According to a Gaelic-speaking elderly uncle of Derek MacLellan, a leader in the Meat Cove community, the name Rhu Pillinn, pronounced something like [ruˈbɪl.jən], means “Look-Off Point” and was given to the feature which is the subject of this page by Donald Fraser: in the 1850’s, while looking for a place to settle along this coast, he was apparently shipwrecked on Frasers Beach, named for him, and managed to find a path up from the beach, an arduous ascent. He lived with his family on top of the unnamed mountain west of Meat Cove, where a field with a corral is well known to hikers to Cape St Lawrence and Lowland Cove; an old, now likely impassible, trail connected his homestead to Rhu Pillinn.
Photo #1, taken from off Little Grassy Point and much closer to Rhu Pillinn, corrects the perspective error in photo #3 on the previous page; it is now clear that Rhu Pillinn has never been attached to the “slide” further west, though by exactly what process it has attained its current form is unclear. The grassy verge seen above the bare rocks at the left of the photo continues out over the upper surface of the “wedge”, but does not reach the summit, which appears to be bare on the inland side below the small grove of trees it seems to wear as a crown. Its height appears to be about a third that of Bear Hill behind it, or some 70 m (230 ft), although the topographical map shows no contour lines (its area is too small for them to be readable). The beach across the left half of the photo is unnamed. The caves at the water level are presumably a result of erosion by water and ice.
Photo #2 shows Rhu Pillinn from the waters directly offshore, “dead on”. How different an aspect it wears here! The dark stripes on the rock face at the left gleam grey in the sun from this perspective; they appear as black stripes in photo #1. This view also makes clear that Rhu Pillinn is not below Bear Hill, but below the unnamed hill seen at the upper right of the photo, well to the east of Bear Hill.
Photo #3 reveals the western side of Rhu Pillinn from fairly close up and gives a better idea of the grassy cloak that covers its inland side. Again, large caves have been formed at the bottom of the structure. Even more so than on its east side, the strata of which the “wedge” is formed can be seen very clearly, with a roughly 60° slant from the vertical, like those seen in the adjacent cliffs.
Photos #4 and #5 were taken returning from Cape St Lawrence on the Oshan boat trip in 2009, on a sunny, warm, humid, and hazier day, but still clear enough for good photos, at least relatively close-up. Photo #4 is distinctly darker in colour than photo #3, even though photo #4 is getting struck directly by the sun (it was taken an hour later than photo #3). A close examination of the two photos shows, at least to my eyes, some distinct changes, with much of the rubble seen in the middle of photo #4 missing in the same area of photo #3, making the strata lines much more distinct in photo #3 than in photo #4, but perhaps this, too, is but a change due to perspective. At the far right of photo #4 is the eastern edge of Frasers Beach.
Photo #5 was taken about a minute earlier than photo #4 from a bit further west; it shows a little more of Frasers Beach at the right. The land mass seen in the far distance at the far left of the photo beyond Blackrock Point is the Cape North massif north of Bay St Lawrence.