The logical follow up to the Nice timelapse video from a flight to Islay post is quite obvious: The return flight. It takes a different route, flying across Islay and then along the west coast of Jura, including a view of Scarba with the Corryvreckan at the northern end of Jura. Didn’t look like it was running when Paul passed though. I hope you’ll enjoy the return flight as much as the outbound flight:
I’m hoping there will be more videos like this showing Islay and her neighbours in all their glory. Paul has hinted there might be videos with both straight ahead and side views, showing different angles.
I’ve shared a few videos of flights to/from Islay over the years, although I don’t think I’ve had a flight from Perth yet. Well, that’s what I found today. A nice timelapse video by Paul Barnett of a flight from Perth to Islay, passing Loch Lomond and the Clyde on the way. It’s only just over two minutes long, enjoy the fleeting views:
I quite liked the explanations of the places Paul passed on his way, thought this was really nicely done. Also found the views of the clouds flying past strangely fascinating yet soothing (obviously they don’t do that in real time). Well done Paul, thanks for sharing.
Recently I’ve read a few articles and watched a few videos about images and pictures created by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Some were really impressive and there are concerns about the AI software replacing human illustrators and designers. So I thought I’ll give it a try and put some of online AI image generators to the test and find out how much they know about Islay. The AI image generators ask you to enter a text description of the image you’re after and then go away and generate the image(s):
The description I usually used was “whisky distilleries on the island of Islay in Scotland”. I thought that should give the AI enough pointers to work with, the terms whisky, distilleries, island, Scotland and of course Islay.
As you might expect several of the generators came up with a variety of white washed buildings, often in a coastal setting. What surprised me a bit were the strangely shaped chimneys (?) some included. Was the AI merging the shape of a still with a chimney?
However, not all generators went for the white washed buildings, some had different ideas. I found this one quite interesting, I wonder if the design was somehow “inspired” by the big windows at Caol Ila?
Yet the same AI image generator also came up with a more traditional white washed building. With a strange chimney or lighthouse (not sure what that’s supposed to be?) on the roof for good measure:
Another one came up with what reminded me of a farm distillery, although it also has some strange chimney/lighthouse/church like tower. At least the surrounding landscape is looking vaguely Islayish:
And then it started to turn a bit weird. I get the vaguely coastal landscape. I get the vaguely distillery like buildings. But what is that thing on the top of the sunset painted buildings with some weird word on the side?
To close another picture from the same AI. In a way I somehow like it, although I only understand it partially. I kind of like the mixture of weathered buildings combined with what I think is a dram of whisky. But what on earth is that building on the left?
I hope you found these pictures interesting, fascinating, confusing, disturbing, inspiring, funny or some other term I forgot. Please let me know in the comments what you thought of the pictures, did you like them, which were your favourites, do you think AI images will be a success or any thoughts you have.
John Munday and his best friend went to Islay in March 2022, staying at Easter Ellister Farmhouse. They mainly went for the whisky, but there were also visits to the beautiful beaches and some paddleboarding. Oh, and they were lucky enough to enjoy some amazing weather:
I hope you enjoyed the lovely views from the air and from the water, from the distilleries and from the beaches, all in glorious Islay sunshine. Nice work, John!
It’s time for this week’s Islay video. This weekend we’re going to Saligo Bay again (and will again in a future video, as it’s so videogenic, if that’s a word). The occasion was a breezy April evening a few years back with waves rolling in from the Atlantic and algae foam being blown across the beach by the blustery wind. I hope you enjoy the walk and views along the beach:
This was during high tide, so the water was coming up almost all the way to dunes, pushing in also by the strong winds. Managed to walk along the rocks at the foot of the dunes for some nice views in the beautiful mild evening light.
If you’d like to see more, I’ve just created an Islay’s Saligo Bay playlist with all my videos from this beach. Currently it contains 10 videos, I hope to add at least one more over the coming weeks. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel (if you’re not already subscribed), then you can be alerted to new videos whenever I upload one.
To close, well, if you’re a regular reader you know the drill: While I can’t promise anything I hope to publish another video next weekend. It will probably be a drone video, either revisiting Port Charlotte (long in the pipeline…) or of Finlaggan. Fingers crossed and watch this space.
Exciting and exclusive news for Islay whisky lovers and in particular whisky collectors today: In addition to actual bottles from the established distilleries you can soon start collecting virtual NFW bottles from Islay’s first NFID! The future of whisky collecting has arrived….
The brand new distillery is called AFIW™ Distillery (Not sure what AFIW™ stands for and how it is pronounced, I believe the name might be of Gaelic origin?) and will be completely located in the Cloud, meaning no impact on Islay’s creaking roads and other infrastructure.
So how will it all work?
Launched today you can either buy a limited NFW cask or a limited NFW bottle future. The first NFW casks will be calculated today using the extremely secure 512 byte P.E.A.T. (Petaflop Excentric Algorithmic Triangulation) method also used in AlbaCoin. The casks will then be aged for a minimum of 3 years (usually longer, 10 years or more) using the innovative new Blockaging technology.
