Welcome to Islay Weblog

Islay Weblog Brings News and Events from Islay

Welcome to Islay Weblog

Islay Weblog Brings News and Events from Islay

Welcome to Islay Weblog

Islay Weblog Brings News and Events from Islay

Loch Gruinart

Loch Gruinart

Kildalton Cross

Kildalton Cross

Islay Cloud Formations

Islay Cloud Formations

Atlantic Sunset

Beautiful Sunsets on Islay Westcoast

Port Charlotte

On the Rhinns of Islay

Loch Indaal

Loch Indaal

Atlantic West Coast

Sanaigmore Bay Saligo Bay


Isle of Jura

Islay Whisky Distilleries

Islay is famous for it's malt whisky

Sun Sea Beaches and Waves at Lossit Bay Islay

A few weeks ago on a glorious afternoon we spent hours walking on the beach and sunbathing in between the rocks while the Fulmars were building their nests on the cliffs and the Oystercatchers flew around us nervously. We even spotted a few chough. Usually when we visit Lossit Bay we are all alone, also this time. Lossit Bay is a magical place and my favourite occupation is sitting on a rock observing the waves coming in and watch the water flowing around the rocks when it flows back into the ocean, it's so peaceful and relaxing. I have tried to capture these timeless movements in a video accompanied with relaxing guitar music. Enjoy!

direct link to video on youtube

Tag: video lossit bay

Stunning Trip with Islay Sea Adventures

For centuries people have used the seas as a means of transportation, to get from one place to another and not only to get to another land or island, but also to travel from one part of a country to another. There were after all no roads or other ways apart from a horse with or without a carriage. When in the 8th to the 15th centuries Vikings and Norse settlers colonised parts of Scotland, and Islay, they arrived over sea in so called Longboats with a small sail and around 5 to 10 rowers on each side of the boat. In later times sailing boats crossed the seas and oceans to discover new land. And although life must have been terribly hard on board these boats, many men lost their lives, it had a certain mystique or romance about it. Perhaps it's this feeling that makes us enjoying being out on the sea so much, travelling to our holiday destinations by ferry and discovering new places as a sort of modern day Columbus.

For many folk who travel to Islay this is maybe very much the case, and the thrill of seeing the hills of Islay, the lighthouses and the southern white washed Islay whisky distilleries appearing with their big lettering is a highlight on their journey, even after travelling to Islay for many times. Because this part of Islay's coast is rocky and treacherous the ferry sails four to six miles off the coast on her route to Port Ellen. But adventurous as we are most of us would just love to get a little bit closer to Islay's coast right? To sail past the distilleries, to discover the rocky coast, to see the South Islay Skerries which is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), and to just gently sail these stunningly beautiful and clear waters which are teaming with wildlife. Up till now this was difficult because you either needed a boat or you would have to ask one of the friendly fishermen on Islay if they would take you on board. And even if you would have a boat, sailing these waters is not for the faint hearted. There are several shipwrecks, only a few metres below the water surface and many rocks even closer to the waters surface, some sticking out of the water only centimetres. And then there are the currents and tides which complicate sailing these waters even more. Continue reading.....

New Lifeboat Station and RNLI Shop on Islay

After several years of reconstruction works Islay's new Lifeboat Station in Port Askaig is now in use by the voluntary crew and the two full-time employed people, the Coxswain and the Mechanic, David and David. Until recently they were housed in the square building behind the Port Askaig Hotel but they have now moved to a new and very modern building next to the Calmac Ferry terminal in Port Askaig. The new Lifeboat Station doesn't only facilitate the lifeboat crew but integrated in the building, accessible through a separate door on the left, is the new RNLI shop where you can find a wide range of RNLI related gifts, toys, clothing and other goodies. The new shop will open its doors at Easter and because the RNLI is a charity the profits go directly to the organisations life saving work. The lifeboat will be moored in the same place as usual for the time being. Below is an impression of the interior of the new Lifeboat Station and the Islay RNLI Shop.

Islay Lifeboat Station Port Askaig

Islay RNLI Shop

Continue to more pictures.....

