Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fingal's Cave

I have posted on Fingal's Cave before but as it is truly one of the wonders of the sea kayaking world, I hope you will forgive another visit.

Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa is the largest columnar basalt cave in the world. Even the roof is composed of end on hexagonal and pentagonal columns. The cave has a height of 20m above sea level but the depth below the water is also 20m! The cave stretches back for 69m and at its mouth is 13m wide. The vaulted ceiling and columns, like organ pipes, give the impression of a great natural cathedral.

Some say its name refers to the Celtic hero Finn MacCool, others to the Gaelic words for “fair stranger” which refers to the Norsemen. Whatever, this name first appeared in the 18th century. The old Gaelic name is An Uamh Bhin; “the Melodious Cave”.

The noise of a gentle swell in the back of the cave is particularly melodious but only God would know what it would sound like in the midst of an Atlantic storm.

The tourists on the “Island Lass” had come from Ulva Ferry on Mull. We provided part of their entertainment.

Of course Fingal's Cave is not the only cave on Staffa....


  1. It never fails, I am always impressed with this place. It's on my list!

  2. Michael, there are more fantastic caves on Staffa!


  3. I'm going to be somewhat off topic here but perhaps one of you could help out by pointing me in the right direction. I see many on this site seem to use Valley Kayaks. I'm on Lake Superior in Canada, just puchased a NordKapp. Can anyone tell me where info might be located to fix a (very) sticky skeg and cable mechanism?
    Much thanks in advance - Jim

  4. Thank you Stephen,

    Jim, there is a small allen screw in the middle of the black plastic slider on the skeg control. Unscrew it a few turns and pull the skeg right down, you should now be able to pull the wire right out. If it is kinked above the skeg, straighten it if you can or get a new wire if you cannot. Then spray the wire liberally with silicone furniture polish and replace it. Push the skeg right up then move the slider to the up position and re-tighten the screw.


  5. Douglas,

    Thanks a million. I'll give this a try. By the way, the photographs on this site are fantastic. Once the boat is organized I'll have to try posting a picture or two from Lake Superior's Canadian north shore.


  6. Hi Jim, I hope the silicone spray helped. :o)