Saturday, 11 December 2010

Unst; a wintery first visit

This would have been posted a few days ago but our broad band seems to be on a strict diet of late, along with my brain that's also been running at dial-up speeds. One of the affects is that my photos are all grainy as silly me left the ISO set at 800 after I'd been twiddling with my camera...

I had the chance of a whistle stop visit to Unst on Thursday. My first visit and it was very much a winter wonderland. I'm sure now, like the rest of Shetland, the thaw has cleared it up dramatically though. Now we've got gushing burns, waterlogged ground and even the snow on Rona Hill has pretty much gone, except for the deeper patches in the gullies and the like.

Waiting at the ferry at Toft and Gutcher were the first unfortunates up here I've seen, going from car to car, begging, hoping for some season's cheer, but getting the cold shoulder. May be if they'd offered to clean windscreens instead of tapping on windows they's have more luck?

The race across Yell for the ferry to Unst was a bit slower than usual. The roads weren't great, but the views were. Unfortunately zooming along in a car doesn't make for great photos. Trust me, looking across to the blanketed North Mavine and Ronas Hill was breath taking.
A snowy Yell

About to board the ferry to Unst at Gutcher

Underway with Fetlar in the far distance

A welcoming to Unst

It was rather snowy! Clare was dropped of at her appointment and we made our way where we could, being limitted to the main road, which as you can see wasn't ideal. We took in a few sights though. We couldn't get down to the beach at Burrafirth or Haroldswick due to solid ice on the final hills to both. We did see the Unst bus stop and go to the near by cafe though.

Near Haroldswick a Viking long boat was being reconstructed. The Skidbladner,a full size reconstruction of a long boat and a ccompanying long house were obviously being delayed by the weather, but it meant we could have a nose about.


Stern post

Oar hole

Mast step

Lee board

Hull lines

A Shetland Yoal (23ft) for scale (nice trolley!)

Nearby is seemed the pretty ponies had discovered underfloor heating. Poo everywhere, let it melt the snow and then stand there!

The sheep weren't so lucky

Arriving on Unst the sun was only getting up and by now it had had enough and was getting ready for bed again!

We managed to pop down to Baltasound Pier too

 Spied a seal or two having a breather along with one of my favourite birds, the heron or hegri.

And then it was time to be heading back for the ferry to Yell then Toft and home.

The Plinky Boat at Belmont on Unst

'Salist a meenit and hae a ton on da plinky boat afore du gengs' and plinky plonk I did, it was great!

Looking back to Toft

Finally back home where the moon and sky were fairly spectacular

The moon has grown a bit more since then...


  1. Unst is a lovely island. I always enjoyed my visits there because the folk are so happy and welcoming, better than the rest of Shetland. :)

    Did you have a plink on the plinky boat?? I was always too shy to try it as there was always people around and I didn't want to look like a big kid.. lol

    As for Herons (Hegris), we normally see a couple standing around the voe here hoping for a meal, but 2 Sundays ago I saw a flock of about 100 sitting on a small skerry in the voe. Guess it was some sort of Hegri conference. Never seen so many in one place before.

  2. Yeh the plinky boat was great, didn't ,ind making a fool of myself infront of the ferry queue LOL

    Love heron's most I've seen together is about 6, can't imagine seeing that many.

    Did see 8 artic hare on the way to work friday, unfortunately 5 were squashed :o(