Conditions in the Minch are now poor, and all on board Iolaire are glad that the journey is nearly over. The passengers, most of them familiar with the passage to Stornoway, are snoozing their way, lulled to slumber by the steady if roughish motion of the waves that Iolaire rides. The captain goes down below to rest, his second-in-command takes over on the bridge. A fishing boat is also on its way home to Stornoway, and is running a broadly parallel course to Iolaire.
passengers can now see the lights of Stornoway ahead, as well as the
familiar signal of the Arnish Lighthouse and its secondary beacon. All
begin to stir and start to prepare for disembarkation, which is now only
about a quarter of or half an hour away. But all is not well. The
sound of waves striking shore becomes audible over the noise of wind
The next noise is a far greater one. Iolaire changes
course abruptly, as the crew realise they have overshot the harbour
entrance. But it is too late. At 1.55 am, the ship comes to a crashing
halt on the rocks of the Beasts of Holm.