View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Evening notes

As I type, the mercury is sinking below freezing, and the slush on the pavements will be turning the town into an ice-rink. It was eerie to read a tribute to a WW1-loss, which was attributable to, yes, icy streets. A sailor slid off the quay by his ship and drowned in Baltimore harbour on New Year's Eve 1917.

The ferry is on its way back across the Minch, and will dock by about half past eight tonight, slightly earlier than timetabled. It has only made one return crossing today. The cold conditions in the UK will persist for well over five days, the normal forecast period.

Saturday 27 November

A very wintry scene, with frequent heavy snow showers leaving a covering on the ground. Last night, the wind got up to galeforce, with gusts to 70 mph up at the Butt of Lewis. It is not nearly as bad now, but as I type, there is another shower passing through, which looks something like

The high winds have also wreaked havoc on the ferry schedule, with the 7 am sailing not departing until 11 o'clock this morning. Whether it will come back is not certain at all. There is a northeasterly wind today, which causes a nasty swell on the Minch. Today, there was to have been a cross-country running championship heat here in Stornoway, which has been called off. Yesterday's evening ferry sailing was cancelled, making it impossible for the bulk of the contestants to come over. Leaving to one side the atrocious driving conditions on the mainland. If I look on some of the traffic monitoring cameras in the Highlands, the roads look pretty horrendous in places.