The Travelling Trooper Does A Shetland Tour

Today was a relaxing day, as we needed to recover from the previous night’s festivities. We booked a boat tour around an island called Noss, and that was about it. Unfortunately, the tour didn’t turn out to be worth the 45 pounds per person that I paid. Sure, the views of the island and of the lighthouse were beautiful and all, but we honestly spent probably over half an hour facing this terrifying cliff that seemed to be the base camp for this army of birds. We literally just floated there doing nothing. The captain talked to us about the birds for about 2 minutes, and then the rest of the time was just floating around, waiting for something to happen. If a bird had dropped a poop bomb on somebody that would have at least given us some sort of excitement. But no, we just sat there watching the captain try to catch some fish.


The one interesting thing we learned from the time spent there was that this particular type of bird has some weird Benjamin Button thing going on in which it is actually biggest when it first hatches. It also undergoes a colour transformation. When they’re born, they are all grey and black, but as they get older, their feathers gradually change to white until only the tips of their wings are black. Cool stuff, right? Not worth the 90 pounds, though.

Also, the captain didn’t have a microphone or anything, so I couldn’t hear what he was saying regarding the island’s history 70% of the time because the boat was going too fast. Though one cool thing I did manage to hear was about what huge pricks the wealthy Lairds were. (It may have actually been Lords, I’m not sure. It might have just been the accent. So apparently the Laird who lived on the island were trying to get some sheep to across this huge gap. They paid a guy to somehow climb the cliff face, rig up some sort of pulley system with a basket attached, and transfer the sheep across in the basket one at a time.

Unfortunately, the man fell during one of the crossings and died. His widow then went to the Laird to collect her dead husband’s wages, and was denied  because the bastard said that his contract was with her husband and not with her. “And that,” the captain explained, “is why we hate the Lairds.” (Sidenote: I don’t know if the guy is actually a captain. I just assume that anybody with a boat is a captain.)

The highlight of the tour came at the very end. The reason the cap had been fishing was to feed his dear friend, George.

Meet George.

This guy plopped himself on the ledge along the rear of the boat and readied himself for lunch. When all the grub was done, he went off on his merry way. Again, cool…but not worth 90 pounds.

After that, we headed to the ferry and readied for our return voyage to Aberdeen.


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