The above photo picks up the story from Colin Wilkins’ letter in the February 2018 issue of Sea Breezes regarding Devonia, previously the second Scillonian.
After leaving Torquay, Devonia, now renamed Syllingar, began in mid-December 1984 to provide a passenger and cargo service between Kirkwall (Orkney) and Scalloway (Shetland). Syllingar also served Westray and some of the other northern islands of Orkney and gave excursions including Fair Isle and Foula as destinations. If my memory serves me correctly, there had been no direct sea connection between Orkney and Shetland at that time.
The undated photo shows Syllingar, with dark blue hull at Scalloway and was taken by Mr GJ Wilson of Scalloway. After a lengthy stoppage caused by mechanical problems, the service folded in August 1985, weighed down with debt. Full details of Syllingar’s time in the northern Scottish isles can be found in the Coastal Cruising Association’s, Cruising Monthly.
While writing, I would like to thank Nigel Coombs for his letter concerning the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. I have also been troubled by the Agency’s precipitate and, at times, arbitrary decisions. I wonder if the Agency’s petulance is because some of the older ships in British coastal waters are a nuisance by not conforming to the Agency’s notions of what a twenty-first century ship should be. It is ironic that the ships caught in the Agency’s radar enjoy a longevity pointing to the high level of safety built into these old-timers.
FRASER G MACHAFFIE