Cruester Fishing station

Satellite image, courtesy of Anne Karin
 Magnasson, Bergen Met Institute

MONDAY 22nd October: A cloudy start to the day across Shetland with some patchy light rain.  Brighter conditions by late morning, the rain clearing, with all parts dry and bright with sunny spells. F2-3 S’ly winds. Light winds. Maximum temperature 12 °C.Sea State: Moderate to slight, with a 1 to 2 metre S to SW’ly wind-swell. 

OS Map1:2500: 47.5, 43
Bressay Latitude 60.1500°N, Longitude 1.0833°W

Afternoon at Cruester Fishing Station, Bressay

Cloud pours over the dark hill with its tall masts, downwards to the sea like an avalanche of snow cascading from the peaks. A bright cloud-filled sky, the sun making brief appearances every now and then. Still, there is a keen cold breeze stirring up the sea, the surface covered in small waves. A swell in the bay.   

Blue sky above me as I sit drawing on the shore, but across the water Lerwick’s hills are shrouded in low-lying cloud. Dark grey-blue sea, pools of golden light rippling across the surface towards me. Past the hill and its masts, the horizon disappears, cloud creeping lower. Few sounds - the ferry crossing back and forth… a crow flying overheard. There was fishing all along this coastline; fish landed and laid out to dry along the pebbled shore. 

Of the old Haa and fishing stations, the fishing village set up by Miss Moat of Gardie, there’s not much to see, a few ruins, a bit of jetty. I’m told the haaf fishing wasn’t much of a success – the water too shallow for larger boats to land, and the sea too dangerous off the south end, but the herring station survived, and there’s still a working fish factory at the end of the road.

The cloud, even lower now, envelops the far shore, blotting out the sun. I draw frantically as it swirls, the light constantly shifting. A boat sounds its foghorn as it appears and disappears. 

oil on paper
oil on paper
Mist descending
The mist arrives on Bressay and I can see nothing. The cry of an unseen curlew. 
Cold fingers. Time to go, a ferry to catch.
Water sample and findings