The sea between the island of Stroma and the Mainland has very strong
tidal currents, where the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea
meet. This has made it an ideal site for the first commercial tidal
power generation project in Scotland, and currently the largest in the
World. The turbines are in the form of large propellers, similar to wind
turbines. It's good to see a World-leading project based here in
Scotland, and the Country is well on the way to having most of its
energy from renewable sources.
I am concerned about the effect on marine
life, particularly the whales and dolphins which are often seen in
these waters, but I hope the environmental impact is being monitored and
taken into account.
The ship in the painting was in the process of servicing one of the turbines.
"Moine House, Tongue"
Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico 300gsm Rough paper
25 x 36 cm
West of Tongue, in Sutherland, there is a large peat bog called The Moine, which stretches all the way over to the next valley. At more-or-less the highest point there is a ruined building, called Moine House, which I have always found very striking. It is a wild and lonely spot and it has a background of dramatic mountains. I assumed that it was an old drovers' inn, but a plaque* on the wall tells the story of how it was erected as a refuge for travellers.
In 2015 the North Highland Initiative started a project to boost tourism in the northern counties of Scotland. The idea was to publicise a 500 mile route through Inverness-shire, Ross & Cromarty, Sutherland and my home county of Caithness, and promote it as a superb road trip. I don't know how successful they expected it to be, but it has quickly become very popular and has been called one of the top five coastal routes in the World. In fact its popularity is becoming a problem for the local residents: some of the roads are single-track, with bays at intervals to allow two vehicles to pass each other, but there is an etiquette for their use that strangers are not always aware of. The result is that local people going about their business find themselves held up by slow-moving tourist vehicles, so if you use the route please pull over and allow other vehicles to pass. The amount of traffic will probably also cause damage to the roads, which were not intended for heavy use. Desp…