Shetlands 26 May 2016.
The journey has started.
(On the way here, rather by chance, we spent a couple of days in Orkney and noted its strong connection to both world wars. The imperial fleet steamed out of Scapa Flow in 1916 to the engage the German fleet at the Battle of Jutland. There is still debate about which nation ‘won’, but there is no doubt that 6,784 British and 3,039 Germans died in the encounter.
Scapa Flow was also the scene of some of the earliest casualties in World War Two.
A German U-boat threaded its way in and torpedoed the battleship Royal Oak. 834 men perished.
As a result Prime Minister Churchill ordered the construction of causeways between several islands around Scapa Flow to prevent any more U boats from entering.)
Today we went to the rocky waterfront at Haroldswick, which is one of the most northerly settlements in the British Isles.
As we started to take photos, several seals emerged just offshore. They appeared to be very curious about the proceedings. Good to have them along.
I then climbed on the bike
and headed South through the island of Unst to the ferry, across to Mell and down through Mell to the second ferry which took me across to Toft. Three hours in the saddle was definitely enough for the first day.
Several people noted my Shetland to Scilly visibility jacket and asked about the project. They all agreed that war was stupid and unnecessary and seemed interested in possible new solutions.
The next stage will be from Toft down to Lerwick before boarding the ferry back to Orkney and then to John o’Groats to continue the journey south.
(See the report in the Shetland News.)