Sunday, July 07, 2013

Island Getaway? Fair Isle to Minnesota USA

Cotton Lake, Minnesota 
After arriving late in the afternoon the day before, I was totally exhausted when Henry wakes me at 5am on the 4th of July for a bird sighting and some early bird fishing. "The early worm get the fish" Henry says... He caught a few Northern Pike and Sunfish, the bird was an Eastern Phoebe. The light was to good not to grab my camera instead of going back to bed.

We are off to see the Mother-in-law or Grandma Karen in Henry's case. Our trip began June 29th with a early morning trip on the Good Shepherd the sea was not so good or kind to those of us that are wave sensitive... Travel sickness is no way to start 5 days of travel. I was doing fine at first and doing well until I took some video of a young woman riding out the "swell" trip. Then I looked down while reviewing the video and another set of waves hit and I lost it. Never look down! After that I had to lie down the rest of the trip. It's a 2.5 hour trip but you can watch the 45 seconds of it I capture on video below...


Fair Isle to Sumburgh on the Good Shepherd
roller-coasters are fun for 2 minutes but not 2.5 hours...

Looking back at Fair Isle from the Good Shepherd Ferry

Sumburgh Head & Lighthouse

Sumburgh Lighthouse under renovations. 

Puffin at Sumburgh - Shetland Mainland
 Once on the Shetland Mainland we had two days to kill because we couldn't risk waiting for the plane on Monday because weather delays and cancellations have been the norm lately. In retrospect I'm glad we did because Monday the weather was bad but I wish we could of gotten the plane instead of the boat on that Saturday crossing.

Henry had his telescopic fishing rod packed for Minnesota and wanted to do some fishing in Shetland too.

Small Shetland Brown Trout

Sea Scorpion caught on the Lerwick Pier

Viking Ship in Lerwick Harbour

Fair Isle seen from the plane on the 2 hour Sumburgh to Aberdeen flight. July 1st. Hello!
I couldn't help but think when we flew over most of the Isle would of said, "do I hear a plane?"

Who is this guy? Edward the 7th in Aberdeen? he's got some Gull?

In Aberdeen a day early to make sure we didn't get stuck in Shetland due to fog, etc. Coming early also gives time in case of delays... because if you don't make it off Fair Isle or Shetland due to weather or transport delays the major airlines don't care. You missed your plane... buy another ticket. it's your only option. Not much to do in Aberdeen... The the next afternoon July 2nd we take the plane to London for a 2.5 hour layover. We get great views of the city before landing.

We did see London Bridge coming in for landing

London and the Thames from the air

From London The plane flew back up over Scotland... back just west of Fair Isle and then a added bonus, over Greenland on a relatively clear day! The views were amazing!

Greenland! it's Blue!
Ice Swirl it beautiful - looks cold though.



9 plus hours on the plane London to Chicago... Hellish! 2 hours to get through customs and get to the next gate on the other side of the airport.... Then Chicago to Minneapolis 1 hour f flight arriving July 2nd just before midnight. Finally we are in Minnesota but we spend the night in yet another hotel not able to drive 4 more hours in the car. The morning of July 3rd we awake and drive with a few stops along the way for food, fishing gear & licences arriving in the late afternoon. Henry is super excited and we are all glad to be here at the lake with Grandma Karen & Cove. Let the festivities begin!

Northern Pike from the dock in front of the house.

Henry got here just in time to wave the flag in the 4th of July boat parade, they even won second place with their baseball national past time theme. Fireworks at night were awesome!

Already got a new Lifer "American Avocet" stunning and quite unexpected, it seemed odd to find them among all the Forster's Tern, Ring-billed Gull and American White Pelican. Also stunning views of American Redstart and Baltimore Oriole. The weather has been very hot (90 degrees - 35C) until today when we had rain showers most of the day which allowed me to do a bit of blogging. cheers!

All this travelling doesn't bug me to much...
until I think I have to do it all again in a week and a half?


  1. Very nice - but is it worth missing a Roseate Tern for?!

  2. I knew Fair Isle was isolated, but we forget how much time you need to get away on a trip! Have a great visit to the north country.

  3. Welcome to Minnesota. Apologies for the clumsy customs process. More good luck to Henry in his fishing.

  4. Is Liz away with you guys too?

  5. Ah, the memories of a Good Shepherd crossing (...sigh) !!!