Monday 28 November 2016

Shetland's Coast Guard training at West Voe of Sumburgh

I observed a bit of the training of the Shetland's Coast Guard at West Voe of Sumburgh. The wind was very strong with sharp gusts of probably 50-60km/h, there was rain, but still the helicopter managed to stay pretty fixed in one place and the guy at the end of the rope rescued successful the drowning dummy :)

Monday 21 November 2016

Kayaking from Sandwick to Mousa, seal pups, ancient broch and capsized mate

Kayaking from Sandwick to Mousa Island, where we found a few very cute seal pups and visited the Mousa Broch. Parts of the structure are about 2000 years old and that'e very impressive. It stood through the centuries unmouved by wind, rain and any kind of bad weather that the Shetland Islands can offer.

The island itself is pretty small, just few km across and its name means the moss island in Norsk if I remember correctly. It doesn't seem to be visited very often and probably that's why seal pups can be seen laying around.

When we were about to leave the shore and to continue a bit more around the islands, so we can see the caves too, one of the guys (who was going out in the see with kayak for first time in his life) capsized about 50 m into the sea and I had to drag him out of the water. However he didn't have wetsuit or any kind of protection and after been submerged fully he spend some more time in the 3 C degrees water and when he got back in his kayak he proceeded to paddle in the wet clothes another hour until we got to the mainland. Now I am thinking if this happened in the middle between the two cosasts he would've been in big trouble, I just don't see an easy way to get him back in the kayak or to drag him through 3-4 km of icy water.

So, the day was pretty interesting

View from the Sandwick's pier. Mousa can be seen just around the corner

Sandwick's pier

Into the sea

There was some rain in the begining but later on it stopped

My mates having a cigarette break

The Mousa Broch could be seen across the strech

When we got out on dry land the very first thing we've seen was a seal pup

I am not an expert but it looks like grey seal

And like all seal pups its very cute

But seems its mother left it alone, so it was scared of us and I decided to leave it alone, I am no sure but these seals seems to leave their pups like that on the shore. On this picture it really looks like puppy.

Another seal pup, a bit older

Probably grey seal pup also

A view from Mousa

The Mousa Broch, Over 2000 years old stucture

Inside in one of the chambers in Mousa Broch

The stairs inside the double wall in the Broch of Mousa. Some of the steps are less then the width of my palm

Inside of the Broch of Mousa

View from the top of the Mousa Broch

View from the top of the Broch of Mousa

Small seal colony on the Mousa Island

Grey seal pups at Mousa

Seal pups

Seal pups, on this picture they are like sea puppies

The seal pups looking at us

The way to the Mousa caves

Our capsized mate (in the blue clothes) getting out of the water his kayak

Last look at the Broch of Mousa

Well soaked on our way back

Friday 18 November 2016

Walk from Sumburgh to Fitful Head through Quendale and back

I decided to have a walk from Sumburgh Hotel to Fitful Head, which is one of the highest points at the extreme South of Shetland. First I passed through the Airport's Runway, after that through village called Toab, then walked along the Quendale beach, which is Natural reserve and nice place to be seen and after that following the the cliffs I got to the highest point of the Fitful Head. From there after some time walking about the area I got on the main road and returned to Sumburgh. The whole thing too a few hours, but otherwise wasn't difficult at all, just a bit of uneven terrain. At some point on my way back when I was near some seagull-infested place I heard something strange, like a seal call or similar, but different and it is in the video also, but I can't find yet what makes such sounds, so I am open for suggestions.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Sumburgh Airport, Shetland - turboprop airplanes on the runway

Just a few turboprop airplanes taking off and landing on the Sumburgh Airport runway, which crosses the car's road.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Jarlshof - prehistoric and Norse settlement near Sumburgh, Shetland

Jarlshof is amazing prehistoric and Norse settlement near Sumburgh, Shetland. Its history spans thousands of years and it was home to prehistoric people, picts, vikings and more.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Sumburgh and Compass Head, Shetland

I had a walk around Sumburgh Head. Started from Sumburgh Hotel, after that passed through Grutness, after that continued along the cliffs to the Compass Head, from there the slithers and the Sumburgh Head itself. From the lighthouse there walked back to the hotel along the West coast. The whole exercise shouldn't take more then 3 hours, even with breaks and taking pictures. The distance is around 6 km, nothing steep or difficult, so I'd recommend this route for virtually everybody.

See this link for more information about the route.

Monday 14 November 2016

Grey Seals near Scousburgh Sands (Sppigie Beach), Shetland

I had the luck to see and film this colony of Grey Seals near Scousburgh Sands (Sppigie Beach), Shetland.

There are a lot of seals around Shetland, but this place seems to be especially easy to access and as a bonus even if the seals are not there the area is very picturesque and nice. This as far as I understand were Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus), which are a bit bigger then the Common Seals and have more "bull terrier" - like profile. Sadly they were too timid to let me get closer to them, which may be legacy from the times when they were hunted.

Opposite to Scousburgh Sands (Sppigie Beach) beach
These Grey Seals were lying on the Sppigie Beach
Another group of seals on the other end of the beach, Scousburgh Sands

Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) on Scousburgh Sands (Sppigie Beach), Shetland
One of the Grey Seals is getting curious