Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Known as "The Queen of the Hebrides", it lies in Argyll just south west of Jura and around 40 kilometres north of the Northern Irish coast; the island's capital is Bowmore where the distinctive round Kilarrow Parish Church and a distillery are located. Port Ellen is the main port. Islay is the fifth-largest Scottish island and the eighth-largest island of the British Isles, with a total area of 620 square kilometres. There is ample evidence of the prehistoric settlement of Islay and the first written reference may have come in the 1st century AD; the island had become part of the Gaelic Kingdom of Dál Riata during the Early Middle Ages before being absorbed into the Norse Kingdom of the Isles. The medieval period marked a "cultural high point" with the transfer of the Hebrides to the Kingdom of Scotland and the emergence of the Clan Donald Lordship of the Isles centred at Finlaggan. During the 17th century the Clan Donald star waned, but improvements to agriculture and transport led to a rising population, which peaked in the mid-19th century.
This was followed by declining resident numbers. Today, it has over 3,000 inhabitants and the main commercial activities are agriculture, malt whisky distillation and tourism; the island has a long history of religious observance and Scottish Gaelic is spoken by about a quarter of the population. Its landscapes have been celebrated through various art forms and there is a growing interest in renewable energy. Islay is home to many bird species such as the wintering populations of Greenland white-fronted and barnacle goose, is a popular destination throughout the year for birdwatchers; the climate is ameliorated by the Gulf Stream. Islay was recorded by Ptolemy as Epidion, the use of the "p" suggesting a Brittonic or Pictish tribal name. In the seventh century Adomnán referred to the island as Ilea and the name occurs in early Irish records as Ile and as Íl in Old Norse; the root is not Gaelic and of unknown origin. In seventeenth century maps the spelling appears as "Yla" or "Ila", a form still used in the name of the whisky Caol Ila.
In poetic language Islay is known as Banrìgh Innse Gall, or Banrìgh nan Eilean translated as "Queen of the Hebrides" and Eilean uaine Ìle – the "green isle of Islay" A native of Islay is called an Ìleach, pronounced. The obliteration of pre-Norse names is total and place names on the island are a mixture of Norse and Gaelic and English influences. Port Askaig is from the Norse ask-vík, meaning "ash tree bay" and the common suffix -bus is from the Norse bólstaðr, meaning "farm". Gaelic names, or their anglicised versions such as Ardnave Point, from Àird an Naoimh, "height of the saint" are common. Several of the villages were developed in the 18th and 19th centuries and English is a stronger influence in their names as a result. Port Charlotte for example, was named after Lady Charlotte Campbell, daughter of the island's owner, Daniel Campbell of Shawfield. Islay is 40 kilometres long from north to south and 24 kilometres broad; the east coast is rugged and mountainous, rising steeply from the Sound of Islay, the highest peak being Beinn Bheigier, a Marilyn at 1,612 feet.
The western peninsulas are separated from the main bulk of the island by the waters of Loch Indaal to the south and Loch Gruinart to the north. The fertile and windswept southwestern arm is called The Rinns, Ardnave Point is a conspicuous promontory on the northwest coast; the south coast is sheltered from the prevailing winds and, as a result wooded. The fractal coast has numerous bays and sea lochs, including Loch an t-Sailein, Aros Bay and Claggain Bay. In the far southwest is a rocky and now uninhabited peninsula called The Oa, the closest point in the Hebrides to Ireland; the island's population is centred around the villages of Bowmore and Port Ellen. Other smaller villages include Bridgend, Port Charlotte and Port Askaig; the rest of the island is sparsely populated and agricultural. There are several small freshwater lochs in the interior including Loch Finlaggan, Loch Ballygrant, Loch Lossit and Loch Gorm, numerous burns throughout the island, many of which bear the name "river" despite their small size.
The most significant of these are the River Laggan which discharges into the sea at the north end of Laggan Bay, the River Sorn which, draining Loch Finlaggan, enters the head of Loch Indaal at Bridgend. There are numerous small uninhabited islands around the coasts, the largest of which are Eilean Mhic Coinnich and Orsay off the Rinns, Nave Island on the northwest coast, Am Fraoch Eilean in the Sound of Islay, Texa off the south coast; the underlying geology of Islay is intricate for such a small area. The deformed Palaeoproterozoic igneous rock of the Rhinns complex is dominated by a coarse-grained gneiss cut by large intrusions of deformed gabbro. Once thought to be part of the Lewisian complex, it lies beneath the Colonsay Group of metasedimentary rocks that forms the bedrock at the northern end of the Rinns, it is a quartz-rich metamorphic marine sandstone that may be unique to Scotland and, nearly 5,000 metres thick. South of Rubh' a' Mhail there are outcrops of quartzite, a strip of mica schist and limestone cuts across the centre of the island from The Oa to Port Askaig.
