The British Isles & Hebrides Exploration: Papa Stour & Foula, Shetland Islands
Overnight we sailed out to even more remote parts of the Shetland Islands. We started our day with an expedition briefing and cocktail where we were introduced to the Expedition Team. After lunch, we went for a Zodiac cruise along the rugged shoreline of Papa Stour Island.
Dramatic shoreline of Papa Stour
We were lucky to have swell coming in from the east as opposed to the common large westerly swell that had carved the shoreline into a series of caves, arches, and sea stacks. The cliffs are also home to all sorts of birds that were actively feeding and loudly harassing each other as we cruised by. We even saw local Grey Seals poking their heads out of the surf to check us out.
Endless birds nesting in the cliff
Local grey seals curious about the Zodiacs
Arch through an arch
We took the Zodiacs into deep dark sea caves
We took the Zodiac into several caves and one in particular that wound deep back into the cliff through several chambers. It was an impressive demonstration of what years of storms can do to a shoreline. Our Zodiac driver did a great job of getting us through some narrow passages.
The light when coming out was dazzling
After getting off the Zodiacs, we went to the gym and then hung out on the balcony as the Ship did a close pass by the island of Foula. This is one of the most isolated islands in Scotland and there were even more birds nesting on the cliffs and flying around the ship. The western cliffs had been scoured by the waves and you could plainly see the geology of the island in the folds and seams in the cliffs. The low light made the scenery even better and we had a good sunset over dinner.