Saying Goodbye to the Magic of Fair Isle

My time on Fair Isle is rapidly drawing to a close. But I’m still up before dawn shooting in the morning and scouting in the afternoon. I can’t quite tell which I enjoy more. The landscape here is so diverse and amazing. I’ve never before experienced the high, sheer cliffs like the one I’ve experienced this week. That said, I admit I’m a bit afraid of them.


Sunday morning found me back on the southeast coast on a plateau with view towards Sheep Rock to the north and the Fless & Burrian sea stacks to the south. The sun was coming up almost right behind Sheep Rock so it made for a nice silhouette.

 Sheep Rock - Fair Isle Sheep Rock – Fair Isle

But the true color was happening behind me. So I turned my attention to a composotion I’d scouted out early in the week. But for some reason it just didn’t feel right at the time. Even though I just kept shooting it as the light change. Something must have push me to persevere since as soon as I loaded it onto the iPad, it became one of my favorites of the trip.

 Sea Stacks - Fair Isle Sea Stacks – Fair Isle

But the morning light wasn’t nearly done. And as I kept looking south, I was starting to regret my shooting location. The sky was just exploding in color over the South Lighthouse. As quickly as I could I high tailed it up to the old wind turbine to try and catch a territorial view looking south. I just made it in time.

 South Light - Fair Isle South Light – Fair Isle

My afternoon scouting trip was the cliffs on the west coast north of Malcom’s Head and west of the Pund Croft. And this is where my fear / respect for these magnificent cliff really set in. The wind was howling from the southeast basically trying to blow me, and my gear, off the cliff. I managed one quick shot and then chickened out.

 I did manage a few iPhone SE scouting pics however.



I couldn’t possibly end these posts with saying a huge thank you to Josie Wennekes and Dave Brackenbury, the propieters at the South Light – Fair Isle. The accommodations, meals and hospitality have  been over the top amazing and I could not have made a finer choice.

When I travel I very much like to eat “local” the best I can. And Dave and Josie, served it up to a tee. I thoroughly enjoy the very Scottish, with a bit of British thrown in, dining experiences including, but not limited to:

  • Hagis
  • Black Pudding
  • Lamb with Mint Sauce
  • Bacon & Egg Pie
  • Cullin Skink (Fish Soup)
  • Osborne Pudding
  • Porridge
  • Short Bread
  • Orkney Beef Pie
  • Steam Pudding (Many Varieties)
  • Steak & Kidney Pudding

You could be excused for saying no to many of these dishes outright. I mean come on, Hagis, but I said yes to everything. Well almost everything. I decline Porridge after the first time. It’s a consistency thing. LOL.

All in all it was a grand experience and I’m hopeful that my behavior was decent enough to allow a return stay as I’m already checking airfares for next year. 🙂


What can I say, the return trip is a, mostly, reversed version of the outbound trip. But with a tight connection between the Aberdeen Ferry Terminal and the Airport. And another really tight connection going through Customs and Immigration in Houston.

Ideally I’m suppose to depart the South Light on Fair Isle around 7am on Tuesday, the 8th, and arrive back on Lopez Island, ie home sweet home, on Thursday, the 10th, at 10:15am.  Let’s just say I ain’t holding my breath.

And surprisingly, I haven’t received any calls requesting my services as a travel agent. 🙂


What’s that saying, oh, yeah.

Luck is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity

As I sit here at 2am in the Seattle Airport waiting for my 6am shuttle to the ferry, that quote feels just about right. This was a complicated trip with lots and lots of moving pieces that could easily have gone wrong. But it was pretty well planned, especially for me, and it all went like clockwork.

And I spent the entire, glorious, 3 hr ferry ride from Fair Isle to Sumburgh on the aft deck watching Fair Isle disappear into the horizon. A finer 3 hours I can’t imagine.

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