Last year, at the end of my visit to St Kilda, I swore I would never come back; the reason being the horrendous trip across the Atlantic in a RIB. However, armed with sea-sickness pills and ear defenders (I really do find loud noises very upsetting), I was back; the journey was also made less obnoxious due to the boat being bigger and faster than last year's – an unexpected bonus. The first evening was spent walking around the hill towards Dun, the island that broke contact with Hirta several hundred years ago, a walk that I couldn’t handle last year due in part to my delicate state on arrival. It was still emotionally difficult as I’m not terribly steady on my feet and suffer from vertigo, but manageable – and there were members of our group having more difficulty than myself.
The main Blip, a documentary panorama of the village, was taken a few hours before the walk while, at the start of it, the picture of the Maursund – the Seaworks building supplier’s transport, raised the question of why it was allowed to dock on shore why all other vessels were banned (we had to use a tiny inflatable dinghy to come ashore). Apparently, a sniper was detailed to watch duties for the duration, armed with a rifle to shoot any rat that might have the temerity to lead a landing party. I’m afraid that my sceptical mind considered the odds of success favoured the wily rodent over the squaddie.
The second extra is of the Mistress’ Stone which, according to undocumented legend, served a similar purpose to the Lover's Stone (see tomorrow’s Blip). The particular stone in question is that securely balanced over the “hole” in the skyline. It was rather scary climbing the steep grassy bank to get up to it though, surprisingly, not so difficult coming back down. The last extra is looking north west towards Soay, hidden behind the headland, from the top.
- Olympus E-PL7