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3rd September, 2016


The North Sea was very kind to us. Everyone enjoyed the leisurely cruise along the English coast first, then the Scottish coast, with the weather on our side all along. 

The remote Shetland Islands lie 200 miles to the north of Aberdeen and, of almost 100 islands, only 20 are inhabited. The capital of the islands, known as Leir Vik (mud bay) by the Vikings, is located on the largest island of Mainland. 

As we arrived at the entrance to the harbour we could not believe our luck. I still remember when I was defeated by the weather and had to abort the call to this lovely place last year. This time was rather different. Light winds and calm seas were all I needed to take Sapphire into the harbour and drop the anchor near the main pier. On top of that, the sun came up and everyone could enjoy the fantastic scenery. Later on we found out that it was the best day in many months, if not years, on the island and it will be remembered by the locals as well. 

The scenery was then set for a fantastic adventure and our guests could use one of our tenders to ferry across and start their adventures. The most popular tour today was the Spectacular Northmavine. It is the northernmost part of the mainland of Shetland. Our guests stopped at the Tangwick Haa Museum, a 17th-century Laird’s house built for the Cheyne family. It houses a fascinating collection of objects that give a good insight into the harsh living conditions endured by Shetland’s inhabitants in years gone by. Also on this trip they visited Eshaness Lighthouse, dating from 1929. The last to be built in Shetland by the famous Stevenson family,

We stayed in Lerwick as long as we could in order to allow our passengers to enjoy this beautiful place, but the time came to leave. So we heaved up our anchor and left the harbour. 

The next leg took us in the wake of the famous Shetland Bus route. It was the nickname of a clandestine special operations group that made a permanent link between Shetland, and German-occupied Norway during the Second World War. They made several crossings during that time, with the all-important supplies for the Norwegian resistance. 

There are several links to that operation on both Shetland and in Norway. We have had the chance to explore some of those today, as well as tomorrow in Bergen.

Captain Krzysztof Majdzinski

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