Saturday, 24 January 2015

New Haven for Huskyan

There will soon be a new boat in a new haven, Stromness. It's the MV Huskyan, a dive boat built for Radiant Queen Charters. It has been launched at Newhaven on the south coast of England and will soon be sailing north to be ready for the 2015 diving season. 'Huskyan' is an old Orkney word for 'strength' which sounds as though it could refer to the powerful dogs associated with sledge-pulling. However, huskies are apparently  a contraction of 'huskimos', a variation of 'eskimos' once used by English sailors. For a reference to new a crew job on the Huskyan go to this Facebook page and for more details of the vessel go to The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has had features on Scapa Flow diving

Friday, 23 January 2015

Stornoway Warming

Stornoway in the Autumn sun is pictured above and at the end of day is glimpsed below. The temperatures here have been significant during 2014 by being ... above the average in every month except December. In fact, the year has seen records broken. Survey the details in this Stornoway Gazette item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - warms readers' interests

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Protecting Bere

The Barony Mills at Birsay, Orkney, produces beremeal (from bere, a variety of barley which is often called 'corn' locally) for bannocks and beer. It has a following beyond the island from where moves have been made to safeguard its identity with Protected Food Name status. The details are in The Orcadian. The name used for bere in the past was bygg, still a term for barley in Norway.

Scottish Islands Explorer - relished and purchased the product when in Birsay

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Top of (and in) the UK

Frankie's of Brae, Shetland, is the most northerly of Britain's fish and chip shops and has now been voted the top in the UK within the independent takeaway category. Read about the National Fish and Chips Awards 2015 presentation at the Lancaster Gate Hotel, London, in Shetland News ... and then make your way there ... to Brae.

Scottish Islands Explorer - proud to have eaten in at Frankie's

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

St Kilda Diary

The Church and Manse on St Kilda are where Alice MacLachlan would have written her diaries about life on the island from 1906 - 1909. She was the wife of the minister and teacher at the school. Her observations were published only yesterday. Go to the Stornoway Gazette item and click onto the extracts from the National Trust for Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - still read in 106 years time?

Monday, 19 January 2015

Seaforth at Kirkwall

Here's CalMac's latest, MV Loch Seaforth, at Greenock, while by accessing The Orcadian you can see the ship moored at Hatson Pier, Kirkwall. It is there and will be a Scrabster, near Thurso, as part of crew familiarisation exercise with different types of docking equipment. Its ultimate, regular destinations will be Stornoway and Ullapool.

Scottish Islands Explorer - familiar already to thousands of readers

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Great Value on Sanday

Three Orkney properties were featured in last Friday's Bricks and Mortar section of The Times. One was the Newquoy Guest House and Writers' Retreat on the island of Sanday. It has evolved from the Victorian-built Burness School and offers a wealth of interesting features. It's at least worth a visit to the Bell Ingram website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has featured this fine residence and retreat

Saturday, 17 January 2015


This weekend the Northern Lights Board vessel, the Pharos, will be taking advantage of a lull in the weather in the Pentland Firth to investigate the wreck of the cement carrier, the Cemfjord. It capsized in 70 metres of water on 2 January. The details are to be found in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always searching for stories

Friday, 16 January 2015

Short Walks; Long Life

The second Friday Islay Picture of 2015, taken last year on Machir Bay, is a timely reminder that one of the components for longevity is, apparently, a brisk short walk of around 20 minutes, a day. These walkers certainly went for a longer stroll, but the resolution to get out and about could well be adopted as part of our daily routines. However strong the resolve, the chances of such stunning scenery is not so high.

Scottish Islands Explorer - produced through a series of daily routines

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Shepherds' Warning

The 'red sky in the morning, shepherds warning' certainly applied on Islay. Here is a sunrise photograph taken on Tuesday and the sequence of images and words from the Islay Blog for Wednesday (yesterday) is a natural sequel.

Scottish Islands Explorer - hails the red at night for delight