Having one of those days...

Got off to a bad start after arriving at the Tingwall ferry terminal to find the wrong ferry there - the Shapinsay instead of the Eynhallow - that had been called in at short notice to cover while the Eynhallow went to get fixed - I had noticed it was making an unusual clonking noise as we reversed off the slip yesterday but it seemed to still be going OK. Switching the boats isn't usually a problem but the Shapinsay was tied up for maintenance when they got the call and her run was being covered by the Thorsvoe, which is the spare boat (hope you're paying attention here!). Again not usually a problem, except the Shapinsay hadn't been refuelled - she had enough to get to Rousay from Kirkwall to cover the first run in the morning, but not enough to get back with us on - as you can imagine running out of diesel in a boat is a bit more challenging than running out in a car, so they had to wait for a tanker to come out. Nothing for it but to wait, and some of the team took advantage of Betty's reading room, which is this great little bothy near the pier with books and sofas and a wood burning stove:

In typical Orkney fashion this is just open and you wander in and sit down, read a book, take it away if you've not finished and pass it on - not a bad place to wait for a delayed boat.

Boat did finally get refuelled and we made it down to site for 10.30, beautiful sunny day it was too but with some very contradictory weather forecasts - Met Office suggested it would just be cloudy, Radio Orkney suggested scattered thundery showers and Ellen's phone app showed wave after wave of torrential rain coming in, so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

Christina found a cat's jaw bone in the Pictish/Viking transition bit - we've had a fair few cats from the Iron age and later levels:


Unfortunately the weather forecast on Ellen's phone turned out to be accurate and just on lunchtime the heavens opened with the most ridiculously torrential downpour - aka a thunderplump - and everyone sought what shelter they could, most of the team made it to the tent (which miraculously turned out to be waterproof!) in time and others huddled in our trailers:


We pretty soon had a river running down the hill and a flooded site - no way it was going to dry out even if the rain stopped and no way we could work it - claggy midden only has to look at a rain drop to turn into gloup and you walk off site with half of it on your boots:


The sievers had managed to get the covers on before the worst came down but you can see how much water arrived - this took about 15 minutes to accumulate:


Heigh ho - at least it's Steve & Julie's lecture tonight so there's something to look forward too, then we've got two days off before the final three week push - think everyone needs the rest, before we bounce back on Sunday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed (although it is the Rousay dance on Saturday night so that might not be the best description to use...)

315 views
  • Follow us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Visit our YouTube channel
  • Follow us on Instagram

Swandro - Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust 

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation No: SC047002 

Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay

Registered office: Bayview Birsay Orkney KW17 2LR   email: info@swandro.co.uk