Saturday, September 08, 2007

The graveyard on Inch Kenneth


As we roved among the isles of Mull's west coast, we found ourselves following in the wake of Johnson and Boswell. Like them, we ended up on the idyllic isle of Inch Kenneth. Unlike the other isles in this area, which have thin poor soils over basalt, Inch Kenneth is fertile as a result of differing geology. The cliffs on its western edge are composed of conglomerate but there is a dip in the land towards the east and the rocks here seem to be limestone (I hope Clark will be able to correct this). Whatever, the result is that the island is covered with deep fertile soil. In the past this island exported food to Iona. It is named after Kenneth who was one of St Columba's followers.


The depth of the soil also meant that it made a suitable burial ground. Like Johnson and Boswell we wandered through the gravestones enjoying a sense of peace and timelessness.


They had admired this beautiful 15th century Celtic cross and our hands felt the warmth of its stone in just the same way as theirs.


Since there time there have been further internments. This is the grave of Margaret Boulton, who died in 1938. She was the widow of Sir Harold Boulton who owned Inch Kenneth and who wrote "The Skye Boat Song"

8 comments:

  1. Douglas, quite possibly I asked you this before - but what camera do you use? Alison (my canon underwater 'sureshot' is, alas, no longer sure to do anything. time to get a new one and I suppose digital)

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  2. Alison the vast majority of my photos are taken with a Canon 5D digital slr which I keep in a waterproof ortlieb Aqua Zoom bag on deck. Rough water photos are taken with a discontinued Sony U60 camera (see reviews on this blog).

    A very few photos are taken with a Pentax Optio WPi camera. I am very disappointed with the optical performance of this camera and its dreadful ergonomics for wet cold hands.

    I would advise you to buy an Aqua zoom bag and almost any non waterproof digital camera. You will get much better photos than the Optio.

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  3. Thanks Douglas - so you haven't found a waterproof digital camera you'd recommend do i take? A

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  4. Hello Alison both Pentax and Olympus do water resistant cameras. I much prefer their non waterresistant offerings. I keep a piece of dry towelling in my Ortlieb dry bag to dry my hands before handling the camera. A big thing to look for is an image stabiliser system. These help get sharp on the water shots but so far have not made it to waterresistant cameras. Occasionaly Sony u60 cameras come up on ebay, a friend got one for £30. I have had A5 and even a3 sized photos published in magazines despite it being only 2 mega pixels.

    :o)

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  5. Douglas, what lens do use with your Canon 5D in the kayak? Are you carrying additional lenses for your sea kayaking trips?

    Greetings from Colorado,
    Marek

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  6. Hi Marek, I use the Canon EF 24-105mm L IS. I usually use a polarising filter. The image stabiliser allows you to get away with 3 stops slower than normal which really helps on the water shots.

    Its my only lens but I would like to buy a telezoom one day!

    :o)

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  7. Clark Fenton19/09/2007, 17:27

    Douglas,

    Just catching up on what you have written over the last wee while and I noticed your comment on Inch Kenneth geology. From memory I believe that the island is Moine schist basement (About 1 billion years old) overlain by Triassic (250-200 million year old) conglomerates and then Cretaceous 140-60 million years old) carbonates (limestone and/or chalk). This is all capped by Tertiary lava flows. A lot of geology in a small island!

    Cheers,

    Clark

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  8. Clark,
    Thanks for this, very appreciated. To my untutored eye, Inch Kenneth looked different and interesting, I had no idea how complex!
    :o)

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