Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Sun Before the Storm

This morning, with a gale-force winds forecast for this evening, we drove out towards Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse, planning to walk south from it.  As we turned onto the lighthouse road at Achosnich a hail shower darkened the sky but.... the time we started our walk the sky had cleared.  The land is filled with warm colours at this time of year which, given the chance, glow in the sun.

At this stage the westerly wind might have been described as brisk, force four to five with a cold sting in it.

We walked south, passing the narrow NW-SE trending inlet of Port Min, which is just beyond the nearest rise in this picture, and climbed the northern end of the elongate hill called Garbhlach Mhor, but gave up quickly as the wind was rising and threatened to blow us off the ridge.  This picture was taken just before we turned back, with another heavy shower passing across Eigg.

Our next stop was at the most westerly point on Great Britain, the bluff headland Corrachadh Mor, a kilometre to the south of the lighthouse and facing full into the wind.

From the headland we looked towards Coll, with CalMac's Lord of the Isles hurrying towards the calmer waters of the Sound of Mull.  At the time of writing, 3.30pm, CalMac is already reporting disruption to twenty-one of its services.  That the wind is streaking the foam from the wave crests suggests that it was blowing at force six....

....yet when we crossed the beach at Port Min on our way back to the car the water in the bay was calm, the force of the waves destroying themselves on the rocks offshore.

As we reached the car another hail shower passed over the lighthouse.  The forecast for the next few hours is pretty grim, with the wind steadily backing into the southwest and rising through the night to force nine, strong gale, by eight tomorrow morning.  After that, the wind is forecast to go round into the north bringing much lower temperatures and, perhaps, snow.

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