Sunday, 26 May 2019

Pod of pilot whales sighted off Sanday

This pod of around thirty pilot whales was one of two spotted off Sanday this morning. Just off shore, they were an amazing sight, and hopefully they will swim off safely to the open sea.

Pilot whales off Sanday this morning

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Orkney Folk Festival comes to Sanday - The Poozies

The Poozies played the Sanday Community Hall as part of the Orkney Folk Festival 2019
The Poozies played a lively and humorous set to a packed house at the Sanday Community Hall as part of the Orkney Folk Festival 2019. 'Fresh Blood' was the most popular track of the evening, but I can't find it anywhere, so here's a link to another great track 'Soaking in the Bathtub'

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

WW1 Boxing on Flotta

An estimated 10,000 people, mostly armed forces personnel, attended the 1916 Finals of the Grand Fleet boxing competitions held on the island of Flotta, by Scapa Flow, where the Grand Fleet was then stationed. The boxing ring was built from spars, ropes, canvas and planking scavenged from various ships by a couple of enterprising Chief Petty Officers, names now not known.
Photo rights: 

Friday, 17 May 2019

The Wreck of the B98, Lopness Bay, Sanday, Orkney

An old wreck gradually losing the battle with the elements (no the one in the sea!)

The story of the German destroyer B98 and Lopness Bay

Why we live here

A beautiful video shot on Sanday by the very talented Martin Lever of Kirkwall - best watched in full screen mode. Click here for his website and contact him for any photography or video production you're needing doing.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Cycle Orkney, Kirkwall

Popped into Cycle Orkney in Kirkwall yesterday (Weds 15th) to say hello to the team there. It's a cracking shop selling bikes, spares and accessories, and offering repairs and servicing. Click on the link to visit their website.

Lots of what goes on cycling-wise on Orkney Mainland revolves around this place

North Ronaldsay

On Tuesday my work as the Cycling UK Cycling Development Officer for Orkney and Shetland took me to North Ronaldsay, the most northerly island of the Orkney archipelago, and on a sunny day one of the most beautiful places in the UK - and luckily for me Tuesday was a very sunny day. I was there to meet Mark Holbrook of the North Ronaldsay Trust and Alex Wright, the volunteer who runs the island's bike hire scheme. Both were keen to show how cycle-friendly the 4-mile by 2-mile island is, how keen the locals are on cycling, what they would like to provide for cyclists with disabilities, and how cycling fits in as an activity for the carbon neutral future of the island. They've previously benefitted indirectly from Big Bike Revival in Scotland through the outreach work of the Cycle Orkney shop in Kirkwall.

It's a fascinating place, with plenty to see. The UK's tallest land-built lighthouse, exhibitions showing how life on the island has developed over the centuries, and the famous seaweed-eating sheep. The 13-mile stone dyke that encircles the island keeps the sheep on the beach where they live on the abundant seaweed.

I stayed overnight in the hostel at the North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory for £34.50 include a very tasty and filling dinner.

The ten-seater Loganair Britten Norman Islander refuels at Kirkwall ready for the hop across to North Ronaldsay

The plane is a vital link between North Ronaldsay and the outside world

Cool views all the way across

The little plane is noisy, but the views more than make up for that

Cycling is a great way to get around this 4-mile x 2-mile island

The tallest onshore lighthouse in the UK at 42m and with 176 steps 

Bike against the lighthouse for scale - it's a whopper!

The ferry m.v. Earl Thorfinn

The ferry brings all the farm machinery and vehicles onto North Ronaldsay

No roll-on roll-off at North Ronaldsay

The North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory

A sparrowhawk found in the bird observatory's ringing nets 
Alex Wright and Jack Straw with Yours Truly on North Ronaldsay

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Sanday Sunset

Long, long days for the next few months, with plenty of sunsets like this
Sunset on Sanday 08.05.2019

Monday, 6 May 2019

Sanday Stuff

R2D2 and C3PO are out for the summer on Sanday

Sanday Community Shop and Post Office (click for website) one of two great general stores on the island

The Sanday Heritage Centre (click for more information)

Heilsa Fjold Community Centre (click for more information)

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

The Cyclist's Friend on Sanday

Visit Dave Pendlebury at Pendlebury Pedals in Lady Village, Sanday, to hire bikes, get them serviced, or even buy great value second hand ones.

Walk this way

Waymarker on Sanday