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Day 17, Tuesday 8 July, Lerwick.

The map here shows our track from when we left off yesterday morning until we docked here this morning.   At breakfast they announced that the local information services had set up a desk on deck 4.   Now that is enterprising of Lerwick.   Where we docked there were two floating pontoons which looked like office blocks.   We found out later that they were accommodation blocks, a sort of floating hotel for the oil workers.   There is also a ship which has been converted into accommodation and that has a helicopter platform mounted on it so is maybe used by the rig workers.   There is a huge terminal up the coast which is well placed, as it only visible from one place on the main road and then it is in the distance.   The local council were very astute when the oil terminal was proposed, they only leased the land rather than sell it and took a partnership so they can ensure the wildlife and inhabitants are not disturbed and that their share of the profits is ploughed back into the community.   Moreover, instead of each oil company building its own terminal in a place of their choosing, the oil companies must all make use of the one terminal put where it will cause the least disruption to the environment and community.   You can see this happening in England, can't you?

This afternoon we had an excursion to Northernmost Scotland.   Our two coaches were the last back, just after half past four, (but then the excursion party had been late turning up to get us off, so it seemed fair to me).   They seemed to be champing at the bit up on the bridge, but we were held up and had to queue to get through the security procedures.   We didn't faff around taking pictures but waited paitiently in an orderly queue to be admitted to the ship.   When we were due to cast off, the pilot boat got ready to accompany us out.   When the pilot was taken off the pilot boat did a full circle, and the captain and the pilot exchanged farewells on the whistles and with waves all round they returned to port.

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