Guest Blogger Matt Maples: Lerwick-Land of Fiddles and Vikings
Posted by Tall Ships America on July 25, 2011
We should be out at sea right now, enroute to Stavanger, Norway. Instead, our docklines remain firmly fixed to the concrete pier of Shetland. Outside, the wind howls for the third day in a row, now joined by the cold rain. Even within our ship we wear multiple layers for warmth, sometimes with even our winter coats, caps and mitts on to keep away the chill of the northern winds that bellow down from arctic regions. Winter gear? Isn’t this July?
It may be summer but this is the Shetland Islands. Here, we are only a mere few degrees from the Arctic circle at this latitude. When we depart, we will sail ‘south’ to Norway. It says something about how north you are when you are sailing south to Norway!
For better or worse, the race is delayed and we wait. Regardless of the cold, we are far from bored. Lerwick has given the ships a welcome and festival with warmth far in excess of the frowning weather. These maritime people seem to understand well the needs of a ship and its crew, with ample facilities and entertainment in offer.