Sunday, 4 May 2014
Ten of the sinkings were of Peterhead drifters, two were from Yarmouth and four were Aberdeen steam line-boats which were also working in the area, to the east and north-east of Shetland. Some crews were picked up by other steam-boats, but others had to sail or row their lifeboats to land and, in the case of the "Ugiebrae"crew, this involved a 35-mile row to landfall in the Skerries. The ten men (and a dog!) were exhausted as they approached, and were helped on the last few miles of their journey by men from the Skerries. From there they would have been transferred to Lerwick and thence home to the Scottish mainland by the regular steamer service.
The newly-acquired lifeboat was of little use for sea-going purposes to the Skerries men, as it was short, bulky and heavier to row and sail than the lighter-built and faster traditional Shetland-model boats, so it was put to good use as the roof of a lambie-hoose" on one of the islands. It is the current owner of this building, now being restored as a historical project (the lambie-hoose, not the owner!), who commissioned the painting from me.
It's nice to be back working again, and my order-book seems to have filled up again. I thought I'd get some peace now, but my clients won't let me retire, so I'll continue to fulfil their commissions the best I can, for as long as I'm able to! I had my appointment with the orthopaedic department of the ARI a fortnight ago. Apparently the bone density of my spine is not too bad, but my hips are ready to collapse any minute! I've been o'd-ing on Vitamin D these last few months, but it appears that a more potent mix will have to introduced into my diet soon - ugh!!
Enjoy whatever you're ingesting this week!