Hirta, St Kilda (May 2017)

14th May 2017

“Hi, we are hoping to do your St Kilda trip on Sunday as Monday/Tuesday are out” – Sea Harris

“Malin, Hebrides – South 5 or 6; rain or showers, occasionally poor, good at first” – Shipping forecast 13th May at 1745

It wasn’t looking good at sea, and the land forecast was pretty rubbish too.

“Hi, still a bit of wind tomorrow but we are still looking to run the trip, your Skipper is Chris, meet at the pier for 0745” – Sea Harris


“There’s Warnings of Gales in Fitzroy, Sole, Fastnet, Irish Sea, Rockall, Malin, Hebrides, Bailey and South East Iceland”, “Malin, Hebrides; South 5 or 6, Backing South East 6 to Gale 8, Severe Gale 9 later, Showers Rain Later, Good occasionally Moderate” – Shipping Forecast 14th May at 0505

“Ardnamurchan to Cape Wrath South or South West 4 or 5 increasing 6 at times, backing south east 6 or 7 later showers, rain later, good becoming moderate or poor later” – Inshore Forecast 14th May at 0505

“Sea State: Moderate to Rough” – Met Office Sea state forecast for Hebrides for 14th May.

This could be interesting…

We assembled down the pier to board our craft the Enchanted Isle just on time.

Chris and Ian welcomed us aboard as we set out on a calm Sound of Harris, but before long the sea became lively and our craft scaled mountainous waves, crashing through the peaks and plummeting into the troughs as we speed our way over the ocean.

In no time at all Boreray appeared out of the haze and we sailed into Village bay to transfer to the dingy and landed on Hirta.

Back on Terrafirma we paused to gather ourselves before setting off on our explorations. Oiseval, Connachair, Mullach Mór and Ruabhal were scaled, and the “Village” and Museum explored while the Soay Sheep and Skua kept us entertained with their antics… Just ask Simon about the Skua!

As boarding time loomed we congregated in the village and spoke to the rangers present about the island, it’s history and life, and also about the MOD base and it’s pending replacement with a more sympathetic successor.

After a quick visit to the NTS shop we returned to our ship where we were treated to Tea and Cake before setting sail for some puffin spotting on Dún, Blackface spotting on Boreray and seabird spotting on the sea stacks from the open aft deck. After this most of us returned to the shelter of the cabin (just ask Simon…) as a white knuckle ride ensued through the swell as the Enchanted Isle scythed and slalomed its way back to the welcome sight of Leverburgh and the eccentricities of Am Bothan.

View more photos in the Yogile album

Present: Alec, Andrew K, Bill, Chimed, Franta, Jeannie, Lucka, Niall, Pete M, Sarah, Simon, Toni, plus the Crew Chris and Ian

  • Report by Niall