Further south is a band of metamorphic quartzite and granites, a continuation of the beds that underlie Jura. The geomorphology of these last two zones is dominated by a fold known as the Islay Anticline. To the south is a "shattered coastline" formed from mica schist and hornblende; the older Bowmor
Jura is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, adjacent to and to the north-east of Islay. With an area of 36,692 hectares, or 142 square miles, only 196 inhabitants recorded in the 2011 census, Jura is much more sparsely populated than neighbouring Islay, is one of the least densely populated islands of Scotland: in a list of the islands of Scotland ranked by size, Jura comes eighth, whereas ranked by population it comes 31st. Jura forms part of the council area of Bute; the island is mountainous and infertile, covered by vast areas of blanket bog, hence its small population. The main settlement is the village of Craighouse on the east coast, its capital. Craighouse is home to the Jura distillery, producing Isle of Jura single malt whisky; the village is home to the island's only hotel and church. Between the northern tip of Jura and the island of Scarba lies the Gulf of Corryvreckan, where a whirlpool makes passage dangerous at certain states of the tide; the southern part of the island, from Loch Tarbert southwards, is designated as a national scenic area, one of 40 such areas in Scotland, which are defined so as to identify areas of exceptional scenery and to ensure its protection from inappropriate development by restricting certain forms of development.
The Jura NSA covers 30,317 hectares in total, consisting of 21,072 ha of land, with a further 9245 ha being marine. The modern name Jura dates from the Norse-Gael era. Two different Old Norse words have been suggested: Dyrøy meaning "deer island" is the accepted derivation. Jurøy, meaning "udder island", in reference to the Paps of Jura; the name was recorded in 678 as Doraid Eilinn meaning "Doraid's Island". The isle of Jura is composed of Dalradian quartzite, a hard metamorphic rock which provides the jagged surface of the Paps. Throughout the western half of the island the quartzite has been penetrated by a number of linear basalt dikes which were formed during a period of intense volcanic activity in the Lower Tertiary period, some 56 million years ago; these dikes are most apparent on the west coast, where erosion of the less-resistant rock into which they are intruded has left them exposed as natural walls. The west coast has a number of raised beaches, which are regarded as a geological feature of international importance.
The island is dominated by three steep-sided conical quartzite mountains on its western side – the Paps of Jura – which rise to 785 metres. There are three major peaks: Beinn an Òir is the highest peak, standing at 785 metres, is thereby a Corbett. Beinn Shiantaidh stands at 757 metres high. Beinn a' Chaolais is the lowest of the Paps; the Paps dominate the landscape in the region and are visible from the Mull of Kintyre and, on a clear day, from the Skye and Northern Ireland. The route of the annual Isle of Jura Fell Race includes all four other hills; these hills were the subject of William McTaggart's 1902 painting The Paps of Jura, now displayed in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Evidence of settlements on Jura dating from the Mesolithic period was first uncovered by the English archaeologist John Mercer in the 1960s. There is a Neolithic chambered cairn at Poll a' Cheo in the southwest of the island. Jura is closer to Ulster than Glasgow, so it should not be unexpected that the Irish crossed the straits of Moyle and established the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata.
It was divided into a handful of regions, controlled by particular kin groups, of which the Cenél nÓengusa controlled Jura and Islay. The kingdom thrived for a few centuries, formed a springboard for Christianisation of the mainland, it is believed that Jura may have been Hinba, the island to which the 6th-century missionary, retreated from the monastic community he founded on Iona, when he wished for a more contemplative life. Dál Riata was destroyed when Vikings invaded, established their own domain, spreading more extensively over the islands north and west of the mainland, including Jura; this became the Kingdom of the Isles, but following the unification of Norway, the islands were under tenuous Norwegian authority, somewhat resisted by local rulers, like Godred Crovan. Following Godred's death, the local population resisted Norway's choice of replacement, causing Magnus, the Norwegian king, to launch a military campaign to assert his authority. In 1098, under pressure from Magnus, the king of Scotland quitclaimed to him all sovereign authority over the isles.
