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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Scottish Islands Explorer: Staying on Flannan

Fascinating photos of the Flannan Isles via >  Scottish Islands Explorer: Staying on Flannan: Not the easiest of landings, nor the most secure-looking steps, but this was the landing place for an expedition to the Flannan Isles ...

A place of (unsolved) mystery still - though for my taste much of the atmosphere is lost through the 'medium' of modern technology.  It seems in a way a shame that you can go there on a fast boat with powerful lenses and take the place apart, in a sense.  I can't help feeling that it's equally regrettable that visiting remote places these days seems to involve eye-popping amounts of ugly orange lycra, portable toilets, and hi-tech equipment. Oh for a wooden boat or a coracle, and a decent set of tweeds....or perhaps not....I suppose one must be 'practical'.  Very unattractive however. But I suppose you aren't thinking about appearances when you're desperate for the toilet in the middle of a Force 9.  Perhaps that's what happened to the three lighthouse-keepers!   One of them made an especially violent curry, and they of course not.

I wonder if they suffered from scurvy.  It is possible, if they were there, unrelieved, for long stretches. I must read up on the mystery, and theories thereof.

Best account of Flannan that I can think of (the poem aside) is the fictionalised encapsulation in Neil Gunn's The Silver Darlings - they sail away, away west, beyond the horizon....and encounter wondrous things...

Haven't read that book for about ten years - not sure how much of my remembering is really from the book and how much is from my own imaginings.

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