Day 8 |
May 22, 2011

Loch Ewe

By Shoshanah Jacobs, Marine Biologist

Co-ordinates: 57°24’N – 006°20’W
Weather: Windy with strong rain at times, strong gale in the afternoon
Air temperature: +12°C

This morning we awoke to calm seas with a gentle breeze and sunny skies. During breakfast we all discussed the sudden and unexpected change of weather. The day was warm and the sun poked out from behind fluffy clouds. After breakfast some of the guests disembarked to explore the Inverewe Garden by themselves.

Those that remained on board attended Victoria’s lecture on Neolithic Orkney. Strange stone structures haunt the landscape of this area and she shared with us some of their secrets.

Guests began returning from shore and most were on board for yet another delicious lunch. I looked outside the window from the dining room and was shocked by the change in weather. It is a never-ending cycle! Now the wind had picked up to 45 knots and the rain was falling like draperies across the sky. At times I could barely see the shore. And there, out over the water, was the last Zodiac returning for the morning landing.

The weather continued to deteriorate over lunch and by the time of the scheduled disembarkation for all guests, the decision had been made to cancel the afternoon activities. There was only one small hitch: a few guests had not returned to the Silver Explorer for lunch and, instead, had eaten in the community of Loch Ewe.

We donned our rain gear, lifejackets and boots and made our way to shore to pick up the remaining guests. Some were waiting for us while others were a bit longer to return. By mid-afternoon all were safely on board.

We swung into full lecture mode. After lunch, Imogen presented a wonderful lecture on the Politeness of Princes. She told us about the reality of etiquette in the middle ages and advised us to never stroke another’s hair at the dinner table. Gordon followed with a lecture called To War with the Scots. He presented a riveting account of the fight against and with the Scots from Edward I to Bonnie Prince Charles.

In the evening, the Silver Explorer began to sway and then, as the winds and waves picked up, to rock and roll. Though our Recap & Briefing was well attended, guests started to retire to their suites early to sleep through the motion of the ocean.