Thursday, April 12, 2007

Muckle Flugga lighthouse

According to Wikipedia, Muckle Flugga is a small rocky island north of Unst in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is often described as the northernmost point of the British Isles, but the smaller islet of Out Stack is actually farther north.

This magnificent lighthouse of Mucle Flugga, in her long history, must have witnessed all kinds of happenings and have all kinds of stories to tell. Here's one about freaque waves told by one of her lighthouse keepers is certainly one of the best. I found this in my saved files but I regret that I have lost its original source:

"Rogue waves over 110 ft high may be rare but are not unknown. For five years I was a keeper on the Muckle Flugga lighthouse, a place with many similarities to Eilean Mor, particularly in its exposure to the full brunt of the fury of the North Atlantic. I recall one day when my friend and fellow assistant lightkeeper, David Macdonald, and I was cleaning the lantern panes at the top of Muckle Flugga lighthouse. We had been suffering bad weather for weeks and during a lull we were cleaning off the accumulation of salt that this had caused to block up the lantern panes. The weather at the time was breezy but far from gale-force and there was a slightly choppy sea running. Suddenly David yelled a curse and grabbed my shoulder, turning me round to see an enormous roller bearing down on Muckle Flugga, which Eilean Mor crashed and broke with an almighty boom in the gully between Muckle Flugga and the neighbouring holm of Cliff Skerry. David and I were both drenched with spray, and you might consider that at our position on the lighthouse balcony we were a full 260 ft above sea level. There was just that one rogue wave, no more, and the sea reverted to the choppy conditions previously prevalent."

This is a real fact about a case of true freaque wave encounter. It convinces me never to doubt an unexplainably high freaque wave that just may have been occurred. We can't explain it, there is no measurement, only an eye witness account -- which could be on the exaggerate side, but its authenticity should not be in doubt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i also was a lighthouse keeper,getting relieved by boat we had to run as a big wave came out of nowhere