stormy Hebrides

Remember when I wrote about “Sea Room?’” Well, I have an obsession with the Hebrides, Scotland, the North of England; basically anywhere where the sea meets the land in black rocks and craggy outcrops. Where great birds swirl in circles and the waters are icy and dangerous. I remember reading “Jane Eyre” and being particularly spellbound by this passage:

They were those which treat of the haunts of sea-fowl; of ‘the solitary rocks and promontories’ by them only inhabited; of the coast of Norway, studded with isles from its southern extremity, the Lindeness, or Naze, to the North Cape —

‘Where the Northern Ocean, in vast whirls, Boils round the naked, melancholy isles Of farthest Thule; and the Atlantic surge Pours in among the stormy Hebrides.’

It’s very romantic and stirring, which is probably why I enjoy Nicolson’s book so much.

I am at the part in the book where the author describes how his boat, similar to a Viking Birlinn, was constructed and how he sailed it.

It makes me yearn for open waters and a good long sailing course. I’ve only ever been on a boat a few times in my life, but sometimes I feel that mysterious call that made men sailors…



One thought on “stormy Hebrides

  1. heartlandroad says:

    I know what you mean about black rocks and craggy outcrops and the birds swirling. I am also in love with the Hebrides and West Highlands in peaceful moments, when the land reaches out into the sea and seems to mingle with it. The contrast between that and the fury of a storm, and the sort of fragility of these long, stretched out bits of coast – with little houses so close to the water – when the weather can be so wild, is fascinating to me.

    If you’re interested in Birlinns and similar boats, check out – it’s an organisation that builds these kinds of boats and rows and sails them around the West Coast of Scotland. They’re sort of wonderful.

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