A Shetland Adventure Video Diary
Shetland offers countless outdoor activities and adventures, especially during the virtually endless summer days. Whatever your interests, we promise that you'll never run out of things to do...
Check out what Mike, Nick and Ruairidh got up to last summer.
After four full on days we decided to head up and check out a new festival that was running up in Gluss, aptly named Glusstonberry. Not a fiddle in site, as this festival showcased the massive dynamic range of music that is played in Shetland, from Hard Rock to Pop to well... you name it. Before we head up we bumped into a local postman who happened to be a dab hand on a skateboard...
I don't know about you, but I love scallops. We challenged Ruairidh to find us a location, without hesitation Ruairidh put on that knowing smile and said, “well what are we waiting for lads? Let's go”. Shetland's waters and incredibly fertile, with an abundance of sealife. It was clear to us that the water was still too cold for many fish, so “shellfish it is then”. We were lucky enough to come across a wee squat lobster on our travels to the bottom of the ocean, not to mention the perfect BBQ spot for our haul of scallops, we invited Ruairidh's family down to feast with us.
Ruairidh had mentioned there was a number of old Russian fish processing boats which had run aground close to Lerwick, this got Nick's fish hunting ears twitching. We checked the tides and wind conditions and headed down to a wreck off Trebbister Point, just south of the town, and got a pleasant surprise when we discovered a tasty crustacean friend which we took up to the Mackenzie household for dinner.
With the weather playing up on day two we decided to visit a friend and old work colegue of mine Alan Robertson, of Turrifield organic croft in Sandness. After a stint on the mainland Alan and his partner Penny had taken themselves back to Al's homeland to fulfill his life-long dream and run a self sustaining croft, supplying his family and local community with organic produce. Alan shows us around and then we get a feast from some of there fresh produce.
With Ruairidh's local connections, and with him being an accomplished spear fisherman we where in good hands. No sooner had we got off the boat Ruairidh had a plan set out for us. We headed out Spiggie beach to try "spooting". Watch this video to see what a "spoot" is.
Mike's account of filming on Shetland
Over the seven years of working for the Shetland Folk Festival, I would progressively come up earlier and leave later year on year. I think there might be a running joke with the festival committee, possibly even a sweepstake on how long I might stay. I love Shetland, I'm sad to leave and always happy to return.
Shetland music has always touched me, and so has its sea and cliffs. Post 2013 festival myself and local friend Ruairidh Mackenzie donned our wet suites and armed with a GoPro a small hangover and the urge to do what's now called coasteering, (jumping off wee small cliffs into the water). Fast-forward three months and I had convinced photographer / spear fisherman / free diver, Nick Law to take a trip with me to discover what Shetland had to offer us. Shetland would bless us with five magical days, lobsters, wreck dives, scallops, a music festival, and much much more.
Before Nick arrived I had been asked to do a guest lecture (no pun intended) at Shetland College's new department based at Mareel in Lerwick. After the lecture I chatted and exchanged details with the students and found myself with a wealth of new friends and music, stretching from traditional to hip hop and drum and bass, all recorded and produced in and around Mareel. All the music featured on the five videos is performed by Shetland artists.
When out free diving and spear fishing safety is of the utmost importance, knowing tide times, how the currents of water move is vital. It might look like it's just jumping in and seeing what happens but before each dive we have a look at the nautical charts all the weather info we can get our hands on. Pick safe entry and exit point. Devise escape routes and always leave a note where you have gone.
Nick “The Lungs” Law – a man of many talents: photographer, engineer, fine art painter, spear fisherman, free diver and much more. Nick has an affinity with not only the sea but the land too. His knowledge of wildlife above and below the water is second to none. Nick's travels have taken him round the globe, including living and integrating with local communities in Indonesia, where he built up his free diving and spear fishing ability and knowledge.
Mike Guest - director of still and moving images. I have spent the best part of my life above water, skiing and high in the mountains. However after an injury I discovered the ocean and have been loving it ever since. I have a passion to connect individuals. Building specialist teams, I have 15 years experience in working on live events around the world. I relish the challenge of finding solutions to different situations and see my world from many different angles. The last 3 years I seem to have had a camera welded to my hands.
Ruairidh Mackenzie - fisherman, hunter, skipper and the guide. Ruairidh's knowledge of Shetland is second to none both above and below the water. A king of the “can do attitude” there are no problems, just challenges. Ruairidh's connection trough the lands and intimate knowledge meant when there was a break in the weather a phone call or text would be dropped and next thing you know we where there. I can't thank you enough Ruairidh. Legend.
Posted in: Exploring Shetland