Monday, 25 May 2009

The Reaper

On Bank Holiday Monday we went into Stornoway but you could not have told it was a bank holiday - everywhere was open as usual including the Council Offices. We did some shopping in the Co-op where Brother-who-Blogs got quite excited (in a good way!) about the new layout . I got quite excited (in a less good way) that friend Ian's crisp white shirts of the past had given way to a Co-op corporate green one! What is the world coming to?

In Stornoway harbour today was The Reaper - a splendid fishing boat from St Combs in Cornwall, now owned by the Scottish Fisheries Museum.

She is a 100 year old Fifie herring drifter - one of the most popular types of boat in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Reaper is the last authentic survivor of her type and was launched in 1902. She is 70 foot long and has a sail area of 3,200 square feet.

I was astonished by the size of her masts. When you see the ships in the Tall Ships Race you somehow don't feel the masts - whilst bigger than this - are that large because the whole ship is big and the masts are in proportion. But the scale of these masts in relation to the small fishing vessel seemed enormous.

Also in the harbour was the ferry - but it shouldn't have been there. We met Carleo who told us that the ferry was not sailing. It had had difficulty getting the ramp down when we came over and apparently it is stuck in Stornoway while they repair it. We were lucky to have got off the boat at all! All the planes are booked up and as a result various people who were due to come over, including Carleo & Ian's son, are stuck on the other side of The Minch.

While GB was doing odd jobs I photographed this artwork by Iain Brady, about whom I blogged last year.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, I had no idea that the ferry was "sick". Hope she is feeling better and sailing from Ullapool on Wednesday as Kate is coming home on her (hopefully).

    That was a really good blog - thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Love xxxxx


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