View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Friday 5 September

Hurricane Norbert, a strong cat 1 hurricane, is brushing the Baja California peninsula some 100 miles offshore. The storm carries winds of 80 knots or 100 mph near its centre. A hurricane warning is in force for parts of the peninsula, as any deviation to the east could bring hurricane force winds ashore. One monitoring station already reported a wind gust of 78 mph. Local news website Baja Insider is keeping a close eye on the situation. The area most at risk appears to be sparsely populated.

It's bright and pretty sunny Stornoway today. The cruiseliner Marco Polo is in for its last visit. Cumulus clouds are building from humulis to mediocris to congestus right into cumulonimbus, so I'm not expecting it to stay entirely dry today. Tomorrow will be a lot worse. Temperature just now about 15C / 59F, something I'm not going to complain about. Oh, did I mention I ordered a new camera?

Went for a walk around town, only to discover that An Lanntair has been turned blue. Not something I'm too pleased about, but then, who am I.

Thursday 4 September

One of those overcast, non-descript days. Worked on the database for WW1 casualties, now that I have fully transcribed and cross-referenced the Lewis War Memorial. Town is abuzz with the sinking of the Pathfinder, and whether it is headed for the scrapheap.

Wednesday 3 September

I had an enjoyable half hour's walk around the harbour between midday and half past twelve, watching the ships tied up, coming or going - it was surprisingly busy by Stornoway standards. For local people: the gate at the quay between the ferry and Amity House is currently closed as they are discharging the coalboat , which involves lorries manoeuvering close to the quayside. Once the Burhuoi has gone, the gate should be open again. For now, you'll have to cut through Quay Street.

It later transpired that a crane barge which I pictured moving around the harbour was in fact moving to raise a sunken craft from the inner harbour. The Pathfinder had sunk at its moorings overnight, after returning from Lochmaddy the day before.

Shown: Seabourn Legend, Burhoui (x2), MV Isle of Lewis and MV Hebridean Princess, a crane barge and the Seabourn Legend departing.

Tuesday 2 September

Afternoon all, it's breezy and overcast, but as yet dry. Not complaining about 16C / 61F on the thermometer. We had a debate on the impending independence referendum (only 16 more days to go) in Stornoway Town Hall last night, with the deputy First Minister and the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland heading up the Yes and No camps respectively. Seems to have been a passionate, but controlled debate. Watched about 5 seconds of it on-line, but I know Stornoway Town Hall as a venue with very poor acoustics, and I couldn't listen to any more of it. If only because I'm heartily fed up with the subject. Roll on September 19th.

Monday 1 September

The guga hunters have landed on Sula Sgeir, some 40 miles north of the Butt of Lewis. The band of ten men will spend the next fortnight culling 2,000 gannet chicks, plucking, salting and curing them into guga. These are held to be a local (if rather fishy) delicacy. Although gannets are a protected species of bird, the guga hunters have a special license to continue with their age old custom.

The former studios of Isles FM in Stornoway have been turned into an art gallery. The Boathouse hosted its first exhibition a couple of days ago. I'm pleased that the building has quickly gone back into use again.