Looking north west from Cava: Graemsay and Mainland are in the background
Cava is an uninhabited island in the Orkney archipelago in Scotland. It is 107 hectares (0.41 sq mi) in extent and rises to 38 metres (125 ft) above sea level. The literal meaning of the name is 'calf island', a terminology often used to designate a small island near to a larger one. Cava is unusual in that it includes a small peninsula joined to the main body of the island by a narrow isthmus, which is in turn called 'Calf of Cava'.
In the eighteenth century a notorious Orkney pirate, John Gow, raided Hall of Clestrain, in Orphir and abducted two servant girls. Reports vary as to their treatment, with one claiming that they were put ashore on Cava "so loaded with presents that they soon afterwards got husbands."6 Gow's ship Revenge then ran ashore on the Calf of Eday, leading to his capture.7
However, in common with a number of the smaller South Isles of Orkney, Cava lost its resident population during the course of the twentieth century.8 There is still a habitable building on the island - Cava Lodge. There are no good anchorages in the vicinity.2