The ferry across the ‘Atlantic Sea Channel’

By Trevor Boult

The Isle of Lewis midway between Ullapool and Stornoway as seen from the deck of the Queen Mary 2 in September 2011.
The Isle of Lewis midway between Ullapool and Stornoway as seen from the deck of the Queen Mary 2 in September 2011.

Two hundred years ago, in the summer of 1814, the famous author Sir Walter Scott was sailing in Scottish waters aboard a lighthouse yacht. Invited to do so by the Commissioners of Northern Lights, his diary of this notable six-week voyage records how impressed he was with the awesome grandeur of the Minch.

This broad strait off Scotland’s NW mainland coast is bounded to the west by the Outer Hebridean islands of Lewis and Harris, to the south by the Isle of Skye. To the north it is fully exposed to the ocean, rightly earning the description of an ‘Atlantic sea channel’.

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