Saturday, 21 June 2008

Freight issues

My eye was caught by the shipping arrangements in northern Holland, where the islands of Vlieland and Terschelling are served by shipping company Doeksen out of the Frisian port of Harlingen. The cargo service is carried out by a cargo-cat, a catamaran dedicated to freight. With the debate hotting up over the eventual replacement of much maligned (not deserved) MV Muirneag, trudging back and forth between Ullapool and Stornoway, this unique vessel might be an option. I quote a few data:

Dimensions: 48 x 15 x 2 meters (160 x 50 x 7 feet)
Power: 4 x 280 kW
Speed: 12 nautical miles per hour

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Cargo Cat"]Cargo Cat[/caption]

Photo courtesy Menno Kooistra

Friday, 13 June 2008

Eishken Windfarm

Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I've got a reasonable idea what has happened to this frightful muddle, in spite of the fact that I am off island. And Arnish Lighthouse being what it always has been (not afraid to offer an opinion), I'm going to sound off, and await the reaction.

The Scottish Government has decided not to call in the planning application for 13 turbines on the Eishken Estate, which lies about half a dozen miles southeast of Balallan. In other words, they don't have any objections to its approval by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

The matter does get complicated, because this is part of the 53 turbines already pencilled in as the Muaitheabhal project by Beinn Mhor Power. To me, as I have pointed out earlier this year, this is a blatant attempt to sneak in the 53 turbines by the backdoor. The large project has been subject to a public local inquiry (which I unfortunately missed, being off island). But if BMP manage to put up the 53 turbines in batches of 13, none of which are opposed by the Scottish Government and certainly not by the rubber stamps on Sandwick Road, Stornoway (the Comhairle), I would like to think that some legal eagles might want to have a bit of a discussion about it. It is certainly devoid of any natural justice.

The large North Lewis Windfarm was thwarted mainly through people power. There is no people power to oppose Eishken. Total population of that district and environs lies at around 50 (most of these along Loch Seaforth between Ath Linne and Maraig), whose opinions are simply ignored by everybody.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Island fever

Indulged that in a massive way in the summer and autumn of 2004. Here are some more pictures, this time from a visit to Shetland early in September of that year.

The Dim Riv (pic 1) is a replica Viking ship that takes tourists round Lerwick harbour. At the time of my visit, there was no wind, so the vessel drifted round the harbour on the tide.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="On board the Dim Riv in Lerwick Harbour during gale force 0"]On board the Dim Riv during gale force 0[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Sand of Meal near Hamnavoe, West Burra"]Sand of Meal near Hamnavoe, West Burra[/caption]

Lerwick from Fort CharlotteBetween Scalloway and Burra

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Look back

Remaining off island, but keeping a beady eye on proceedings there. I have decided to feature some pictures I took on a massive island hopping spree back in 2004. We start in Orkney, where I was in September of that year. More to follow - please enjoy.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="London Airport, Eday"]London Airport, Eday[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Crossing to Eday"]Crossing to Eday, Orkney on a blustery day[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="West coast of Scapa Flow near Kirkwall"]West coast of Scapa Flow near Kirkwall[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Cornstooks on North Ronaldsay"]Cornstooks on North Ronaldsay[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="The seaweed eating sheep of North Ronaldsay"]The seaweed eating sheep of North Ronaldsay[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Beach, Shapinsay"]Beach, Shapinsay[/caption]