Sunday, 30 September 2018

Arctic Centre

Funding will certainly be needed to create an Arctic Centre at the Hall of Clestrain, the former home in Orkney of John Rae, the explorer associated with the North-West Passage. The endeavours of the John Rae Society have been successful. Read more in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tends to look northwards
Digital Edition: cruises passages throughout the world

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Barra Bank Goes On

The branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland on Barra will not be closed following a review by the company. The Press and Journal gives the details. Will more islanders use the facilities now?

Scottish Islands Explorer - looks to cards rather than cash
Digital Edition: part of the technology that by-passes retailers

Friday, 28 September 2018

Resourceful Strontian

Strontian is on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula at the head of Loch Sunart. There is something about the place that brings out the resourcefulness of people. It gave its name to strontium, a soft, silvery metal; is currently where a consortium of parents and interested parties has built a new primary school; it was, in 1846, where a floating church that could hold 700 people was moored, having been built on the Clyde and towed there. The metal has several significant uses; the school will serve generations to come; the recovery of parts of the church which was used until 1869 is the subject of an interesting charitable appeal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - investigates even man-made islands
Digital Edition: gives old news a new impact

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Mystery of the Stranded

During the past six weeks some 25 marine creatures have become stranded on Outer Hebridean beaches. An item in the Stornoway Gazette attempts to unravel the mystery of this matter.

Scottish Islands Explorer - sometimes gets stranded on shelves in shops
Digital Edition: there's a constant flow of information and images online 

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Take the Long View(s)

Location, views and price are the keys to property-purchasing. Take a look at two Stromness sites that are featured in The Orcadian through J E P Robertson & Son. One is Ocean View, which speaks for itself, and the other is South Wardhill (above) with an uninterrupted vista across the Stromness Loons. The translation of 'loons' in this case is 'marshland'.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes looking at locations
Digital Edition: views given worldwide coverage in an instant

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Trillion Cubic Feet

The equipment needed is vast, but so are the reserves estimated. Total Gas has announced a major discovery - a trillion cubic feet of gas to the west of Shetland. Explore the facts and implications about it on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - would more people discover the magazine
Digital Edition: takes satellite routes to worldwide destinations

Monday, 24 September 2018

Scotland for Courtship

Apparently some members of the basking shark family, the world's second largest fish, come to Scotland , in general, and the small islands off Mull and Skye, in particular, to use the seas for courtship. Then they migrate to warmer waters around Madeira and the Canary Islands. The BBC website provides some background details of the location for foreplay and leaping above the surface.

Scottish Islands Explorer - another form of exploration in the vicinity
Digital Edition: travels from the west of Scotland to west of Africa quickly

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Sky to Skye to Sell

Meteorite material reached Skye, then displaying volcanic activity, some 60 million years ago. It has been identified quite recently and some of it has featured on ebay … for sale. Read about this criminal activity in The Skye Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - copies and / or content to be discovered?
Digital Edition: appears to reach computers from outer space

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Ulva for Initiatives

This image of Ulva, Mull, comes from the archives of the now defunct Schools Hebridean Society - so it must be dated. It was, in fact, taken in 1970 since when any island developments have been rare. Now matters have changed and the community buyout has meant that initiatives are being considered. House-building is one of them and that's featured in an article from The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - intrigued by island infra-structures
Digital Edition: was once in the planning stage

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Gloup Claims a Victim

It's quite a contrast between the concealed opening The Gloup at Deerness, Orkney, photographed here by Chris Downer for geograph, and the expansiveness of the cliffs of the Mull of Deerness. Yesterday there was a fatality involving the former, reported in The Press and Journal.

Scottish Islands Explorer - watches for the hidden traps
Digital Edition: arrives on an expansive route in an inexpensive way

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Wool Week Attracts

Some 600 visitors are expected at the Shetland Wool Week - with events held throughout the islands. Details are in the Shetland Times.