To Norway, the islands became meaning southern isles. The former territory of Dal Riata acquired the geographic description Argyle: the Gaelic coast. Half a century however, the husband of Godred Crovan's granddaughter, led a successful revolt against Norway, transforming Suðreyjar into an independent kingdom. Somerled built the sea fortress of Claig Castle on an island at the southern tip of Jura, establishing control of the Sound of Islay. After his death, nominal Norwegian authority was re-established, but de-facto authority was split between Somerled's sons and the Crovan dynasty. Somerled's son Dougall received the part of Jura north of Loch Tarbert, while Dougal's nephew Donald received the rest of Jura, as well as Islay, lands to the east, it is unclear why Jura was split like this, but it may have been connected to a dispute with Donald's other uncle
A whirlpool is a body of rotating water produced by opposing currents or a current running into an obstacle. Small whirlpools form when a sink is draining. More powerful ones in seas or oceans may be termed maelstroms. Vortex is the proper term for a whirlpool. In narrow ocean straits with fast flowing water, whirlpools are caused by tides. Many stories tell of ships being sucked into a maelstrom, although only smaller craft are in danger. Smaller whirlpools appear at river rapid and can be observed downstream of manmade structures such as weirs and dams. Large cataracts, such as Niagara Falls, produce strong whirlpools; the Maelstrom of Saltstraumen is earth's strongest maelstrom. It is located close to the Arctic Circle, 33 km round the bay on Highway 17, south-east of the city of Bodø, Norway; the strait at its narrowest is 150 m in width and water "funnels" through the channel four times a day. It is estimated; the water is creamy in colour and most turbulent during high tide. It is witnessed by tourists.
It reaches speeds of 40 km/h, with mean speed of about 13 km/h. As navigation is dangerous in this strait only a small segment of time is available for large ships to pass through, its impressive strength is caused by the world's strongest tide occurring in the same location during the new and full moon. A narrow channel of 3 km length connects the outer Saltfjord with its extension, the large Skjerstadfjord, causing a colossal tide which produces the Saltstraumen maelstrom. Moskstraumen is an unusual system of whirlpools in the open seas in the Lofoten Islands off the Norwegian coast, it is the second strongest whirlpool in the world with flow currents reaching speeds as high as 32 km/h. It is mentioned by several movies; the Moskstraumen is formed by the combination of powerful semi-diurnal tides and the unusual shape of the seabed, with a shallow ridge between the Moskenesøya and Værøy islands which amplifies and whirls the tidal currents. The fictional depictions of the Maelstrom by Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Cixin Liu describe it as a gigantic circular vortex that reaches the bottom of the ocean, when in fact it is a set of currents and crosscurrents with a rate of 18 km/h.
Poe described this phenomenon in his short story A Descent into the Maelstrom, which during 1841 was the first to use the word "maelstrom" in the English language. The Corryvreckan is a narrow strait between the islands of Jura and Scarba, in Argyll and Bute, on the northern side of the Gulf of Corryvreckan, Scotland, it is the third-largest whirlpool in the world. Flood tides and inflow from the Firth of Lorne to the west can drive the waters of Corryvreckan to waves of more than 9 metres, the roar of the resulting maelstrom, which reaches speeds of 18 km/h, can be heard 16 kilometres away. Though it was classified as non-navigable by the British navy it was categorized as "extremely dangerous". A documentary team from Scottish independent producers Northlight Productions once threw a mannequin into the Corryvreckan with a life jacket and depth gauge; the mannequin was swallowed and spat up far down current with a depth gauge reading of 262 metres with evidence of being dragged along the bottom for a great distance.
Old Sow whirlpool is located between Deer Island, New Brunswick and Moose Island, Maine, USA. It is given the epithet "pig-like" as it makes a screeching noise when the vortex is at its full fury and reaches speeds of as much as 27.6 km/h. The smaller whirlpools around this Old Sow are known as "Piglets; the Naruto whirlpools are located in the Naruto Strait near Awaji Island in Japan, which have speeds of 26 km/h. Skookumchuck Narrows is a tidal rapids that develops whirlpools, on the Sunshine Coast, Canada with current speeds exceeding 30 km/h. French Pass is a narrow and treacherous stretch of water that separates D'Urville Island from the north end of the South Island of New Zealand. During 2000 a whirlpool there caught student divers. There was a short-lived whirlpool that sucked in a portion of the 1300 acre Lake Peigneur in Louisiana, United States after a drilling mishap in November 1980; this was not a occurring whirlpool, but a man-made disaster caused by underwater drillers breaking through the roof of a salt mine.
