The scenery on the Sound is stunning with the Paps of Jura being the high point on the horizon.
...it is one of Islay's two ferry terminals and after the introduction of the new ferry MV Finlaggan for the summer 2011 season, it will be the only one until Port Ellen is upgraded.
...but you never get away from the power of the tide.
Today the Scottish Government approved plans to build an array of 10 tidal generators mounted on the sea bed. These will generate enough electricity to power several thousand homes and Islay's energy hungry distilleries.
Scottish Power Renewables are going to install 1 megawatt versions of the turbine developed by Hammerfest Strom tidal turbines in Norway.
Two of the turbines will go in just offshore from Port Askaig with the other 8 going in further south. Apparently the blades will rotate slowly enough not to harm migrating whales and...
...will be deep enough not to interfere with ships or kayaks.
It sounds pretty good. The tides are a lot more reliable than the wind! The only downside is that no fishing will be allowed in the vicinity of the turbines. Just imagine a spot of kayak fishing and catching a turbine with a mackerel line!