Tuesday, 10 January 2006


<![CDATA[ On the day we're having the second gale this week (two more forecast after this one), I thought I'd give some space to navigational aids. Arnish Lighthouse is featured in the header of this blog, but there are a few more round the island.
This is Tiumpan Head Lighthouse, at the northeastern extremity of Point

Everyone that has ever sailed between Ullapool and Stornoway will be familiar with it, and (if journeyed after dark) its two flashes every 20 seconds. Nice view from the hilltop behind it, over Portnaguran, Port Mholair, Aird and the villages across Broadbay. The buildings associated with the lighthouses in the UK are no longer required for keepers, as all lighthouses are now automated. A lighthouse keeper's cottage at Eshaness in Shetland is a summer home to an excentric American writer. The cottage at Tiumpan is home to a kennels and cattery.
The most famous lighthouse in Lewis is the Butt of Lewis lighthouse.

Very interesting place actually. The rocks that appear on the surface here are a mere 3,000,000,000 years old. Lewisian gneiss. The formations you see in the offshore skerries (off which I have not got a picture - yet) show the folding of the very earth itself under forces we cannot begin to imagine. Be very careful here. Before you know it, you stand on the edge of a 120 feet high precipice. The little cairn CANNOT be reached. It's a magnificent place in a gale

but don't venture near the edge of a precipice in those conditions. People are known to come to grief - a little way west of the lighthouse stands the demure memorial cross to someone who went over the edge, apparently during a ballgame. ]]>

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