Getting to Shetland during winter can be quite a challenge, especially during the gales. Often ferries are cancelled or run at different times to normal. If you get caught out at sea during a gale then you will know about it, Northlink say that the current ferries are not quite as good as they first thought in rough seas. So you can always come to Shetland by air, no such problems !
Well I know its a bit uncommon but a plane heading to Shetland had to turn back to Aberdeen just before Christmas, due to bad weather and was hit by lightening, it dropped 2,900 feet before the pilot regained control.
Either way its still worth the effort of coming here in winter, besides the Up Helly Aa there is plenty of music, plays and some great scenery with very few people about.
I love getting down to the beach during winter, before we moved to Shetland we had a 70 mile journey to get to the east coast. Where we live now there are five beaches within a few miles, all different, all facing different ways so you can find a sheltered beach when its windy.
The other day we went a bit further over to the west and down to Bigton and St Ninians isle, the wind was wiping up some nice waves from both sides of the tombolo, the sun was shinning for the most part it was just brilliant to be out. A lot of birds congregated on rocks at the north side, these were mostly Oystercatchers returning to Shetland after the main winter period, possibly around 200 birds. Some do stay during winter but most migrate south.
It was good to hear that Brough Lodge on Fetlar is to receive nearly £1/2 million in funds from Historic Scotland to continue the next phase of restoring the Gothic building . It will eventually offer environmental courses and short holiday breaks. A big boost for the local community.
Next week we will be off the see our final Up Helly Aa of the season, this time its the turn of the south mainland and this will be held down at st Ninians isle, just hope the weather is dry, the last two Up Helly Aa's we have been to at Scalloway and Lerwick have been superb, and dry as well.
I have now achieved the most likes for one of my photos on Facebook since i started, the photo is a cloud formation over Bressay taken a few days ago, thanks to all who liked or who made comments. One previous to this taken over Sandwick during a rain storm had 324 likes
Likes 442 Comments 44 Shared 35
In addition I have had 874 views on these photos although its more about Lisa Ward , a Shetlander who recently appeared on the Voice (BBC 1). I asked Lisa to come over to the Lerwick Lunch club last week to perform to the old folk, She gave a great performance of both covers and her own music.