Scenic cruising Boreray and Stac Lee
Boreray is a small island northeast of the St. Kilda Archipelago in the Outer Hebrides island of Scotland in the Atlantic Ocean. Just offshore of Boreray are two sea stacks, towering rock escarpments rising sheer from the sea. These are Stac an Armin and Stac Lee. They are the tallest sea stacks in Britain. Stac an Armin ascends 643 ft./196 m. above the waves. Stac Lee is said to rise 564 ft./172 m., so both qualify as “Marilyns” of over 150 meters in height. Stac Lee was successfully ascended by a party of three climbers in May of 1990. They found the climb “fairly easy,” but remarked that getting onto the stack was terrifying, having to jump from a boat in swells, and clamber up an overhanging cliff covered in slippery weed. Together these three prominences support the largest colony of Northern gannets in the world, estimated at 60,000 breeding pairs. 14,000 nest sites have been identified on Stac Lee alone. These handsome white birds, with ivory-colored heads and black wing-tips, take off, circle, dive straight down into the sea, then rise and return in their thousands endlessly as your ship circles the looming cliffs that are their home, in an impressive vision of nature’s exuberant abundance.