Views from the Scord 03.07.09

Harbour activity

Scalloway Harbour was secured against terrorist attack on Monday this week, with all the main areas of the commercial piers secured behind locked barrier fences and entry to the pier areas requiring photographic identification.

This took place not as a reaction to a direct threat, but as a practice of security measures for shore staff and pier users alike. To comply with the TRANSEC Ship and Port Security Code a port must be able to provide a secure area to ensure transport link resilience to a terrorist threat and is an important part of the government’s long-term anti-terrorist strategy. Should a national threat level be set above the baseline standard, measures like Monday’s lockdown would be enforced for the duration.

Vessel movements were fairly low in the week to Friday. A salmon feed barge belonging to Scottish Sea Farms was towed into port on Monday for maintenance and repair at Moore’s slipway, while another catamaran barge belonging to them was lifted out onto the commercial pier for similar maintenance reasons.

The survey ship chase boat Marja made another visit to the port for crewing and supplies. The Marianne-G called in to collect spares for the survey ships she has been supporting in the area in recent times. The anchor handling tug has been providing supplies and crew to two mighty Ramform survey ships that have been operating in the area west of Shetland. The Ramform Viking and Ramform Vanguard are very distinctive seismographic survey ships, weighing in at over 9,000 gross tonnes each, they are square sterned and almost 40m in the beam and 86m in length, creating an unusual wedge shaped hull. The Vanguard is said to be moving out of the area this week as she crosses over into the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

The salmon carrier Ronja Settler and Blue Shell Marine’s workboat Harvester both continue to operate in the area.

There have been a good number of pleasure yachts in the harbour this week, mostly berthing at the Scalloway Boating Club. Notable among them was the luxury yacht Luskentyre, which came into port to drop off two Swedish passengers while en-route from Faroe to Norway. The 72’ Luskentyre was built by the world-renowned Oyster yard and is considered to be one of the Rolls Royces of the yachting world, with a specification list that would enthral interior designers and engineers alike.

Fish landings were a low average in the week to Friday with 883 boxes landed in total. These came from the Radiant Star, Comrades, Copious, Tranquility, Gunners Glory and Prolific with the largest single landing from the Prolific with 254 boxes.

All set for the gala

Gala fever hits Scalloway this weekend with the annual event starting this evening with the crowning of gala princess Aleisha Devine in the Scalloway Hall at 5.45pm.

The gala will be officially opened by ex-jarl Willum Mouat and the gala flag raised to signify the opening around a quarter past six. At 6.30pm a junior disco for primary school bairns starts in the hall, while in the Fraser Park the traditional Scalloway v Stromness football match kicks off for the Charlie Johnson Memorial Shield. The gala eela competition starts concurrently at 6pm at the Scalloway Boating Club with the weigh in at 9pm.

Saturday’s events begin in the morning with stalls open in the park with a variety of fun games and tombolas for old and young, even the chance to win the ubiquitous goldfish and, as a concession to animal welfare, winners receive a token for a fish to be collected from a local pet shop this year. Candy floss, a barbecue and beer tent for food and refreshment will be available all afternoon. There will be a pet show on the waterfront, judged by SSPCA officer Ron Paterson at 11am; previous entries have been a little more exotic than your standard moggy or pup, with a box of slugs, crabs and other exotic beasts featuring. The Scalloway Fire Brigade will also be on hand for visitors to have a look at the fire engine and equipment. The spectacular Scalloway v Burra piano smashing competition gets under way at 12pm.

In the park, the afternoon’s entertainment will feature a variety of sporting events with a five-a-side football competition kicking off at 1pm and the comical “It’s a Knockout” event starting at 2pm. Organisers say that they have some good games lined up for the event and those taking part should be prepared to get “wet, dizzy and have a strong stomach”. The equally fun-filled but slightly tamer land sports for bairns will begin at 3pm.

The gala procession in the evening, led by the gala Princess, is open to all-comers and will feature the brass band and a squad of Scalloway ex-jarls. Floats gather around 6.30pm at the boating club for a 7pm start. Floats will be judged this year by Andrew and Alexis Jennings of the Scalloway Post Office.

The evening’s entertainment comes in the form of a “Shetland’s Got Talent” event in the Scalloway Public Hall. This showcase of a variety of the many and superb local talents we are fortunate to enjoy will be made up of around 10 acts with singers, bands and perhaps some less orthodox performers among them. Tickets for the event only went on sale yesterday and any still to sell will be available at the door of the hall tomorrow evening. Soup and sandwiches will be served and there will also be a raffle during the evening with a top prize of £100 donated by the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal. Tickets for the raffle will be available throughout the day and during the evening and doors open for the concert at 8pm.

Sunday will see the Scalloway and Stromness B-teams battle it out for the Ferry Inn Cup, with stalls still on offer in the park. Later in the evening the “survivors’ dance” will be in the Scalloway Boating Club with the Revellers sure to provide a lively evening’s entertainment, entry is £5 at the door.

Organiser Julie Jamieson speaks for the Gala Committee in saying: “We have our fingers and everything else crossed for good weather over the weekend, and there will plenty to see and do for all ages.” This is the 20th year of the Scalloway Gala, with “21st birthday” celebrations already being planned for next year.

Angling news

There was just one competition last weekend for the Scalloway Boating Club angling section, with the third monthly competition. The exceptionally fine weather was accompanied by favourable tides, giving good drift and making for good fishing for competitors. Katherine Fullerton continued her chain of good results, landing the biggest fish of the season so far with a 12.4lb ling which gave her a total catch of 66lb that would have equated to a third in the men’s competition but gave her a first in the Ladies section.

The top three men all fished well, with Tammy Johnson following his success of the previous weekend with another first place, finishing well ahead of the opposition with 83.4lb. Pierside speculation about his success once again attributes it to having his own boat back on the water but there is some suggestion that he had been “checking out Raymond’s tackle” while fishing aboard his boat while his own vessel was repaired. Whether he can make it three wins in a row seems to be the hot topic of the moment.

Kenny Laurenson took second place this week with 76.8lb and Robert Duthie weighed in 62.6lb in third place, ahead of Raymond Laurenson’s 62lb by the merest of margins. The competition attracted 11 anglers in eight boats and the total catch for all competitors was 537lb. There is no event specifically for the anglers this weekend with the Scalloway Gala offering an eela competition tonight instead.

Mark Burgess


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