IT WAS a quiet start in the week up to Friday, with mainly fishing boats and the Ronja Settler operating in Scalloway Harbour. The coaster Fame returned with a cargo of 110 tonnes of salmon feed for the store at Blacksness.
Towards the end of last week activity increased with the offshore support vessel VOS Southwind making another return visit for stores.
The Malene Østervold arrived last Friday to effect repairs and receive supplies. This converted coastguard vessel bears the sleek lines of her former use from amidships forward, with her aft being greatly modified with the addition of 150 tonnes of steelwork making a wider squarer platform for the surveying work she performs.
The chase boat Timor II returned once more and the massive 4,452grt, 83m anchor handler Normand Master arrived from Aberdeen to pick up the first set of chains and anchor for deployment to the west of Shetland. The first of several visits, she remained in port over the weekend during ROV preparations for her contract.
The fishing vessels Scotia, Venture, Comrades, Fertile, Quiet Waters and Ocean Way put a moderate 1,627 boxes through the market, over a third of which came from the Venture.
Across the harbour the SIC ferry Snolda remains on the Moores slipway for painting.
An unusual sight met people on the Main Street of Scalloway on Friday night with up to a dozen sea kayaks hauled up on the Minister’s Beach, next to the Kiln Bar, as part of the weeklong trips and events of the Shetland Canoe Club’s annual symposium.
Most of the beached kayak owners were in local hotels and guest houses but one hardy couple camped in the car park over night despite torrential rain, surely a credit to their fortitude.
The Scalloway Boating Club pontoon provided berthing for five visiting yachts from England, Ireland and Faroe.
Outside of the harbour limits, in the seas between Scalloway and Skeld, the survey vessel Franklin has been operating for some time now performing a survey of the area. The survey is rumoured to be in relation to cable-laying that would take place there if the interconnector to the Scottish mainland for the Viking Energy windfarm goes ahead.
Well-known school canteen cook Muriel Drummond retired at the end of the school year after an admirable 35 years of service.
Known to many as “Auntie Muriel”, she has seen three generations of children pass through the Scalloway Junior High School and many changes in the school and its staff.
Starting there while Ian Fraser was headmaster in the early 1970s, she recalls the huge number of children that filled the school during the oil boom era, the huts that were built for extra classroom space and then the building of the new school extension around 1985.
The school held a presentation for Muriel on 2nd July during which she received farewell gifts from each class in the school, the teachers, the canteen staff and janitors.
The longest serving staff member, she will be missed by all and in particular the children who, as she says, she would be “flytin apo” one minute and they’d be “aboot your legs or waist the next”.
The pupils have expressed their sadness at her leaving to her directly which is a testament to the warmth and cheer that she has brought to the school for so long.
Muriel has no particular plans for her retirement but is not averse to the idea of going back to the school to help out on occasion.