Scottish Islands Explorer - items woven on a bi-monthly basis
Digital Edition: and available at any time, any day

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Traffic Moving

This image, captured by Ian Lawson, of sheep safely grazing at Ardhasaig, Harris, would be of little comfort to motorists stopped or slowed on the nearby main road. However, one lane has been opened with the removal of tons of earth from the landslip. Traffic certainly moved on this blog yesterday with a thousand visitors clicking on to the item. Read the progress report about the road on the BBC website. The approach of Storm Ali should not directly affect the area, but will not be of assistance.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of how supply-lines can be disrupted
Digital Edition: not affected by landslips

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Landslip in Harris

Part of the 'Hebridean Spine' has been broken, with a landslip between Tarbert and Ardhasaig. See the BBC website for details of this fracturing of the link between Lewis and Harris.

Scottish Islands Explorer - exploration in this area is literally curtailed
Digital Edition: links usually remain open via the internet

Monday, 17 September 2018

Brodgar Attracts

You can see why the Ring of Brodgar attracts both visitors and residents to this ancient site. Read in Orkney News something about the ways in which access and appreciation have been improved. 

Scottish Islands Explorer - constantly seeks ways of attraction
Digital Edition: has a continuous internet presence

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Hebridean Homes

There's always time to dream about prospective property. A good place to start is the website of Hebridean Homes - where interior designs complement wide exterior spaces.

Scottish Islands Explorer - imagine reading the magazine here ....
Digital Edition: ... or downloading it there to enjoy on a tablet?

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Above All Others

Here's a weekend treat. An item on Unst - 'the island above all others' - by Ted Harrison published yesterday in The Spectator. Enjoy a different perspective, like two of the island's residents above.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to maintain a comparable position
Digital Edition: always ready for the command to access, deliver and open

Friday, 14 September 2018

Awareness of Waves

Surfers use waves to gain propulsion and pleasure in the Northern and Western Isles. However, most of us are only aware of them when at the seaside. Bernie Bell, whose ideas are published in The Orkney News, looks at the wider perspectives of dumping material at sea to be washed elsewhere; the waves of fashion that assail us; and the relatively new signals in the atmosphere and our own immediate environments.

Scottish Islands Explorer - tries to keep up with what's going on
Digital Edition: makes waves worldwide

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Watercolour Sketching

Andrew Gemmill is an artist based in Melbourne, Australia. He was born and educated in England, travels the world and has become a Scottish Islands Explorer subscriber. He became hooked on the islands following an eleven-day tour of the Outer Hebrides with McKinlay Kidd Holidays. His Watercolour Sketching with Andrew Gemmill has recently been published. Read more about the author and his book here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - inspires artists as well as visitors and residents
Digital Edition: conveys information, items and images instantly

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Skye - Inspired by Maps

Here's a winding road through the Isle of Skye - at the Quiraing landslip on the Trotternish Peninsula. It was followed at least once by Jordan, a New Zealander who quit his 9 - 5 job, bought a one-way ticket and has explored those parts of the world that appealed to him. He has been Inspired by Maps and his photo journal of Skye is here to enjoy.

Scottish Islands Explorer - does what it says
Digital Edition: easily accessed from New Zealand 

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Historic Pairc Shielings

If you can get to Stornoway on the evening of Tuesday 25 September, then make two dates at Lews Castle. At 18.00 there is the AGM of The Islands Book Trust and at 19.30 John Randall will be speaking about The Historic Shielings of Pairc. If you cannot get there, then consider purchasing his book on this unique area with a vanished culture that can be witnessed by tramping over moorland and visiting relics of a once thriving way of life. A less arduous method is to enjoy the lavishly-illustrated publication!

Scottish Islands Explorer - resurrects past ways in a present-day publication
Digital Edition: is a manifestation of a current culture

Monday, 10 September 2018

Sumburgh Soars

Shetland News reports on the increase in passenger numbers from Highlands and Islands Airports, in general, and on the uplift in business at Sumburgh Airport, in particular.

Scottish Islands Explorer - would like to see comparable figures
Digital Edition: aware of uplift in interest

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Your Own Westside Story?

