Islay Lifeboat: The seven man crew of an Irish fishing boat were rescued by the Islay lifeboat when their craft got into difficulties in atrocious weather conditions at the Blackstones fishing grounds 14 miles south west of the Skerryvore Lighthouse. When the ?Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit II? arrived on the scene its crew was able to get a salvage pump aboard and also secure a towline. This was no easy task in view of the prevailing weather conditions. Gale force winds of between 6 and 7 were squalling to gale force 9, momentous waves were in excess of 20 feet and all accompanied by heavy hail showers and forked lightning.
The 1851 Mutter Whisky Bottle: The influential whisky journalist Dave Broom who has been a regular contributor to Whisky Magazine for many years and edits the ?Scotch Whisky Review? has added his voice to those questioning the provenance of the ?1851 Mutter? Bowmore. In a wide-ranging interview on www.whiskycast.com he questions the level of research undertaken by auction houses and says that the carbon date obtained on the whisky from the controversial bottle is not only likely to be inaccurate, it is also irrelevant.
Mactaggart Leisure Centre News: Thanks to the Community Environmental Renewable Scheme funded by the Scottish Executive & administered by Forward Scotland we have been able to install new windows & machines in the gym just in time for you to start working off those extra calories gained over the festive season! The aerobic machines being the treadmill, cross trainer, concept two rower & recumbent bike all of which will burn up calories whilst the six fixed resistance machines will tone up or develop muscles. There?s no excuses now!
Christmas Spirit: Six Islay farmers watched the moment barley they had grown on the island was turned in to whisky at the Bruichladdich Distillery just before Christmas. The barley had been harvested three months ago and the farmers gathered to witness the first spirit come off the stills.Bruichladdich claim that the vagaries of the Common Agricultural Policy mean that low crop prices forced most Hebridean farmers to give up growing barley. Rekindling the lost link between the land and the whisky has enabled the distillery to create a sort of ?Gaelic terroir? a French term used by winemakers which closely associates wines with the ground and microclimate they originate from.
Change to One Bag Rule at Airport: Air passengers in the Highlands and Islands are being advised to check what hand luggage restrictions apply with their chosen airline before travelling next week. The Department for Transport has approved new security arrangements at a number of airports in the UK, including Islay. This means that at these airports the restriction previously imposed limiting hand baggage to one item per person will no longer apply with effect from 7 January 2008.
Blog news: Dutch and Belgian readers are now also welcome to get Islay information in their own language on the new Dutch Islay Website. Not a copy of this blog, except for the layout, but tips on travel, ferries, flights, news, whisky and of course big time Islay promotion! Armin finished his last roundup on Sunday which is number 18