Thursday, 15 August 2019

A Return Visit

A student, Karen Fleming, has reconstructed the head of a female druid, Hilda, who lived in Stornoway at some time between 55BC and 400AD. It's certainly worth turning to The Press and Journal to find out more and to discover where you, too, can virtually encounter the 60-year-old.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to bring islands to life
Digital Edition: travels between time-zones, not into the past

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Latest and Last

The latest edition of the magazine should soon be in the shops and it's the last one, his 57th, to be produced by John Humphries, who has decided to retire. The publication started in Shetland, moved down to Sussex, up to Suffolk and should soon be in Stornoway, to be published by Fred Silver.

Scottish Islands Explorer - great to see supplies in shops running low
Digital Edition: moves around a little quicker

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

News from Iceland?

A Liberal Democrat MEP has declared that 'a mackerel war' with Iceland is imminent . There have been three 'cod wars' since 1958 involving the UK and its northern neighbour. I recall that The Guardian sent a staff reporter to cover one of the occasions. Apparently nothing was happening, but he filed a report. The sub-editor realised that it had little substance and gave it the title - 'No News From Iceland'. Anyway read the recent piece in the Shetland Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - little aggressive reporting appears on its pages
Digital Edition: a way of combating boredom?

Monday, 12 August 2019

All-Electric 'Home

Now this electric motor-home is the first of its type on Orkney, where motorists are leading the way in purchasing vehicles that need charging more than filling. If you want a figure for the number on the roads there - 200 or 2% of the total, a high uptake. Take in the report on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of new technologies appealing
Digital Edition: lacks the edge of paper, but has considerable appeal

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Otters Unaware

Cameras and binoculars were probably safely in hand when a driver went to observe the otters at Kylerhea Pier, Skye. Unfortunately the car's handbrake failed to grip and the Volkswagen ran away. The details of this car 'escaping' is on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to explore in a dry state
Digital Edition: passes quickly over water 

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Cava and Fara

There is something appealing about islands where people, within living memory of others,  spent their lives. Gordon and Ina Watters were residents of Fara in Scapa Flow, Orkney, until the 1960s. Nearby is Cava, or Calf, Island where the last two residents remained until the 1980s. 

Scottish Islands Explorer - the magazine appeared after these depopulations
Digital Edition: a great communicator

Friday, 9 August 2019

An Ultimate

If there's one photograph that I cherish, it's the rare view of Muckle Flugga, Shetland, from the north, on the very difficult-to-access, Out Stack or Ootsta an ultimate part of Scotland. The photographer? - of course, that venturer to the remote, Andy Strangeway.

Scottish Islands Explorer - much to take in
Digital Edition: an 'ootsta' among devices

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Ulva Developments

There are plans for the development of Ulva House - to create an interpretative and educational centre together with self-catering accommodation - by the community that now owns the island. The Press and Journal has the details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always planning
Digital Edition: constantly available

Friday, 2 August 2019

A Rock Rarely Seen

This is Hasselwood Rock, adjacent to Rockall. The skerry is apparently one metre high in low water, is 13 metres across and extends for 130 square metres. In June 1904, the SS Norge, a Danish passenger ship, struck the rock leading to the deaths of  635 people.

Scottish Islands Explorer - chance of exploration when low and becalmed
Digital Edition: way beyond linkage

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Protection in Place

These footprints from Skye are large, ancient, preserved and in need of protection  - particularly on what has been termed 'Dinosaur Isle'. Read about the Nature Conservation Order on the BBC Website and see more threatened objects.

Scottish Islands Explorer - protected by enthusiasts
Digital Edition: innovative

Friday, 12 July 2019

Pony Views Bass Rock

Sylvia Beaumont took this photograph of an Exmoor pony taking in Bass Rock. It's one of six island images in a stunning collection of Your Pictures of Scotland from the BBC. Please disregard the inconsistency of the date of entry and the time-frame of the gallery.

Scottish Islands Explorer - keen to take in scenes and relay them
Digital Edition: always at the ready to view

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Long Time To Discover

It looks small, but was intricate - the jaw of the Borealestes serendiptitus - a mouse- or shrew-like creature that was roaming in the south of Skye some 165 million years ago. It's worth reading about here on the BBC for this region has developed into something of a 'Jurassic Park'.