The lake drained into the mine until the mine filled and the water levels equalized but the ten-foot deep lake was now 1,300 feet deep. This mishap resulted in destruction of five houses, loss of nineteen barges and eight tug boats, oil rigs, a mobile home, most of a botanical garden; the adjacent settlement of Jefferson Island was reduced in area by 10%. A crater 0.5-mile across was left behind. Nine of the barges which had sunk floated back. A more recent example of a man-made whirlpool that received significant media coverage occurred during early June 2015, when an intake vortex formed in Lake Texoma, on the Oklahoma–Texas border, near the floodgates of the dam that forms the lake. At the time of the whirlpool's formation, the lake was being drained after reaching its highest level ever; the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the dam and lake, expected that the whirlpool would last until the lake reached normal seasonal levels by late July. Powerful whirlpools have killed unlucky seafarers, but their power tends to be exaggerated by laymen.
There are no stories of large ships being sucked into a whirlpool. Tales like those by
In geography, a sound is a large sea or ocean inlet, deeper than a bight and wider than a fjord. There is little consistency in the use of "sound" in English-language place names. A sound is formed by the seas flooding a river valley; this produces a long inlet where the sloping valley hillsides descend to sea-level and continue beneath the water to form a sloping sea floor. The Marlborough Sounds. Sometimes a sound is produced by a glacier carving out a valley on a coast receding, or the sea invading a glacier valley; the glacier produces a sound that has steep, near vertical sides that extend deep under water. The sea floor is flat and deeper at the landward end than the seaward end, due to glacial moraine deposits; this type of sound is more properly termed a fjord. The sounds in Fiordland, New Zealand, have been formed this way. A sound connotes a protected anchorage, they can be part of most large islands. In the more general northern European usage, a sound is a strait or the most narrow part of a strait.
In Scandinavia and around the Baltic Sea, there are more than a hundred straits named Sund named for the island they separate from the continent or a larger island. In contrast, the Sound is the internationally recognized, short name for the Øresund, the narrow stretch of water that separates Denmark and Sweden, is the main waterway between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, it is a colloquial short name, among others, for Plymouth Sound, England. In areas explored by the British in the late 18th Century the northwest coast of North America, the term "sound" was applied to inlets containing large islands, such as Howe Sound in Vancouver and Puget Sound in Washington State, it was applied to bodies of open water not open to the ocean, such as Caamaño Sound or Queen Charlotte Sound in Canada, or broadenings or mergings at the openings of inlets, like Cross Sound in Alaska and Fitz Hugh Sound in British Columbia. In the United States, Long Island Sound separates Long Island from the eastern shores of the Bronx, Westchester County, southern Connecticut, but on the Atlantic Ocean side of Long Island, the body of water between Long Island and its barrier beaches is termed the Great South Bay.
Pamlico Sound is a similar lagoon that lies between North Carolina and its barrier beaches, the Outer Banks, in a similar situation. The Mississippi Sound separates the Gulf of Mexico from the mainland, along much of the gulf coasts of Alabama and Mississippi. On the West Coast, Puget Sound, by contrast, is a deep arm of the ocean; the term sound is derived from the Anglo-Saxon or Old Norse word sund, which means "swimming". The word sund is documented in Old Norse and Old English as meaning "gap"; this suggests a relation to verbs meaning "to separate", such as absondern and aussondern, söndra, sondre, as well as the English noun sin, German Sünde, Swedish synd. English has the adjective "asunder" and the noun "sundry', Swedish has the adjective sönder. In Swedish and in both Norwegian languages, "sund" is the general term for any strait. In Swedish and Nynorsk, it is part of names worldwide, such as in Swedish "Berings sund" and "Gibraltar sund", in Nynorsk "Beringsundet" and "Gibraltarsundet".
