Lewis! Rough Seas … gently flooding memories…

Lewis today: LOVE stormy wild weather. Might have felt differently if I was on the sea instead of looking at it from land. Gutted my phone ran out of battery power so no photographs to share, but I genuinely wish you could all have sat with me in my car looking out as it shook violently from side to side! Magnificent! Downside? Might well be no bread, milk or Looroll!

The magnificent wild seas reminded me of when Sarah was 2 years old and we were living in Orkney. She heard Morag telling me the sea was too wild for me to make the sea journey from Stronsay to Eday for the afternoon service when I was minister of both islands in the 80’s. She stormed in, threw back our bedroom curtains and announced, “ Dad, there are white bits in the sea! You are NOT going on that damn boat!” When 2 women and a boatman gang up together, it is wise to concede a point.

It could be a rough crossing I should add, but the rougher it was the more I enjoyed it. I could be sick on a relatively calm day on the ferry on the Pentland Firth but never felt squeamish going between the islands on a creel boat: a different movement, easier on the stomach! It was however at times just not safe. The boatman, John, who had twice in his life been washed out of his boat and then back into it again, knew when it was not wise to go. I trusted him implicitly. There was one year where the sea between the two islands could not be negotiated for 12 Sundays in a row. By the way, one person from the powers that be in the Church Offices in George Street, Edinburgh, once asked us if we could not just use one church building in one parish and get the other parish to come there!! Mmmm… it is amazing how the lights can be on but there is nobody in…

Just memories, my memories, which warm my heart. I hope reading them might somehow bless you too. That would lift these words from being mere self-indulgence.

If the seas remain rough I will try and get a photograph or two to share with you.

By the way, this was Stronsay today:

God bless


8 comments on “Lewis! Rough Seas … gently flooding memories…

  1. Angela says:

    Loved hearing about that, Kenny, including the crazy lack of logic by powers that be back on the islands where your parish was.
    As I pray for two Wycliffe Bible Translators located in PNG, and they face frequent perilous journeys by sea to reach various islands, prayer for safety on land, sea and in the air is so necessary.
    I do enjoyed travelling from Guernsey to Sark, and other boat trips in my lifetime. I tried sailing GP14s too, inland Loch only. Not much fun capsizing in November in a Scottish Loch, out of sight of the standby club rescue boat though they eventually arrived.
    I had gone over backwards, big sail on top of me. Took a wee while to get out from under it. I was not alone, two of us. I was crewing.
    I tried to free the tip of the mast which was stuck in the mud but no luck. Long time ago now. I flew over to Lewis in June 2019 since pain was too bad for such a long drive. Booked a trip out for Friday, tour boat. But nobody else booked so it was cancelled.
    Boat trips have been part of my life from I was born; grandparents lived ‘across the water’!
    It’s good to hear how much you’re enjoying being on Lewis.


  2. Helen M Bookless says:

    That was lovely to read. Laughing at myself because I half-expected you to say your little Sarah shouted at the sea and it went calm!!


  3. Mike says:

    It feels like we are in a continuous storm with Covid and no end in sight. Today someone I had recently tried to encourage with kind words passed away from coronavirus m, she was only recently married and a fantastic person. So sad, I pray and hope the Lord brings this terrible pandemic to an end.


  4. Lorna and Ian Paterson says:

    Thank you for this Kenny. Reminds me of my mother’s story of her journey to, and arrival in the Shetland Island of Unst which was my father’s first parish and where I was born. Not for the faint hearted…and she wasn’t! Blessings on your continuing time on Lewis from Ian and me.


  5. Ian Logan says:

    My first trip to Orkney was in the early 70s. I had an Orkadian flat mate and so three friends and I drove up from Edinburgh to visit. It was the autumnal equinox and the spray from the waves at Yesneby was going over the top of the cliffs. It was the days of cars being craned onto the ferry and the storm on the return journey was dreadful. Every third car broke loose, the galley went on fire, someone was nearly washed overboard and the sea was like a mid-Atlantic scene. I lay in the bowels of the ship feeling dreadfully sick and we had to stop at a hotel for a few hours before I was well enough to drive back to Edinburgh.
    However I also remember two older ladies calmly sitting at the top of the stairs eating oatcakes. They knew how to handle the situation. May we be people who know how to handle these days.


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