View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 29 August 2010


The cruiseliner Clipper Adventurer (shown above during a visit to Stornoway in September 2007) has run aground on an uncharted rock in the Northwest Passage in the Arctic, southwest of Victoria Island. This according to MSNBC. Attempts to get free from the obstacle have failed, which have left the liner aground and listing slightly. The icebreaker Amundsen has been despatched to take the passengers to safety. Nobody is reported hurt.

Post Katrina

Found in an abandoned house in New Orleans after Katrina, books stuck together - suspended as shown in picture. Image posted under Creative Commons License, courtesy Incognita Nom de Plume. Please click on picture for more information in the comments section.

Today 80 years ago

Sixty miles southwest of Lewis, the villagers of St Kilda were packing up their belongings, before leaving the island of their birth forever. Some left a bowl of grain on the table, with the Bible open at the chapter of Exodus. A community, a culture, a way of life was coming to a close after thousands of years. Life on their outpost in the Atlantic had become untenable, to their minds, and the Hiorteachs had requested their own removal. The steamer Harebell took them to the village of Lochaline, on the mainland and on to Glasgow.

A lot has been written about St Kilda, with insights changing as the years and researches progress.  Someone has recently mooted the idea to repopulate the islands with permanent inhabitants - an idea that is as fanciful as it is unrealistic. Even today, with modern, powerful boats, it is not always possible to cross the sea to the islands. In the past, there would be no communication with St Kilda for 8 months of the year, due to the severity of the weather and the ocean. That has not changed.

Work is in progress to establish a St Kilda Centre at Mangersta in Lewis, where culture and history of St Kilda will be remembered. For it is no longer alive.

Image courtesy

Today 5 years ago

The hurricane in focus on 29 August 2005 was of course Katrina, one of the most devastating tropical cyclones to affect the US mainland in modern times. Although it had weakened prior to landfall in New Orleans, its impact was devastating. I blogged about it a few days ago, so will just dedicate the entry to the memory of those lost in that disaster, in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.



Hurricane update - 29 August

Tropical storm Earl is approaching the Lesser Antilles, and I relay hurricane warnings and watches:

Hurricane warning
Hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours, all preparations to safeguard life and property should be rushed to completion

Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla
Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy
St Maarten, St Eustatius and Saba

Hurricane watch
Hurricane conditions expected within 36 hours
US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques

Full updates will be issued by the National Hurricane Center every 3 hours, next update at 1200 GMT (0800 AST).