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islandhopper

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  1. Most of the images - if not all - were taken, when they built the first of these turbines in the Hamburg harbour area. It might be interesting to concentrate on the activities which took place on the ground only ... and from that to calculate how much ground space they actual will need to errect the turbines ... and how big the areas have to be, where they have to cut the peat down to the solid rock to find a proper stand for their cranes and other equipment ...
  2. @Siccar Conditions are quite fair. All airports cleared and minor delays only (except connections with Spain; still delayed). All major roads in the north including Berlin area are cleared but there a severe forecasts of 'heavy blitz ice' later this afternoon and for the night. Minor probs with public transport within the Berlin area esp. within the S-Bahn. You should calculate some extra time (for alternative bus shuttles) if you need to go by S-Bahn especially to the eastern suburbs, so I was told by my friends.
  3. Due to severe weather conditions and according to this weeks legislation all car drivers in Germany are forced to use special 'winter tyres' mounted to their cars in wintry conditions. These tyres must be marked on their flanks with letters 'M&S' and/or a little starlike 'snow flake'. As it was announced this afternoon, that the new rule starts from tomorrow morning at 00:00 hrs continental standard winter time. The rule applys to all drivers on all types of German roads including visitors and transit travellers for example en route from Bergium/France to Austria/Switzerland/Poland. Breaching the rule will be fined between €40 and €80. A spokesperson of one of the automobil clubs (inofficialy) announced that homebound transit travellers may be exepted for a couple of days. Additional note: As a result of the discussions over the last days the German market for winter tyres is completely sold out! If you are forced to pass through Germany within the next days try to get winter tyres either within the UK or en route in Belgium or the Netherlands - but look for the markings! Up to now there are no standardised marks within the EU!
  4. Scotland's only direct passenger ferry service to mainland Europe [Rosyth-Zeebrugge by DFDS / formerly NorfolkLine] is to be scrapped, it has been announced. BBC tonight http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-11041554 ... a bit OT but just to highlight the over all ferry situation in the North Sea. As long as DFDS don't accept another company in 'their waters' it makes only little sense to discuss about new ferry routes ...
  5. It is by far more difficult than that, Ghostrider! ... i) The general text about the Shetland Lochs (vol. II, part II) describes Girlsta Loch as the deepest Loch in Shetland with a max. depth of 74 feet (as in the table you have quoted) ii) So does the description of Loch Girlsta in the same volume. iii) The map which I quoted gives at least 4 values indicating a depth greater than 74 feet: two bathymetrical lines indicating a depth of 75 feet and more and two max. values of 77 fet and 78 feet respectively in a different location. (From what I've learned about drawing of bathymetrical lines when drawing the hydrographical atlas of the Baltic sea in 1974, is the fact that two values were required before you were allowed to draw a line; otherways you would have to mark the position and to show the absolute value only - but that were 'modern oceanographic standards' not neccessarily identical with the old 'limnological standards' of the time in question). iv) What's more interesting is the fact, that the description of Girlsta Loch in vol. II, part II gives a temperature of 53°8 at 75 feet. v) Furthermore that description gives some interesting details: a) There is a broad beach of small grey stones on east and west, and a sandy beach at the north end ... and The outflow is on the south by a mill lead ... ! ... and that outflow starts at the south end, where the 1850s/1880s OS 25 inch to the mile map shows a 'sluice' and where google earth shows a structure like the remains of a small dam ... Taking all that together it would fit very well to another fact described in the chapter about general features of Scottish lochs, that's to say that some of them show a considerable saesonal change in depth and volume without changing the surface you look at ...
