Over to Islay today for various projects. Woke up in the dark to an inch of snow and more falling, so packed lots of warm clothes and spares in case the ferry couldn’t accommodate me on the way back. Made it down to Kennacraig in good time and for some perverse reason known only to Calmac, had to reverse on to the ferry to board. A good cooked breakfast and a read of the Grauniad before getting in to Port Ellen on time.
Work took me to the Rhinns of Islay and the tiny villages of Port Charlotte, Port Wemyss and Portnahaven. The visibility by the time I got over there was sufficiently good for me to be able to make out the hills either side of Lough Foyle and, by inference, to be confident that I could see Inishowen Head. Further around Malin Head itself could clearly be seen from the public toilets (romance has yet to whither in this writer’s soul). Incidentally, these may be very remote as public wazzers go, but very well appointed and clean for the peregrinating pisser.
Seals were sporting in the sound between Portnahaven and the small island on which lies the lighthouse. I did my best to call them in for a photo, but they chose to ignore me and swim off.
Another visit took me to the site of the newest distillery on the island at Kilchoman, where the whisky will be made from wheat grown and peat cut on the farm. The stills have only just been installed and it will be five years before the first young whisky will be available, but this will be a project to watch with interest.
The whole of the island is covered with flocks of geese grazing in the fields and on the salt marshes. My goose recognition is fairly ropey, but I think I could with confidence report greylag and canada geese in some number. A flock of curlews flew over at one point. As to the hares? Three of them were seen on a back road, one grazing close to the road and two others crossing it in front of the car.
From the fact of this post, you will deduce that PTC succeeded in getting the car on the ferry back to the mainland in the afternoon. Today was the first trip that I arrived back on the mainland in daylight, or at least just after the sun set down the loch. If I can sort out photo posting, I shall put up one or two photos of Islay for your delication and delight.
All the chooks safe and sound in the coop when I got home and one egg for collection. Geese still being fractious and crowd separation policies re-applied for the night.