Sunday, 10 December 2017

Leverburgh Lifeboats


Leverburgh's old-style Mersey-class lifeboat will be replaced in the Spring of 2018 by a Shannon-class vessel currently being built at Poole, Dorset. It is powered by waterjets rather than propellers, having the flexibility of speed and shallow-water working. This makes the craft ideal for operating out of the Sound of Harris and around its distinctive coastlines. Full details are in the Stornoway Gazette.


Scottish Islands Explorer - rescues some readers' interests regularly
Digital Edition: operates speedily in virtually all conditions

Saturday, 9 December 2017

A Full-Day Single


The empty, secure and peaceful-looking elevated road, high above Stromness, Orkney, must have been a welcome sight for some passengers on the MV Hamnavoe which had docked at the pier yesterday morning soon after 09.00. Their arduous journey from Scrabster had started almost 24 hours earlier and involved a long extension of the usual 90-minute crossing and an overnight stay in the sheltered waters of Scapa Flow. It was a 'day single' to which many will not wish to return. Of the 750 visitors to this blog, some 600 clicked onto the item for further details,  such was the interest, sympathy and, in some cases, empathy with the passengers.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a safe way to experience the islands vicariously
Digital Edition: calmly rides the airwaves to reach you

Friday, 8 December 2017

'Not the Best Day to Sail'


Ian Fraser commented on Twitter that this was 'not the best day to sail.' His understatement is backed by the quiet tone of the report in The Orcadian. Here was a 90-minute ferry-journey that started yesterday morning at 10.05 in Scrabster, Caithness, and which will possibly end at Stromness, Orkney, within 24 hours. However, it's likely to be longer with all dependent on the winds.

Scottish Islands Explorer - not accustomed to delays
Digital Edition: internet assisted, seldom obstructed

Thursday, 7 December 2017

4G Rolls On


Earlier this week the prospective closure of the branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland at Castlebay, Barra, was announced. The ATM will be retained to dispense cash at all times. One reason given for the change is the popularity of internet banking. Yesterday the Stornoway Gazette featured an item on the ways in which 4G mobile network coverage has been rolled out over many parts of the Highlands & Islands and how more hubs will be added. So it's a matter, perhaps, of being 'cut off' in one sense and 'included' in another.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of what technology offers
Digital Edition: puts it into practice

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Caution About Caroline


The number of personnel on the Ninian South Platform, to the east of Shetland, is around 160. Some 70 of them are being helicoptered off as a precaution concerning the arrival of Storm Caroline tomorrow. So some huge seas could be experienced by the remaining 90. It's intriguing to see these figures in relative terms - for the population of Coll is about 164, but these residents live on 7,685 acres of land. Some difference. However, read more about the imminent threat to the platform, on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - subscriber distribution is also different
Digital Edition: operates above and through storms

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Love Scottish Islands


The Stones of Callanish, Isle of Lewis, and many other interesting features around the Scottish islands are likely to be promoted by Lee Allen through his fascinating website Love Scottish Islands. Take time to visit and sign up for in-depth recommendations.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looks from heights as well as being down-to-earth
Digital Edition: all conducted through the internet

Monday, 4 December 2017

Cava Caveat


There is a lighthouse on Cava in the Orkney group, but no houses fit for habitation. The recorded population fell to two in the 1991 Census, but in the new millennium reverted to its 1961 level of none. However, read the item by Amy Liptrot on uninhabited islands in the Orkney archipelago. You will soon be in the picture about the ways of depopulation.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to see records of habitation
Digital Edition: would like many island inhabitants to log on at next-to-nothing

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Forecasts in Detail


A new radar station on the Isle of Lewis can detect the size of snowflakes and raindrops according to the BBC website. For further details of the installation, go to the Stornoway Gazette. Here is an explanation of why the crow is more significant in this location than the robin.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to get under the radar with some of its items
Digital Edition: on very much the same frequency

Saturday, 2 December 2017

No Bank Branch on Barra?


Things certainly look quiet at the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Castlebay, Barra. There are around 1100 residents on the island and, apparently, they do not bring sufficient business - so the building could be replaced by a visiting mobile bank. The growing popularity of internet banking linked with ATMs (automated teller machines) is an international trend and there are many people throughout Brtiain who, despite having many choices, never set foot in a bank branch. However, the announcement of possible closure may lead to a surge of use here. Read more on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - closure not imminent
Digital Edition: attracting new readers worldwide

Friday, 1 December 2017

Moving up the Scales


Peter Fletcher, from Nottingham, selected the old fish processing factory at Kirkibost, Great Bernera, Lewis, for his state-of-the-art music recording studio. It officially opened two days ago and hopes to attract professional and gifted musicians as well as some create employment for those wanting to learn about the techniques of  capturing sound. The details of Black Bay Studio are in the Press and Journal.


Scottish Islands Explorer - loves new ventures, especially on coastal sites
Digital Edition: aware of the latest technologies