Lighthouse Letters
By Sharma Krauskopf

This is an article by Sharma Krauskopf from Michigan who fell in love with Scotland - and decided to buy a lighthouse keepers' cottage at Eshaness, a remote location in Shetland, in the far north of Scotland and live there each winter. These pages were previously part of the "Scottish Radiance e-magazine Web site which was created by Sharma.

Poor Dore Holm

Dore Holm - Graphic by Sharma Krauskopf

One of the most famous sights as you drive up the Eshaness road is a gigantic sea stack named Dore Holm (See graphic above by Sharma and on the right by David Medcalf, via Wikimedia). Not only is Dore large but he is shaped like a dinosaur with his head bent to catch something in the water. My first trip to Eshaness was when we came to evaluate the lighthouse for possible purchase. One of the most significant things I remember about that trip in addition to wanting to buy the lighthouse was Dore Holm. I was fascinated with this big hunk of stone.

Returning to the US I kept thinking about Dore. One day I had an idea, set down at my computer, and composed a story for children about a giant gentle creature who lived on the Shetland Islands long ago. He was so large none of the birds or other beasts wanted to play with him. Then one day he found a "killer" whale tossed ashore on Stenness beach. Knowing the creature would die without getting back into the sea Dore pushed the whale carefully into the water. Thus began a friendship that would last all of Dore's life. Everyday he would go Stenness to stand in the water so he could play with his whale friend. Then one day a ferrocious storm came and Dore was afraid the whale would be washed on shore so he stood out in the water and kept the whales from being grounded. The "God of all Things Good and Beautiful" was so impressed with Dore's bravery that he built a stone statue to him and placed it off shore at Stenness. So my story goes.

This last week a large portion of the rock that makes up Dore broke off and slid into the sea. I was in a panic that the beautiful Dore stack would no longer resemble my gentle character. He would be gone forever. You can not conceive the relief I felt when I inspected Dore and found the portion that had fallen off was not significant to his appearance. As you can see in the pictures above, it was part of what I call his tail area.

Now that I feel better that Dore's appearance has not been destroyed. We need to consider Dore himself. If your arm or leg fell off into the sea what would happen? Probably someone would retrieve the limb, take you to the hospital, and sew it back on. Well as far as I know there is no hospital for sea stacks. If Dore were to get his tail back it would have to done at Stenness. To put the huge piece of rock back on Dore would take many people, a huge boat and tons of cement. Sad as it seems to me, I doubt that anyone cares enough to go to the effort of helping the injured sea stack.

Except, yesterday the lighthouse caretaker was out checking his lobster creels and he thought he saw a fin of a whale. Could it be the whales have come back to help Dore just as he helped its ancestor long ago? Maybe they will fix Dore's "boo-boo."

I hope so


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