Digest>Archives> January 2003

Light Reflections

New Year at Eshaness

By Sharma Krauskopf


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The following is a continuation of the excerpt from my book A Year at the Lighthouse that I started last month about my trip to the lighthouse last year over the holidays.

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When we got to the airport the next morning our plane was supposed to be on its way from Glasgow. Now where had I heard that before? We all went to get breakfast and one of the passengers happened to run into a reservation person who told us our plane was in final boarding. Final Boarding! It had not been announced nor was on the reader board. We ran to the plane, boarded and flew to Shetland without a problem.

That should have been the end of it but during all the delay a blizzard had moved into Shetland. I was able to get to Lerwick by bus but no vehicles could get further north because of drifted roads. The tourist board helped me find a B & B and contacted the bus company to get special permission for me to ride on the bus to Hillswick in the morning if the roads got ploughed. (The bus going out usually does not take passengers.) I then checked into a B & B frustrated but safe for the night. The snow stopped around midnight so the bus was able to go the next morning. As I rode the bus I stared out at a magnificent Shetland; sparkling white with snow under bright blue skies surrounded by steel grey water. I do love this place because of all of its natural beauty. Tom met me at Brae with his four-wheel drive truck.

I really enjoyed the ride from Brae until we got to the lighthouse road where the truck got stuck in a deep drift. I talked Tom into walking the mile through deep snow because I was desperate to get to the lighthouse.

It was quite a trip from Michigan to Eshaness. Usually it takes a little over 18 hours to get from Detroit to the lighthouse but this time it took three days. It really emphasizes the remoteness of my lighthouse home. But, (and this is a big but), once on Shetland you could not have had a more gorgeous setting for the journey.

Tom did not open a faucet inside the lighthouse when it got below freezing so the pipes at the lighthouse froze. I am glad to be at the lighthouse, even with no water and a bronchial cold caught somewhere between here and the USA, as I sit looking out at my white yard bordered by the blue sea.

Physically I feel pretty rotten. I will have to watch myself closely as I have had pneumonia twice.

December 31st - The snowploughs have still not arrived so Tom got stuck down at the bottom of the hill again. He checked on me quickly before he left, not to return until the roads are clear. He is afraid he will get stuck and will not be able to get to his job.

I talked to the Shetland Council road people and they will probably not do anything to our roads until after New Year. For four days I will just have to cope. This is not exactly how I had hoped to spend New Years. Right now I could throw in the towel and call it quits on this remote lighthouse living. That is exhaustion talking caused by the long trip back, tramping around in snow drifts, no water and now a bad cold.

I am still hoping they can plough me out so I can visit some neighbours for New Year’s Eve.

If you want to know what happens next you will just have to read the book that can be purchased from Lighthouse Depot but I will tell you I had a great New Year’s Eve and a wonderful 2002 at Eshaness lighthouse.

This story appeared in the January 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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