View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Thursday 29 May

P5299114 Silver Explorer

Another cruiseliner in today.  Reasonable day, trying to brighten up and about 14C on the thermometer.

Wednesday 28 May

Afternoon all from Stornoway, where the weather has brightened up a little following a grey-ish spell around lunchtime. In spite of the absence of sunshine, I am amazed to note 17C / 63F on the thermometer, a value I associate with mid summer. I'm continuing with my transcript of the local Roll of Honour.

P5289107 P5289109

Tuesday 27 May

No fewer than THREE cruiseliners in today. The Marco Polo is in Sandwick Bay, the Funchal in Glumag Harbour and Le Boreal alongside the ferry pier. I'm glad I'm not going anywhere near Callanish today! Why do I say that? Because passengers from all 3 liners will be put onto coaches and bussed there. You won't be able to see the Stones for the tourists.

Le Boreal shook everybody in Stornoway out of their siestas at 2.15 when it sounded its horn before heading to its next port: Kyle of Lochalsh, 75 miles away. The Funchal left at 5pm, making for Invergordon. The Marco Polo, a regular at Stornoway, got underway in the evening to reach Tobermory at sunrise tomorrow morning.

Hurricane season starts again on Sunday, and I'm not looking forward to the usual hype, crap science and panic mongering that accompanies the approach of a hurricane to the US mainland.

Hurricanes are not monsters, killers or such like. They are powerful natural phenomena, which are certainly powerful enough to lead to loss of life or property. They are an essential mechanism in our planet's energy balancing act, to move heat from the equator to the poles. It is done using the simple physical principles, of energy used and released by evaporation and condensation respectively. The amounts of energy involved are vast. One average hurricane goes through enough power to meet the electricity and heat requirements for the whole of the USA for one year.

P5279073  Le Boreal
P5279074 Funchal
P5279075 Marco Polo
It now turns out that the above black cat lives somewhere else in Stornoway.

Monday 26 May

An easterly wind has brought us clear and fairly sunny weather. Temps still no great shakes at around 12C, but I'm not complaining. Cat was seen around the house yesterday by others. Will keep an eye and an ear open; I think it does want to come in again.

The count for the elections to the European Parliament in the Western Isles was postponed until 9 o'clock this morning. I don't have any issue with that. One of the aspects of life in Stornoway I like is the fact that nothing moves on a Sunday.

UKIP have gained 24 European Parliament seats, they are the largest contingent from the UK. UKIP want to take the UK out of the EU. I think that's stupid.

P5269053 P5269054 P5269060 P5269062 P5269064

Sunday 25 May

Morning all from a bright though overcast Stornoway. There is a bit of a breeze going, but overall, we're having the best weather in the country. There is heavy rain over the Isle of Skye, 50 miles to the south, but we're in the clear.

I'm pleased that I continue to make steady progress with my transcript of the Roll of Honour. I have now finished the district of Ness, and have passed the half-way mark. Next is Airidhantuim (no, you don't pronounce it like that at all), which is the northern end of the West Side.

Went for a walk around the harbour in the afternoon - it was of course very quiet.

10.05pm and still broad daylight. By midnight, there'll still be a definite and bright glow to the northwest. This will shift to the northeast as the night progresses, and give us daylight from about 3-4 am onwards.

 P5259039 P5259041 P5259042 P5259043 P5259046 P5259048 P5259050 P5259051

Saturday 24 May

So there were TWO black cats. One died out on the street on Tuesday. The other made a beeline for me as I sat out on the seawall to watch the Half Marathon go past around 10.15. It was the cat that I took the picture of on Sunday; it knows me, jumps up to rub its head against my hand and holding my hand between its teeth when it is fed up with my stroking. I am still sad, having witnessed the death of another feline. Anyway, so the cat was allowed in. It spent the first hour and a half roaming the house, looking everywhere, and being given saucers of milk. It is absolutely fixated on myself, seems to think I'm the most amazing thing that ever happened to it. It's playful enough, although I believe it is fully adult (a tomcat). It doesn't miaow, and as I type this, it is lying at my feet on the carpet under the table where I usually sit with the laptop. It sat on the computer as it was starting up, which totally jiggered it. Had to restart, which does take a while with this aged machine (got it in 2008). Haven't made a decision whether the cat is going to stay for good, though.


Friday 23 May

Overcast in Lewis today, but there was drizzle in the north of the island. I went to Ness on the bus at 1pm, to pay a visit to the new Heritage Centre in the village of Cross, in the building of the former school there. They have a cafe there which serves a commendable lunch. I didn't have time for the exhibition, as there was also a visit to the Cross Stores, half a mile up the road. That is truly an old-fashioned general stores, where you can not just get food, but also hardware.

P5238960 Comunn Eachdraidh Nis
P5238963 Cross River
P5238964 North Dell


Thursday 22 May

Was speaking to a coach driver last night who had come off the ferry at Stornoway. The tide was out, meaning that the ramp from the ferry onto the linkspan was at quite an angle. Van drivers were asked to raise their suspension, and the bus had to move onto blocks in order to disembark. Last week, a tourcoach got stuck on the ramp during a particularly low tide. So, if you're planning to take a campervan, van, truck or lorry on or off the ferry at Stornoway and the tide is out - beware!

A very cold day in Stornoway, we're not even in double figures. 8 or 9C (46 to 48F) on the thermometer. The north wind is whipping up a swell in the Minch, which causes problems for the ferry crossing to the mainland.

Another cruiseliner in today: the Ocean Nova.

P5228936  P5228943 P5228945

Wednesday 21 May

Raining this morning, suiting my mood. The cruiseliner Fram came in this morning for a second visit this spring. I'm sorry for the folks coming ashore that they will not see the island at its best. But then, it'll probably confirm their idea that it 'always rains in Scotland' :-)

In fact, there were two cruiseliners in Stornoway today. The Fram was there until 3.15, the National Geographic Explorer from 3.30pm onwards. Not common to have two in port at the same time. In both instances, the passengers had to thread their way through the works on the ferry terminal.

Ferry was late tonight as it was loaded wrong at lunchtime. All vehicles had to come off, then back on. It didn't come in until 10.30pm.

P5218929  P5218932