Northern Isles^

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Mark R
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:16 pm

tizereyes wrote:When it comes to food, Heather needs a very large stick to give you a good beating. You're not to be trusted! Ever.
Huh? Innocent until proven guilty, surely ...
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:17 pm

Jim wrote:Point of interest, Northlink Ferries are part of the Calmac group, but run as an independant fleet.
Yes, we learned this when they were trying to decide what to charge us - we pointed out that CalMac didn''t charge, and they said, "Well, seeing as they own us ..."
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Helen M » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:33 pm

Mark R wrote:
tizereyes wrote:When it comes to food, Heather needs a very large stick to give you a good beating. You're not to be trusted! Ever.
Huh? Innocent until proven guilty, surely ...
hmmm - Where is Heather when you need her? lol

H - x

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark Gawler » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:40 pm

Mark R wrote:
tizereyes wrote:When it comes to food, Heather needs a very large stick to give you a good beating. You're not to be trusted! Ever.
Huh? Innocent until proven guilty, surely ...
Mark's "Hotdog Pasta stuff" is infamous on our whitewater multi-day trips, three years on it is still cited as the reason to individually cater.
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:28 am

Mark Gawler wrote:
Mark R wrote:
tizereyes wrote:When it comes to food, Heather needs a very large stick to give you a good beating. You're not to be trusted! Ever.
Huh? Innocent until proven guilty, surely ...
Mark's "Hotdog Pasta stuff" is infamous on our whitewater multi-day trips, three years on it is still cited as the reason to individually cater.
Hmm, I recall that - six+ days' paddling away from the nearest road, first night of a super-serious WW expedition, limited food carried - and yet everyone is ditching the dinner I'd cooked them. More fool them, more hotdogs and spaghetti for me ...
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:03 pm

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:50 pm

The Feb issue of Canoe Kayak UK mag (out tomorrow) includes an article about our Orkney summer holiday.
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:52 pm

Dorset/ Hampshire folk - tomorrow night, Heather will be speaking about our splendid Orkney trip ...

http://southwestseakayaking.co.uk/2010/ ... blue-boar/

All welcome.

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:44 pm

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:09 am

Shetland ... we provisionally planned on visiting last summer, but never made it.

We're now finally heading up there, in a few weeks' time. We'll be both paddling and 'working' (book writing), can anyone recommend a good 'base' where we can camp (or sleep cheaply) but also have access to indoors, with electricity and maybe even a table?

Any ideas welcome.
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by ls » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:27 am

Having spent a couple of weeks on the Islands last year, and happening on the cafe at Braewick as we paddled past a couple of days into the trip, we headed back each time we wanted a base, great views, good food, camping, and facilities, and stunning paddling just down the road...

http://www.eshaness.shetland.co.uk/

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by lg18 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:28 am

I second that. I can't really think of anywhere else at all that fits the bill so well as Braewick cafe camp site. And it's rarely busy, with the best views in Shetland, and a mixture of normal chairs and tables, and sofas/coffee tables.

There are also a network of "camping bods" managed by the Shetland Amenity Trust. Only £6 or £8 per night, and some have electricity. If you wanted a change from Braewick!
http://www.camping-bods.co.uk/
PS - don't believe that website about filling in the online booking form - just give the Amenity Trust a ring, they're really lovely and helpful.

We're getting on the ferry north tomorrow - can't wait!

Lucy

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:55 pm

Some great suggestions, many thanks.
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Jim Tait » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:09 pm

http://www.shetlandcanoeclub.co.uk/


we're quite friendly up here - let me know if you need any info?

