Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing (Day) Seals

On Christmas Eve I had a nasty bike accident while out with Beren on his bike. Of all places it happened on the emergency helicopter landing pad for the hospital! 

While playing chase around the helipad my chain snapped and left me dramatically head butting the floor and lying in a crumpled heap. Luckily I had my helmet on or it would have been a very different story, but as it is I've spent Christmas in a lot of pain with cracked ribs and lots of bruising and pain all down my left side not to mention feeling pretty poor in general. Just  my luck!

The metal of the chain actually split! Not good on a bike less than 1 month old and not in any sort of challenging situation...


On a positive note, my back is fine!

Anyway desperate to escape the confines of home and feeling sorry for myself for not being able to enjoy the wonderfully icy, clear, still weather of the last two days we drove over to Lerwick for a Boxing Day treat of soup and hot chocolate at the new cafe, Fjara, near Tescos.


Not a bad view...


Afterwards I gingerly wandered along the icy road to look at the seals. It was a gorgeous afternoon, but I was in enough pain walking so wasn't going to venture too far in case of a fall on the ice.

It was worth it though, seals were out sunning themselves and it was literally a breath of fresh air.



A bit of a lovers tiff going on here I think! Boxing Seals...




 It's not many places you can go shopping, have a cuppa and get so close to lounging seals!


We're off sooth tomorrow to see family. I had hopes of a couple of ventures while away. A night up the woods in the hammock at an old spot from my youth and a mountain bike ride with my brother, but it looks like an evening at the panto is as exciting as it'll get with my incapacity. Talking of which I'm going to get off here as it's bloody killing me sat at the PC.

All the best for the New Year where ever you are!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

The northern lights were out last night, but by the time I got out to see them there wasn't any real action going on. To be fair I don't think there was much happening any way, but it was a gorgeous still night; a long time since we've had one of those!

Berry Lane, Scalloway...


Tingwall Loch...


Tingwall Kirk...



And all put together in a short time lapse...


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Papa Stour by bike

Having some work to sign off before Christmas along with a couple of issues to look at I set off for a day on Papa Stour. When ever I visit Papa Stour it seems to be marginal weather and this time didn't disappoint!

Atleast the car didn't need strapping down this time...



And what's that hanging off the back of it? My new bike. Thinking to save my poor old knees I thought I'd use the bike for work, apparently I can even claim mileage, though I don't know if that get's paid in mars bars and double deckers!



Going clockwise around the island I visited much of it, popping in here and there and I ended up wearing a lot of it too. I still need some mud guards!

The weather was truly horrendous at times with the wind and sleet and hail. At other it was just cold and windy allowing me to enjoy the views.



 After just over 3 hours in the saddle I was wet, cold and thankfully back to the car where I had a dry warm set of clothes and a full flask of tea. Pity the heater in the car is so poor, I had a bit of a chill, so was please to see the ferry returning to take me home for a hot shower.

Still not everyone has a day in the office that involves a bike ride around a beautiful island in mid winter!

I even managed to make a little video of my trip on my action camera, the sound quality is terrible, but I hope the views aren't.

Best in HD...



Sunday, 14 December 2014

Snow gaets and sheep gaets

On the first snow day of the year my friend and I set out for a whiz around some tracks he knows on the local hills.



Well, it was intended to be a whiz around, but snow, ice, peat and interesting tracks made the 23km take 3 hours. My lack of fitness may have had a hand too. Unlike Colin, I did have to push a few sections, though to be fair pushing was just as quick as riding!

Here's a map of the route...



And if you click here you go to a page with more details, though google maps never seems to agree with my GPS entirely!


Looking back to the Burradale Sisters and Tingwall Loch from the Hill of Steinswall...



Passing the large cross on the Hill of Steinswall on our way to The Scord above Scalloway...


And here's a short video of the ride including a minor crash from yours truly! Apologies for the quality. It was too cold to mess about setting up shots with a tripod and to be honest, we couldn't be bothered. We'd still be out there now if we had!



Saturday, 13 December 2014

Burn of Catpund Waterfalls

I just thought I'd share a few long exposures of the waterfalls on The Burn of Catpund just south of Cunningsburgh. I took some photos here some time ago, including ones of the carved soapstone from the Viking era.


 The falls are just off a section of old road, but are not very accessible.


 


It's a lovely spot. One day when I have more energy I'll follow the burn to the hill top at The Ward of Veester and enjoy the views!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Bad day at Wari Gill

Walking out from Hamnavoe to Wari Gill and Tingon I didn't think the sea looked too bad. It was cold and breezy, but nothing out of the ordinary for December.