Each cask is of course unique and the information is recorded in the Blockchain. Once the cask has aged for the time specified in the Blockaging (pronounced block-aging) token it can be bottled into individual virtual bottles, again each bottle is numbered and recorded in the Blockchain. The value of a cask (NFWC) and/or bottle (NFWB) will of course depend on their rarity. There will be some varieties where only one single cask will be generated (and subsequently a limited number of bottles). These will of course be more valuable than varieties with multiple casks and therefore more bottles.
Each bottling will have dedicated NFW bottle token virtual artwork, so that you’ve got something to look at while reading the virtual tasting notes. Meaning you can taste your rare and expensive collection virtually, unlike your real collectors bottles which are locked away in a safe.
This all sounds very fascinating, finally the future has arrived for the avid Islay whisky collector! Experts are predicting a brisk trade with significant value gains for both NFWCs and NFWBs.
Will you be investing in NFW from AFIW™ Distillery, the first NFID?
It’s about time I go through some of my bookmarks and notes from the last couple of weeks (or even months) and share some of the articles and more about or at least mentioning Islay. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to read and possibly share:
To start with travel writer Peter Irvine shares his favourite spots on Scotland’s loveliest islands, which of course includes Islay and Jura. They are spots 6-9, the Paps of Jura, Geese at Gruinart, Carraig Fhada Lighthouse and the Machrie Hotel.
Uproxx (which seems to be a music, film and lifestyle website) writes about a whisky-centric trip to Scotland with a few stops on Islay. The Islay stops are Bowmore Hotel Lucci’s Whisky Bar and Kilchoman distillery. Also an honourable mention for Ardbeg and Lagavulin distilleries. Not to forget plenty Islay pictures.
This one took me a bit longer to edit than expected, so it’s only going out quite late this Sunday evening. But I hope the wait was worth it and you’ll enjoy this video of a drone flight around Lagavulin Bay. Obviously views of Lagavulin distillery and Dunyvaig Castle (well, the ruin of it). But there’s more, as I flew around the whole bay, so you get to see the Islay Marine Centre, Stormpods, the village of Lagavulin and more. There are also brief distant views of Texa, towards Port Ellen and over to Ardbeg.
And of course there’s something else: How good are your eyes (and attention)? Did you spot the Seal on the rock in the bay? If not you might want to watch the video again and see if you can spot it this time.
I’m hoping to edit another Islay video next weekend as well, but as usual no promises. The topic of the video will probably be Saligo Bay, but I haven’t made a final decision yet.
Time to share this weekend’s Islay video editing project. No 360° or drone footage this time, instead we actually stay quite low to the ground. For a brief moment we even go under water. We take a closer look at the old wreck of the Patti on Kilchoman beach as it looked in June 2015. As many will know the beach moves almost constantly and with it the visibility of the wreck changes. Sometimes it disappears completely, sometimes only the highest parts towards the stern are visible, sometimes the outline of the whole ship is visible. When I filmed the footage for this video it was the latter:
Not a lot is known about the wreck, I’ve been told the following: It is believed to be an early steamship with a square boiler, wrecked in the 1840s and called “Patti”. That’s about all known about her.
I filmed the footage with a GoPro camera in a waterproof housing, allowing me to get quite close to the ground and at one point even to go under water. Thought a different perspective of the wreck might be interesting for some. Also tried to pass quite low along the wreck, as the GoPro doesn’t have a gimbal its a bit rough, but I think it’s good enough to share. I hope you like what I’ve edited together.
Hoping to edit another video next weekend again, but as usual of course no promises. Haven’t made a decision yet, but most likely it will be another drone video, either of Lagavulin and Dunyvaig or of Finlaggan. As the saying goes, watch this blog (or subscribe to my YouTube channel).
As mentioned last weekend I was hoping to edit another Saligo Bay Islay video this week. Luckily I managed to do just that and YouTube processed it quite quickly as well (previous 360° videos for some reason took a long time), as this weekend’s new Islay video is a 360° video of a June sunset at Saligo Bay. It’s a about 11 minutes of all round views of the sunset from three different locations, starting down on the beach and ending up on the top of the dunes. I hope you’ll enjoy the views and the light:
Similar to previous 360° videos you can spot me loitering around in the background, walking around, enjoying the sunset and taking pictures. If you happen to look into the right direction at the right time you’ll also see me appearing out of / disappearing into thin air a couple of times. Haven’t worked out a way yet to avoid that when cutting together multiple clips from the same location.
Again no promises, but I’m hoping to complete another video next week. Haven’t decided yet what it will be, but I’m currently considering three options: The wreck on Kilchoman beach, Port Charlotte from the air revisited or Lagavulin & Dunyvaig from the air. Fingers crossed I can get one of them done.