A New Beach

This is a slight misnomer as the beach has been there for at least 130 years, but it was new to us. My son has been to this one a couple of times and we decided to give it a try out… sadly it was heaving….

That’s two of mine in the foreground near the weird pier.

Yes it was heaving, I have never seen as many whelks in my life!

This was actually a small amount.

A lot of people up here said that they have never seen the tide so low, it did allow us to find some awesome things though…

The starfish was rescued from up the beach, it survived the gulls as it was upside down and covered in sand, as you can see it was quite a biggy. The urchin (or scabby man’s head as they call them up here) was the first I had ever seen in the wild… as you can see, it was not that big.

We followed this trail for about 3 metres and at the end of it was a small fly…

This was a lovely place to visit on a Sunday afternoon, but it does have a bit of a dark past (by today’s standards). Those weird things heading into the sea had a definite purpose.

They were used for whale hunting in the 18th and 19th century. This bay was mainly used for hunting pilot whales. The last Hunt here was in 1899 where 71 whales were run ashore…the last time before that was 1855. This was nothing compared to the 1540 that were killed in Quendale bay in 1845.

The photo above is from the archives, this is what it would have looked like, the traditional Shetland boats were normally used for deep sea fishing, but would be utilised for an easy hunt like this instead.

Driving Bottle-Nosed Whales – Shetland, 1891
Richard Harry Carter (1839–1911)
Shetland Museum and Archives

One of the last hunts took place just over the hill from me in 1903. Pilot whales used to be the most numerous cetaceans around Shetland… they are still seen in pods of up to 40, but normally in smaller pods between 10 and 20.

We loved the beach and the beach evidently loved us!

6 thoughts on “A New Beach

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s