View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 20 October 2008

Trip to Orkney - 6 October / Read entry

I have made an audio entry, reading the above post. A few stumbles along the way, but what the heck.

Trip down memory lane

I'm seriously going down memory lane at close of day. The above video shows the introduction to a children's TV series called "Brendon Chase", which I followed as a teenager, back in 1981.

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, this is the 1981 intro - but who has NOT read those Mark Twain books!

Oh well, back to October 2008...

Gale at Stornoway

I already mentioned that we had a gale yesterday. I think it was force 9 when I took the above footage outside the Coastguard Station. More stills here.

Trip to Orkney - 6 October

Time for me to depart the shores of Hoy. In the morning, I said good-bye to Derek and Helen, and I set off for the Scapa Centre near Lyness Pier. I have visited the exhibition in the past, but it had been extended.

At 12.30, the MV Hoy Head turned up to take me back to Houton on Orkney Mainland. After a smooth crossing, I found the bus on the slipway which transported me back into Kirkwall. The driver asked me if, at 1.30pm, I really wanted a Day Ticket. Yep, gotto go to Stromness twice today, thanks.

Once in Stromness, I called into the taxi office to enquire about taxi fares to Skara Brae, which is where I'm going tomorrow. There is no bus there, except at ridiculous hours. About £12 each way. After an amble up the main street, I return to the area of the ferry terminal, and watch MV Hamnavoe arrive on its afternoon crossing from Scrabster. The bus takes me back to Kirkwall, where I once again check into Mrs Thornton's B&B. Meanwhile, my travelling companion is making her way north to Scrabster - a long, long journey. I have been asked not to go into specifics regarding my companion. After a meal of fish & chips, I watch TV until 8 pm. The bus takes me back to Stromness (16 miles), in the dark this time, and I collect my companion from the ferry terminal.

Breakfast room

MV Hoy Head coming into Lyness

Mill House (right) from the ferry to Houton

Victoria Street, Stromness

Old Youth Hostel, Stromness

MV Hamnavoe arriving from Scrabster

Stromness Harbour

Trip to Orkney - 5 October

Sunday dawned bright and sunny, and it looked as if it was going to stay dry. After breakfast, enjoyed in a sun-flooded conservatory, I headed up the road to the Naval Cemetery, which would keep me occupied for the next 2 hours or so. I took just over 600 pictures of gravestones and memorials there. These included a Muselman and a Parsee (presumably Turkish and Persian), as well as 16 Germans and a Norwegian. Very sad. One gravestone was for a sailor called A. Hoy.

By midday, all were snapped and I returned to Mill House for lunch. Afterwards, I went out for a walk north, but I felt so tired that I could not walk all the way to Betty Corrigall's grave. Supper was very good, a Sunday roast, and I once more enjoyed Helen and Derek's company, as well as that of their cat.

Road on Hoy

Pegal Burn

Mill House

Puss by gate

One of the more unusual gravestones at the Naval Cemetery

Monday 20 October

After yesterday's gale, Monday dawns fairly bright but still breezy. I'll post some pictures of the seas, whipped up by those winds later today.

Regarding the migration and its problems, a solution should be available later this week, so don't fully despair just yet. I'll post on Magic Smoke when I know more.

The Indian Ocean is currently a scene of some unusual activity on the tropical cyclone front. An active disturbance is approaching the Horn of Africa (Cape Guardafui) and may develop into something nasty before it reaches there. Tropical cyclone Asma is making for Madagascar. The various agencies cannot agree whether Asma will be a hurricane or hardly a tropical cyclone at all by the time it reaches the island.