Wednesday, July 06, 2011

When you're dun roamin' on Hirta, get yourself a plot on Dun!

From the heights of Ruabhal on the southern tip of Hirta, we looked down over Caolas Dun to the magnificent island of Dun. The Dun gap was unusually calm and quite unlike the previous evening, when we had paddled through it in both directions.

We sat for a while mesmerised by the stark grandeur of the scene before us. The shadows had lengthened by the time we felt ready to leave. Now my problems started. I was faced by a steep traversing descent back to Village Bay. My knee was now causing me a quite a bit of pain. I couldn't keep up with the others but Gordon was happy to keep me company on the way back which was very appreciated.

While enjoying a chat we came across the main mast of the yawl Avocet above the storm beach in Village Bay. She was wrecked here in June 1960 and has clearly seen better days.

Walking back to the pier we passed the International Sea and Airport Lounge. If you are ever ship wrecked on St Kilda, make your way here it is lovely and warm inside!

That night after enjoying another slap up meal on the Cuma, we watched the sun set over Dun. The low rays revealed the presence...

...of lazy beds high on the slopes of Dun. At 9pm the midsummer sun was still shining on them despite the whole of the Village Bay area being in shade. Survival on St Kilda was on a knife edge. That little bit of sun probably made the difference on whether your vegetables ripened or not. Even though a boat journey and difficult rocky landing were required to reach those vegetables, this would have been a prime plot!

As we chatted away on Cuma the sun light faded and a near full moon rose above Bioda Mor, 178m, the summit of Dun.

As the moon traversed the sky above the ragged outline of Dun, we knew there would be a big spring tide to negotiate in the Caolas Soay the following day.