We arrived at the small fishing village of Portskerra, parked the car and changed into our walking gear. We 'sidestepped' the slipway, it wasn't going to take us anywhere other than down to the end of a boat slipway. Though we would be very exposed to the blasts of wind, a coastal walk looked inviting.
We strolled when gusts of wind allowed. A slow measured pace seemed a more successful way to keep our balance, or quickly restore it.
The next sign we saw surprised us.
It was unexpected, not the usual sort of sign wording we've seen. Deciding that seeing was believing, off we went the way the sign pointed to, to find the Drownings Memorial half a mile away.
Here it is with names dating from the 1800's through to the early twentieth century. It lists the names of Portskerra fisher folk who perished at sea. Carved on another information stone nearby, (not shown) together with the dates, is a long poem both in English and Gaelic. It tells in brief, the stories of all the fishermen and the tragic events that took them from their families and their community. There is one boat and crew that survived disaster. The boat, The Julia, is well over a hundred years old now.
You can see here the line where tides are meeting. Where tides meet can be a good place to fish. In the distance is the iconic Dounreay Dome nuclear reactor, a long time retired. At original size, you will be able to see windmills in this picture, which are close to Dounreay. On this journey, all the windmills we saw were locked down against the high winds and were still, there was not a twirl to be seen.
Looking towards Melvich with its fabulous sandy beach gently kissed by the water and brushed with afternoon shadows.
The still photos make the scenes look idyllic, which, if it had not been so blustery, it would have been. From where we stood, up on high, we couldn't find a rock or a natural cutting deep enough to give us shelter. If there had been we would have sat and calmly admired the view.
This was a long distance shot of Dounreay and the dome from the sea, without the use of a tripod. Even if I had brought one with me, it was unlikely it would have been used because of the strength of the wind.
Though it might have some similarities, this is not Google Earth. It is a picture looking down on the coast line rock formation which, as we retraced our steps, caught my interest.
You can see it's a bit uphill........
.... and downhill
A window into a fisherman's store, the contents all sitting wherever they were thrown.
We started our drive home slowly along a single track road and had driven for all of two minutes when we quickly stopped here.
Here, we saw a sight rarely seen; it was surreal. Who had left it carefully placed where it was and why? It could be a seat on which, if you took the notion, you could cogitate in the great outdoors. There was no doubt about it, it was definitely put in a prime position.