View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Wednesday 19 September

Quite a nice day, in between the odd downpour, with good sunny spells and magnificent cloudscapes. The day started with a dazzling rainbow, and the display lasted all day, until sunset at 7.20pm. The night was cold, 3C / 37F, and is heading in the same direction. As I type this, the mercury has gone down to the same reading.

Here in the islands, there has been a fair bit of controversy over fuel and its prices. I have repeatedly reported our average fuel price at £1.50 a litre ($9 a US gallon), which is a good 20 pence higher than in Inverness. What is an eye-brow raiser is the fact that Inverness is supplied by the same seatanker that supplies us - yet we are being charged through the nose. However, the people in the Uists now have the added problem of no fuel supplies. The storage tanks at Loch Carnan have failed a safety inspection, and cannot now be used until they have been repaired. As a result, the wholesalers, Scottish Fuels, who hold a monopoly, are now having to truck in fuel from the depot here in Stornoway - which is hitting a snag known as a springtide. When you get a springtide, you not only get high tides, you also get low tides. This is preventing the ferry between Leverburgh (55 miles south of Stornoway) and North Uist from sailing, meaning that the roadtankers can't come. It's, quite frankly, an outrage.

Tomorrow morning I am flying to Holland for a two-week break with my family. I am returning to Stornoway on October 4th, and will resume blogging here the next day. Whilst in Holland, I will not have internet access until Saturday 29th September as I shall spend a week off internet in one of the northern islands. From the 29th onwards, you'll get my updates on the Shell Gallery. A post to confirm this is scheduled to appear here at midnight tonight.