Jim

(just saw when I joined - I've been lurking a bit? - sorry)

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by lg18 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:19 pm

If you are at all interested in a night or 2 in a B&B, the following ones are (in my personal opinion anyway!), among the best:

Mucklehus, Levenwick http://www.mucklehus.co.uk/
Burrastow House, nr Walls - superb evening meals cooked by Pierre the Belgian owner - he's a windsurfer and dreams of sea kayaking! http://www.burrastowhouse.co.uk/en/
Lunna House, Vidlin - this was the base of the "Shetland Bus" secret operation in WWII - http://www.lunnahouse.co.uk/
Windward, Scalloway - Beth and Ian are sea kayakers and lovely people - http://www.accommodation-shetland.co.uk/

I hope you have a fabulous time. Magic Seaweed says it's going to be a bit breezy for most of our trip there.

Lucy

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:55 pm

Awesome stuff Lucy, we have no idea which to choose first...
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by TechnoEngineer » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:49 pm

Shetlopedia any use? e.g. http://shetlopedia.com/Unst

It would be interesting to know how Unst is getting on with their renewable energy projects ("Promoting Unst Renewable Energy" [PURE])
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:22 pm

Yes, I found that earlier tonight.

Ooh, nice...
http://shetlopedia.com/Foula
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:09 pm

How bad are the Shetland midges?

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark Gawler » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:30 am

I don't recall them being a problem, certainly not as bad as the west coast of Scotland. It was quite windy for most of our trip, which was at the end of August / beginning of September.
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Jim Tait » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:46 am

Mark R wrote:How bad are the Shetland midges?

Cheers,
They have their moments, but generally finding somewhere windy enough to blow them away isn't a problem!!
There have been some still days when they're as bad as anywhere, but usually bearable

Jim

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by lg18 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:00 pm

Sheltand Midgies....?
We're just back off the ferry this morning. We had one very pleasant evening sitting outside a pub in a very sheltered spot one warm balmy evening, shaded by trees and dampness. I found one midge on me!

Last year we had a lovely camp spot in an old peat cutting in the middle of a large peat bog, with not a breath of wind, and sat outside all evening with our beers. Didn't spot any midgies.

The year before that we were round at a friends for an evening BBQ - again, sheltered and warm - our Shetlander friends said we'd get eaten alive by midgies if we went to check on the BBQ... I think I counted 5!

Maybe we've just been lucky, but all of these non-midgie incidents have been in July in warm calm weather. We don't even bother taking anti-midge stuff up there any more. Maybe August might be worse...?

Lucy

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:15 pm

http://www.unstbusshelter.shetland.co.uk/

I must say that I'm looking forward to this...
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Now on the ferry, arriving in c13 hours.

Exciting stuff!
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:22 pm

We're having a wonderful time up here, the landscape is amazing and the weather has been surprisingly good. We've just extended our trip by two weeks! Off to the Out Skerries now, wind and tide allowing...
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:32 pm

We've just been literally face to face with whales. Unbelievable and rather scary.
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Helen M » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:41 pm

WOW - Awesome. Looking forward to the photos.

H - x

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by lg18 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:02 pm

$!£C^&*!£$%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:27 pm

Finally we are both home from Shetland, after five weeks of outstanding adventures!

The one thing that surprised me about Shetland was the variety of landscapes and scenery; to be honest, I expected it all to be grand and epic sandstone cliffs. Whilst there is certainly plenty of that sort of thing, there is just about every other kind of marine environment there too, waiting there to be found.

We paddled all over Shetland and did most of the 'classic' trips, but we also (for no particular reason) spent some time properly exploring each of the four 'corners' of Shetland; Foula in the far west, Muckle Flugga and Out Stack in the far north, the Out Skerries in the far east and then we finished up with a week down south on Fair Isle - we turned up at this last location meaning to stay for a couple of days, but couldn't drag ourselves away, ending up attending a wedding among other unplanned things.

Absolutely and totally wonderful. The best wildlife and the best sea paddling in the UK, without question.
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Re: Northern Isles^

Post by Mark R » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:57 am

The paddle around Fair Isle, perhaps the best day trip I've ever done. A bit of a preview here, lots of footage of all the coasts except the west (highest) bits.

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