Monday, January 13, 2014

Drochaid Scalpaigh - Scalpay Bridge

This is the 1000-foot-long Scalpay Bridge, which opened in 1997. The first photo was taken from MV Chalice on a Hebridean cruise I took in 2006. We motored under the bridge on our way to find an anchorage south of Tarbert (Harris).

As we passed under the bridge I noticed this group of young people fishing off the base of the Scalpay end of the bridge. I promised myself that someday I'd visit that spot.

It took me seven years to make good on that promise. In June of 2013 I spent five nights on Scalpay. On the evening of one of those days I put a can of beer and a bag of crisps in my pack, wandered over to the north end of the island, and then descended the grassy hillside below the bridge. 

At the base of the bridge I took a seat on the spot where I had seen those folks fishing seven years before. I cracked open the beer, ripped open the bag of crisps, and then enjoyed them as I listened to the bridge sing. It was windy, and the bridge acted like the string of a bass; a low frequency groan that came and went with the wind. I sat there for an hour, and then made my way back to the B&B (Dail na Mara). I tend to overuse the term 'memorable', but it was indeed a memorable evening.


  1. Well I never Marc,

    I went on the Chalice during her very first season back in 1980 I guess. She was working out of Falmouth then. We toured the south coast for a week in October wreck diving, great boat for a lump of concrete :-)

    Cheers, Paul

  2. Paul,

    Chalice was indeed a great boat for a lump of cement. I will be putting up some photos of her over the next week.

    PS: We've actually met, I introduced myself to you near the passenger nav-display on a Uig-Tarbert run last June. I enjoy your blog, keep it up.

  3. Hi Marc,

    I can't remember the face but I do recall the meeting. I had some great times on a boat called 'Harry Slater' around Cornwall and the Scillies in the late 70's, it was her owner who built and operated the Chalice, the name was chosen in a competition and at that time she was the poshest diving charter boat afloat. She had many features built in like changing facilities and a huge compressor. Many of her fittings like the watertight doors came from ex minesweepers, happy days :-)