Rough Shooting Video at Callumkill Estate Islay

Rough Shooting is walking up through moor and woodland, accompanied by a gamekeeper and his dogs, to shoot woodcock, snipe and pheasant. Callumkill Estate on Islay offers this type of hunting. In the video below you can see some beautiful shots of the estate and the hunt and you hear Donnie, the gamekeeper, explaining what rough shooting is all about. A very atmospheric video and in fact the second part of an earlier video of the estate which appeared in January. Enjoy!

direct link to video on youtube

Tag: estate callumkill hunting

Boatpull Fundraising Event on Islay

The Applecross Boatpull Team has kicked off this year’s fundraising efforts with £1,000 from Scottish Sea Farms, which will go towards the team’s accommodation and expenses as they complete this year’s boat pull in Islay. The Boatpull team has previously pushed a lifeboat 650 miles throughout the Scottish Highlands and Islands raising in excess of £175k for Portree, Oban, Stornoway, Kyle, Lochinver and Wick Lifeboat Stations, as well as for CHAS and Highland Hospice.

This year the team plan to push the mock lifeboat, named A’chomraich, 50 miles around Islay over three days – 22, 23 and 24 May. The ten members of the team will share the effort with four people pushing the boat at any one time, covering around 18 miles each day. Alfie Edwards from Applecross Boatpull Team, said: “This money really helps us get the event off to a flying start. With our expenses covered we can concentrate on raising money for the charities.”

Rory Conn, Commercial Sales Manager, Scottish Sea Farms, said: “The Boatpull has become something of an institution over the past 13 years and it is great that our Heart of The Community fund can assist the team in their fundraising efforts. We hope lots of people will turn out to cheer the guys on.” The charities set to benefit from this year’s event are Islay and Portree Lifeboat Stations, Highland Hospice and CHAS.

For further information contact 0131 553 1872 / lynne@crossancom.co.uk

Tag: charity rnli

HRH Prince Albert of Monaco Just Landed on Islay

A few minutes before one o'clock this afternoon HRH Prince Albert of Monaco landed on Islay Airport for a visit of some of the world famous Islay Distilleries. Charles MacLean, a well known whisky writer, arrived earlier on Islay to welcome the Prince and his party. The flight had a delay of several hours due to the bad weather conditions in the west of Scotland. Below are the pictures where you can see the arrival of the Royal Party.

Prince Albert (second from the right). Charles MacLean (left)

Welcomed by Charles MacLean

The plane in which they arrived

Islay Ferry Summer Schedule Started

Calmac sent out a mailing with a reminder that the Summer Service has started on the 4th of April, yesterday, until Sunday 26 October 2014 Incl.

For Islay this means that there are additional sailings operating on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Fridays all Summer not just as and when required as was done in the past few years.

These additional sailings are as follows :
Mondays & Fridays - 12:30hrs from Port Ellen. 15:15hrs from Kennacraig to Port Ellen
Tuesdays & Thursdays - 12:30hrs from Port Ellen. 15:15hrs from Kennacraig to Port Askaig

Due to the additional sailings operating to Port Askaig on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 15:15hrs bear in mind on these two days the 18:00hrs departure from Islay on Tuesdays & Thursdays will now be from Port Askaig and not Port Ellen as it has been for the past few years.

There is also an additional sailing from Islay (Port Askaig) to Oban via Colonsay on Saturdays this year at 12:15hrs and from Oban - Islay (Port Askaig) via Colonsay at 16:45hrs, where in the past it only operated as far as Colonsay and returned to Islay / Kennacraig same day. This is good to bear in mind especially when all Islay - Kennacraig - Islay sailings are fully booked that there is another available option of getting to and from Islay on a Saturday this Summer.

Calmac is looking forward to a busy Summer and some nice weather to go along with it. We'll second that!

Tag: calmac ferry travel

Traditional Methods of Whisky Making Return to Islay

Plans for what will be the 9th whisky distillery on Islay, which is regarded as the Mecca of whisky, have been revealed. Gartbreck Distillery will be built at Saltpan Point on the site of an old farm located on the shore of Loch Indaal south of Bowmore.

Artist Impression of Gartbreck Distillery Islay

Gartbreck Distillery will be unique in reviving the traditional method of whisky making which had been abandoned for the benefit of cost efficiency. Its two pots stills which will be overlooking the sea through a large glass gable will be direct heated with a live flame, it will use worm tub condensers and fermentation of the wash will take place in Oregon Pine wooden washbacks. This has nothing to do with nostalgia, the reasons of those choices being this is how Jean Donnay who has now completed the design of the distillery wants to make whisky since he believes this is how he should do in order to obtain the specific character he is aiming at. Continue reading.....

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The Maggie

Buy The Maggie from Amazon The Maggie is one of Ealing studios lesser known comedies. It is however a 'gem' in the true sense of the word. The film has everything, humour, tragedy, pathos, romance. A wily old skipper of a Western Isles 'Puffer' and his motley crew lead all who come into contact with them a fine old time!


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