01 June 2013
We made it!
After a few hours kip we launched wholeheartedly in the tourist life. Taking a local bus, local ferry, local bus, local ferry and repeating often, we "ticked off" the three of the main islands that comprise the bulk of Shetland. Tourism Japanese style!
For me, (Stuart), reaching Lerwick seemed like the culmination of all our efforts to get north since leaving Spain months and thousands of miles ago. Capsized boats, storms, rain cold and bust engines, Lerwick seemed like paradise and even better, it was bathed in sunshine. What's more, I was completely disjaskit (as they say in Shetland).
We had a great few day here in great weather before waving Diane and Mike off, back to real life in Briton and some I disturbed sleep.
We were tempted to stay longer and had a good night with the live music in the Lounge. Local musicians just turn up with their instruments and start playing. Great music and a great atmosphere. A television crew from ABC in America filmed the evening as part of a cultures of the work programme heading to a s Rees near you some time later this year.
However, one does have to "press on". Can't be hanging around marinas and harbours enjoying ourselves. Oh no. We have to take off into the night and blast our way across the North Sea in freezing temperatures with only the warmth from the seemingly dozens of oil rig flares to keep us from gong blue.
The forecast was great for 48 hours but then due to veer north east which would scupper our plans of getting to the Lofotens Islands in Arctic Norway. (Forget that, it's been Arctic everywhere since we left Spain).
After a great nights sailing averaging 7.5 knots, the wind died and veered putting both the Lofotens and our second objective, Alesund off the agenda. We there headed for and landed in the slightly industrial town of Maloy where we spent a quiet two nights.
Tuesday 4th June (anne's birthday)
For the big surprise I surreptitiously had Mike buy the Fair Isle hat I'd pointed at in the shop in Unst while Anne had her back turned. I should have checked but, when I saw it for the first time this morning when she put it on I nearly died laughing. Dead ringer for Rocky out of Chicken Run. Whoever knitted the damn thing obviously gave up before putting a top on the bunnet and simply tied a big, roosters comb on the top. If we go back via Unst I shall be writing a strong letter.