In July 2011 Cape Farewell embarked on a month-long expedition by boat across the Scottish Islands, bringing the notion and experience of expedition home to the UK, with an exploration of island ecologies and cultures, and of the strategies for sustainable and resilient futures being implemented across the Scottish Isles. More ›

The Crew

The expedition crew of 40 includes island artists, storytellers, film makers, playwrights, architects, designers, musicians, community leaders, social scientists, ecologists, marine biologists, oceanographers, poets, acclaimed Gaelic singers and a chef.
Meet the crew ›

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Video highlights

Watch video highlights from the expedition ›

Searching for chalky waters

The search for plankton continues, this time in between the network of islands that form the Hebrides Archipelago. Maria and I have been sampling seawater to analyze the carbon chemistry and other environmental factors and, at the same time, we have been searching for microscopic plants or ‘plankton’. We are hoping to find the remains... Read more ›

The Puffins of Rona

Video by Erika Blumenfeld and Siôn Parkinson. The day finds me on the remote island of North Rona, which sits on the 59th latitude in the North Atlantic Ocean. Here, amidst the thick salty air and the steep verdant hills, which tumble toward dark rock cliffs into the restless sea, lives a vibrant colony of... Read more ›

St Kilda

Old pictures: the last post boat off out of view, Clear of the shingle beach and Village Bay, Past the stacks, to the mainland, all smoking away As the black peats, dying, for all that still burn And they’ll mist and burn out your eyes if you try To stay and look at them there,... Read more ›

Invention and Intransigence

fish boat polution
Friday visit with Arne Vogler at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Stornaway where he directs the sustainable energy programme. The university is one of 16 colleges and research colleges spread across northern Scotland. His tour with his staff was generous and illuminating where they are researching wave technology, computer mapping of effects... Read more ›

HIORT – Far an laigh a’ghrian (St Kilda – where the sun sets)

D’ dhà shùil bheag bhiolach D’ dhà shùil bheag bhiolach, Dham choimhead tron toll, ‘S cha leig mi ort; cha leig mi ort. Tha càch aig am beinn, ‘ s tha mis’ aig a’ chloinn, ‘S cha leig mi ort; cha leig mi ort. D’ dhà shùil bheag bhiolach, Dham choimhead tron toll, ‘S cha... Read more ›

The Gales

When the gales came in last Old New Year from nowhere And communication lines long-standing were felled, All the single-tracks with passing places were closed And we couldn’t make it out over the sound. We were all stranded and left without power on our own And taken in time back two generations or more To... Read more ›

Down the road

the Harris bus is short pensioners banter long in the tooth not a claw to be seen but my mother said you’d often see a goose on a seat as the gear got a grasp of the side of Clisham

Oceanographic Survey

On the way from Saint Kilda to the Monachs, we conducted an oceanographic survey to measure the temperature and salinity of the water from the surface down to 100m depth. We did this by stopping every five miles to lower a CTD (which measures Conductivity, Temperature and Depth) into the water. Conductivity is used to... Read more ›

Fraoch à Rònaigh

Fraoch à Rònaigh by Julie Fowlis


Abandoned Trimaran 1, Taransay
do dh’ Eoghann MacRath (nach maireann) the fraying loose ends of glass cloth dimples from lost fastenings extant stitching so copper holds delaminating ply our stainless technology is fast up this tidal creek – no evidence of propulsion lichens have a grip harmonic verdigris a weft of salt settled in terrain like feannagan* but songs... Read more ›

Heisker (Monach Islands)

Monach Islands
Swam this morning off Ceann Ear, one of the Monach islands (Heisker) torn from North Uist by centuries of storm and broken into an archipelago of white shell sand beaches, dunes and flowering machair. We travelled in a day from the dark vertical near-impossibility of St Kilda to the horizontal stillness and limitless skies of... Read more ›


I leave the people next door in the village To go to worship, then head up On my own past the bareland beyond Where the MacLeans and the men of Braes lived once. I stop and look back across at where I’ve come from and the Raasay ferry And all the vessels tied up for... Read more ›