Monday, 22 July 2013

We are moving to Shetland In September so I can begin a three year, fully funded PhD on the Shetland boat: history; folklore & construction.

We are moving to Shetland!  I've been very lucky in being selected to research the Shetland boat. The PhD is being financially supported by the Shetland Amenity Trust. I will be a full-time student at the Centre for Nordic Studies which is a department of the University of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  The purpose of this research is to ensure that the historic fishing boats of Shetland whose heritage can be traced back to the Norwegian Vikings is definatively documented and preserved for the people of Shetland. 

Visiting Shetland for the first time and finding somewhere to live.

Rae and I visited Shetland for the first time in May. We were very excited by the prospect of visiting the Islands. The little bit of Shetland we saw during our three day visit was staggeringly beautiful. What impressed me most were the big skies, the quietness, the rugged wildness and the fact that the sea is never far away. Everyone we met made us feel very welcome and the Winward B&B in Scalloway run by Beth Cummings is great. 

Whilst in Shetland we made enquiries about finding a place to live. We had tried the usual route of Rightmove and Primelocation with no success at all. Searches on these sites proved fruitless and the reason for this we found out is that most people use shetlink which is the community website. 

On our return home we signed-up with Shetlink and placed an advert for rented 
accommodation. Low and behold within a week we had found somewhere to live at a 
reasonable price. Its a small, pretty croft overlooking the sea which sounds idyllic and 
hopefully it will be. We are really looking forward to living in Shetland and becoming part of the 
community.  Obviously, I am hoping to be able to do some boat building, and I have a 
hankering to build a boat related to the PhD, maybe a Norwegian Fairing, we shall see.

Hay's Dock Lerwick
Shetland Museum, Lerwick
Boat Building sheds at the Shetland Museum
Hay's Dock

Zephon our Harrison Butler Z4 ton yacht was launched in May

Zephon Motoring into her berth last week.

Zephon was craned back into the water on Monday 27th May. All went well and my nervousness about her taking in lots of water was unfounded, she hardly leaked a drop! Since she was craned in I have been working hard and after a few niggling delays (there have been some minor engine issues to do with the new engine mounts, the prop and the morse control cables) she is ready to start sailing.

I hope you agree that she is looking pretty and doing well for a 63 year old. Zephon's cruising grounds are going to be changing very soon as we are moving to Shetland in September this year. We were hoping to sail her to Shetland next Spring but I think the reality will be that we will have her low loaded  there instead.

Just a reminder: this is how Zephon looked when we bought her back in November 2011. Please see old posts to view the extensive work carried out since then.