africa, Somalia, and has claimed a ship. The Dubai Moon, a vehicle transporter, went down in rough seas today. The vessel had been battling heavy seas and high winds of Socotra Island and later sank. The British Royal Navy, in the shape of HMS Chatham, saved the crew. Tropical cyclones are rare but not unheard of in the Arabian Sea; Bandu is moving west into the Gulf of Aden and will dissipate in the next day or so.

After the rain stopped, the fog moved in. By the end of the evening, the lights on Goat Island, across the water from me, had nearly faded from sight.