Eriskay Causeway – standing on the bridge, my back turned against the wind blasting in off An Cuan Siar [literally, The Western Ocean, ie The Atlantic.].
Before me – to the east of the causeway – is the Sound of Eriskay – Caolais Eorisgaidh, where the ebbing tide is checked by the causeway, the bridge presenting the only gap – a mere 20m or so – in all the 1500m or so of causeway. The waters of the Caolais wait their turn, calmly, unruffled.
On the other side of the causeway, the waters of Caolais Bharraigh – the Sound of Barra – are free to fall away, unrestrained, absorbed into the mighty Atlantic, and are already two metresor so lower than they were on the Sound of Eriskay side. Under the bridge, the rush of the water is fearful indeed : I dare not peek under the bridge for fear of the violent gusts that strike without warning. You will just to have to imagine, on the strength of these words.
The energy gained by the waters rushing headlong under the bridge is not quickly dissipated, not by the weight of the weight of the seas that they blunder into, nor by the waves driving in from the west, nor even by the wind. Never, surely, did any attacking army break through the ranks of its sworn enemy with as much malevolence! Alas, a still picture fails to capture the speed and violence, the spume thrown up and the noise … and as to a video, well, I tried, and failed.
And yet, within another hour or two, and low tide, the two sides will shake hands and take a wee rest. Before rehearsing the drama yet again, but in the opposite direction, like football teams swapping ‘ends’ at half time!