  6. Well - not only Germans ! From my experience you may add Austrians, Swizz, Dutch ... and if there are ... other German speaking folks ... In our German speaking forums we have regular questions about 'how to get up there?' ... but following up what actually had happened, we find a very small number only that travelled to Shetland. Just some figures about the three forums of which I do have 'some control': i) This year we had roughly some 100 enquiries about Shetland before 1st August. ii) Only 3 out of those - of which we have a positive feed back - have visited Shetland ! The same figures for Orkney are 250 and about 85 respectively. Annother aspect which might be of interest: If you are interested in tourists from the continent, forget about Ro-Pax ferries ! Ro-Pax ferries are not accepted by continental clients ! I used to travel on both the the St Magnus und the St Rognvald for my journeys to and from Shetland and Orkney whenever it fitted into my time table, but over 30 years of travelling I never met a continental fellow traveller on board ! ... Despite that: NorfolkLine on route between Zeebrugge and Rossyth had a purpose built new Ro-Pax ferry (mv Scottish Viking) for that service ... just a year later NorfolkLine was sold to DFDS (to avoid the company going bankrupt) with DFDS bringing a new / different pax ferry into service from next year - as far as the rumors know. The forums in D / A / CH were full of complaints about the problem of 'travelling cars' on an open car deck with trucks and campers travelling on sheltered decks inside the boat. Continentals in general, Germans especially, they do like their cars ... when they do smell some salt in the air ... they do think about RUST ... "Safety" that is the safety of their car, folks do believe, they themselves can swim !!! Finally the RET: What we do see from our forums is simply the following effect - NOBODY knows whether or not the RET does make it cheaper to travel the Western Isles for tourists or not ?! Nevertheless we do have very clear evidence that simply the term "RET" sells !!! The typical reaction is: "Well, it is not cheap to go over to Lewis, but it is not more expensive than to travel the same distance to the North!" Following such an argument the real facts are out of interest: A tourist who once had decided to go to the North, accepts a little 'detour' via the route Mallaig-Uig-Tarbert and Stornoway-Ullapool and further on to Durness, because he knows, he would have to travel from Mallaig to Ullapool on the road anyway. It is the simpliest of marketing: The tourist reads RET = road equivalent tariff ... he thinks about his over all travelling distance from south to north ... he does not go into the details ... which are the like that the "equivalent" is valued for the detour route, only ! It is a completely irrational argument, anyway, but it works and I am sure, it could work on the turn from Scrabster to Orkney and further on to Shetland and returning to Aberdeen (or vice versa) ! The difference between the Western and the Northern Isles simply is: Western Isles The informed tourists think about RET and book a Hopscotch ticket ! Northern Isles There is neither RET nor can you book a Hopscotch ticket ... with NorthLink refusing to think about such tariff alternatives for the Northern Isles from the very first moment when they took over the business. In the good old days of P&O: I sent a letter to them, directly to their Aberdeen office at Jamieson's Quay in Aberdeen and asked about the equivalent of the CalMac Hopscotch ticket or similar ... and got a 15% reduction for my Aberdeen-Lerwick booking. No 'resident conditions' but a clear sign of 'you are welcome ...!' ... Oddrun said about the Norwegian companies which might be interested in the business or not: They are going up to Svalbard, so why not Shetland ????? In a similar way you may say: It - the whole bunch of CalMac-NorthLink - is a Scottish company, why do they treat the Northern Isles different than the Western Isles ????? Despite all that: With less than 10% of the capital bound to the disputable "windmill development" you could save a lot of local jobs by subsidising the tourists' tariffs for the outbound ferries down the normal islander tariffs ... it is completely up to you what you want.
  7. The Bathymetrical Survey of the Fresh-Water Lochs of Scotland, 1897-1909 (with data for Girlsta Loch from 1903) gave a maximum depth of 78 feet. Have a look at http://www.nls.uk/maps/bathymetric/view/?sid=74400548
  8. Looking from outside Shetland the whole debate is a bit irritating. There are very good reasons why some Shetlanders were afraid about 'some reductions' with regard to NorthLink's winter time table only and now there are other folks who want to withdraw one of the two available boats for 'summer trips' to Norway. Sorry, but that does not fit together ! The only two ways out of the dilemma which I do see are: i) If it is right that the Norönna is still passing trough Yell Sound then Shetland capital together with other third party capital still working in the Faeroese boat could work together to force the company back into its original contracts. A job of lobbying KFW and others ... low chances .. but why not trying ??? Might be a 'nice' job for Tavish ... ii) The other probably working idea is a new line - Norway-Shetland-AndOn - instead of NORSHUKON ... ... simply drop out UK to offer acceptable on-route-times for Norwegian trucks out bound directly to the continent ... that could be a mixed freight-pax-service using free freight roro capacities to bring in some tourists on vacant spaces from both Norway and the continent ... opening up a completly new approach for continental tourists to Norway, too ... no forced stop-over of 4 days as on the Faero-Islands but a chance of a stop over - as long as you please (using the additional NorthLink services) on Shetland ... Low chance, too ... investment risks for an additional boat ...but why not ??? Sorry, BUT Norway and Shetland do have the money to design such a service as they would like it ... IF both of them would like to have it !!! It is a model similar to the one that failed in the combined Continent-Scotland-Shetland-Iceland service ... but a combined Norway-Shetland-Continent service has some by far higher potential. OK - an established line might try to offer some "NORSHUKON" service using a port of call in the far north of Scotland to pick up some tourists on their way home. The old DFDS-Winston Churchill did that job successfully ... ... and it would make my plannings much easier ...
