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The hop, skip and a jump to Dun

11 September 2006

Hirte, the main island in the St Kilda archipelago, is separated from the neighbouring isle of Dun by a 30 metre channel, known as Dun Gap.  Although only a short gap, it is normally filled with pounding surf, and home to just seals and eider ducks. However the record low spring tides seen in Britain this month made it possible to hop across the rocks that are usually submerged.


Dun little people


The team on the other side


Historically St Kildans regularly crossed to Dun for fowling and tending to livestock, but the crossing has rarely been attempted in recent years as once across you are faced with a sheer cliff, which can only be ascended by placing all your trust in an ancient rusty chain. 


dun view


View from inside Dun Gap


An intrepid team of NTS and Range staff decided that with nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon, we would at least try and make it across the gap to touch the base of the cliff.  We walked along to the south side of Ruaival, and began winding our way down the grassy slope to the rock platform at sea level. When crossing the massive seaweedy rocks some of us preferred the traditional method, and went shoeless.


dun team


The happy team


With a little encouragement and a helping hand, we all made it across and back safely (some a little wetter than others!).



Samantha and Sarah

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