Thursday, 29 May 2014
When you live on an Island which is nearly three hours away from the mainland of Scotland by sea and it's a stormy winter night and the sea is running a colossal swell and the wind is howling storm force in opposition with huge waves, then, just occasionally, you wonder about what would happen if the sea got the better of the ship.
To be fair these days the ferry doesn't sail in the sorts of seas that it used to traverse. People complained and in the usual way that everything is done these days, instead of saying 'well get the next ferry' they just stop the sailing when it gets that rough.
Anyway here in Stornoway covering The Minch we have the Lifeboat and the Coastguard Helicopter.
Well I am astonished. I can't find it. But I'm certain I've done one. What? A post on the Stornoway Lifeboat practising in the Bay below the house. The funny thing is that several years ago I started a post in a similar vein. I couldn't find it then either. Well when the Stornoway Lifeboat was practising a few days ago I took some photos from the house.
When one lives in a country surrounded by sea and where there are thousands of ships and boats at sea at any one time one is profoundly aware of how many lives rely on the Lifeboat and Coastguard services. This is a map, taken as I write, of the vessels carrying locator beacons in Scotland's waters in sight of a receiving station. And there will be many more that aren't.