Views from the Scord 29.08.08

Harbour activity
FISH landings were up in the week to Friday, but otherwise it was a fairly quiet week in Scalloway Harbour.

The freight coaster Sirius returned with 220 tonnes of salmon feed for the store on Blacksness Pier while the striking profile of the Maersk Advancer occupied the harbour on Tuesday.

Completed in 2004, she may not be regarded as bonny in a traditional sense but her lofty forward superstructure is certainly eye-catching and her 90m length and 22m beam offers a large working platform for her anchor-handling classification. More often seen in Lerwick of late, she left Scalloway and returned to port in Lerwick within a couple of days.

The Hordafor II made a return to Scalloway for a load of salmon silage from the SSF factory on Sunday and the Ronja Settler continues to use the harbour. The harbour office was manned and continued to operate with a skeleton staff despite the strike on Wednesday in which the majority of SIC staff participated.

A subject of much discussion and speculation around the pier front on Friday was the presence of a particularly large shoal of juvenile fish in the area of the pier around the fuel pontoon. Distinct from the greenish hue of the omnipresent sillocks, these fish were of brownish colour and were thought to sport the distinctive chin barbel of cod, but colouration of their pectoral fins and markings also seem very like that of juvenile haddock. Either way it was a sign of marine prosperity to see a substantial shoal of juvenile fish of this genus where they are not commonly seen.

Fish landings amounted to 2,055 boxes with boats Defiant, Radiant Star, Venturous, Comrades, Scotia and Mizpah using the market. Mackerel landings for the week amounted to 179 boxes from a variety of small craft.

Besides the movements of regular fishing boats the Banff-registered Aquarius called in to put a man ashore on Saturday and the Banff-registered Ocean Sovereign was towed in by the Scotia after suffering engine problems in the area, remaining in the harbour at the start of the week.

Lucky dog
Cocker spaniel Sam, belonging to Trevor and Morag Cumming from Trondra, was recuperating this week after a rescue drama in Scalloway Harbour last Friday.

While crossing the harbour in the family boat Trevor suddenly realised that cherished family pet Sam was no longer on board and lost at sea.

A regular sidekick to Trevor during his time ashore from the trawler Aalskere, four-year-old Sam is often to be seen off in the family’s smaller boat Meridian and elsewhere with him.

In preparation for the night’s eela Trevor had boarded the Meridian with Sam at their berth in the East Voe marina. After making the crossing from the marina to the fuelling pontoon at Blacksness, Trevor looked aft in the boat for Sam and to his horror the dog was nowhere to be seen.

Trevor reflected: “I couldna see him onywhaur so I turned the boat around right away to look for him. The gunwale of the boat is high enough that he has to stand on his hind legs to see over it, I canna understand how he wan oot of the boat. He comes aff we me all the time. I towt he wis awa.”

Trevor re-traced his course all the way back to the marina to no avail, contacting other boat owners and Morag at her work at the Scalloway surgery along the way. Morag met him at the marina and they continued their search in vain. Sam’s silver grey and black roan coat would make him perfectly camouflaged on the water’s surface even in the best of conditions.

“When I couldna find him one of the things I thought was that dogs always head for home, so I even got my midder to go to our house in case he turned up there,” Trevor recalled.

Fellow marina user Michael Inkster was one of those Trevor had contacted as he was in the vicinity in a small boat with his son at the time and in a moment of luck and insight he switched off his outboard motor to look and listen for the dog. Sam’s distressed barking could faintly be heard coming from underneath the commercial quay.

Once again, through pure luck, Michael’s boat was small enough to get under the pier to trace the noise and he eventually found Sam on the layer of rock armour that protects the sub-surface pier structure, distressed but otherwise unharmed. The dog would not respond to Michael’s call so he had to fetch Trevor to facilitate a rescue from the ledges.

“We just want to say how grateful we are to Michael,” Morag said. “Without him we just never would have found him. I had climbed up on to the pier and you couldn’t hear him from there and with the boat’s engine running you would never have heard him from there either.”

After his ordeal Sam was treated to a nice warm bath at home, the prospect of which caused him to run and hide in another room as Sam normally has a total aversion to contact with water.

“He won’t even step in a puddle,” Morag said. “He goes around them. He won’t go in the water at the beach or anywhere. We just canna understand how or why he got out of the boat.”

Rest assured Sam will continue to be a very pampered pooch for the foreseeable future after his ordeal.

Makkin night
The Burra History Group is having a Makkin Night tonight at Easthouse starting at 7pm.

Anybody is welcome to come along for a knit and a yap in the traditional way.

Should anyone require transport to Easthouse they can contact Wilma on (01595) 859669 or Sylvia on (01595) 859209.

SBFS Sunday teas
The teas held by the Shetland Bus Friendship Society were a great success with many visitors from the local area, further afield and even some from abroad.

The display of comical photos attracted many witty captions in one competition and the baby pictures of committee members caused some consternation in their identification in another.

The teas were also accompanied by an antiques sale provided by Leslie Watt, for which the society would like to thank him. The committee would further like to thank everyone who came along and participated, particularly the helpers and those who provided home bakes.

There was also a raffle with plenty of prizes to go around. The event raised £640 towards the new museum.

Community council
Burra and Trondra Community Council meets for the first session after the summer break on Monday in the Hamnavoe School.

Anyone wishing to raise an issue with the members should now do so or go along to the meeting in person. A report on the meeting will appear next week.

Gym open
The new venue of Powergym in Norway House in Scalloway was officially opened last Friday night after many long months of preparation, bureaucracy and determination.

The event was attended by local councillors Iris Hawkins and Andrew Hughson, building owners Larry and Beth Sutherland, representatives of gym sponsors Buildbase (Hay & Co), Stronachs Body Repairs, LEF and a good representation of club members.

A superb buffet was laid on with complimentary refreshments for attendees.

Mrs Hawkins said: “It’s a good facility and I wish them every success with it. It’s making use of an under-used building and is an asset to the village.”

With some of the anaerobic exercise equipment sourced form the Shetland Recreational Trust the fitness equipment and body building equipment together in one place provides an all round package for healthy exercise.

The open day a fortnight ago drew around 60 people to view the venue and since then members report another 20 enquiries about membership. This is entirely in keeping with the open door spirit of the new venture.

For further details about membership or the facilities contact Stuart Moar on 07795 356440 or Stuart Wadley on (01595) 840676.

Burra regatta
The Burra Regatta was held last weekend with fine weather drawing plenty of people to the Hamnavoe waterfront for racing and activities.

The programme of events included rowing races, and eela competition and a range of land races.

For a full list of results see the report in the sport section of this paper.

Dancing for funds
A group of line dancers are holding an event for local kirks next Friday.

The evening will be night of fun and fund-raising with teas, home bakes and raffles thrown in to accompany the dancing.

Taking care of body as well as soul through this exercising activity and charity combined, the event is a part of the Pound Stretcher fund raising efforts currently going on. Kirks to benefit will be Tingwall, Scalloway and Weisdale, from the umbrella charity of Tingwall Parish Church.

Admission is £5 for adults and £2 for children and host for the evening will be line-dancing impresario Jim Pearson.

If you like line dancing and like to do your bit for the community this is a social event not to be missed.

Mark Burgess


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