For a bloke who gets sea sick standing on a pier the thought of a ferry trip to Shetland where the seats in the bar have a wire harness to the floor, was worrying. However the weather was high pressure and i needed to take my car to move the bulky PPE and other items I need. So with confidence having used the ferry port to turn around on after leaving Petrofacs office i set off, and duly turned into the right place to turn but the wrong quay, dope!! Found the right quay, after instructions, boarded on time, and settled myself into my shared cabin, I was in first and awaited my blond Nordic female companion with growing interest. Set sail, had obligatory drink and meal and still no shared pal. Probably get on at Kirkwall, seas were calm and i spotted porpoises on leaving Aberdeen. I was in trepidation as to who would enter the cabin after Kirkwall, seems i was lucky as nobody did, you see i am absolutely in a world class position for something I cannot measure when awake, I snore brilliantly, according to my now sleeping in the spare bedroom, wife. Having  done the ferry thing I would neither have a  shared cabin or a recliner seat, as i had on the way back. A set of ear plugs a travel rug and find a spot on a bench or on the floor and wait till mid night after the Kirkwall arrivals. This means more bar time that equals more snoring, but you are at least doing it amongst people who did not pay to sleep. I wont mention work which at the moment is just paper work and waiting, however on Friday i had a free day as my client counterpart was totally occupied, so i went off to the Shetlands testing lab and made my acquaintance with Alan the main man, had a good chat as we are of the same vintage and i had to tell him Norman McRitchie had died, and was buried just the week before. Then off to Sumburgh head and the RSPB reserve, great weather, great birds, but needs more development, for bringing in cash,  a restaurant for instance. But it was very Rustic and very nice as the weather and the birds obliged. Puffins (Tammy Nories) are in trouble as are a lot of sea birds, they cannot find food, I did not see a single puffin with food in it's bill and I must have looked at hundreds. The lassie who was the warden was very nice, knowledgeable and from the Shetlands, Jo i think I heard someone call her, we discussed the Shetland names for birds  and how the seabirds had varying fortunes, but in the long term it looks bleak. I wanted to see a Whimbrel as i never have, she told me where to look, some miles away, but no luck. I did however get my first Arctic Skua (dark morph), not by trudging over their breeding moorland territory but by looking up from the upper passenger outside deck whilst moored in Lerwick, see poor picture. I did get better eyeball looks so I am very nearly sure I am right (ispot jargon). i took the pictures of the Tammy Nories by placing my aged Panasonic LC33 up to the viewfinder lens of my nikon fieldscope, the sun was too high and strong so they looked bleached, I could do something in  photoshop but they are the pictures of the moment and I dedicate them to Sarah A who phoned me whilst I was there, and during the technical discourse said  she had never see a live puffin. She still hasn't but a step inclined perhaps. Outside our temporary office, just over the bay from "my new home in Sella Ness"  next to the shore are arctic terns feeding noisily, gulls cruise menacingly, and otters have several holts on the shore. I did not spot them on my three day turnaround but they are there. Shetlands; whit a place!!

2 Responses to “Shetlands getting to know the Island 2”

  1. ThePath August 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Pics arent showing.

    • Ian August 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      don’t know why, but you have to click on the pic for it to appear !!

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