  9. ... text of the dedication is back ... ... name of the underwriter remains unclear ... may be Wilhelm Xxxmann, but I'll ask a (older) friend who had learned this kind of writing at school ... this particular kind of writing / typesetting was forbidden in 1941 ... too early for me, I'm a post war model ...
  10. ... if it is just the question of translation you may send me a copy of the text in question and I will try my best ... e-mail-addy follows as pm
  11. no, nae, never ... we tourists prefer da boats ...
  12. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/scotland/north_east_orkney_and_shetland/10175923.stm ... when they really decide to close half of Shetland's schools they will have a few pennies left for a moderate increase of their expences in 2011 ...
  13. OT ... just to keep you informed: Google and the German government signed an agreement today: a) Google will switch on street view only after ALL protests (private und public) are cleared. Google will install a simplyfied clearing routine where individuals und city councils can ask for deletion of certain photos which match with given addresses two months PRIOR to the launch of street view. c) Google agreed to delete all protested images within 48 hrs for the time after the start of street view. In the end Google accepted that they acted illegally at least in two aspects: i) You are entitled to photograph nearly everything except a few military installations within the FRG as long as you don't use any auxiliary equipment - the camera position 3m above ground is regarded as "with auxiliary equipment" ... like climbing a ladder ... everything that is visible in the images but would not be visible in case the camera would have been on a lower level is thus automatically illegal and must be removed without giving any further reasons. ii) Google had scanned the whole private wifi networks along with the images and had planned to publish that informaation along with the street view images without prior notice. That was regarded as being illegal, too. There is no final decision what will happen with this material.
  14. A couple of days ago the then designated Minister for Education & Integration of the Federal State of Lower Saxony caused a lot of very 'hot' discussions over here. On her first interview in her new role she said that all religious sign should be banned from school classrooms. She is a Muslima, of Turkish roots, the first Muslima to become a federal minister in Germany ... but she was elected by the CDU = the Christian Democratic party the majority party within the parlament of Lower Saxony. A Muslima on a christian democrats' ticket ... Today she was publicly sworn in. In such a situation you will be asked if you want to swear with or without "a religious fromular/confirmation'. She opted 'with' an according to the rules she finished her oath with the words "... so help me God!". She was asked by the press later on 'why she - as a muslima - opted for the christian confirmation of her oath ...' She smiled and said '... why not? I believe in the one and only God who is common to all of us, the jews, the christians and the muslims like me! ... and by the way - I confirm my opinion: NO shawls, NO burqas, NO crosses - NO religious signs at all in public schools! ...'
  15. ... a bit OT ... Right, we have learned our lessons and must not always be the first ... NO - the main reason simply is: Google was not willing to accept German legislation. Their say:"What we can do elsewhere in the world should be possible in Germany as well!" ... not accepting that the legislation about many aspects is in the hands of the Federal States and not Berlin. The secondmost important reason: Google did not accept any rules about how to delete illegal images prior to the publication. And last but not least, google had to agree to some standard of professional cartography: zoom Shetland in to the highest level and you will see how many new islands are out there or simply look at the Shetland placenames in use, what placenames, how they are spelled and where they are placed ... It is by far worse than the whole OS mass! Right, work restarted, but in doing so, google agreed in the end to a lot of regulations which are not kept abroad. So for example google has to guarantee that the official road classifications have to be followed on google maps to avoid mistakes as you could / can easily find within the UK with primary routes classified as main roads only and the other way round. There were many complaints, that's right and many of the complaints are still not delt with and many of the complaints by 'professional moaners' were simply rubbish. But pointless the whole affair??? To ask a global player like google to keep national laws and stick to the rules is not a "pointless complaint". I personally don't think so and in my opinion it is quite a simple thing: where those companies don't want to follow the law simply for their profit they have to be forced to do so !
