View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Saturday 30 July

Another bright day with some spells of sunshine, which lifted the mercury to 18C. By evening, cloud increased but it stayed dry. Midges are beginning to be a right pain at the moment. We had another cruiseliner in, the Spirit of Adventure, which left in the early evening. I went for an amble round the back streets, and discovered a petrol station where you can fuel up 24/7 - presumably using pumps which take bank cards for payment. The shop remains shut on Sunday, unlike its competitor a quarter of a mile away on the main road into town.

 Hello puss - Battery Road
 Bee busy on ragwort blooms
MV Spirit of Adventure

Hurricane update - 30 July

Tropical storm Don is no more, as it literally evaporated over southern Texas after making landfall late last night.

Supertyphoon Muifa is one to watch. Yesterday, it was a tropical storm with winds of 55 knots (65 mph), but tonight I could hardly believe my eyes when I read warning #23 from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It quoted the maximum sustained windspeeds at 140 knots (160 mph), gusting to 170 knots (200 mph) near the centre. This equates to a category V hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Muifa is more than 600 miles from land, but its trajectory looks set to take it straight into Okinawa, south of Japan - with sustained winds of 120 knots (135 mph) on August 4th. The satellite image does not show it, but galeforce winds extend for 130 to 160 miles from Muifa's centre, with hurricane force winds as much as 60 miles from the centre. Image courtesy NOAA.

Friday 29 July

Overcast  but fairly bright today. The cruiseliner Saga Ruby is anchored off Sandwick Bay, but after lunchtime relocates to a position to the south of the Arnish Lighthouse. Her passengers are, as per usual, ferried ashore in tenders and taken round the island on coach tours. It may be of interest to know that these cruise-related coach tours cost £60 per person ($100). However, if you jump on a Maclennan's bus and ask for a round-trip with three stops (Callanish Stones, Carloway Broch and Arnol or Gearrannan) you'll be looking for about £7 ($11). And the bus station is just behind the ferry terminal, where the tenders dock. Just saying.

I have continued the transcription of WW2 tributes for the Fallen from the Isle of Lewis. Their number is one-third of the losses which the island incurred in the First World War. The year 1939 ended with 19 casualties from Lewis, 8 of whom were lost in the Rawalpindi and four on the James Ludford.