Broad Sound near Clairview, Queensland Camden Sound at Kuri Bay, Western Australia Cockburn Sound, Western Australia Denham Sound, part of Shark Bay in Western Australia King George Sound at Albany, Western Australia King Sound at Derby, Western Australia Montague Sound, near Bigge Island, Western Australia Noosa Sound, Queensland York Sound, Western Australia Exuma Sound, bordered by Eleuthera, Cat Island and Great Exuma, among others Millars Sound, New Providence North Sound, Bimini Rock Sound, Eleuthera Great Sound, towards the island's northwest end Harrington Sound, towards the northeast end Little Sound, part of Great Sound North Sound, Virgin Gorda South Sound, Virgin Gorda Amet Sound on the northern coast of Nova Scotia on the Northumberland Strait Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia Baynes Sound between Denman Island and Vancouver Island, British Columbia Chatham Sound, off the North Coast of British Columbia Clayoquot Sound in Vancouver Island, British Columbia Cumberland Sound in Baffin Island's east coast Desolation Sound between the Discovery Islands and the coast of British Columbia Eclipse Sound between Baffin Island and Bylot Island in Nunavut Eureka Sound between Ellesmere Island and Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut Fitz Hugh Sound on the Central Coast of British Columbia Hamilton Sound between Fogo Island and the Island of Newfoundland Howe Sound, an inlet northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia Jones Sound between Devon Island and Ellesmere Island in Nunavut Kyuquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia Lancaster Sound between Devon Island and Baffin Island in Nunavut Massey Sound between Amund Ringnes Island and Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut Nansen Sound between Ellesmere Island and Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut Newman Sound in Terra Nova National Park and Labrador Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia Northumberland Sound between Maclean Strait and Norwegian Bay, Nunavut Owen Sound in Ontario Parry Sound in Ontario Peel Sound between Prince of Wales Island and Somerset Island in Nunavut Quatsino Sound on northern Vancouver Island Queen Charlotte Sound off British Columbia Random Sound near Clarenville in Newfoundland and Labrador Roes Welcome Sound between Southampton Island and Hudson Bay's west shore in Nunavut Severn Sound in O
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun, the rotation of the Earth. Tide tables can be used for any given locale to find the predicted times and amplitude; the predictions are influenced by many factors including the alignment of the Sun and Moon, the phase and amplitude of the tide, the amphidromic systems of the oceans, the shape of the coastline and near-shore bathymetry. They are however only predictions, the actual time and height of the tide is affected by wind and atmospheric pressure. Many shorelines experience low tides each day. Other locations have a diurnal tide -- one low tide each day. A "mixed tide" – two uneven magnitude tides a day – is a third regular category. Tides vary on timescales ranging from hours to years due to a number of factors, which determine the lunitidal interval. To make accurate records, tide gauges at fixed stations measure water level over time. Gauges ignore; these data are compared to the reference level called mean sea level.
While tides are the largest source of short-term sea-level fluctuations, sea levels are subject to forces such as wind and barometric pressure changes, resulting in storm surges in shallow seas and near coasts. Tidal phenomena are not limited to the oceans, but can occur in other systems whenever a gravitational field that varies in time and space is present. For example, the shape of the solid part of the Earth is affected by Earth tide, though this is not as seen as the water tidal movements. Tide changes proceed via the following stages: Sea level rises over several hours, covering the intertidal zone; the water rises to its highest level. Sea level falls over several hours; the water stops reaching low tide. Oscillating currents produced by tides are known as tidal streams; the moment that the tidal current ceases is called slack tide. The tide reverses direction and is said to be turning. Slack water occurs near high water and low water, but there are locations where the moments of slack tide differ from those of high and low water.
Tides are semi-diurnal, or diurnal. The two high waters on a given day are not the same height; the two low waters each day are the higher low water and the lower low water. The daily inequality is not consistent and is small when the Moon is over the Equator. From the highest level to the lowest: Highest astronomical tide – The highest tide which can be predicted to occur. Note that meteorological conditions may add extra height to the HAT. Mean high water springs – The average of the two high tides on the days of spring tides. Mean high water neaps – The average of the two high tides on the days of neap tides. Mean sea level – This is the average sea level; the MSL is constant for any location over a long period. Mean low water neaps – The average of the two low tides on the days of neap tides. Mean low water springs – The average of the two low tides on the days of spring tides. Lowest astronomical tide and Chart Datum – The lowest tide which can be predicted to occur. Modern charts use this as the chart datum.
