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Saturday, 8 June 2013


Lews Castle
Our time here has been busy organizing the boat so that we can spend a long time at sea. I've bought a pressure cooker and am attempting to convince it to bake bread. It would save on propane gas which is difficult to come by and must be conserved for long trips. We're planning to go to Greenland, and provisioning properly has taken a lot of thought. Our measure for the economics in a country is a tin of mandarins. Mandarins here are 48p, so we're stocking up.
Feeding seals

Here in Stornoway, the local Port Authority are planning to put in a 40-yacht dock in the near future. However, at the moment boats still tie to a wall and adjust to the 4 meter tidal range. This has had some benefits ... from our deck we have a  view of Lews Castle, we can look at seals playing nearby or partaking of a free meal from our fishboat neighbour. Children in the local rowing club splash into the water near us and then crawl into their kayaks. Even the kids are tough in the Western Isles!
Making Harris tweed

We can chat with 'locals' as they saunter by the boat, and one such was Jock Murray. Chatting about where we'd been brought forth the information that he'd been a whaler at the South Georgia station in the closing years of whaling and had subsequently spent years as a detective with Scotland Yard. He's a local boy who "made good" and came back here to live having purchased his grandparents croft.
Standing Stones

He offered to take us on a tour of the island ... we saw how Harris Tweed is still hand-and-foot manufactured, how people in his grandfather's time lived (in black houses) and we saw
the Standing Stones of Callanish.
Black Houses

We saw HIS sheep, and were then invited to his home for a wonderful dinner with his wife Donalda. Jock's written a great book "The Whaler of Scotland Yard" about his impressive adventures whaling and then arresting bad guys - car thieves, murderers and drug pushers. The book is easily available from Amazon ... as we each needed a copy, we have a print copy and a Kindle copy.

With Donalda and Ian ('Jock') Murray

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