Shetland, August 2019

Packing to be back on Shetland is normally a pretty straight-forward process.

You have a quick look at a weather forecast, then pack a woollen Fair Isle hat and a windproof jacket.

Last weekend there was a very strong temptation to add some over-trousers too.  The weather forecast suggested that roughly ten minutes after my flight was due to land the rain would start - and it was likely to carry on for most of the next four or five days (approximately until my flight back south was due to depart).

And with uncharacteristic accuracy, the rain did indeed start roughly ten minutes after my flight from Aberdeen parked up at Sumburgh Airport.  And the next few hours gave every indication that this would going to carry on, but a glimmer of light late in the afternoon did at least allow a walk on the beach.

West Voe Beach - after the rains

The next couple of days felt as if I was living on borrowed time - there was lots of blue sky around (and very little wind) but you always felt that it might revert to the forecast.

Cloud cap on Fitful Head
Blue skies and sunshine at Sumburgh Head
Calm waters at Scat Ness
Looking across Quendale Bay from Scat Ness to Fitful Head

And then it did switch - not to the promised heavy rain, but to traditional Shetland summer fog.  For a couple of days flights were messed up - and some poor souls got to fly from Aberdeen to Shetland only to be turned round and sent back again because it was too murky to land, not just once, not just twice but (I gather) three times over a couple of days.

A Room with No View - Quendale Bay?
Fog bubbling at Compass Head

And then, because the weather never lasts very long on Shetland, we reverted to blue skies and although there wasn't much wind around the seas were starting to show a bit more activity.

Looking North from The Kame
White Water in the Wick of Shunni 
Lady's Holm and Fitful Head from Scat Ness

And yes although I did take a Fair Isle hat, I didn't feel the need to wear it this time but I've left it there for the next trip which is only a couple of weeks away...