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The Journey Is Home

Archive for November 2020

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 Britain's most remote inhabited island. We flew in this morning. It feels like we are walking into a painting. Think Norway meets Hawaiian islands and Father Time and Mother Nature have a field day.




Far Out Yet Still Close 

 No man is an island, as John Donne wrote, but, north of the border, you can live on one. Scotland's. The Shetland's is good like that, with 15 inhabited ones to choose from. We are here in Fair Isle. Britian's most remote one. It feels like we are moving through paintings as the ever changing weather lights the landscape in unique and splendid ways.

Thanks to the popularity of the TV Series Shetland, we have had  it on our radar as places to visit this year. 

Of all the 115 islands  in the archipelago,  just a few- 15- are inhabited ones. We are at to Britain's most remote island, Fair Isle. 

First, Sarah and I flew into  Lerwick, Shetland's mainland via Edinburgh, Scotland.  Next, we got a PCR test for Covid (Think Positive Test Negative).

Then, we  followed-on to  Fair Isle,  population 55, now 57! What a place to self-isolate during the global pandemic!

At first I thought Fair Isle was- the Faroe Islands (That's Danish and in the sub Arctic Circle). The Shetland Isles are located in the North Atlantic, Closer  to Norway than to Aberdeen. Go Vikings!



FAIR ISLE Are we there yet? Being there...

There are two choices for transport to reach the island - take it or leave it. 
The first involves a 20-minute straight run  aboard a 'puddle jumper, 7 seater fixed-wing plane from the mainland of Shetland –  a  twin engine prop plane- heart-in-the-mouth flight- up-close and personal with the pilot and his control dashboard.  
Thankfully, that link was not cancelled, due to fog, wind or just plain bad weather, then it would have been a ferry,  actually a converted fishing vessel, the only other alternative, a notoriously 2 hour rough crossing aboard the island’s ferry, the Good Shepherd IV.  Sometimes the  North Sea is even too rough for the ferry.

Living Of The Grid And Living On The Edges

Fair Isle is not connected to the National Grid. Energy is generated in the island by the Fair Isle Electricity Company (FIEC) using wind turbines and solar and this is stored in a battery back up system. We brought Torches, flashlights, as there is zero light pollution or street lights.





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Despite its icy temperatures, a Shetland beach-St Ninians- has been named among the best places in the world to swim, alongside those in the Caribbean, Australia and the Mediterranean. 




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 No man is an island, as John Donne wrote, but, north of the border, you can live on one. Scotland's. The Shetland's is good like that, with 15 inhabited ones to choose from. We are here in The Mainland, staying in Lerwick. 









 

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 Looking at these chalky cliffs which form part of the English coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France. The Disney Magic docked in the background.
Don't get to close Sarah!
It was the best of vibes. It was the worst of vibes. We waited for 2020 to have that perfect vision.  Nobody could predict what they'd be seeing and doing this year- washing our hands constantly,  wearing a mask and social distancing because of the global plague.

Summer sailing in the Norwegian Fjords, The Baltics or  through Alaska's wildlife super highway, Glacier Bay  are on pandemic event time- no one knows when it will end. Tis the  Caribbean sailing  season but all fleets have come to a grinding halt, until sometime in 2021. 

DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP. 
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B.C. Before Covid- The Disney Magic was full of activities onboard and at the port of call, Cast Away Cay.


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