Skipping over the ocean like a stone
We had the pleasure of visiting Easdale Island for the World Stone Skimming Championships on Sunday. Easdale is Scotland's smallest permanently-inhabited island in the Inner Hebrides, sitting just off the west coast 16 miles south of Oban. There are no cars on the island and access is by a short trip on a 12-seater ferry. This is a lot of fun, as you have to call the ferry by pushing two buttons in the waiting room. You might have a wait around noon as there's only one ferryman and he needs to get his lunch.
The Stone Skimming Championships are here because Easdale is one of the Slate Islands. Slate-mining was the main industry here, and now that it's diminished, the perfectly flat stones and disused quarries that cover the island make a perfect venue for stone skimming.
We didn't see much of the competition because the weather was foul. Wobbling about on the edge of a quarry in a gale wasn't a very attractive prospect. So we went for a walk round the island instead, which was amazing. There are huge piles of slate everywhere and very little else. The Atlantic ocean pounds off the coast and it feels a bit like another planet. Very still and wild at the same time. I took loads of photos, being Flickrd here.