Saturday, 11 March 2017

SMUHA (Up Helly Aa)

Finally the weather held last night and we took the short journey over the hill towards Cunningsburgh to see the South Mainland Up Helly Aa (SMUHA)

It was interesting the see the squads process through the village from our vantage point in the lay-by just up the hill

I think it is always better to see the galley burnt on the sea and this took place at Mail beach

After the usual songs the torches started to be thrown into the galley

Most traffic i have seen since moving to Shetland. The cars held back until the procession moved onto the beach

The Galley launched into the sea

A few fireworks after the event

A good night and looking forward to next years Up Helly Aa's, it seems to have passed very quickly this year.

The facebook page Shetland Aurora Hunter is now doing well with over 700 members, please send me a request to join.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

A while ago

Its been a while since my last blog, this has been down mainly to having to develop four illustrated talks to give to the Royal Voluntary Service (2), SWI and Shetland Photographic Society as well as build a new 6 session (3 hours Per session) on Night Sky Photography without a telescope for the Shetland Adult Education.

Storm at Quarff

                                                                    Moon at St Ninian's tombolo

On top of this we have been out at a variety of music events. Having already missed out on two Up Helly Aa events we hope to see our local one down in Cunningsburgh on Friday.



The weather has been mixed for the past few weeks with one day of snow which lasted three days due to the cold conditions. This did allow us to get out on a fine day and get some photographs in the south mainland and several storms have passed through.

                                                                                     Spiggie (Foula in background)

It was nearly a tragic day when the Ocean Way sank several miles east of Whalsay in calm conditions. The fishing nets had become fastened on something then it release sending the tackle into the back of the boat causing damage. The Coastguard helicopter and lifeboat arrived just in time as the boat suddenly began to sink so the crew jumped into the sea and within a minute the boat had completely disappeared. The crew got hypothermia but got aboard the lifeboat safely. Its a dangerous job even on calm days.

                                                                                                    Scousbough Bay

                                                                                           Looking west to Spiggie


Our new face page  `Shetland Aurora Hunter ' is going well with nearly 700 members joining in the first 3 months. Please send me a request if you want to join . This is not just for Aurora photos but anything in the Night sky.

                                                               Just north of Boddam

 I have had a number of photos published in the Shetland Times recently and I have just found out that two photos have been selected for the Shetland Times Bookshop calendar which should be out soon


If you are thinking of moving to Shetland here are a few pieces of information that you may be interested in.

Sullom Voe has laid off most of its workforce and is not going ahead with the other gas plant, this has resulted in numerous construction staff leaving. Work is also more or less complete on the new Anderson High School and the new Power Station is yet to start. Most of the Voluntary sector is having funds cut from April but there are a few jobs in the fish processing plant.

The shops down Commercial Street are very quiet and a number such as the Hydro have closed down. The council tax has just gone up by 3% but this is still a lot cheaper than down in England and also includes water rates.

House prices have leveled out and a few properties are on the market but most start being advertised from April when its easier to get up to Shetland to view. Saying that a few people buy off the internet without ever having been to Shetland- a risk if you don't know the Scottish laws. Please let me know if you want any most specific details.

You can view more photos on my website at