Blue men hold guard over the little island of Eynhallow. For 6 hours they wave their arms eastwards and 6 hours westwards, creating big standing white crested waves in the water. With their long groping arms they grab everything that tries to get to the island.
But there is a moment in the turning of the tide, you can sneak past the blue man unnoticed and cross over to their treasure island to see what they are guarding. But you have to be careful not to catch their eye or make too much noise!
Gently we slide our kayaks in the water and paddle lightly not disturb the water too much. We silently approach the eastern beach. Immediately we are betrayed by the baby seals who pop up next to our boats and slap their tails on the water like a signal to the blue men. Like little spies, they keep staring at us from the safety of the water as we pull the boat up the beach. We are safe and out of reach of the blue man.
First, we see a house on the island. It is used by the University of Aberdeen to study the nesting Fulmars on the island. Nobody home.
As we walk around the island and find a beautiful small 12th-century monastery. Bright and white in the morning sunshine. Nature has taken over this sturdy building and covert the outside walls with white woolly lycken. Even without a roof, it looks impressive with it’s wide buttressed, the mosses and the tall grass on top of the walls give the suggestion of a roof. Sunlight streams in the church lightening up the dome-shaped archways. Those upwards shapes give the building a serene quality.
The little niches and recesses in the walls where the monks used to burn candles are now used by the fulmars as nesting places. Every nest has a tag number made of white plastic, placed there by the researchers to keep track of the nesting activities. It must be very beneficial to reproduce in this church. According to the research, the parent fulmar 880 is already 50 years old! It’s an ecclesiastic bird, a monk bird, a miracle bird! Who is blessed every year!
Perhaps after this visit, I am blessed as well? Will visiting this monastery give me unnatural long life too? I don’t know, but I feel very invigorated and refreshed. So it must be true, I’m sure of it! But I must not say this so loud. What if more people find out…..?
Heaven forbid this little monastery on this small island turning into a place of pilgrimage. Imagine all those old people on the Kirkwall cruise ships come here to pray for longevity! Like the Lourdes of the north with hotels, restaurants and gift shops! A boat with a strong engine to withstand the blue men. Everyone wanting to take some of the stone of the monastery with them, believing it gives long life. There will be nothing left of the building within a few years. That would be terrible! Just imagine, a big glass building built over the monastery. Just to preserve what is left. No birds nesting there anymore, defeated and burned out blue men….
Now I know what the blue men are protecting with their long groping arms, the secret of long life. Did I tell you how to fool the blue man? Forget that! I won’t tell a soul about this miracle on the island of Eynhallow.
Little island of Eynhallow, you can count on me, your secret is safe with me.