ON A WING AND A PRAYER

AF­TER LAST WEEK’S TRIP TO BARRA WE VISIT ORKNEY AND FAIR ISLE, DIS­COV­ER­ING THE CRIT­I­CAL ROLE AIR TRAVEL PLAYS IN THE LIVES OF IS­LAN­DERS

The Herald Magazine - - NEWS -

Su­san Swar­brick and pho­tog­ra­pher Jamie Simp­son take off on a breath­tak­ing trip to Orkney and Fair Isle

MARY Groat is off babysit­ting, she tells me as we strap our­selves into the tiny eight-seater plane. The re­tired hos­pi­tal worker from Kirk­wall is fly­ing to Westray where her son Ste­wart and his wife Mar­ian run a cafe and shop in the vil­lage of Pierowall.

“It takes about an hour-and-a-half to sail and only around 15 min­utes on the plane,” she smiles, set­tling back for the short flight. “So, this is far prefer­able.”

To­wards the rear of the cabin are a cou­ple of folk headed to Papa Westray. Our pi­lot Cap­tain Alex Ren­dall is sit­ting di­rectly in front of me, a bank of com­plex-look­ing di­als and switches at his fin­ger­tips. He is close enough that I could reach out and tap his shoul­der if I so chose.

Ren­dall runs through some fi­nal pa­per­work, com­pletes the safety checks and with a twinkly-eyed smile en­quires: “Is ev­ery­one strapped up in the back?”

The ser­rated coast­line of Fair Isle spreads out be­low a Lo­ganair Is­lan­der air­craft

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.