Machir Bay Shipwreck, Islay

Machir Bay Shipwreck

So after 4 attempts at trying to get this shot I finally managed to get something near what I had in my head. My previous attempts had failed miserably due to weather and bad timing on my behalf but today after checking the tide times for machir bay and a quick check of the forecast all seemed to be in my favour. Low tide was at approx 13:30pm GMT but I wanted to arrive as the tide was going out so I could do a long exposure and hopefully get the misty water look of the water, so I arrived around mid-day which meant my position was a bit further away than what I would have liked but hey. I was a bit concerned that the wind was too strong for the long exposure so I kept my tripod low and sheltered the camera with my body. Initial examinations of the shots on the lcd looked good and when zoomed in there were no ghosting, something that has ruined a few images in the past when shooting at the beach on wet sand but this time the tripod was entrenched into the sand!

There are conflicting reports as to what the vessel was named, one says it was the Ortranto that collided with P&O liner Kashimr on 24th September 1918 whilst another says it was The Mary Ann, that on the 22n May 1859, crashed into rocks near Kilchoman Strand giving Islay it’s own version of Whisky Galore.

Anyway, I’m pleased with the results of the images and think I can stroke this one off my to do list 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Machir Bay Shipwreck, Islay

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    1. I think it’s the Ortranto as this was carrying US troops and there is a military grave just up the hill from this location. Thanks for commenting.


  1. I’m virtually certain it’s not the Otranto. She sank well off the beach and I’ve seen videos of divers at the wreck (that’s closer to Kilchiaran, below the rocks). Also the Otranto was a much bigger ship than what you can see here.

    Not convinced of the Mary Ann either. This ship I think was a metal construction, you can definitely see that the deckhouse foundations are metal. I doubt the brig Mary Ann would have been a metal construction back in 1859, also it almost certainly would have been bigger.

    I’m fairly confident this is a more recent wreck, probably of a fishing boat or something of that type.


    1. Thanks Armin, I did think the Ortranto was a bit further down the coast. I couldn’t get right up close to the wreck due to the tide but yip prob is metal,just going by the reports I found on the internet, thanks for the input.


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