View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wednesday 29 August

An overcast day with copious amounts of rainfall. The weatherstation at Flesherin reported 18 mm, but I suspect that a raingauge at Balallan will have reported rather more than that. I accompanied one of my Facebook contacts to South Lochs. Upon entering the district at Balallan, the rain came down heavily - but it abated as we proceeded further east. Near the coast, there was no rain. On the way back, the rain was torrential at Balallan, with burns in spate flooding the road, and making for very difficult driving conditions. Further north, the rain lessened somewhat. I pity the cruisepassengers who were given tours of the island today. But then, you don't come here for the weather. In other words, autumn is here, and here to stay.

Isaac has rumbled ashore in Louisiana and has dumped more than 22 inches (550 mm) of rain within 24 hours. The storm will weaken gradually as it moves even more gradually north up the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, finally fading near the Great Lakes. Another tropical storm, Kirk, is in the central Atlantic Ocean, and is no threat to land.

Tuesday 28 August

A very windy day with good old fashioned downpours, and feeling quite a bit cooler than of late. Nonetheless, the rain is welcome after a protracted spell of below-average rainfall. Locally, the news continues to be dominated by the canoe tragedy in Gairloch which is known to have claimed three young lives, of children aged 2, 5 and 5. A man aged 32 is missing presumed dead. Although a shoreline search of the Ruadh Reidh peninsula continues, it is my private opinion that his body will have been carried out to sea, into the Minch and into the Atlantic beyond. It is very unlikely to ever be found.

Hurricane Isaac is closing in on New Orleans, seven years to the day after Katrina caused devastation and massive loss of life. Typhoon Bolaven has moved ashore in North Korea and is no longer a tropical cyclone as it traverses Manchuria. Typhoon Tembin is moving north towards the Korean peninsula and is weakening rapidly.

82 years ago today

The family had finished packing up all their earthly belongings. The ship was in the bay, and all were making ready to go aboard, leaving their home of many centuries behind. The dogs couldn't come on the ship and would not be left behind. The head of the household took the family bible and opened it on the table, on the chapter of Exodus. Beside the Holy Book, he laid a handful of grain. They all went outside and walked to the boat which took them to the navy boat in the bay.

All the villagers of Hiort were evacuated on 29 August 1930. Their houses, cleits and culture were left behind. Over the years, a record was created of the culture, the houses were reroofed and the cleits investigated. But St Kilda died that day.