Having been ‘revved up’ by the BBC and XC weather as to how wet it was going to be today, I can hardly believe how lucky we’ve been here on the ‘Heb’. It seems like the rain landed just about everywhere, other than on us and perhaps some tennis match in England. Yesterday too was a bright enough day fitting of the title ‘summer’ and we even managed a spot of painting in the afternoon in between the busy ‘turnarounds’.
Though I have to say that it didn’t look very promising as we departed Tarbert on Harris at 7:30 in the morning with a good load of cars, motorcycles, bikes and campervans.
Still grey it was and hour or so later as we steamed past the Ascrib Islands on our way into Uig. That will be Waternish point and its light in the background, with I’m guessing Dunvegan head or that hill near Milovaig beyond that. A guess is the best I can do right now because I’m internetless in the Minch just now and can’t be bothered walking to the bridge to look at a chart
Nope, I’m feeling far too ‘laid back’ now to do anything strenuous like that
Apart from the usual crossing the Minch carry on we had an FRC drill in Uig whilst the engineers were bunkering at 18:00
as you can see, it was rather a jolly affair
involving a football match
and men in funny trousers
Those Raasay men get everywhere
The prawn trawler Margarita, BRD 7 heading out for an evening tow around the same time.
This morning we were in Lochmaddy,
with the ‘Lady Catherine’ opposite and ‘Maddy Beag’, the ‘Little dog’ ??? watching us in the distance
Waternish point light once more, and behind it in the distance a substantial ruined house. An early eighteenth century building, Unish house is reportedly the oldest ‘proper house’ on Skye and is surrounded by the remains of what must at one time been a sizeable settlement.
The Gaelic name for Unish is Bail an Tailleir, which translates as Tailor’s Town. The depopulated run-rig township is scattered over about 800m from NE to SW at the base of a terrace on the lower NW facing slopes of Healaval on the extreme N end of the peninsula of Waternish.
There are 47 buildings and 15 enclosures in the township. It has at least fifteen farmsteads, identified by an enclosure and an attached long building. All around are extensive areas of lazy-beds.
Unish is first documented when it was leased in life rent to Donald Macleod for 306 merks in 1708. In 1788 a report to the British Fisheries Society found 10 married couples, 17 children, 30 unmarried adults, and two widowed adults in a total population of 69.
The clearance of the township was certainly effected by the time of the first edition of the Ordnance Survey map of 1880 (Island of Skye &c., Inverness-shire, 1880, sheet v), when only a single house was in occupation.
(Information from Highland Council Historic Environment Record and scotlandsplaces.gov.uk).
Here’s a photograph I found on an Australian website taken well over twenty years ago judging by that rucksack and the fact that the photographer has lived in Oz for 17 years. As you can see the chimney has collapsed and is unusual in it’s position, also check out all the ‘through stanes’ sticking out bellow the eaves, I’m just thinking that may have been to hold a thatched roof on.
And here is ‘something completely different’ an American ‘Airstream’ caravan, sorry ‘trailer’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airstream it’s aircraft like design dating back to the 1930’s. I don’t suppose they see many of these in the Western Isles, actually judging by the unusual traffic I’ve seen on this route I take that back, after all last week we had three Bugattis !!!!!!!
On the way back to, or back out of Loch Snizort, I noticed for the first time what appeared to be a ruin on the headland at Skudiburgh.
Sure enough, it seems to be the remains of an iron age broch.
This fort occupies a conspicuous knoll near the shore 1 mile N of Uig Bay. It is oval on plan, measuring axially 150′ x 120′ within a ruined wall c. 10′ thick. It is covered on the E side by a similar wall 320′ long, and on the N by two walls, the outer of which stops short of the long wall to leave an entrance gap.
A small drop-shaped dun measuring internally 34′ x 24′ lies on the E arc of the ruined wall near the probable position of the entrance of the latter. The wall of the dun varies between 9′-12′ thick.
R W Feachem 1963; RCAHMS 1928, visited 1921.
Dun Skudiburgh, a partly vitrified fort, overlaid by a dun, is generally as planned by the RCAHMS. There is an additional outwork on the W; it turns E on a change of slope, then S where it is overlaid by a more recent wall. There are remains of extra defence on the E where steep rock faces outside the main outwork have been joined by stretches of walling. There are traces of what may be a similar blocking wall on the W below the main fort wall, but this is confused by more recent walls in the same area. Lumps of vitrifaction were noted in the main wall of the fort in the W arc.
A medial stabilising wall is visible round the W and S sides of the dun, varying from c. 0.7m to c. 1.0m in from the outer wall face. The entrance is not evident, but was probably from the E, where there is a gap in the tumble.
Visited by OS (R L) 8 September 1971.
Out at sea
It was a lumpy day all day today, but like I said we miraculously missed all the showers at sea
and we weren’t alone.
The prawn creeler Louisa SY 30 was bobbing about in the worst of it,
unlike the well ballasted down ‘well boat’ Ronja Pioneer who must have been visiting a local fish farm.
And that was it really, I’ll just leave you with Ru Idrigill at 17:45 this evening as we steamed into Uig.