Friday, 30 September 2011

Arisaig and its amazing Sunsets

Arisaig is renowned for its lovely sunsets but I had been there a week and hardly seen the sun never mind a sunset. The sky had been overcast almost the whole time and the sun sank behind a grey barrier of cloud.

The day after I visited Eigg I settled for a quiet evening by the tent and noticed that things felt a bit different? I could feel a certain kind of magic in the air. The sea was like a mirror, shimmering in the cool evening air. The haze of summer had gone and the distant islands stood tall and clear of the heavy band of cloud that floated high above their summits. The Cuillin on Skye looked particularly close that night.

I decided to go for a row in the inflatable boat. Perhaps it was a shoal of mackerel that I sensed? The boat moved effortlessly across the water as my arms got into the swing of the oars. Its movement was hindered by neither wind or tide. I wandered aimlessly among the skerries and felt like I was floating on air. The sky started to darken slightly across the mountain tops.

In the silence of the evening I caught a couple of mackerel just as the light started to fade. I rowed happily back to the shore, my thoughts were on a fresh fish breakfast in the morning. I was at peace with both myself and the world. The sky started to turn various shades of pastel pink and red. The land started to turn various shades of blue through to black.

That is when I realised this sunset was going to be something special. I landed and pulled the boat clear of the water and that is when the real magic started.

I could do nothing but gaze in awe as the setting sun illuminated the heavy band of cloud from below, as it set behind the island of Rhum. The mountain tops cast shadows high into the flames of the red night sky.

The glow slowly changed like a kaleidoscope for a full fifteen minutes, until the sun finally extinguished itself below the horizon in the Sea of Hebrides

I have witness and photographed thousands of sunsets in my lifetime, but none quite so spectacular at this one. Watching it made me realise just how lucky I was to be alive :-D