Looking back towards Hamnavoe...


Getting close to Wari Gill Geo I saw clouds on spray coming up. Quite a sight as the sea is some distance below the cliff tops...


Down in the geo the scene was pretty impressive. Considering there is a waterfall of nearly 30ft before you get to the sea the sea was blasting up some distance!




It'd be interesting to see what it was like on a really rough day!

Here's a little video of the action...



Sunday, 30 November 2014

Da Lang Clodie Wick; a hike-a-bike up north

After another period of weeks without being able to do much due to back problems things are finally on the up and despite an iffy forecast I decided to take my new bike out for a ride on from North Roe out to the coast at Da Lang Clodie Wick.


The ride was about 20km in total with sections that were either unrideable due to my fitness or the waterlogged tracks and ground. To be fair, even in the summer, some of it would need a pretty skilled rider to not have to get off and take the bike for a walk. Knowing this I left the bike once I reached the coast and carried on on foot.


Here's a view of Da Lang Clodie Wick from where I left the bike...


And closer...


'The pissing horse' not the nicest name for a waterfall, but fairly appropriate...


The weather came in a bit as I was on my way back to the car so I'm glad I didn't stay too long. As it was I was soaked and caked in mud by the time I arrived back in North Roe. A great ride out there, but I wouldn't complain if it had been a bit drier and even warmer!



Here's a short video of my trip out there...


Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Witch's Ward

I'm back in the land of bad backs so it's been another pretty lazy weekend. Saying that we did get up to the Witch's Ward above Scalloway...


It was a lovely day after the horrendous weather at the end of the week and Beren wanted to show us where he'd be told people were buried up there! If they are they've got a great view...


Later today I popped in to see a friend which ended up with a short motor out along Olna Firth, a couple of lines dropped (and two tiddlers caught), a grounding on a rock and a lovely sunset as we motored back to Voe...


I also took Beren to the little bike track at Sandwick on Saturday. Considering he's a been a late starter on his bike he's getting quite confident, in fat too confident for is own good at times!



Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Hill of Arisdale and the catalina memorial; Yell

Yell is one of those places that many people seem to dismiss in terms of landscape, how wrong they are!

I had a few reasons to be up there looking at a path to the Catalina Memorial and other things around the Hill of Arisdale. So setting off from the Burravoe Road I made my way up Aris Dale and was soon greeted to the lovely sight of this double rainbow...


The next 2.5 hours were pretty wet and very windy though. With sodden ground and peat bogs to cross it was hard going, but there's always something to brighten things up like The Burn of Tronamoor that I had to cross...


Following the white marker posts across the moor heading into driving rain at times was no fun and it didn't stop once I'd reached the memorial. Luckily my camera phone is waterproof so I got a few of the remains of the wrecked catalina. The boat plane crashed on the hills in January 1942 with the loss of seven crew, though three survived.


Looking on to the crash site with aircraft remains spread across the moor...


  


From the memorial site I headed up hill to the summit of the Hill of Arisdale, at 210m it is the highest point on Yell and also classified as a 'Marilyn' hill, a smaller type of Munro.


By the time I got to back to the car I was feeling pretty damp and cold and still so when I got back to the office. It was an interesting and useful trip out though and a good walk in better weather.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A first visit to Gletness and a little sail

Gletness in South Nesting is one place I've not visited yet despite having been many other places around South Nesting. I have seen it from the sea, but that doesn't really count.

Being a nice morning I thought I'd have a quick run out there to take a photo or two and also catch up with friends who live there. Lucky things; it's a wonderful place right on the shore with a number of islands to hopefully dissipate the high seas that can roll in there.

I liked this little shore shelter some one had built there, although the wind was the wrong direction for it to do much good when I was there. 


May be it's a spot to sit and look for otters? I did see some otter prints on the beach ...


Here's the North Isle of Gletness with Hoo Stack and it's lighthouse in the distance...



I've also been for my first sail in a while. It was forecast force 5 winds or more and Martin and I thought we'd take Märta out for a little potter to try her storm sails out. As it turned out we were lucky if the wind hit force 4, but being too lazy to change the sails we just had a sedate sail around Linga and back and very nice it was too!

With good south-westerly we had a lot of tacking to get out of Olna Firth...



Here's a little timelapse of some of the sail; my camera battery ran out after a couple of hours and 1900 photos!