Here's a chance to create your own Westside Story with the purchase of the Waas Bakery, Walls, Shetland. It's an established business, is on the market because of an unexpected death and has been consistently profitable. At least look at the full description of what is on offer through Harper Macleod. This is a commercial opportunity in a rural location providing products that are always in demand.

Scottish Islands Explorer - its blog delivers daily
Digital Edition: a product that is continuously available

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Mars Alarm

The red-orange surface of Mars, with darker blotches and white icecaps, is captured here by a telescopic camera. The Press and Journal reports how yacht crews and an island resident mistook it for a flare and as a result the Oban and Stornoway lifeboats were alerted for a prospective vessel in distress in The Minch.

Scottish Islands Explorer - no mistaking its cover and contents
Digital Edition: electronic warning devices could at least pinpoint accurately

Friday, 7 September 2018

The World in Lerwick

Yesterday saw the MV The World dock at Lerwick. It's large, luxurious and home - with 165 private residences - for people who can afford to live in such style and, if so wish, be on a permanent cruise. Shetland News has the story; the website of The World has the details.

Scottish Islands Explorer - needs to be on board, for this landing
Digital Edition: wifi is sure to be available in all 165 homes

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Past the Last Hurdle

This is one of the ways up to or down from Sgurr na Banachdich, a Skye Munro. It was one climber's 282nd and final Scottish mountain to bag. He reached the summit, toasted his success and descended. See what happened next - in the Daily Record.

Scottish Islands Explorer - would like more 'baggers'
Digital Edition: looks for summits to overcome

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Arctic Skuas and Handa

Getting to Handa - off the west coast of Sutherland - involves a ferry trip. Finding out more about the Arctic Skuas on the island can begin with a click on the Handa Island Skua Project. It could assist the slowing of the dramatic decline in the numbers of these birds.

Scottish Islands Explorer - one of many ways of exploring these islands
Digital Edition: declining numbers unknown in this area of computing

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Time on Skye

Yesterday's blog was on Sunfish off Skye; today's item is on a blog, Four Days on the Isle of Skye. It is part of a series - Veni Vidi - produced by 23-year-old travel-lover and Classics student, Sanne. Do take the Bridge in her company.

Scottish Islands Explorer - looks forward to featuring more of her work
Digital Edition: no global limitations here

Monday, 3 September 2018

Sunfish off Skye

Tropical Sunfish get around, where temporary, warmer waters appeal. This one was photographed off Vancouver. Others have recently been spotted in the vicinity of Skye and the Ardnamurchan. Follow them on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - responds in a comparable way
Digital Edition: reaches destinations regardless of temperature

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Home-work in Western Isles

The computer provides an element of access in any environment. It's the skills, not the location, that matter. So this week, would-be home-workers are being invited to apply for employment opportunities in the Western Isles. For full details of a recruitment campaign see the Stornoway Gazette.

In a somewhat dynamic change of working practices, relatively remote locations no longer present problems - given, of course, high-speed internet connections. Kit has become miniaturised; distance has been eliminated. There are new ways of earning as well as of learning.

Scottish Islands Explorer - produced on home computers ahead of printing
Digital Edition: distance no longer a barrier

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Old Scottish Shortwool

Jane Cooper lives in Rendall, Orkney, and maintains a flock of 56 of the rarest British breed of sheep, the Old Scottish Shortwool. Full details are in The Orkney News. When the St Kildans were living on the island of Hirta, they once a year tended the sheep on nearby Boreray. These were almost the last of a virtually extinct breed and were left unattended after the evacuation of 1930. A comparable group from Assynt, on the mainland, were moved to Orkney where they now thrive. 

This bothy on Boreray was photographed by 'the campaigner and adventure sleeper' - Andy Strangeway - when he visited the island. It must have sheltered the men and boys of Hirta who went there on the annual outings.

Scottish Islands Explorer - has flocks of followers
Digital Edition: carries items worldwide