Warm southerly air and brilliant sunshine was the surprise of a good part of this Scottish week. I will use the word “hot”, on the May, surrounded by cool sea. I am here to substitute for Dave and Jeremy, away on an annual conference, keeping this volcanic rock stable and attending to various projects revolving around tern habitat and other maintenance.
James, the pilot of May Princess provides us with the to-ing and fro-ing of supplies and personnel as required. For this he uses his Rigid Inflatable Boat (Rib). On Wednesday he had arrived with three individuals surveying the Low Light and Katherine, one of the researchers who had returned to locate an “easy to find thermometer” hidden under a rock during the breeding season. She had forgotten it. I met them at the jetty and they went to attend to their business. James waited for them to return as the tide rose with flat, calm, clear water.
As ever, while stationed here, our eyes are kept to the sea. I first heard, then noticed two small Ribs skimming the waters off the east face of the May, moving south. As they moved past the slim opening to the harbour entrance the lead boat slowed down. The skipper had noticed James moored at Kirkhaven, our harbour. The second boat also slowed. They were soon navigating through the narrow, treacherous channel. I watched as they safely found the way in and greeted them first at the low water jetty and directed them to moor alongside James who had relocated at the main dock as the tide continued to rise. They informed me of their trip from Southampton, their charity fundraising for muscular sclerosis and Parkinson’s, and their sexy boats. I welcomed and informed them of what wonders they had stumbled upon. If they had not seen our Rib they would not have stopped. I encouraged them to have a stroll and visit the island. They did so, returning with smiles on their faces. As they prepared to depart, we wished each other well. By-chance encounters are often so rewarding. A link to their blog is located here below.
Both Wednesday and Thursday provided the highest tides of the year. The photo below shows that the sea at it’s highest came over the dock by about 5cm. (2in.) Fortunately, the weather provided for calm, flat conditions.
Oh yes. Katherine did recover her expensive scientific equipment. It took her more than half an hour to locate it, under an “easy to find rock”.
http://taketworibs.blogspot.com/ – Day 20 Wed. 28th Sept. 2011.