Archive for the ‘General news’ Category

Orcas , Neesicks , and fancy yachts !

on July 25, 2010 in General news Comments Off

What a priveliged family we are ! About a month ago the chef of the super yacht Lady B came to the shop for a chat about fish and there followed a frantic couple of days of preparing, smoking and vac packing a quantity of  what I think I do best ! I hope the owners enjoyed it ! Trish, Ailish and myself were invited on board for a wee tour….we had to take our shoes off before we could go on board…. hardly surprising when we were told we were standing on silk carpets ! Thanks to John, Bill, Lisa and the crew for making us feel so welcome. Check out google images for some cracking pictures of a beautiful yacht.

Four days later and a phone call from Jackie, the cook on board the motor super yacht  t6 saw me again panicking to smoke enough haddock for a trip which will take them through the North West passage to Seattle !

A week of relative calm follows….

I’m leaning on the garden fence looking North at splashes in the water that are far too big to be diving Gannets…. ORCAS !!! (6 or 7 of them, fishing about a mile off shore) Our ‘Havra’ guests were just sitting down to a dinner of baked whole Turbot and very fine wine.  A quick look at these amazing creatures then back to the Turbot !  Three and a half hours later the Orcas are still there but the Turbot was long gone !

My favourite ‘whales’ and I think the smallest ?…Neesicks, meaning sneezers in the Shetland dialect or harbour porpoises. How these tiny creatures survive Atlantic storms, dolphin attacks and Orca predation…I would not want to be a Neesick !..I was sitting up at the cairn behind our house, looking out to sea with the binoculars just in case there was a big whale passing. I turned my attention back towards the Maywick Holm and found our local Neesick group of around six……they’re always there the whole year round. Looking Westward off the Point of Maywick there’s a tremendous comotion in the water. I’m thinking it’s Dolphins, but they’re too small ! 20 to 25 beautiful little Neesicks come hurtling in to the bay at Maywick and spend the next couple of hours rounding up a shoal of  fish and devouring them just 200 yards from the beach !

Living here as a fishmonger is a tough job but someone’s got to do it !

Summer 2010 Vacancies

on May 23, 2010 in General news Comments Off

The week 7th – 14th August has now been booked. Thanks to The Cottage Guide ! We still have one late Summer week remaining from 4th -11th Sept. Then a couple of weeks in early October for the Autumn bird migrations.

At last we’ve got some more Spring like weather……that means that Winter lasted for nearly SIX months ! Where’s this global warming ? 

Anyway, there would appear to be an abundance of sandeels at Maywick this year and lots of baby sandeels already. This has led to vast shoals of coalfish shoaling already like mackerel and making such a fuss that on Wednesday afternoon I saw my first whale of the year from the back garden ! It was a small Minke whale that came in to see what all the disturbance was about. It didn’t hang around long so I can only assume coalfish are not at the top of this whales food favourites !

…..STOP PRESS….. We have had a cancellation for the week 7th-14th August this year, presently this week remains available…….this is the week of the Shetland Fiddle Frenzy which is brilliant and just what you’d expect with such a title !

Over the Easter holidays we went down to Scotland for a couple of weeks and this is what I wrote whilst away…

On holiday in the Angus Glens. What a beautiful part of Scotland this is and such a contrast from my beloved Shetland. I love the Scottish mountains and glens, the native trees and wildlife and the Highland way of life.It brings home to me the realisation of the impact the sea has on our North Atlantic way of island life far to the North of mainland Scotland . Nowhere in Shetland are we more than 3 miles from the sea,blown salt spray covering everything after a stormy night. Yet where I’m writing this must be some 30 miles from the sea and ‘bathed’ in mountain rain.

I’m enjoying watching all the little garden birds pecking at the feeders hung from an old stunted birch tree outside the livingroom window. I wonder if pheasants and woodpeckers are classed as garden birds ?  In Shetland the Puffins have just arrived and the Bonxies will be back within in a week or two. The Terns will also return by the end of the month and then Spring will truely be with us.

It’s a lovely little cottage we’re staying in but the bathroom (shower room ) is dark brown, very dull, has no window and is desperate for a facelift ! Additionally there is nowhere to hang rain clothes or washings and nowhere to leave wet or muddy boots ! Whilst I know Havra doesn’t have these problems I will have a good look round for other issues. However I will not be putting a TV in every room !

Rest in peace Logie Bear….In early February we had to ‘put Logie Bear to sleep’. Unfortunately he did not respond to treatment for colic. He was nearly 3 years old and had suffered a few times previously in his short life. He is very sorely missed. However Lancer is quite fine and enjoying getting all the attention !

Now taking bookings for 2011 !

We are truely amazed at the interest we have had in Havra this year. It’s always difficult having to appologise for the cottage not being available so we always keep the availability page bang up to date. I’m very happy with our web site and how it functions and thats all down to Mark’s ( precise and dilligent work.

Thankyou for all your comments I would love to hear more via the link….I’m chuffed that folk actually read this stuff !