John and Donald MacDonald with a sunfish on Gott Bay pier
Photograph of John and Donald MacDonald with a sunfish on Gott Bay pier.
Courtesy of Dr John MacDonald
John MacDonald of Heanish and his son Donald were photographed with a sunfish on Gott Bay pier in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, is the most massive bony fish in the world and can grow over three metres in length.
Sunfish feed on jellyfish, plankton and small fish. They stay primarily in open waters, but can often be seen near kelp beds, large expanses of which surround Tiree. Its name ‘mola’ is Latin for ‘millstone’ which the fish is said to resemble in shape, colour and texture.
They propel themselves by flapping their large fins from side to side. Sometimes they are seen floating sideways in the water and it is commonly thought that they are basking in the sun. They are more often to be found further south in the waters round Cornwall and Wales.
Black and white photograph of John MacDonald on Gott Bay pier in the 1920s.
L-R: John `Nonian` MacDonald of Heanish and his son Donald with a sunfish on Gott Bay pier in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Donald jumped ship in Australia and lived there. (Donald is the brother of Jean MacEwan.)