Last week I took a break from working on my second novel to visit Aberdeenshire on the east coast of Scotland (see map below).
(Courtesy of wikipedia.org)
On exiting Aberdeen airport I came across these remarkable spider web patterns on a hedge by the car hire depot.
Commercial forestry is very important to Aberdeenshire’s local economy. Picea sitchensis or Sitka spruce, a coniferous evergreen tree originating from the west coast of North America has become the predominant species in recent years, replacing the native coniferous species. Sitka’s popularity is due to its rapid growth even in poor soils. Sunlight struggles to permeate dense Sitka forest, resulting in a dearth of life on the forest floor (see below).
Peterhead, Europe’s largest whitefish port, sits at the easternmost point of mainland Scotland. British residents may be familiar with the port from the popular television series, Trawlermen. On entering Peterhead I was greeted by the sight of this fishing vessel.
Seals love the port (no prizes for guessing why). Below is a photograph of a Grey seal that I saw. It was so close that I might have been able to reach down and touch it. Their reported ferocious bite was enough to prevent me from attempting to do so.
A former fisherman showed me around one of the boats. Here are some pictures I took:
I suspect the living quarters would probably get some getting used to for us land-dwellers. The kitchen was rather quaint or so I thought.
Note the Xbox on the right of the sleeping quarters. I can only imagine what playing computer games on the high seas would be like.
A shot of the engine room with an engineer hard at work.
After the tour I took a look at the fish market being prepared for the following morning.
Below is a Monkfish (Not sure I would eat them if they looked like this when they were served).
Mackerel (see below)
The Peterhead port tour offered a fascinating insight into another world.