I came across these photos of a trip I did with a friend of mine on his Rival 38 to St Kilda a remote cluster of islands 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides or Western Isles. I have to say the sail north from Burtonport, Donegal was splendid considering the lateness of the season. Three days with the wind abaft spinnaker up and beautiful mild weather. The only rain we had was when I was off watch; luckily. We arrived at night and spent a rather awful night at anchor with strong gusts coming down off the mountains and blowing the boat in all directions. The view that greeted us in the morning was quite spectacular. At that time of year there are only the RAF members on the Island and the pub was closed. I know an island without a pub, what is the world coming too?
This is one of the many stone cleitean that are dotted all over the islands. They were used as storage for animals and fodder and by the look of the place I’d say the St Kildians used to roll up the soil and put it inside to stop it blowing away during the winter. Spectacular and lonesome so lonesome in fact that the last inhabitants requested to be taken off in the 1930’s.
Here’s another view the little dark smudge in the water if you can see it is our boat. There was bad weather coming in and the anchorage was untenable so all in all after 3 days at sea we only got to spent 2 or 3 hours on St Kilda. So we headed over to Carloway on the isle of Lewis; which is very close to the Callinish stones.
Just look at the heads on these three and they were only away from home four days at this stage can you imagine what they looked like after two weeks. They nearly had to be put into quarantine when they got home. I have photos of the rest of this trip somewhere I’ll post when I find them.