July saw some interesting boat arrivals along with some celebrity passengers. By the end of the month the clamour of seabirds quietened down in preparation for departure to the open ocean.
We have been graced by a group of artists touring northern waters as part of the Cape Farewell Project. Their Scottish Islands Expedition visited St Kilda with gaelic singers Julie Fowlis and Mary Smith performing here. Please visit Cape Farewell
Julie Fowlis (top) Mary Smith (below)
The film crew pictured with Mary Smith chanced by at the same time as Cape Farewell. They had come from Galway on an expedition to explore cultural links between gaelic speaking islands of the Atlantic west of the British Isles. The newly funded project by Gaoithi Gaeli will be online in September 2011. The Irish film makers turned up on a stormy Sunday anchoring in Glen Bay and walked over the island to meet us. They later turned up in impressive style aboard a reproduction Connemara sailboat of the type used to deliver peat off the west coast of Ireland. They even came ashore in a traditional Currach.
It could only happen on St Kilda but with two TV crews working in the village they were asking each other to be quiet at critical parts in their respective recordings. Not so quiet were the two deep-sea trawlers that anchored in Village Bay. They called in to take advantage of sheltered conditions to wash and freeze their catch.
The processing left a plume of herring oil on the water attracting small fish like a magnet. For Village Bay seabirds this must have been Christmas and birthdays all at once. It could have provided a valuable nutrient boost at just the right time before young birds leave for the open ocean. (I have now also got more herring in my freezer than I'll ever be able to eat before the end of the season)
Dolphins have been feeding around the island but have probably gone elsewhere. Another pod were the ten kayaks adding colour to our jetty this week. Calmer conditions have made kayaking an ideal way to explore St Kilda.
No doubt there will be more to report on shortly.