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18th March, 2015

Lerwick, Shetland

We left Åndalsnes just before breakfast on Wednesday, under a blue sky and with calm winds, so passengers had six hours of magical views of the fjords with snow-capped mountains in the distance. Once our pilot had disembarked off Alesund the course was set to cross the Norwegian Sea, avoiding the many oil and gas platforms that provide much of the wealth to Norway. The high pressure to the east was building, giving us relatively calm seas and a low south easterly swell.

Shetland came out of the darkness, treeless rolling hills on all side as we entered Lerwick harbour. I elected to stay on board, but Mrs R took the ‘Spectacular Northmavine’ excursion. Apparently it was indeed a spectacular drive to the north, across the isthmus of Mavis Grind to a 17th century laird’s house at Tangwick Haa, then a stop at Brewick for views over granite stacks known as the Drongs. Eshaness Lighthouse was the last to be built by the famous Stevenson family in 1929 and was a solid structure built to withstand the rugged nature of its location and the fierce Atlantic storms that are frequent visitors.

It was another successful day, not quite as sunny as previous, but a fine day for Shetland. The local pilot disembarked as we passed the walled grounds of South Bressay Light, looking somewhat precarious on the very edge of the rugged cliffs.

Captain Philip Rentell

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