Thursday, July 28, 2011

3 Lobsters in a Pot & the Biggest Fish in the North Haven

You're Kidding Me!  Lobster!!!!
I was began to wonder why they call it a Lobster pot, kreel or trap when all we catch are Crabs... Crabs a tasty but? Our Lobster kreel soaked for a week in the North Haven unchecked due to bad weather. I unhopefully looked at it during the Tall Ships event from shore as I knew the bait would be eaten by crabs the very first night. With a brake from the crap weather Henry & I were finally able to go fishing again and retrieve our one trap. Not a Lobster... but 3! Unbelievable! We have only caught 1 other lobster in 5 years! now bring our total to 4 a 300 percent boost 1 more and we will average 1 a year. LOL.
3 lobsters - weighing 1 to 2 pounds each
nothing beats the taste of sweet success with a little wasabi butter.

everything is just ducky.

Am I Dreaming?
Pollack - Henry Caught this fish in the North Haven as well.
 A new North Haven record... the biggest ever!
(for us or that we know of?)

 Of course Henry caught the fish on my fishing rod while I was untangling the mess he made of his. I can't help but think of my father with 4 kids in the boat it's a wonder he ever caught anything.

Lobster Last Night!
Fish & Chips Tonight!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mending Sails? Well this is something I've never done before. Framstig Tall Ship

The sail ripped coming from Orkney the night before in the strong winds and heavy swell.

The crew of the Framstig came to my studio to play around of golf while the captain tried to find someone in Lerwick to mend the sail on the cell phone? during tall ships? I'm not sure if there is anyone who does that type of work in Shetland? When I showed them my sewing room they asked if I could try and sew it? Well I can try... Moving my sewing machine outside on a windy but sunny day I did my best with the help of others. Lucky I can sew better than they can play golf. The sail was thick and heavy and I only had medium needles. I broke a few but my Juki can sew through almost anything.  The patch isn't pretty, but it will weather the storms ahead. 

in the shadow of the South Lighthouse
just outside my studio.

Framstig - built 1914
I was told rough translation of Framstig means moving forward.

The Framstig has sailed around the world and the sail looks like it.
The sail has been patched many times before and looks like a crazy quilt.
More patches than sail that's all part of the aesthetic. I'm just a small piece of it's history now.

The crew saying good bye while getting ready to sail back to Norway before bad forcast weather.
& we wish them luck!

all patched up.

         photo taken a few days before the rip. North Haven.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Party! Fair Isle Style! & Knitwear! Tall Ships Race 2011 Shetland

Sorlandet - from Norway

I have just posted some photos from the Fair Isle event. I have not gone through all my photos yet and should be updating this post when I get time as I am rushing to post before the power goes off.
Lowri watches the tall ship crew come ashore in his Fair Isle Kep
hand knit by his great grand mother Annie Thomson.

Family Tradition

"History in the Making"
Hand Knit Fair Isle Fisherman's Keps

Just some of the Keps on display at Fair Isle's George Waterson's Museum for viewing party before the big trade with the crew of the Sorlandet tall ship. The making of Fair Isle Knitwear and trading with passing ships has a long history on Fair Isle. The Fair Isle name is today world famous as a result of this type of commerce done in the past. The tradition is kept alive by the Islanders and their strong sense of place. The project was over seen by Anne Sinclair the Islands historian who runs Fair Isle's museum. Anne's knowledge of Fair Isle and it's Knitwear is unsurpassed as it runs deep in her veins and family traditions. 

