The weather was fantastic as we set off from Grimsay on the boat. Midges had been feasting on us until we started moving. The reflections of the land on the water took my breath away. We passed a fish farm, where the fish jumped up to peek at us, and then the engine became louder as we gained speed.
As we came to the island, I recognised rhododendrons growing on the top of the cliff, along with rowan trees. When we got to the pier on Ronay, we could see how much work had gone into building it. The stones had seaweed and lichens growing on them, and many small creatures hidden under them. We climbed up the steep hill, and found ruins: two long walls, and above this, some foundations of a dwelling. There was evidence of deer, and many insects, but the overwhelming feeling was one of quietness and peace.
We found the old Inn, on the south side of Eaval where travellers and locals would have spent some great times. The remains of the Inn had some dark yellow flat lichen which I had not seen before. On the cliff nearby was a resting place for sea eagles. I found, and gathered five of the feathers, and some of the pellets which they leave behind. One of the pellets was full of tiny crab shells and claws. The poet McCodrum lived nearby, but we found no trace of his house. The map shows that there is supposed to be a cave nearby The heather was thick here, and I couldn’t resist lying down on it. ( it was my own fault that I got a tick on my leg from this!) Ceann Airigh was past the bay of the whales, which was a narrow squeeze though the land on each side, and can only be undertaken when the tide is high. Again, there was a feeling of tranquillity in this place. There were the remains of five dwellings, covered with grasses and lichens. I could imagine living in this place, growing some potatoes, and eating salted fish. It would be a hard life, but very rewarding in a totally different way from life we have now on the islands.
On our way back, we passed two pairs of sea eagles, and our skipper put some fish he had caught out for them. We came across a herd of deer before the last leg of our journey home, which was the best end to a wonderful day.