Wednesday, December 31, 2014

More Scenes from the Flannan Isles

The Flannan isles are difficult to reach. Of four attempts, spread over 14 years, only one was successful. My first try was in 2000, when I was hoping to get there with SeaTrek out of Uig (Lewis). But they were so busy with day-trippers in Loch Roag that they did not even attempt to go there. My second try, in 2002, was successful. It was on the ship Poplar Diver, skippered by Rob Barlow. For the story of that trip see book 2, chapter 26.

Even though I'd set foot on the island in 2002, it was such an interesting place that I wanted to return. And so in 2004 I was on the ship Halmar Bjorge as we motored to the Flannans on the way to St Kilda. But the sea state was bad. A heavy swell pounded both landing places, and so we had to pass by and continue on to Kilda. Another failed attempt, in 2013, was also with Halmar Bjorge. After a night at Scarp we started out to the Flannans. But once past Mealasta island giant rolling swells and a heavy wind battered the ship, and we had to give up the attempt. Those two failures will make the next success all the sweeter, and I hope to try again in 2015 or 2016.  

Below are a few photos from that successful landing in 2002, including a few I have not posted before. 

Approaching the Flannans from the east
Helipad with Soraidh isle in the distance
Derrick pad and crumbling trolley track above the west landing - where the keeper's may have been washed away
Churning sea at the west landing
Remnants of stairway to the west landing
How would you like to descend this on a stormy day? - the stairs to the west landing
Leaving the Flannans

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