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

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Stormy Islay Weather Forecasted

The beautiful spell of weather seems to have ended today with more showers and stronger winds, the morning ferry had to divert to Port Askaig due to adverse weather. Speaking of which, the winds are likely to pick up even more on Tuesday when the remnants of hurricane Gonzalo will influence weather in large parts of Scotland. The Met Office said gales with winds of more than 50mph were likely inland and gusts of 60-70mph in exposed coastal areas in the west and north are possible. This will probably have an effect on the ferries as well so check the latest travel news for updates before you travel to and from the island. The stormy weather will hopefully provide some opportunities for spectacular sea and wave pictures. This morning we walked towards the Currie Sands just outside Portnahaven and had a wee taste of what might come later on this week.

Tag: weather waves sea portnahaven

Site Visit Islay Community Wind Turbine

When we drove over the High Road yesterday, Friday the 17th of October, we noticed that the tower and nacelle, the conical part in the top of the turbine which houses the generator, were up. With the weather being very nice today we decided to hike up the track from Glenegedale to the site of the Islay Community Wind Turbine for a closer look and some pictures.

We had parked the car near Build Base on the High Road. The site access road is a few hundred metres back towards Bowmore and the distance to the site is almost 2 miles, a most pleasant walk due to the lovely weather. However, this is scenery wise not the most interesting part of Islay. North from the track further down to the turbine is a large black area without any vegetation which looks like peat has been extracted without replacing the grassy top layer.

On our way to the turbine we saw the workmen digging a trench in the peaty soil next to the track for the thick red power cable. At the site itself you can see how high the turbine really is. Quite interesting to see were the three blades which were still on the ground, fifteen metres each. I had an interesting chat with one of the German engineers from Enercon GMBH, the German company based in Aurich who are installing the turbine. These engineers travel all over the world and have recently been as far as Romania, Norway, Sweden and Canada. The largest turbines they install at the moment are 150 metres high with blades of almost 50 metres. Continue reading....

A Warm Islay Welcome

While the rain is ticking on the windows we find ourselves in a comfortable and warm home in Portnahaven. We are gradually getting back to normality after our move to Islay, which was quite turbulent to say the least. The welcome however was heartwarming. Many Ileach welcomed us on their island and everyone we met has been most kind to get us started in our new lives here. So far so good! Portnahaven is a fabulous village to live in and we've already made some beautiful walks and enjoyed some amazing sunsets and sunrises. For us this part of the island was one we never stayed for longer than a couple of hours during a day-time visit, but now we can really experience "life on the edge" being so close to the sea and exposed to the wild Atlantic weather. Speaking of which, so far the weather has been very kind to us. We had an amazing quiet and sunny spell of weather although right now it seems to be gradually changing to weather patterns more fitting to this time of year. Not that we mind, we are actually looking forward to some wild weather and I will happily share images and videos of the winter storms that are likely, and hopefully, to hit this side of the island. For now I'll post some stunning views of our first week on our wee corner of the island!

Houses on King Street lit up by the sunset

Continue reading.....

Making the move to Islay

I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams that becoming a Friend of Laphroaig could have such consequences in my later life. It all started many years ago when I had my first Laphroaig dram and signed up as a friend of Laphroaig. It raised my interest in Islay and a few years later Manuela and I found ourselves on honeymoon on Islay, that was in 2004. Ever since that time we have visited the island over and over again and became to appreciate it more and more, and just as many times we imagined how it would be like to live on Islay. It seemed impossible in the early years but gradually, due to the nature of our work being both self-employed, we found out that living on Islay could very well be possible. I myself run the Islay Info website and Braveheart Webdesign & IT Services, and Manuela is a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. When we visited the island in spring this year we finally decided to go for it. The circumstances were right and our daughter Annika still had a good age, five years old, to do this. We have been searching for a house ever since until something came up in Bowmore... We thought. Continue reading....

Treats in store at Islay Children’s Book Festival

Local author, Mavis Gulliver, is having great success with her first book for children. 'Cry at Midnight' for 8-12yrs a magical adventure set on the Island of Tiree. It is the first in a trilogy, 'The Hagstone Chronicles’', which has already had young readers asking for more. The fast paced drama is full of Celtic stories of selkies, witches and things that definitely go bump in the night. The Islay Book Festival is delighted that Mavis will be appearing on Saturday, 5 October. Her session is free, as are all the children’s events, and open to all who would like to hear more about these stories.

