Sea Kayak Shetland are based in the middle of mainland Shetland, right in the middle of Lerwick and Scalloway. They offer Kayaking around the coastline of Shetland for everyone – from beginners to experts. I managed to catch up with Angus and ask him 10 questions about Sea Kayak Shetland and his life in Shetland.
1 – How and when was Sea Kayak Shetland started (and by whom)?
Sea Kayak Shetland was started by Tom Smith around 2004. When he and his wife moved to Scotland I took over the business.
2 – What tours do you offer and when are the tours available?
Tours are available all year round but are weather and sea-state dependent. We tend to be very busy during May – August but can go any time the weather and sea are okay. All tours are around the coast of Mainland Shetland. The islands are bigger than visitors tend to think, so it’s not practical to leave Mainland for a day trip.
3 – What wildlife could be seen on your tours?
We see all sorts of sea birds; paddling around a gannet colony is breath-taking. We see rafts of guillemots as well as puffins, terns, scarfs and so on. If we are paddling quietly it is not unusual to see otters and, of course, we can admire underwater sea life as our waters are so clear. We sometimes see neesiks (dolphins) and very occasionally we have seen basking sharks and even killer whales!
4 – What is your favourite place on Shetland and why?
That’s a very hard question to answer! As far as paddling is concerned there are many stunning places to paddle. I love showing paddlers the amazing coastline we have here, full of caves, arches and wildlife.
5 – What are the best things about living on a remote island?
It’s a brilliant place to bring up children as they have so much freedom here and so much to explore – and the sea is always close by (no-where in Shetland is more than 3 miles from the sea) and always changing.
6 – Have you visited any other islands around Shetland or Scotland? If so, which was your favourite and why?
I haven’t spent much time on other Scottish Islands; there’s so much to see here! Sorry, I don’t have a favourite.
7 – How do you see the next 5-10 years for yourselves on the island?
Hopefully very similar to the past 5 – 10 years. We meet so many interesting people and enjoy their appreciation of paddling the Shetland coastline.
8 – When is the best time to visit Shetland?
Depends what you are looking for. In winter there are the fire festivals, wild seas and beautiful frosty flat calm weather for walking in. Spring is lovely with the lengthening days and migrating birds passing through. Summer is renowned for its Simmer Dim – a period around mid summer when it never really gets dark, and Autumn has some warmer days. Never expect terribly warm weather in Shetland though. At 60 degrees north we enjoy cooler summer weather!
9 – Has there been an increase in tourism as a result of recent TV programmes about Shetland and books such as Between Weathers?
Not so sure about the impact books have, but certainly a lot of our visitors mention seeing Shetland on TV.
10 – Where can I find out more information about Sea Kayak Shetland?
Our website address is www.seakayakshetland.co.uk and we also have a FaceBook page Sea Kayak Shetland.