Thursday, 23 June 2011

sheltering at Fraserburgh

sheltering at Fraserburgh, originally uploaded by Dru Marland.

"Lands End to St David's Head, including the Bristol Channel: W or NW, 5 or 6, decreasing 3 or 4, showers, fair, good"

Just listening to the Inshore Waters Forecast on the radio, paying special attention to my local sea area, while finishing my first cup of tea and getting ready for a new picture. An early start. The garden blackbird is getting lazy, and didn't start singing till just after 4 o' clock today.

I was hunting out some reference pictures in my big box of paintings, and dug out this sketch. And, since it's so different to the scene from here this morning, I thought I'd scan it. Working on the Karen Bravo, a Western Geophysical seismic survey ship, in the North Sea, we'd often run for shelter in the firths of the Scottish east coast when the weather brewed up. Here we are, anchored off Fraserburgh on a wild night in January (I think), 1983 (ish). This is the view from the bridge; over there are a couple of small ships, also sheltering. We'd sit up late, partying in the cabins, and then there would be a hush as we tuned into the after-midnight shipping forecast. "Viking, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Westerly, Force 10...." and there'd be a cheer, and we'd go back to partying.


  1. If you're going
    To South Utsire
    Be sure to wear
    Some wellies and a hat

    Yes, if you're going
    To South Utsire
    I'll see you there
    We'll party on my yacht

  2. I love the poetry of the shipping forecast

  3. Thank you, Suzzy. A fine rhyme.

    Me too, Anji. Now you mention it, that's an idea for a blog post of its own...