Friday, 8 February 2013

Port Henderson Mermaid

If anyone is still out there, hello :) I know it's been rather a long while since I last updated my blog, I've got a mountain of stories to tell, but unfortunately I keep letting work get in the way and the stories are patiently queueing in my head (and in my big stack of notebooks) just waiting to be typed out! It's been a quiet winter with little in the way of adventuring but finally having a paid job again has certainly allowed me to expand my bookshelves! Thank you AbeBooks.

I'm going to start by catching up with the rest of my adventures in Skye, Applecross, and North Wales from last year. We start far north of Applecross on the West coast of Scotland in a little fishing village by the name of Port Henderson. John Dixon, Gairloch in North-West Ross-Shire (1886) tells the story best:
"Here is a story of a mermaid; they say it is quite true:- Roderick Mackenzie, the elderly and much respected boatbuilder at Port Henderson, when a young man, went one day to a rocky part of the shore there. Whilst gathering bait he suddenly spied a mermaid asleep among the rocks. Rorie "went for" that mermaid, and succeeded in seizing her by the hair. The poor creature, in great embarrassment, cried out that if Rorie would let go she would grant him whatever boon he might ask. He requested a pledge that no one should ever be drowned from any boat he might build. On his releasing her, the mermaid promised that this should be so. The promise has been kept throughout Rorie's long business career; his boats still defy the stormy winds and waves. I am the happy possessor of an admirable example of Rorie's craft. The most ingenious framers of trade advertisements might well take a hint from this veracious anecdote."
So my map-reading man and I took the long picturesque drive up the coast to Port Henderson. The view from the top of the nearby cliff was breathtaking, with enough nooks and crannys in the rocks to give a mermaid plenty of privacy whilst combing her flowing locks.

We didn't spot any mermaids, however after just looking back through my photos today I have noticed a curious shape in the water near the rocks. Most likely a bird diving into the water, or could it be a mermaids tail? Close up below followed by original photo....

Here are some more beautiful photos taken on the cliffs.... 

 Cormorants on the rocks...

Sources and Further Information
Garloch in North-West Ross-Shire, John Dixon
Copy of above book on Electric Scotland Website
Port Henderson Mermaid, Mysterious Britain
Port Henderson on Street map
Port Henderson, Historical Monuments of Scotland Website


Jodie Humphrey said...

That is most definitely a mermaids tail that you captured there! No other explanation for it :p

The Faery Folklorist said...

Hehe that's what I like to think! :D