Note that under certain meteorological conditions the water may fall lower than this meaning that there is less water than shown on charts. Tidal constituents are the net result of multiple influences impacting tidal changes over certain periods of time. Primary constituents include the Earth's rotation, the position of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth, the Moon's altitude above the Earth's Equator, bathymetry. Variations with periods of less than half a day are called harmonic constituents. Conversely, cycles of days, months, or years are referred to as long period constituents. Tidal forces affect the entire earth. In contrast, the atmosphere is much more fluid and compressible so its surface moves by kilometers, in the sense of the contour level of a particular low pressure in the outer atmosphere. In most locations, the largest constituent is the "principal lunar semi-diurnal" known as the M2 tidal constituent, its period is about 12 hours and 25.2 minutes half a tidal lunar day, the average time separating one lunar zenith from the next, thus is the time required for the Earth to rotate once relative to the Moon.
Simple tide clocks track this constituent. The lunar day is longer than the Earth day because the Moon orbits in the same direction the Earth spins; this is analogous to the minute hand on a watch crossing the hour hand at 12:00 and again at about 1:05½. The Moon orbits the Earth in the same direction as the Earth rotates on its axis, so it takes more than a day—about 24 hours and 50 minutes—for the Moon to return to the same location in the sky. During this time, it has passed overhead once and underfoot once, so in many places the period of strongest tidal forcing is the above-mentioned, about 12 hours and 25 minutes; the moment of highest tide is not when the Moon is nearest to zenith or nadir, but the period of the forcing still determines the time between high tides. Because the gravitational field created by the Moon weakens
Colonsay is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, located north of Islay and south of Mull. The ancestral home of Clan Macfie and the Colonsay branch of Clan MacNeil, it is in the council area of Argyll and Bute and has an area of 4,074 hectares. Aligned on a south-west to north-east axis, it measures 8 miles in length and reaches 3 miles at its widest point. Although Colonsay appears bare and somewhat forbidding on approach from the sea, its landscape is varied, with several beautiful sandy beaches, a sheltered and fertile interior, unusually well-wooded for a Hebridean island, it is linked by a tidal causeway to Oronsay. The highest point on the island is 143 metres above sea level; the Colonsay Group, which takes its name from the island, is an estimated 5,000 m thick sequence of mildly metamorphosed Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks that outcrop on the islands of Islay and Oronsay and the surrounding seabed. The sequence has been correlated with the Grampian Group, the oldest part of the Dalradian Supergroup.
In 1995 evidence of large-scale Mesolithic nut shelling, some 8,000 years ago, was found in a midden pit at Staosnaig on the island's sheltered east coast, in a large, shallow pit full of the remains of hundreds of thousands of burned hazelnut shells. Hazelnuts have been found on other Mesolithic sites, but in such quantities or concentrated in one pit; the nuts were radiocarbon dated to 7720±110 BP, which calibrates to c. 6000 BCE. Similar sites in Britain and its dependencies are known only at Farnham in Surrey and Cass ny Hawin on the Isle of Man; this discovery gives an insight into communal activity and forward planning of the period. The nuts were harvested in a single year and pollen analysis suggests that the hazel trees were all cut down at the same time; the scale of the activity, unparalleled elsewhere in Scotland, the lack of large game on the island, suggests that Colonsay's inhabitants were vegetarian. The pit was on a beach close to the shore, there were two smaller stone-lined pits, whose function remains obscure, a hearth, a second cluster of pits.
There are a variety of ruined hill forts on the island such as Dùn Meadhonach. The eighth century Riasg Buidhe Cross has been re-erected in the gardens of Colonsay House. St Cathan's Chapel may date from the 14th century; the ruins of the Chapel of St. Mary are little more than foundations and may date to an earlier period. In 1549 Dean Monro wrote that Colonsay was "seven myle lange from the northeist to the southwest, with twa myle bredthe, ane fertile ile guid for quhit fishing, it hath ane paroch kirke. This ile is bruikit be ane gentle capitane, callit M’Duffyhe, pertened of auld to Clandonald of Kyntyre. During the 18th century the lairds of the island were Macneils, included Archibald Macneil. Colonsay House was first built by the Mcneil family in 1722. Since 1904 the house has been the property of the island's owners, the Barons Strathcona and Mount Royal. Colonsay was owned by Euan Howard, 4th Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal until his death in 2018 and Colonsay House is occupied by his elder son, Alexander Howard, 5th Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal and his family.
