After doing the post on MV Chalice it occured to me that I should post something on the five other boats that I've had the privilege of sailing on to the isles of the west: Poplar Diver, Gemini, Annag, Elizabeth G, and Halmar Bjorge. We'll start with Poplar Diver. I first sailed on her in 2002 on a trip to North Rona, and again in 2003 when we visited the Flannans and St Kilda.
Back in those days Poplar Diver, and her skipper Rob Barlow, also made the regular National Trust St Kilda run; taking volunteers out to Kilda to work on restoring the village houses. While on Poplar Diver I heard many stories of people who dreamed of visiting Kilda their whole lives, but who had never been to sea, and how some of them would be violently ill with sea-sickeness on the long, and often rough, voyage to Kilda from Oban.
Poplar Diver was a solid ship, a 70-foot rescue boat credited with saving 83 lives. Between 2002 and 2004 she was owned by Rob Barlow, a great skipper and diver. These days Rob owns the Elizabeth G, and someday I hope to sail with him again.
|Poplar Diver at anchor off Eilean Colm Cille|
|View from the wheelhouse of Poplar Diver on the approach to North Rona|
|Anchored off North Rona|
|Approaching the Flannan Isles|
|At anchor off the East Landing of the Flannans|
|The view from the wheelhouse in rough seas|