Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Winter is fast approaching and locally the weather has taken a turn for the worse with a strong gale from the SE battering the coastline. The vital lifeline ferry link between Shetland and the Scottish mainland is ploughing her slow passage down the NE Coast having left the Islands at 5.30pm last night, Onboard are 95 hardy souls whose original intentions were to arrive in Aberdeen this morning at 7am, but with this Harbour now closed due to the weather they are heading for Rosyth on the Firth of Forth with an estimated arrival time of late tonight.

After some 30 hours or so at sea, many will feel it will have been the worst sea journey they have ever experienced. Having said that, being more of a sailor than an airman myself, given the choice in a flying gale, I would still opt to be tossed around the ocean for hours than be flipped about inside a cigar tube thousands of feet in the air, while strapped into a space no bigger than a cupboard. Doubtless there are many who would rather do neither. Bert Thomas (1883-1966) cartoon probably captures the spirit of sea travel in winter which hasn't changed a lot in a hundred years.

Transcription below:

GARRULOUS PASSENGER: "Oh, Captain, I've crossed the Atlantic dozens of times in all kinds of weather and never remember feeling so ill. I wonder what's the cause ?"
CAPTAIN: "Bad memory."

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