Scottish Islands Explorer - approaching 20 years of age
Digital Edition: transcends space and time

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Back on the Block?

Sorry about being off-the-grid for some time owing to circumstances beyond my control. Let's hope we can move on with the appropriate Love Island in Stirlingshire - from the current BBC Your Pictures of Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - enjoys the shapes of the insular
Digital Edition: many love this means of communicating

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Time for a Break?

It could be time to take a break while away from computers. So watch this space, but remember that the shadows are always on the move as well.

Scottish Islands Explorer - keeps on appearing
Digital Edition: always ready to run the required length

Friday, 5 July 2019

A Castaway Basketball

Basketball was probably never heard of by the people of St Kilda, evacuated almost 90 years ago. Now the game is in the news following a kick-into-the-sea launch and a discovery in the north of Denmark. A full account is on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes the castaway condition
Digital Edition: items picked up everywhere

Thursday, 4 July 2019

A Metre Higher?

Predictions that sea levels could rise worldwide by one metre by 2100, do put many places at risk. Read on the BBC website what the pundits say about Skara Brae, Orkney. It was revealed by the Great Storm of 1850, when its sand-covering was blown away. Comparable future storm activity could see it concealed beneath the waves.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a place secured for it
Digital Edition: seems unaffected by weather 

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Webcams Galore

Here are two clear, but static views of Shetland - Hermaness and Lerwick - and here is the entry to some 15 live webcams with a network of all sorts of dynamic views of the group of northern isles. Time to stop and take in.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to act as a network
Digital Edition: gives webcams impetus

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

A Really High Five

This walrus ivory chess piece was purchased by an antique dealer in 1964 for £5 and kept in a drawer by his family. Expectations are that it will fetch a million pounds at auction. Why so high? It's one of the five missing Lewis Chessmen discovered in 1831. Read on at the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - unlikely to inflate
Digital Edition: value of a different kind

Monday, 1 July 2019

Island Miscellany

The evening sun shows Gigha in a splendid state. The photograph was taken by Neil Pirie who was flying home to Edinburgh from Islay and it appears, together with other island images, producing something of a miscellany in the current gallery of the BBC Your Pictures of Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - loves looking around and from above
Digital Edition: operates mainly from above

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Soaring Numbers

The Press and Journal carries a story about how the building of toilet facilities for the Fairy Pools, Skye, was based on an estimate of 100,000 people visiting per year. It turns out to be 1000 per day and often through 18-hours at a stretch.

Scottish Islands Explorer - copes with its circulation
Digital Edition: seldom too many online 

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Hebridean Whale Trail

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust based in Tobermory, Mull, has launched the Hebridean Whale Trail. The full details of this exciting venture are revealed in the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - goes in search, like the whales
Digital Edition: consistently going places

Friday, 28 June 2019

Skye Tech Soars

The West Highland Free Press will explain how Sitekit, a Skye technology company based in Portree, is having a recruitment drive for staff after a record year. It's a story that the rest of Britain needs to know - for the future of economies depend on such initiatives.

Scottish Islands Explorer - keen to learn of successes
Digital Edition: a device at hub of discoveries

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Roll Up For Rockall

Lupine Travel offered a trip to Rockall and the waiting-list soon opened. See The Times report.

Scottish Islands Explorer - nowhere's off limits
Digital Edition: in range ... by satellite

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

From Syria to Stornoway

From the devastation of a Syrian city to the tranquility of Stornoway, the main town on the Isle of Lewis. Two new refugee families will soon be joining the 34 others who have settled in the Outer Hebrides. The Press and Journal carries the report.

Scottish Islands Explorer - would be good to have them as readers
Digital Edition: communicates with the war-torn and safe-havens

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

4G on Berneray?

The proposal to erect a 4G mast on Berneray, North Uist, has stirred at least six people to object. It's the dilemma of modernisation. See the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - understands the balance
Digital Edition: obviously dependent on masts

Monday, 24 June 2019

Commemoration Plus ...

Beneath these quiet waters of Scapa Flow, Orkney, lie numerous wrecks. Commemorations, this weekend, of 100 years of the German Fleet scuttling and what happens? An unexploded torpedo is found. Read about it with the BBC.

