About

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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Exploring

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Video highlights

Watch video highlights from the expedition ›

First there was an island – then there was a boat

Shiants 2
“First there was an island – then there was a boat”, so begins a poem by Shetland writer Laureen Johnston.  Since owning my first boat at the age of eleven, I have been an obsessive explorer of islands, the smaller and more remote the better.  Once, in the grip of a sudden attack of aquatic... Read more ›

Oceanographic Survey

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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 ›

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 ›

Rock, wind, sand, peat, water

Sailing to Lochmaddy
Lochboisdale, South Uist. Met with Joanne Ferguson of Scottish Natural Heritage, David Muir from Coast Adapt, and Huw Francis from Storas Uibhist (community landowners of the South Uist Estate, the largest community buyout in Scotland). Small crofting communities, separated by mountains, boggy peat lands and lochs, are scattered along the broken coastlines east and west,... Read more ›

Virtual St Kilda

Village Bay
Although it took me three attempts, I have been lucky enough to visit St Kilda before. This archipelago, the remotest part of the British Isles lying 41 miles west of Benbecula, has been in the news again recently. Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a permanent settlement on Boreray, which could date back to the... Read more ›

Kyla Orr on seaweed

Video Kyla Orr
Kyla Orr of the the Scottish Association for Marine Science talks about her research into the ecological impacts of using seaweed as a biofuel. Video by Matt Wainwright

Mingulay

Cliff ledge
Here on Mingulay is the first place I feel really on the edge of something. On Canna the continuous presence of people over thousands of years is palpable. There’s evidence of habitation from prehistoric times right through to the present day – shell middens, and an old Celtic cross, weathered and worn, broken by cannonballs... Read more ›

Journey’s End

Sailing
And so back home to Eigg.  Behind me, memories galore and plenty to ponder upon. We’d left Tobermory, finally sailing (albeit slowly and into the wind) north-west to the Isle of Rum, the lurch of the boat being more of a challenge to some than others. Rum, its mountains looming large over Loch Scrizort where... Read more ›

Story of an object

Objects
I am interested in how we can draw on the existing materials from the islands and be inspired to find a story within their environment. This story, I believe, is important and creates and emotional connection with an object. If we are able to read the story of an object and are given the beginnings... Read more ›

Provisional itinerary

An Sgurr, Eigg
Over the course of a month we will explore the Outer and Inner Hebrides in a series of four voyages. Our itinerary is subject to change, as wind and weather will influence which islands and harbours we can sail to. We set sail from Oban, stopping at the Isles of Mull, Rum and Eigg before... Read more ›