Flannan Islands, Outer Hebrides

On Location: Flannan Islands

Zegrahm Contributor|July 11, 2011|Blog Post

The name alone should send shivers up and down your spine. As a photo appeared on the screen at Recap for our next adventure, there was a gasp in the crowd...okay, not really. But everyone’s eyes got wide and there were definitely some nervous giggles—and that was from the staff! The Flannan Islands, known for their lighthouse, is a place shrouded in mystery—literally. In December 1900, the three lighthouse keepers simply disappeared. When the crew of a supply ship sent to restock the lighthouse made their way up, they found a table set for a meal, an overturned chair, and no sign of the three men. Talk about spooky…

But our goal today was to see puffins! Upon arrival, we were shown the landing and staircase leading up the side of the cliff that we would need to climb in order to see the colorful-beaked birds. The scouting party rigged heavy rope to aid our ascent, as the first two steps were gone, and the other 79 took our breath away. And there, at the top of the landing just feet away from us, we could see those bright orange bills, and the black-and-white bodies peeking over the ledge to check us out. You could almost reach out and touch them, they were so close! Great picture opportunities abounded as the birds were not frightened of us. A few daring souls wandered up to the lighthouse in search of the ghosts of the three missing lighthouse keepers. Luckily, none of us were spooked and once everyone had their fill of puffins and ghosts, it was back down the rope to the landing and a quick Zodiac ride to the ship.

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