  16. More or less but you can not trust in the fact that Ordnance Survey keeps its own 'rules': Hamnavoe - settlement in Esha Ness Hamna Voe - inshore water close by but Hamnavoe - inshore water Orkney (Stromness) and elsewhere Not sure about the actual situation in Shetland but for other parts of Scotland there was an agreement between Ordnance Survey, local authorities, Historic Scotland and others involved some years ago to use the old traditional spellings for certain place names again. I remember the return to the written form of 'Brodgar' instead of 'Brogar' although the letter 'd' ist not spoken locally. That was two or three years before in Shetland the 'norse' place name of Veensgarth was explained & signposted along the road ... second half of the 1980s or so.
  17. Agreed. But elected members of the public may they be councillors or responsible in different functions are absolutely entitled to question "matters relating to the conduct or capability of employees in public" - the more when these "employees" under discussion are executive ranks. Who else should do? (... and yes, Brian has to stick to his rules! - it is his job and probably not only short sighted solidarity with a befriended former 'shop steward' ... ) DC is / was not a minor clerk but someone with political responsibilities. We may like it or not but some major media like the BBC have it as "[he/DC] has been on extended leave after claims he threatened a colleague". All the rest is some kind of cowardliness and some kind of hiding behind 'staff affairs' where a clear word and decisions were rightfully expected by the public. (... and I am abolutely not sure whether or not a political figure like Tavish would expect and publicly demand to publish the detailed figures, if it would be that clear breach of Scottish laws, some folks are trying to tell us ... ) Come on folks ... - on Feb 5th 2009 the resigning of Morgan Goodlad was announced ... - on 26-Feb-2009 DC had his fab website registered telling the public or just the cooncillors about his unique experiences ... - on May 20th 2009 DC was announced the new Chief Executive ... honi soi qui mal y pense ... The fish was stinking right from the beginning ...
  18. BBC news ... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/north_east/8527728.stm
  19. The BBC has some nice pics ... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/8482833.stm
  20. It's quite interesting to see SIC creating its own newsletter whilst others are struggling to keep local newspapers alive: http://www.saveourlocalpapers.org.uk/
  21. There was a no longer active firm ... Which had a no longer active account ... Then you re-activate that account for some kind of business transactions ... Without automatically re-activating the (still existing but so long not active) firm ??? Funny world! The customs and revenues officers over here would tell me something completely different and would kindly ask me to produce the books of what once was 'a no longer active firm' ...
  22. ... as a tourist to Shetland, I do hope he will do a bit more to promote Shetland tourism than to clear off the 2009 Homecoming Scotland bruck from the VisitShetland website ... http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2010/01/11/former-ambulanceman-appointed-as-new-visitscotland-manager-in-isles
  23. Flare sighting leads to extensive search A large scale search was made last night, after Shetland Coastguard received reports of a flare near Copinsay. Following the report, which came in at around 9.10pm, Kirkwall's Lifeboat and Coastguard team were called to search the area around Copinsay, along with Sumburgh's rescue helicopter. The mv Hascosay, which was east of Copinsay and heading for Kirkwall, was also asked to keep a look out. After searching until midnight, the mission was called off after nothing was sighted. Shetland Coastguard said the light was most likely a Chinese lantern, and renewed pleas for the public to contact them before setting them off. © The Orcadian online today ... off Copinsay that's at least about 5 kilometres (as the crow flies) away from the next house in Deerness ...
  24. The project came to an end due to Babcock & Browns financial problems. The divices are still down in Portugal waiting for a new investor.
  25. ... after extraordinary high numbers of serious accidents linked with these Chinese lanterns they are now forbidden in most of the Laenders (federal states of the FRG). They may be nice when shining over empty rural areas (if not getting mixed up with emergency flares) but they were responsible for damages worth some hundred millions of € over here in more densly populated areas within the last decade ...
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