Sunday, 28 May 2017

A family wild camp along Swining Voe


Saturday was stunning weather, so after a few hours ride while Beren was at Orchestra we packed our rucksacks and headed out for an over nighter on a secluded bay along Swining Voe.


Looking up the voe from Swining...


It's a couple of miles of rough hillside to get to Sand Wick where we camped. A fantastic spot...


And Beren wanted to try some fishing off the pontoon...




It was a good job we'd brought tea! No fish were caught. And no sheep was eaten.


There was a bit of wildlife about, but not the otters I'd hoped for.

 

  

We looked at the old buildings of Sandwick and admired their view...


But not their water supply!


 Clare and Beren did a bit of sketching...
 

And we generally had a relaxing time...


The next morning the sun had gone and the fog had come in...


 But we'd had a great time, ate our breakfasts and then headed home for second breakfasts!
 

And here's a short video of our venture...


Bye for now!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

A short motor on a sunny day...


It's been a long time since we've been out on Marta for a sail, so despite the lack of wind I caught up with my friend Martin for a motor out around Papa Little.


There wasn't too much bird life about, but the terns are starting to return...


 And there were rafts of guillemots...


And Eiders...


We did see one yacht out sailing, very slowly, but once it got out past Muckle Roe I think there was a bit more wind. We just motored. Marta doesn't have a massive amount of sail and she's a very heavy little yacht.


Vementry in the background...


 It was more a day for catching up, drinking tea and eating biscuits...



Though we did drop a line a few times, we didn't bring home any tea!


 Hopefully we'll get out fro an actual sail before too long. If nothing else it's kept me off my bike for a change!


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Nice day for a long ride!

With a forecast of light winds and sun I took the day off work on Thursday to go for a long ride. I wasn't sure how long, or exactly where other an I was heading north. 

I left home about 7.15am and it was a lovely morning as headed up through Laxfirth...


As I headed up Dales Voe towards Mossbank I was ruminating about heading all the way up to Hermaness, but figured the time and delays of waiting for 4 ferry crossings would waste a lot of time, certainly a few hours, and for all Clare knew I'd gone out for a long ride I thought she would be expecting me back before bed time!

The double Tombolo's of Fora Ness...


So, ditch that idea! I headed out past Brae with a stop at the co-op for a sausage buttie and on towards Eshaness. It's along time since I cycled to the lighthouse itself.

Looking across another Sand Wick towards Hillswick Ness...


And on to Tangwick Haa with a view of Dore Holm...



A more 'classic' view of the holm...


And seen as I was near by I popped down to Stenness too. I'm not sure why I thought this would be a good pose for the bike! I'd been on the go a good 4 hours by then.


And then the Eshaness Lighthouse!


A quick selfie!


And then back to Braewick cafe for a well earned lunch of sweet chill chicken and mozzarella panini and a couple of coffees with a view of The Drongs...


I'm getting tired again writing this!

So, then it was on to Heylor, so that I could enjoy the silk roads of Ronas Voe to Swinister before I headed to my furthest points north up at North Roe.

Ronas Voe...


Along the voe I stopped to admire a newly opened peat bank, wishing I had the time, energy and ability to take some arty photos to do the peat cutters art justice. But I didn't and don't!


Nearing Isbister past North Roe is the famous plane shed...


And around the corner at Sandvoe a favourite beach and setting off point for me when going to Uyea or Fethaland...


From North Roe it was pretty much a home run south. Now, the issue was I knew the ride would definitely be atleast 100 miles or 161km, but it'd be good if it was 200km my next distance milestone. So now, other than thoughts of tiredness I was trying to work out the easiest way to make sure I did atleast 200km before getting home.

Heading back through Brae I stopped at Frankies Chip Shop for the loo, but feeling nauseous by now I couldn't face chips, so flattened a bottle of coke and just about managed to force down a mars bar in between gagging at solid food.

A phone call from a colleague who didn't realise I was off riding inadvertently gave me an idea for a few nice extra miles so I decided to do a loop around the scenic silk roads of South Nesting.

Stopping to take a photo of the beautiful area of Eswick and Ling Ness, which has been the bane of my work life for a while...













And now it was pretty much head for home, aware the Clare would now be wondering where I'd go to. A quick pitstop at Tingwall Airport for the loo had me realising I might still be a few Km short of my 200km! What to do? Well I did a few loops of the Veensgarth triangle and hoped that would do it. My legs were pretty goosed by now, lower legs particularly painful and the need to get home and STOP was strong, but there was no stopping to be done until I finally hit the sofa.

The Tingwall Valley was a trial of my patience and fatigue with a million and one cars forcing me to stop and start all along the valley, but ever closer to the end I carried on and finally just had the last short hill in to Scalloway before home for my legs to get me up.

One last panic of not making the miles had me take the road along the West Shore for a final photo of The Swan...


And then It was home, to a few questions like where have you been, are you totally mad, and why would you do that?

Well I like a challenge and it was a nice day. The satisfaction of completing it offset the aches and groans of 204km or 127 miles in the saddle over 10 hours, 8.5 hours riding, but it didn't help me too much yesterday with a days work walking on Out Skerries and a 7km evening row with Burra last night.

Rowing past Oxna...



I'm being thoroughly lazy today though!

So, here's it is, my day off work adventure...


And you can watch a satellite view of my ride around the north of Shetland here...

Sunday afternoon's looking to be nice...


Sunday, 14 May 2017

A family mooch about the south end


It was a nice morning, due to get wet and overcast after lunch so after a late Eurovison night we were off in reasonable time to have a look about the south end. Those of you that know me know that I;m a jinx when it comes to orcas, so we didn't expect to see any and we weren't disappointed!

We did stop to sit and watch the seals on the beach a Rerwick though. There's usually a good number there and today there were 58.





We carried on south towards Quendale and had a wander out to Garthsness. The is old fella with monocles and a smile caught my eye!



As did the lambs! I had a roast lamb dinner at the Sumburgh Hotel later, but it wasn't great. I should have stuck to my usual steak baguette and chips.


Bird life is picking up and we saw swallows, turnstones, divers, terns and close in a number of eiders.


 No orcas, but you knew that! Theye've been about a lot lately again, but as I was in the south end they were probably up north.

Still it was a lovely Sunday morning to be out...