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michael_balmain

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  1. Quendale is good fun in a swell but there can be a strong crossshore rip which has been W-E when I've been in. I'm now on 7mm 2 piece but when you're in for hours and diving you need a bit of warmth.
  2. Hiya Kev. I wear a 2 piece 5mm so 10mm on the torso with a 3mm vest underneath. 5mm is good for a few hours of fish hunting fun but I'll be upgrading to 7mm 2 piece open cell later in the year. Banaminn as recommended by Ryan would be a fantastic swim. Crystal clear waters and relatively sheltered. Thoroughly enjoyed your video Ryan. Very much looking forward to getting back in my home waters. I should also add do please tell the coastguard you're heading out. Lets them know if you're out someone calls you in. Our last dive down here resulted in North Berwick Coastguard, Dunbar Lifeboat (too rough for NB one) and Helicopter being scrambled as someone saw us 600m out on some rocks taking a break from the swell and currents. We neglected to inform them we'd be heading out and understandably a concerned member of the public called it in.
  3. Hi there and welcome to Shetland. I did a bit o spearfishing and snorkeling up there before moving south for uni. We're moving back to Shetland though very soon so I'll be out in the water a lot over the summer and I'll keep this thread updated on tides/currents as I'll certainly be in them. West Voe beach at Sumburgh can have a fair rip running through if there's a swell along with Quendale Bay. As bays they are certainly mellow when it is calm and I see no issues swimming there apart from it may be a bit too shallow. Me St Ninians seems to be relatively fine either side when it is calm. Meal Beach in Burra is a safe bet when calm as it does slope off deeper quicker. The voe on the Brae side of Mavis Grind is very calm, deep and should be safeish too. Looking at my charting software the tides don't get massively strong apart from between islands etc and rarely exceeds a few knots. As ever common sense prevails and it is worth checking the times and local charts to see where tidal races are etc. Sands of Sound beach in Lerwick is always a safe place to swim and is relatively calm unless there's a S/SE swell coming in. All this is based on the assumption that you are confident and are wearing a wetsuit. Rubber is a must in Shetland if you wish to stay in the water for any length of time. If you need any more information send me a pm or email at michael.balmain (at) gmail.com Cheers Michael
  4. Stunning views of Noss and the North Mouth on that sailing. Plenty of Gannets on Noss and lots of opportunities of flight shots as they flew over the boat. Stayed out on deck until past Sumburgh Head. I believe suuusssiiieee is right as there was mention of captain's ticket but couldn't hear the tannoy overly well.
  5. That really is a shame. Had many a wonderful thing out the skips and a boxes 42" LCD HD on the side. Best find ever. We've been very lucky in Shetland however the situation is totally different south.
  6. Staff reductions aside I think Lidl would be fantastic for savvy shoppers. Charging 90p an onion in the Coop compared to a bag of 6 for less in Lidl just amazes me. I'm not sure of coop prices back home but certainly here in Edinburgh they extract the urine. The Shetland Coop has always had a different pace to it but sadly never an appealing one.
  7. I too would very much like to know. Brushes aint cheap and the pros do a good job.
  8. Burning unseasoned wood or having your stove low down is a sure fire way for creosote build up. Burning wood and coal at the same time can form sulphuric acid too. LOTS of info online in regards to multifuel stoves. We have two chimneys with 8" clay pots in it. To be safe we've ordered 904/904 flexible chimney liner from a certain flue company online. If clay pots are in good nic it isn't a necessity but 6" liner means that the air doesn't condense within and leave tarry deposits. Burning decent coal too such as anthracite makes a huge difference. We wanted to buy locally but we got two 6m liners plus cowls, adapters, flues etc for less than £450 delivered to Shetland. Company we ordered from gives fitment kits (cowls etc) free on any order of 6m liner or more and any grade too. If there is no chimney at all there are some very good stainless steel systems out there that can go up through the house, out a wall then upwards. It is very important to keep in with building regs etc but there is a huge amount of info online.
  9. Hi folks. I don't have a Shetland directory and good old google isn't giving me answers. I am wondering who does smoke testing for chimneys in Shetland? Not just draw tests but seals both ends up and test from there? Many thanks Michael
  10. Nice photo. Quendale can be brilliant fun if caught on the right day and can hold a serious swell off the east side of it. I'll be up in August so definitely up for getting out as much as possible.
  11. Hi Folks. I'm having a hard time finding out where to get one while I'm on the mainland so i am wondering if anyone knows who can make them in Shetland or if anyone has any available. Many thanks Michael
  12. Shetland was voted as one of the top 10 places to visit before you die by 360 body boarding magazine alongside Cape Verde, Tazmania etc. Some fantastic waves. Jared will tell you where to go, the south end is just full of spots and I'll happily share them all on the forum. Shetland may be a small place but the more in the water the better.
  13. The plots up on Scousburgh Hill were done by the Amenity Trust on behalf of the RSPB (I believe). The aim was to do a variety of heather re seeding techniques, some mixed with grass, some seed, others with cuttings pinned down etc. The major problem up there is continued erosion of the peat. It dries out, gets blown away, dries out, blows away and so th cycle continues. Mixed with erosion in heavy rainfall events the odds are stacked against and regeneration. On top of that there is a very low pH. It rots the chicken wire in a year.
  14. Many thanks for the replies in-particular you Ghostrider. We shall be staying just past the chalets/before the Spiggie hotel. I'm hoping that all going well I might have a bank sorted for coming home next year.
  15. Morning all. I'll be moving to the south end next summer and we'll have two stoves in the house plus a rather large amount of space for storing peats. I like a good bit of hard graft and the smell of burning peat so I'm on the look out for a bank. I've always wondered how you go about getting one? Do you pay a rent to the land owner etc? As I won't be back until August next year I'll have missed my chance to dry them that year so it'll be the following year I do a cut. I'm about to check the big wide web for information on the practices as I have only cut peats once. As ever any information is greatly appreciated. Michael
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