The island of Mousa and the Noness peninsula lie a little over 16 kilometres south of Lerwick. The island has a good selection of arches, caves, geos and reefs that we had seen out west, but here they are smaller in scale. However, at 13 metres high, the Broch of Mousa is Scotland's most impressive and best surviving Iron Age tower.
We spent our mid-afternoon break exploring this amazing structure right the way to the top from where there was a terrific view across Mousa Sound to Noness. We finished off by paddling around Noness into Sandwick. The afternoon sunshine glittered in the spray as the rolling swell exploded at the foot of the cliffs.
Paddlers began to arrive at the Bridge End Outdoor Centre early on Friday morning. Although the symposium didn’t begin until Saturday Kate, Sid, me along with a few others organised some informal guided trips. My choice of a 20 kilometre circumnavigation of West Burra was perfect! There was plenty of entertainment along the way with no shortage of spectacular rock architecture.
On Saturday I ran a workshop in practical navigation. I chose to return to the island of Mousa which has some great coastal landmarks and the tidal stream in the sound changed during our time there.
In the evening we feasted on a food buffet delivered by the local Chinese restaurant. This was followed by an excellent talk on the wildlife and geology of Shetland. The evening was rounded off with plenty of traditional Sheltand fiddle music and washed down with plenty of wine and beer!
Fuzzy heads on Sunday morning slowly gave way to a day of Rockhopping. We found our way to Skelda Voe and set about revising some of the basic moves. Stern rudder, low brace turns and sweep strokes were duly brushed up. Before we knew it the group was getting in amongst it all. Close to Roe Ness we found an entertaining cave system with a right-angled turn and before heading back to Easter Skeld we scratched Johnny Sinclair’s Nose.
It was a happy day out but to add to the euphoria the organisers of the Skeld Regatta welcomed us ashore with some delicious leftover Cakes! This would have been something to brag about if it wasn’t for Sid’s group being entertained by Orcas at the end of their trip a short way along the coast.
For the final week, we would be travelling north to the Voxter Centre close to Brae.