Friday, 18 June 2010

Rubbing the sleep out of our eyes, we woke up to another bright blue beautiful morning, the sun beaming down and the only sounds being the quiet lap of waves on the shore and the buzz of a million insects amongst the flowers. What a gorgeous part of the country, and not one of us with a trace of hangover. Wierd.

The morning started with an interesting lecture  from Colin and Paula Martin on the recording and interpretation of wreck sites (with too many interesting stories to cover here), followed by a quick shimmie down the road to have a look at an old beached boat, where Colin  took us through the basic tools and techniques of measuring and surveying, a practical approach to the common difficulties encountered and possible solutions.

Paula also had much to tell us about the intricate  history of piers and keys in the western isles and how their construction was and still is intimately related to ever shifting, far reaching economic and technological changes.

 A long lunch break saw us refreshed and setting off for a ride down the coast to the site of a nineteenth century stone boat house, built by the local toffs for mucking around.

Although this site had  been previously surveyed by Paula and Colin as part of a wider project looking at boat houses and general coastal  features, it made a perfect starting point for us to get stuck in and have a go ourselves.

Most of us had nt used a plain table and laser level before but, being an unusually sharp group of intellects, we soon had a frankly sublime sketch of the boathouse. The team work was a wonder to behold and considering we were walking on the most uneven, cow ploughed, tufty rock-strewn field in Argyll, the fact nobody went over on their ankle was a testiment to the groups'  balancing skills. Impressive.

Everybody came away enthusiatic with the skills we picked up and looking forward to putting them into practice. A cup of tea back at the post office ended a pretty tough day in the field...

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