Where did the patterns and skills come from? Some say it was the Spanish Armada ship wreck of 1588 or maybe Norse, Celtic or Scandinavian influences. There is even a true story of a man gifting kaleidoscopes to the islanders in hope of giving further design inspirations to the already popular knitwear. Some or all of these inspirations may have had some influence on the designs but most of the credit should be found in the entrepreneurial creative spirit of the ingenious make do islanders that developed an unique talent for a niche market that seamen couldn't pass up when sailing by. I can imagine if someone did try and teach a Fair Islander how to knit 400 years ago, the islander would soon figure out their own way and for sure it would be better and much harder to do, nothing has changed. The two colors of yarn at any one time and the symmetrical patterns set in rows that never repeated just some of well known characteristics of Fair Isle.  The fine yarn knit in 2 patterned layers made it light to wear but warm... and fun to look at. 

Fair Isle became popular and a classic style, worn by explorers up Everest and to the South Pole. The British Royalty even took an interest and started to wear it while golfing. Leading to demands far beyond the Fair Isles production levels. Soon Fair Isle was being made in the Shetland & Orkney, over the pass 100 years they have made their own variations & history while still using the already popular name Fair Isle. Scotland and the rest of the world started producing knock offs and it was faster and cheaper. The name Fair Isle is used casually by fashion designers world wide for ANYTHING with patterns or stripes. Yikes! and don't get started with the colours and pink hearts... Else where in the world it has lost it’s individuality and history and what most people see today and call "Fair Isle" is what some people like me call “Faux Isle” and is likely not to look like anything you see here. This is the really thing! it's not for sale... it's priceless!

The stuff of legend!

Make me an offer I can't refuse...

Fair Isle Knitter Margo Saying good by to all her hard Work before the bartering starts.

You chose wisely.
Without knowing he chose a Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep hand knit by Lise Sinclair herself. Legend!

I heard him say... "It's a Fair Trade on Fair Isle"

Cameras everywhere!
BBC Coast was there and everyone has a camera or phone clicking away!  including me!

I choose this one! very beautiful!
Hand spun Fair Isle wool  undyed natural colours hand knit Fisherman's Fair Isle Kep by Kathy Coull

Does this girl know how lucky she is? If I asked Kathy to knit me a hat like this she would laugh! Then tell me I would have to wait 4 years because of her other orders and laugh again. The Price! Well let's just say it's alot more than she bargained for. (pun intended) But money isn't what this is about, this is a heritage activity. Knitting in the legendary footsteps, the women of Fair Isle came together every Wednesday night since January (with the occasional visitor/knitter) and have produced something more than just hats and they should be commended as their knitwear again sails the world on the heads of a crew of a tall ship!
Some of the Lucky Crew in their new Fair Isle Keps.

View From My House!
Auld Haa, Fair Isle, South Harbour & Sorlandet Norwegian Tall Ship

The much needed Party Tent at the Haven
The weather was rubbish for July! but it could of been Worse... this is Fair Isle after all.

4 Flags
Small Ships & Yachts from all over Europe in the North Haven.

The Sheltering Sea Shanty Singers!

Arctic Skua

Norwegian Ship - Framstig

Turn about is "Fair" play.
Ian Best in the Dingy

Everyone takes a look at passing Tall Ships even the curious Puffins

Rockin' Party!
Band was Rockin' - People Jumpin' - Tent Swayin' - Wind Howlin' - Ships Bobbin' - Plenty of Drinkin'
& the Sea was just Swell!

Rock God... Neil Thomson Tips his Hat.
Good Night! and it was.

Cheers! Bon Voyage!
in those rough seas... Rock On!

Sheep Rock in Shadow - Fair Isle

Two new paintings I've made during the event.
The colour in the photos are a bit yellow or warm as compared to the originals 
14 by 10 inches Acrylic on canvas board 

Sorlandet passing the South Harbour - Fair Isle
If you are interested in this hat and helping the museum follow the link below...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cuckoo for White-Winged Tern

White-Winged Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus
Now this is more like it! get a call... drive to Setter Croft as told on the phone... see the bird before getting out of the car... plenty of great views there after! Thank You! easy Lifer and Fair Isle Tick.

More thanks to David for a good spot on your drive back to the Obs.
Also Thanks to the guys in North Ronaldsay for sending this bird our way! Cheers! 

