The nearest island to the north of Barra is Eriskay and to Zander, that was probably the best place to go. His mind made up, the skipper went back up on deck and informed the crew of his decision; it was either Eriskay or turn back. Having come almost one third of the way towards the Outer Hebrides, his crew were not in the mood to be going back anywhere.
To them Eriskay was an island of intrigue, romance and adventure and was not only the focus of the song, the Eriskay Love Lilt, but it was there that Bonnie Prince Charlie had first landed in Scotland to start his 1745 campaign to press his claim to the Scottish throne.
Eriskay also brought to mind the nostalgic thought that this was where SS Politician had gone down during the last war with a full cargo of whisky on board. Compton Mackenzie’s well known book and follow-up film, ‘Whisky Galore’ had ensured that everyone knew the story of how the islanders had hidden away hundreds of bottles of whisky from the Customs men.
(extract taken from Chapter 41 A Storm in Any Port)