The MacNeils Were Skilled Seafarers

Noah offered the MacNeil clan chief a place on the Ark, but the MacNeil turned down the offer, saying that he had a boat of his own.

The MacNeils clan stronghold is Kishmul Castle in  Barra. The castle is in a bay that is called Castlebay.

My Father’s favorite song was Kishmul’s Galley. He knew about half the words but sang it with great gusto, especially the stanza:

“Here’s red wine and feast for heroes

And harping too,
O hio hu!

Sweet harping too!

O hio huo faluo! ”

Costs a fortune to heat

Here is the whole song.

High from the Ben a Hayich
On a day of days
Seaward I gaz’d,
Watching Kishmul’s galley sailing.
O hio huo faluo!

Homeward she bravely battles
‘Gainst the hurtling waves
Nor hoop nor yards,
Anchor, cable, nor tackle has she.
O hio huo faluo!

Now at last ‘gainst wind and tide
They’ve brought her to
‘Neath Kishmul’s walls,
Kishmul Castle our ancient glory.
O hio huo faluo!

Here’s red wine and feast for heroes
And harping too,
O hio hu!
Sweet harping too!
O hio huo faluo!


Here it is sung in Gaelic.

I did not think the bongos were played much on Barra.

Anyway I now have a boat. My wonderful, previous neighbors, Jordan, Conni and Heidi have a sea canoe, which is now kept under my deck. They kindly allow me to use it. It is called a Cobra Fish n Dive.

Kishmul’s Kayak

I can just pull it down to the shore, paddle out to obscure parts of the reef in front of the house and er fish and dive.

Sailing homeward to Mingulay

I am very excited! Bright sunshine, warm azure sea, pull exotic fish out for my supper, flop over the side and dive down  to Turtletown, drink cold beer on the way home, sing Kishmul’s Galley.

Under the boardwalk

I do not actually have to do any of this.  I now have sufficient props to make the daydream a possibility. This is key.  I usually find imagining stuff is more fun than doing it.

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