Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Loch Craignish revisited and Island Macaskin

The following weekend saw me heading back at Loch Craignish. I wanted to take the photographs that I couldn’t on my first visit because I dropped the camera in the sea. The forecast was for light winds and bright weather so I set of on the Friday evening and spent another night sleeping in the car. It’s getting darker at night now and much colder. Before setting up my bed, I walked along to Craignish point to have another look at the Doris Mor tide race. I watched the currents flow in the sound of Jura and Im pretty certain I heard the distant roar of the Corryvreckan whirlpool which is situated between the headlands of Jura and Scarba in this photo.

I awoke early to a lovely calm day. The cool air was enough to keep the midges at bay. As I motored across the mirrored surface I caught the first mackerel of the day.

Passing through the narrow gap between the islands Eilean Righ and Eilean nan Gabhar, I saw an otter close in shore but it was to quick to photograph so I took a photo of the boat moored off the end of Island Macaskin instead. It hung around a bit longer than the otter did.

It was Island Macaskin that I was keen to explore again. There are a couple of ruined crofts marked on the OS map on the east side of the island and I wanted to check them out. I landed in a lovely little rocky bay and pulled the boat up. I didn’t know it until later..but I suspect the rocks were sharp with barnacles as I found a couple of deep scores in the bottom of the inflatable when cleaned it down at home. Just as well it is a PVC inflatable and easy to maintain .. a couple of patches over the scores and its now stronger than before.

Because very few people visit the island and there are no paths, I had to fight my way through head high bracken to get to the crofts.

What I found fascinating about these particular crofts was the remains of the old furniture, even though they were abandoned around 1880. It’s the first time I have seen that kind of thing still in situ in old crofts, presumably because there has been no one here to pillage the remains for firewood or scrap metal.

Perhaps these shelves were part of the kitchen larder ?

An old iron stove rusting quietly in the corner. Can you imagine the inhabitants huddled around it in a cold dark winters night? The red glow from the burning wood casting long eerie shadows into the dark corners.

The ceramic bath, it even had lead pipes that connected onto an old iron water tank on the outside of the croft. I confess I pillaged six inches of the lead pipe to melt into a couple of fishing weights. There was a hot and a cold tap too?

I can only imagine these were the tools used for tilling the ground and perhaps collecting the hay? I guess life was hard then. I cant imagine life without instant E mail and internet blogs. I wonder what they did all day ?


Morag Lloyds said...

my great great grandparents lived here.. Iv been on the Island too some years ago! lovely photographs !!

Donny Wilcox said...

Hi Morag..great to see you look in.

At first glance I would envy your ancestors living there ..but with must have been a hard life. Walking into those old buildings really was a moving experience.

I hope you can visit there again :-D

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, I have had many baths in that old bath as have all my children; piping hot water too!

Starryblackness said...

Hi, love your blog post. My hubby's G-G-G-Grandparents lived, worked and had babies on the island (gulp) so it's lovely to see the photos. I've written about them here:
I would love to be in touch with Morag and the other person who's commented on this post, please, you can contact me via my blog site :)
Best wishes