In 2013 the Argyll and Bute Council threatened legal action against Alexander Howard over the state of the Rubh' Aird Alanais beach following the significant removal of gravel leading to large holes. Howard infuriated island residents, by accusing them of removing gravel from a beach without permission. Locals said that innocent people had been labelled "thieves" and "peasants", it was discovered that the gravel had been removed by a builder working on behalf of one of the crofters. The island's population was 124 as recorded by the 2011 census an increase of nearly 15% since 2001 when there were 108 usual residents. During the same period Scottish island populations as a whole grew by 4% to 103,702. Colonsay's main settlement is Scalasaig on the east coast. There has been a growth of tourism as the mainstay of the island's economy, with numerous holiday cottages, many of them owned and managed by the Isle of Colonsay Estate; the Colonsay Hotel, the only hotel on the island, is estate owned. The island has a tiny bookshop specialising in books of local interest.
There is a hotel overlooking the harbour, a cafe and bakery, a shop and post office. Colonsay's best known beach, Kiloran Bay, is a vast stretch of golden sands and draws locals and tourists alike while maintaining an isolated and peaceful atmosphere. Colonsay Community Development Company, the local development trust is “engaged in a range of work which reflects a sustainable approach to the regeneration of our island”. Current projects include running the islands coal supply and only petrol pump, a major Rhododendron ponticum eradication programme and a feasibility study into the possibility of improving the harbour and surrounding area. 2007 saw the opening of the Colonsay Brewery, a micro-brewery that employs two people and offers three different products. Colonsay is the smallest island in the world with its own brewery. In 2016 Colonsay Brewery launched a gin, called Wild Island Botanic Gin, distilled with hand gathered wild botanicals from the island, it is distilled at Langley Distillery in a cooperation with master distiller Robb Dorsett.
In February 2017 a company called Wild Thyme Spirits Ltd brought out a product called Colonsay Gin, believed to be distilled at Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire and sold, unusually, in 50 cl bottles. The nature of island life was exemplified by a story reported in 1993 that, at that time, the last recorded cri
A skerry is a small rocky island too small for human habitation. It may be a rocky reef. A skerry can be called a low sea stack. A skerry may have vegetative life such as small, hardy grasses, they in some areas of the world, are rested upon by animals such as seals or birds, though not inhabited. The term skerry is derived from the Old Norse sker; the Old Norse term sker was brought into the English language via the Scots language word spelled skerrie or skerry. It is a cognate of the Scandinavian languages' words for skerry – Icelandic, Faroese: sker, Danish: skær, Swedish: skär, Norwegian: skjær / skjer, found in German: Schäre, Finnish: kari, Estonian: skäär, Latvian: šēra, Lithuanian: Šcheras and Russian: шхеры. In Scottish Gaelic, it appears as sgeir, e.g. Sula Sgeir, in Irish as sceir, in Welsh as sgeri, in Manx as skeyr. Skerries are most formed at the outlet of fjords where submerged glacially formed valleys at right angles to the coast join with other cross valleys in a complex array.
In some places near the seaward margins of fjorded areas, the ice-scoured channels are so numerous and varied in direction that the rocky coast is divided into thousands of island blocks, some large and mountainous while others are rocky points or rock reefs that menace navigation. The island fringe of Norway is such a group of glacially formed skerries. By this channel one can travel through a protected passage the entire 1,600 km route from Stavanger to North Cape, Norway; the Blindleia is a skerry-protected waterway that starts near Kristiansand in southern Norway, continues past Lillesand. The "inside passage" provides a similar route from Seattle, Washington to Alaska, yet another such skerry-protected passage extends from the Straits of Magellan north for 800 km along the west coast of the South American continent. The Swedish coast along Bohuslän is guarded by skerries; the east coast of Sweden, in the Baltic Sea, has many big skärgårdar, notably Stockholm archipelago - Stockholms skärgård.
The southwestern coast of Finland has a great many skerries. This area is experiencing post-glacial rebound that connects the rising islands as they break sea level, revealing till deposits and clay bottoms; the skerries exist as small rocky islands before uplift of adjacent terrain changes the classification of this landform into a tombolo. In the Russian Federation, the best examples are the Minina Skerries, located in the Kara Sea, in the western shores of the Taymyr Peninsula, the Sumsky Skerries 64°24′N 35°30′E, located in the White Sea; the United Kingdom has a large number of skerries including Staple Island in England. Skerries is the name of a coastal area of Dublin, with many skerries offshore, including Rockabill, Shenick Island, Colt Island and St Patrick's Island; the most southerly skerries are the Skrap Skerries off South Georgia. Stack