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.
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Video highlights

Watch video highlights from the expedition ›

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 ›

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

Tarasaigh

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 ›

Moment

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 ›

Long-lines

They’d all have cleared and ploughed and harrowed up and down and sown in turn Each lot of tacked inbye, outrun, drill and rig in their own townships and been around The headlands of the Horn and Hope in the image here from way back when The burns, black as the Styx, were full of... Read more ›

Blue Bonnets

Blue Bonnets
Shot by Matt Wainwright

To Finlay MacDonald, St Kilda / Dha Fionnlagh MacDhomnaill a Hiort

Boreray from St Kilda (Photo by Natasha Freedman)
This poem was written by Norman Campbell from Ness, Lewis for Finlay MacDonald, one of the last great gannet hunters on St Kilda. To slaughter the gannets, the hunters first had to target the watch bird. The community left the island in 1930, leaving the jagged cliffs to the gannets (solan geese).   Finlay Macdonald... Read more ›

Monachs

Lighthouse, Monach Islands
machair spills a rough greening to the sandline this is where sea gets eroded but it kicks back on the other side repels boarding boulders tosses them like pups a long way in the harling’s gone so you see the join – bricks over stone maybe one shift of scale was enough  – market, catch... Read more ›

St Kilda archipelago

Chart St Kilda
it’ s a particular three individual spears dipping and trimming in nearly mutual response to airs and in present documented light two islands of a known group are bare to their midriff rock but you know they possess summits somewhere in the drizzle and a whole neighbour still concealed  

Balranald

Ordnance Survey, North Uist
eyebright and kidney vetch but it’s ladies’s vetch that thickens milk by rye and bere and cousins of corn-buntings dulse dulls in dry warmth it will shine maroon in broth as residue of other seaweed tribes filters to ragworm and in turn to dunlin