View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 5 November 2012

Monday 5 November

Guy Fawkes night today, but other than a few firecrackers, little evidence of the event here in Stornoway. This morning, a crane was spotted on Goat Island, hoisting a rusty, twin-hulled boat out of the premises of the slipway and put on blocks on the roadway outside. The significance of that is not known to me.

Today was a bright and fairly sunny day, although cloud did increase through the afternoon. It left us with another stunning sunset at 4.30pm. By late December, sunset will have receded to 3.30pm.

The fuel price saga took another twist today, when wholesalers Scottish Fuels announced that their retail customers could switch suppliers and not be tied into a 5-year contract. However, those wishing to do so were advised to seek legal advice. The average price of a litre of fuel is not far off £1.50 a litre (= $9 a gallon), and is consistently 15 pence higher than on the mainland.

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The boat from Pabbay

Row boys, row!
We're going out again
The sail will help us on our way
Out to the fishing grounds

Look, there goes another boat
They too are venturing forth
Can't be too bad a day
If we're all out here just now

Ominous grey clouds
scudding on the rising wind
soon touching galeforce
soon right up to stormforce

From the open ocean
Squalls of rain fly past
The islands loom up to the west
Now shrouded from sight

Row boys, row!
We've got to turn back
if we can
The sail has gone

Did you see the others?
Not for quite some time
Never mind, keep bailing
We may yet have a chance

Two days the storm lasted
nobody could put to sea
the herring was left uncaught
as the boats remained in port

The boat from Mingulay
weathered the storm to return
to their island
safe and well

Pabbay lost ALL
its menfolk
that May Day in 1897
all in one boat