Earlier this year local school children were asked which authors they would most like to visit their school. The Islay Children’s Book Festival is pleased to say that they managed to get three authors from the wishlist. So Barry Hutchison, Daniela Sacerdoti and Janis MacKay will be here on Islay in October. At least one of them will visit every school on Islay and Jura. In addition each will be giving a special, extra event at Port Ellen Primary School on 4 October, so everyone can come and meet their favourite author.

The Children’s Book Festival never leaves out the wee ones. On Sunday 5 October at 2pm, Badger , The Mystical Mutt, will be making a special appearance. He would like to see all the wee ones bring their friends, parents and grandparents for high fives, high paws, and hugs. The toastcrunching hound has charmed children across the UK with his stories of wonky magic and trips in his strange time-travel contraption.

The Islay Book Festival will take place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October at Port Ellen Primary School. For more info and both the children and adult programmes please visit www.theislaybookfestival.org.uk

Tag: book festival

published with kind permission of the Ileach Newspaper

Deserve the Islay Wave on Single Track Roads

Ileach editor Calum Murray wrote a nice article in last week's Ileach about his view on the behaviour of some of the islands visitors on Islay's single track roads. It's a great piece of advice and mandatory reading for all the visiting motorists to Islay.

Calum Murray: "There is no doubt that visitors to our island identify the Islay Wave as one of our most endearing conventions. They certainly find it worthy of mention as proof of our conviviality when telling their friends about their encounters with the islanders. In fact, we even let them join in though they are not au fait with all its subtleties. Visiting motorists all experience this distinctively Ileach practice of being waved at by passing car drivers. And mistakenly believe that this means we are accepting of the idiotic way some of them behave on our roads. Oops! I feel a rant coming on. But that’s okay; sometimes you need to let off a little steam.

"It would appear that visiting the island is the first time that some drivers have ever come across a single track road. Some of them just don’t understand the protocol. We know that driving on single track roads requires the making of a lot of fine decisions: when you see a car coming towards you, you have to figure out who is nearer to a passing place and drive accordingly. Is it you that will pull in or will it be them? Usually the decision is easy. The passing place is somewhere between the two of you and you adjust your pace so that both of you arrive there almost simultaneously.Or there are two passing places between you and there is a slight war of nerves to find out who will stop first. Continue reading....

Laphroaig Live Replay on Youtube

Just in case you missed the live broadcast of Laphroaig Live on Wednesday the 24th of September, you now have the opportunity to watch it again. The live broadcast was from a wee island called Fjäderholmarna in Sweden, off the coast of Stockholm.

Next years Laphroaig Live will be broadcasted from Islay because the Laphroaig Distillery will celebrate its 200th birthday with several events throughout the year and some special bottlings, a 15yr old and a 21yr old Laphroaig whisky.

direct link to video on youtube

Tag: laphroaig video

Sensational Reporting of Geese Scaring and Killing on Islay

A few days ago the Scotsman published a rather sensational story about the wintering geese on Islay who are to arrive on the island any time now. Most parties agree, after extensive talks at a conference held on Islay last year, that something needs to be done about the ever growing and grass consuming population of Barnacle Geese, and certain measures will be made to control these numbers. The sensational report states that: "DRONES and lasers are set to be deployed by the Scottish Government in a £41m bid to rid an island of its rampaging population of geese. Islay has 70% of the world’s barnacle and white-fronted geese - but the birds are acting like 'a swarm of locusts' according to angry farmers. A report reveals that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has already tried and failed to control the flocks using bizarre methods such as self-launching kites, helium balloons, fireworks and a gas-inflated, siren-blazing ‘scary man’ mannequin. The birds barely paid any notice and SNH is planning a tougher strategy, under pressure from Islay farmers concerned about the damage geese are causing to their £11m-a-year industry."

However, scaring and killing them with drones and laser beams will not take place on Islay, as I'm told by a very trustworthy source on the island. And if there is any controlling and killing to be done, mostly with guns, it will be on the Barnacle Geese population who are, through their ever increasing numbers, pushing out the White-Fronted Geese which have a higher protection status. It will be good news for the farmers on Islay that something will happen to control the numbers and to protect their grass lands. Let's hope for them it won't become a Wild Goose Chase.

Tag: geese farming


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