Day 6: 16 August 2019 ~ On the Ferry from Scrabster to Stromness – Part 2
Old Man of Hoy
The Old Man of Hoy is a 137meter sea stack on Hoy, part of the Orkney archipelago off the north coast of Scotland. Formed from Old Red Sandstone, it is one of the tallest stacks in the United Kingdom. The Old Man is popular with climbers, and was first climbed in 1966. Created by the erosion of a cliff through hydraulic action some time after 1750, the stack is not more than a few hundred years old, but may soon collapse into the sea.
The Old Man stands close to Rackwick Bay on the west coast of Hoy, in Orkney, Scotland, and can be seen from the Scrabster to Stromness ferry From certain angles it is said to resemble a human figure.
Winds are faster than 8 meters per second (18 mph) for nearly a third of the time, and gales occur on average for 29 days a year. Combined with the depth of the sea, which quickly falls to 60 meters, high-energy waves on the western side of Hoy lead to rapid erosion of the coast.
The Old Man of Hoy is a red sandstone stack, perched on a plinth of basalt rock, and one of the tallest sea stacks in the UK. It is separated from the mainland by a 60-meter chasm strewn with debris, and has nearly vertical sides with a top just a few meters wide. The rock is composed of layers of soft, sandy and pebbly sandstone and harder flagstones of Old Red Sandstone, giving the sides a notched and slab-like profile.
Thank you very much for taking the time to join me on my travels through Scotland. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did.