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Thursday, 21 January 2021

Sailing to Stromness....

 

Hoy High light and Graemsay 

Last week I had to make a quick visit to Stromness for a routine blood test at the local Health Centre.  I got the first boat in the morning (08.10) and returned on the 10am sailing so I wasn't there long! Not even chance for a takeaway coffee from my favourite cafe (Julia's). All covid protections are in place in Orkney and I felt quite safe, both sailing on the ferry, and at the health centre.  The main problem was ice everywhere!  I was afraid of doing a Bambi impression!  I have fragile bones so falling is not recommended.  Never fear I did the penguin shuffle around the town.  Had the chance of a quick socially distanced chat with a friend I hadn't seen since October and then came home.  So here are a few photos of the sail to Stromness on a beautiful cold and frosty morning..... 

PS - first time I've seen a proper sunrise all winter - well I am retired!!  After 60 years of getting up for school, university and work on dark mornings I am revelling in the fact I don't HAVE to do that now.  Whooo hooo. Retirement going well then......

Looking down Clestrain Sound to the island of Flotta (in the middle) Orkney Mainland on the left.


Hoy High lighthouse on Graemsay.....



Snow dusted Hoy Hills......


Approaching the harbour....




Stromness waterfront.....





Sunrise over the harbour and the Graemsay ferry.....


Boats in the harbour....


It was a lovely calm day, hope you enjoyed coming with me!  Next post will be the return journey....


Sunday, 17 January 2021

A quick drive - Part 2....

 


On my drive the other day I also took my old Panasonic Lumix compact camera with me.  Most photos these days are taken with my phone camera, but with more time now I'm hoping to expand using my Lumix with some additional settings.  It gives much sharper photos though being old doesn't have quite the range of newer versions (hmmm bit like humans really....).  Anyway here is a bit of a reprise of the earlier blog images but slightly different......

Above is the old Kirk, and across Burra Sound to the island of Hoy and snow capped Ward Hill. 

The sun dipping down between the hills on the road to Rackwick Bay on the other side of the island.  A magic place I'm hoping I can visit there again this year!


Top of the Kirk Road.... the hills brooding under the setting sun....





The croft of Dean






The old school and behind the Cott of School.  The school closed in 1996 when we got the MV Graemsay ferry and a service running 5 days a week so the sole pupil could go over to school in Stromness each day.


Looking over the croft of Flaghill to Stromness Harbour


On past the old School and looking South to Hoy (behind which are the mountains of Scotland), and West, next stop Canada...


Kye (cattle) eating silage.  Overlooking the Pentland Firth.....


Looking at Flaghill croft from the North Side....



Looking across Sandside Bay to Hoy High lighthouse and Sandside, across Hoy Sound to the Orkney Mainland (Orphir parish)


A handsome chap (Belted Galloway bull)....


Back home at Sandside now, looking over to Stromness...


Looking over some of the ruins at Sandside to Stromness Golf Club and beyond the hill is Black Craig - where the sun sets in mid-summer.



A closer look at the Golf Club and Black Craig (with a cairn on top)


A closer look at those old buidlings... the end one used to be a forge.  It's thought they were used to house workers (and workshop) when the lighthouse was being built.  But are likely to have been in sue before then.  The forge is now slipping onto the shore, though 40 years ago apparently you could drive a tractor round the side..... coastal erosion :-(



Lapwings (teuks)..........


Sheep and lapwings in my field behind Sandside (a neighbour uses the field for grazing).



And the light part of Hoy High lighthouse!


Hope you enjoyed your second trip round the island!

Thursday, 14 January 2021

A quick drive round the block....

 


As I'm not using my island car much I try and give it a run a couple of times a week to make sure it is still going OK.  I set off at around 2.30 - the sun was low with sunset about 15.40.  So here are a few pix from my jaunt....  Above the road leading down to the old Kirk, and the Hoy hills across Burra Sound.

Top of the hill....


Looking down Scapa Flow


The road to the croft of Gorn


The old croft of Dean with snow capped Hoy Hills....


Looking over to Stromness....


Further round the island now, full view of Ward Hill on Hoy, across Burra Sound....


Sunset behind ruins of crofts on Graemsay


A fine herd of Belted Galloway cattle on the island....





And back home at the old buildings at Sandside




Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Quick wander around the shore.....

 



Yesterday was another glorious day. Bright and sunny, chilly but no wind.  The weather is set to change tomorrow - we are forecast sleet and snow with a bit more wind.  Ah well.... it is Winter.  

Sadly there were a couple of cases of Covid-19 reported in Orkney today.  We have gone quite a while without any cases but with key workers travelling back and forth to Mainland Scotland, as well as local folk travelling and students back for the holidays there is always the risk of transmission.  Hopefully the cases will be few and the folk will recover quickly.

Anyway back to the short walk around the shore......  A cloud looking like a woolly sheep or a wooly wolf disguised as a woolly sheep over Stromness


Lots of seaweed by the natural swimming pool....



The horseshoe that was the "wrong way" round in yesterday's post was righted in the depth of night by a concerned neighbour!  All should be right with the world.  Unless you believe that the Devil will flow into the upturned shoe!


Creels on the old lighthouse pier.  





Button on the beach......


Across the bay.....


I took a drive round the island to keep the car running as I rarely drive it now.  I have no need to go anywhere!!  Looking over the croft of Quoys, the Community Hall (green hut) and the Manse on the hill.


And looking back across the bay to Sandside and Hoy High lighthouse. Orphir on the Orkney Mainland behind.