i love the journey out to scottish islands. i think i have visited a dozen now over my life (arran, orkney, mull, iona, north uist, berneray, harris, scalpay, skye, jura, islay, eilean mor on the maccormaig isles). this year for holiday jen and i spent two weeks on islay from where we made a couple of day trips to jura which is very close by. islay is one of the western isles or inner hebrides. it's famous for having 9 distilleries including the big hitters when it comes to peatiness. but is also so much more - a beautiful landscape with bountiful wildlife and beaches.
i love the journey for many reasons i think. it's the anticipation - you're nearly there but it's also unknown. the island begins in the distance and gradually gets closer. in the case of our journey it was a very grey sky, the island was shrouded in mist and cloud and sure enough it began raining. but somehow this is all atmospheric creating a mysterious and enticing appeal of the island.
then there's the wildlife - there are always gannets diving which i have loved ever since i was a kid, guillemots gallore and if you're lucky a porpoise. i love porpoises and dolphins. seeing one is always a thrill. i don't know the difference by the way! i was so delighted that one popped up half way across alongside the ferry. most people were inside avoiding the rain but i find i always want to be outside soaking the journey in not wanting to miss the moment. i was so happy to see the fin roll over in the water. and sure enough on the journey back i spotted two which again no one else seemed to notice. i wasn't quick enough to take a photo.
on the journey to islay you see jura first. port askaig where you land is in a strait between jura and islay. jura was completely hidden by cloud from a distance. i liked the sight of that land mass but none of it really visible.
the colours of the sea and sky made for some interesting photos. i particularly like these more abstract ones taken by slowing the speed down and moving the camera. the white is the wake from the ferry. the colours remind me of the scottish flag.