Unhappily land-locked in his early adult life, Frank Fraser Darling's fortunes changed when he began visiting Scotland's west coast in the 1930s. Surviving treacherous boat journeys, a broken leg, and hell-bent storms, he made temporary homes with his family on some of the remotest Hebridean islands so he could study the habits of grey seals and seabirds.
The family finally settled on an abandoned croft in the Summer Isles, on Tanera Mòr, and started farming the barren land. They repaired a ruined herring fishery and its stone quay. They fertilised the ground with seaweed, cut peat for the fires, planted a garden behind sheltered walls. Slowly, they brought life back to the island.