Another spin on the Shetland weather lottery.
This didn’t (as you might have seen from the previous entry) start too well. Four hours sitting in the gloom at Aberdeen airport wasn’t what I had planned, particularly with the background commentary letting me know just how rubbish the visibility was at Sumburgh Airport.
And given the pessimistic tone of the messages (and the lucky-dip nature of the seat allocations) I was, on reflection, pretty grateful to be wandering on West Voe Beach and on Scat Ness by middle of Friday afternoon without getting too wet.
|Scat Ness in the Friday murk|
|West Voe of Sumburgh|
From there on the weather just got better and better.
It was a little bit murky at Sumburgh Head on Saturday morning. There was a celebratory PARP of the fog horn to mark the start of the visitor centre season. PARP doesn’t really do it justice but it’s the best description I can conjure up - although the low notes do made it feel like the whole Head was vibrating. I’m sure that Flybe/Loganair could make use of the fog horn to guide planes in through the murk. The mid-day fog horn (and the warm welcome from the visitor centre staff) heralded the clearing of the clouds and the arrival of a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the south end of Shetland.
|Sumburgh Head Fog Horn|
|Waiting for the Fog Horn|
|Scat Ness in the Saturday Sunshine|
And on Sunday the weather just kept getting better - my vague hope that my long weekend back on Shetland might be extended by the return of the dodgy weather didn’t pan out.
|Sumburgh Head Lighthouse|
|Shetland Daffodils still in Season|
The only real disappointment of the visit, although there were plenty of daffodils, guillemot, shag and gannets around, was that I was just a few days too early for the return of the puffins or indeed of the orcas which periodically put in an appearance around Shetland.
And just to show how clear the weather was, by Sunday the Fair Isle test ("Can I see Fair Isle from the bedroom window?") had been passed.
|Fair Isle Test: Passed|
The puffins are pretty reliable in their timekeeping for their return to the Shetland cliffs, unlike the orca where lots of the luck is required - they really are part of a whole new Shetland lottery!