Jeremy has been away from the island for several week(ends) in a row and didn't have time for a nature report. That's why I'm glad that he found the time to send me his nature notes tonight. Somehow it doesn't feel right to end the blogging week without Jeremy's summary of his week on Islay. This week a weather related topic and keep in mind that ex-Hurricane Bill passed the UK on its way north giving a lot of rain and wind. There is a nice animation of the ex-Hurricane crossing the UK on youtube.
Jeremy Hastings, Islay's Wilderness Guide: Going out on on a sunny summer's day on Islay is a risky business. There is always a guarantee of the weather but of what type is never certain. I always dress for the worst possible- it is much easier to take off/carry/pack coats, jumpers, gloves and socks as well as waterproof trousers too, rather than leave it behind. You never know what will crop up and when you or someone else need it.
This last week there was a mix of weather with a promise of a hurricane. It never came to that although the wind was strong enough to crack one of the willows in the garden. Our 9 year son delighted in the fact that here, natures' wildness has given him the opportunity to use his bushcraft saw to relieve said tree of fallen limb. Continue reading......
There is always a positive and hopefully one will never be in a position to be tested on so much as that one's prior preparation prevents poor performance. Weather can catch one out anytime and earlier this week as I was guiding a family on a wilderness day the very same issue came up. A large squall hit us but we had already seen it coming. We were aware from the very beginning that it was a day for ramdom weather so we were prepared. As the rain and wind hit the children and adults were already sheltering behind a large boulder. The rain a wind blew over us while we smuggly sat and waited. Shrieks of delight from the youngsters as the freak storm hit the huge boulder and screamed over our heads. Wrapped in waterproof jackets and trousers we were fine.
Bad weather arriving at Loch Indaal - large Image on Islay photo blog
Later we met some folks who had also been caught, having set put in bright sunshine they thought there was no need for anything else but sunscreen. How wrong they were. They had gotten to their car but not before being soaked and battered. The family I was with announced that they really enjoyed the wildness much to the other folks chagrin!
Sometimes it is much more serious than just getting wet. When you are put in these wild places seek advice, ask local people and listen to their warnings. And as as all good guides and scouts know.... Be prepared!