Stunning bird!
Loved watching it feed on insects among the tall grass in the strong breeze.

  Bonus Bird!

Saw this Cuckoo on the drive home! nuts!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Elusive Black-Headed Bunting

Black-Headed Bunting  Emberiza melanocephala

10 days ago this bird showed it self to 1 man. Two days later I got a distance glimpse of this bird at 10:15pm in the overcast Simmer Dim and light rain. It has been occasionally showing up a Schoolton in the evenings to roost for the night and only shows for a few minutes before diving in the Rosa Begosa. Where it goes during the day is anyone's guess? Know one knows? I have dipped this bird about 7 times in 10 days. I wanted so bad to see this bird in good light and maybe get a decent photo... no such luck. Tonight I got a call from Schoolton at sunny 7pm. and raced up there to dip it again. I waited about a hour (nothing) then went home to have dinner. I was back 40 minute later for another hour... the bird did finally show! but by that time the sun was behind the hill and grey clouds cover the sky. I got a better record shot this time but the bird is very shy and soon flew off. I knew I couldn't get a better photo tonight so I left it to roost in peace. Elusive is the word and the bird. 

I needed all my patience that I usually reserve for fishing for this bird.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Henry Sees Sea Stars

Most Northerly Record of Small Cushion Star!

as told by my son Henry on his blog "The Nature of Henry"

Here is a link - 

Little Cushion Star - Asterina phylactica
Starfish or Sea Star

Found by me Henry Hyndman - April 26th 2009
First record for Fair Isle and for Shetland
About 400 miles north of any other known record of this species.

Small Cushion Stars are very small. Adults are only about 1.5cm

Cushion Star Info

Description: A very small cushion star with a spiny dorsal surface. There is a star-like pattern of darker brown or green pigment along the centre of the arms and paler areas between the arms. Up to 1.5cm. across. This species was only recognised recently (1979) little is known about it.

Habitat: A frequent species in some very exposed sites on the west coast of Ireland at 10 - 20m. Also found intertidally in large rock pools and on rocks.

Distribution: Known from the west coast of Ireland, Strangford Lough, and SW Britain. Also found in the Mediterranean.

  • Star-like pattern of darker pigment.
  • Small size, only 1.5cm in diameter.
  • Broods its young.

Second Fair Isle Record in photo
Second, Third and Fourth Records - July 4th 2011

I was catching stuff and rockpooling by myself while Dad was working in his art studio at the lighthouse. I was so excited when I found my second Little Cushion Star! It had been over 2 years ago I found my first and I go tidepooling all the time. I ran back screaming to show my Dad. Dad was frozen when he saw it and then said AWESOME! and took some photos. It was laying eggs! I went back to look for more. Dad said leave them there if you find more... and I did! 2 more! I was so happy.

The next day Nick wanted to see where I found them? So Dad, Nick and I all went back to the tidepool  at low tide and we found a whole breeding colony! 20 or more Little Cushion Stars. I needed Dad to move the big rocks and we all said well done to each other. We wondered if it has anything to do with global warming?

I can't beleave that they live here now, not just one lost in the currents of the Sea an Ocean.

This is the tidepool I found them in.
Southlighthouse - Fair Isle, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK.

Checked all the other tidepools with my Dad,
oddly this is the only tidepool we could find them in?

They can be hard to find! Can you see all 4 on the bottom of this rock?

also recently I found some baby Lumpsuckers (Lumpfish)
and a baby Squat Lobster both new tidepool finds for me!
It's brilliant to have no school! I have more time to explore and find things.

Young Lumpsuckers

Tiny Squat Lobster

Fair Isle's go to Naturalist - Nick Riddiford

When ever I find something Dad and I don't know what it is? I go to Nick.
I like to help Nick. He records nature records and sightings on Fair Isle where we live.
He is trying to turn Fair Isle into a Marine Park.

Fair Isle Marine Environment & Tourism Initiative