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Showing posts from December, 2020

Fair Isle To Shetlands-Scottish Island Hopping

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  Waved goodbye to Fair Isle this morning and took our return flight to Tingwall. Flights leaves from Tingwall airport, a ten minute drive from Lerwick. There are flights to the isle each week day, weather permitting,While 27 miles offshore to the north of Shetland mainland, the island of Fair Isle, the UK’s furthest outpost island, is a tiny and breath-takingly beautiful jewel, rich in birdlife and with a dedicated community whose love for their home residents are only too eager to share with the few intrepid visitors who make the journey each year. This time it was Sarah and I, and now we were hopping back over to the  Shetland Mainland  Fair Isle is home to a staggering selection of flowering plants, with some 250 species, many of distinct rarity. And the island has been subject to intense archaeological study over the years, with evidence of human habitation stretching back 5000 years, many of the sites accessible to visitors, easily reached on foot amidst some of the most dramatic

Checking The Flock

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  My Sheeple-An adventure story involving an airplane, some sheep, and extreme weather---Have you ever had one of those days where you say to yourself (and anyone else who will listen) – I love my life A Jewel In The Ocean Set in the middle of the North Atlantic, 38km (23mi) from  Shetland  and 43km (27mi) from  Orkney , Fair Isle is as far away from civilization as it’s possible to get in the British Isles. Measuring barely five kilometers across and two kilometers wide, the island is home to a tiny permanent population of just 45 people. In fact, it’s the most remote inhabited place in the UK. Sarah at The South Lighthouse Malcom's Head One of the flock The number of sheep in all the Shetland Islands, is calculated to be between 70,000 and 80,000, though this is considerably above the real number at present (Present day values are approximately 150,000 breeding ewes). The Shetland Sheep breed or variety resembles the argali, or wild sheep of Siberia, more than any other domestic

South Lighthouse

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 Lighthouses are not just stone, brick, metal, and glass. There’s a human story at every lighthouse; that’s the story Dave wants to tell. South Light on Fair Isle is a pharologist's*  delight - a superb  example of a 'Stevenson Lighthouse', one of many around the shores of mainland Scotland and the isles, built in1891 by this famous and prolific family of Scottish engineers. (*pharology - the study of lighthouses!) Designed and built in 1891 by David A. and Charles Stevenson (cousin of author Robert Louis Stevenson) it entered service in 1892. The lighthouse tower at 85 feet is the tallest one in Shetland and there are 106 steps to the top. In 1998 it became the last lighthouse in Scotland to be automated. Its foghorn - also Scotland's last - was dismantled in 2005.Its light is still operated by the Northern Lighthouse Board and the beam, consisting of 4 flashes every 30 seconds, can be seen from at least as far as Orkney - some 25 miles away across open sea.

Malcom's Head

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  Hiking Malcom's Head, taking in some of the best coastal scenery and features on Fair Isle.

Fleece Navidad

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  Over the years a variety of people have written about the origins of Shetland Sheep. Like the equally well known Shetland Pony it's origins are discussed at length. However, in the case of the pony, it is easier to spot the genuine article unlike the sheep which can be cross bred. THE SHETLAND is the smallest of the British breeds, found mostly in the Shetland Islands. It is believed to be of Scandinavian origin, most probably brought to these shores by the Vikings, who settled here over a thousand years ago. They may have inter-bred with primitive sheep already in the islands. This cannot be proved, but they retain many characteristics of the wild sheep. They are small bodied animals with a distinctive face and nose, bright eyes, small erect ears and usually wool on the forehead. The legs are fine and of medium length. A distinguishing feature is the tail being fluke shaped, broad at the base and tapering to the point. Rams have nice round horns while ewes are horn-less.   Their

Given Day

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  Today is known as a Given Day on Fair Isle-storm over, sun is out and the wind  has dropped. The boat came in with fresh provisions. The whole island got excited. There was a traffic jam (4 cars) at the store.

Ice Bath In The North Atlantic

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  Ice  Bathing  give your skin and hair a healthy glow, and we were gonna go for it in the chilly North Atlantic. Even though we are on the same longitude as Cape Farewell, Greenland, and closer to Bergan, Norway than Edenborough, Scotland- we made our first attempt. We had to cancel because the currents were too strong. Will revisit when the weather cooperates. 

20/20 Vision

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 2020-What a year! Yellowstone National Park (WY not?), Fair Isle, Scotland , (Shetland)  Dover, England  (White Cliffs) via  Orlando (Disney) and South Florida. It started with Christmas and New Years sailaways on Disney Cruise Lines in The Eastern and Western Caribbean.  Then Covid hit, and travel changed forever...Yet we  managed to finish the year out on Britain's most remote inhabited island, population 45, taking physical distancing Uber seriously. Yellowstone National Park USA It was the best of vibes. It was the worst of vibes. We waited for 2020 to have that perfect vision.  Nobody could predict what they'd be seeing and doing this year- washing their hands, wearing a mask and social distancing because of the global pandemic. Normally, we would be sailing in the Norwegian Fjords, The Baltics or  through Alaska's wildlife super highway, Glacier Bay.Tis the season but all fleets have come to a grinding halt.   View this post on Instagram