This picture of Stromness was taken from a wee 8ft rowing boat in the water along the harbour by Vivienne Rorie. She kindly said I could share it with you. Stromness is my favourite town.
This photo clearly shows the backs of the houses which run along the main old street in the town. It was built along "Norwegian" lines (Orkney was part of Norway till only 400 years ago), with the gable ends of the houses turning "their shoulders to the wind". Each house had a pier and the houses on the other side of the street would have had access rights to the pier. Stromness was home to the herring fleet in the 19th century, and all the houses would also have had wee boats to go out fishing. Nowadays it's generally used by the home-owners for their wee pleasure boats.
But the harbour is still a thriving centre to the town. It's where the ferry from the north of Scotland docks, some deep sea fishing boats are based here, plus the smaller local boats which fish for crabs with creels. There are the dive boats, part of the tourist industry, with lots of wrecks around these waters for diving. More recently there are also the work-boats for the renewable energy industry as there are test centres around the West coast of the Orkney Mainland, as well as some workshops down in the flow.