Scottish Islands Explorer - usually calm above and below the surface
Digital Edition: operates above water levels

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Feet Up

Here's a feet-up, weekend-image by David Dougans that can apply to mountain and / or island vistas. It's in the current BBC Your Pictures of Scotland series.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always looking out, often at sunrise
Digital Edition: not easily missed

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Top End Space

There's plenty of room on Unst for a space station at the top end of Shetland and here's a report on how matters are faring - from The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - would enjoy covering a launch
Digital Edition: accustomed to satellite communicating

Friday, 21 June 2019

'Remote Access'

Planning permission has been given for the St Kilda Centre - Ionad Hiort - at Uig on Lewis - some 41 miles from the fabled island group. One of its features will be 'remote access' as a visitor attraction. The Stornoway Gazette carries an item on this proposal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - always looking out for St Kilda
Digital Edition: revolves around remote access

Thursday, 20 June 2019

On Sale

The latest edition - July / August 2019 - is now in the shops and so, if possible, go to flick through, and hopefully buy, or take a look at the Digital Edition online. Subscription-purchases are, of course, available.

Scottish Islands Explorer - ready for you
Digital Edition: will be on your screen at speed

Wednesday, 19 June 2019


John McGuinness was intrigued by the ways in which these seals on the Isle of Harris blended with the scenery. Their camouflage techniques are impressive. His photograph appears in the most recent BBC Your Pictures of Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to see images integrate with the items
Digital Edition: moves text and photos seamlessly

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

A Sunday Issue

A confrontation is imminent concerning playing golf on the Stornoway course on a Sunday. Many members wish to; the owners of the land do not want Sabbath observance to end. It's an issue at the heart of the traditional lifestyle on the Isle of Lewis. The BBC has the story.

Scottish Islands Explorer - read seven days a week
Digital Edition: never ceases its output

Monday, 17 June 2019

An Unusual Posr

Here's an unusual post - 'Stone Dyke Warden' - that is being advertised by the North Ronaldsay Trust. Take a look at what's offered and required - BBC Website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - there are a few 'only-island' jobs
Digital Edition: it will widely broadcast the position

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Flotilla for a Flag

A flotilla of historic fishing boats docked in Lerwick to celebrate the centenary of the Faroese flag. This emblem is probably seen more in Shetland than in any other part of the UK. The Press and Journal has the full story

Scottish Islands Explorer - occasionally ventures to the Faroe Islands
Digital Edition: eliminates insularity

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Compare & Contrast

Here are two Outer Hebridean shorelines that feature in The Times 50 Best Beaches in the UK. Take time to look around and see how they compare and contrast.

Scottish Islands Explorer - much to attract
Digital Edition: takes you to the attractive instantly

Friday, 14 June 2019

Ancient Islets

Some of the artificial islets, usually created in lochs and particularly prevalent in the Western Isles, could be older human sites than Stonehenge. Absorb the BBC report.

Scottish Islands Explorer - follows routes to any islands
Digital Edition: helps break down insularity

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Man Over Minch

Crossing The Minch can be an ordeal by ship; swimming solo has not been achieved until recently. Take a look at The Times report on what happened en route

Scottish Islands Explorer - accustomed to strokes on the keyboard
Digital Edition: makes journeys effortlessly

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Be Aware

This shack on Barvas Moor, Isle of Lewis, comes from Bob Jones on the Geograph website. It symbolises a 'residence' without internet connections! That provides a lead for my notice - 'Normal Service Will Be Resumed As Soon as Possible' - a situation that could occur during the next few days.

Scottish Islands Explorer - time to take a look
Digital Edition: opportunity to take up the offers

Monday, 10 June 2019

A Massive Meteor

The investigation of a crater caused by a meteor some mile wide crashing into the area now occupied by The Minch around 1.2 billion years ago is intriguing. The BBC will take up the story for you.

Scottish Islands Explorer - can look back far
Digital Edition: things have come a long way

Protection Zones

Four new marine zones are to be established in the Scottish waters to protect minke whales and basking sharks. A BBC Website considers the implications in depth.

Scottish Islands Explorer - protective of many aspects
Digital Edition: operates through zones of its own