Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Thursday 18 September

The day dawned with dense fog, visibility down to about 50 metres. The 7 am ferry didn't leave until about half past nine, when the fog had lifted sufficiently for visibility to rise to 250 metres. The Clipper Ranger didn't come in until after the ferry had gone out. The Sound of Harris ferry cancelled its morning crossings due to the fog. This crossing is very tricky, and the vessel is only licensed to ply the passage in the hours of daylight. In other words, the crew have to navigate by sight, as they literally sail from buoy to buoy. The Sound of Harris, which the ferry crosses, is full of rocks and shifting sandbanks, and at one point the ship will come to a full stop, perform a 90 degree turn, before proceeding. The margins for error in that stretch of water are too narrow for relying on radar. By early evening, the fog returned, but lifted after dusk.

There is a bi-annual testing of the gas alarm here in Stornoway. This involves a wailing siren - which we can only hear when the windows are open. When you hear it, you should close the windows.

Today is referendum day. The polls opened between 7 am and 10pm. The ballot boxes from Uist came by plane from Benbecula to Stornoway after 1 am; this was in doubt due to fog, but that had been blown away.

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