To enter a boat shed is like... Just ask any boat builder and their world suddenly becomes a wondrous oyster - a cave of wonders among all the marvels from our world!
As soon as you push the door, the scent of wood freshly chiseled fills your nostrils just like perfume! It has a special scent. Dust jigs through sun beams like May flies and tools litter inside and all around works in progress. A bit like a session musician inside a studio or a poet at the writing table! Your senses feed your imagination without effort. In this boat shed, Robbie Tait and his mates repair Shetland traditional boats, such as Ness Yoals... In the last few years, they even built a sixareen - or six-oared fishing boat complete with sail - that is moored inside Hays' Dock, just outside our Shetland Museum & Archives. Shetland Museum Photo Gallery
Robbie Tait is very humble about his work. He is happy to share words with visitors and smiles with humility. His love for wood, rivets and tools shines outside the building, as finished works are proudly displayed in the Boat Hall and outside. His shed speaks for the talent of the boat builder.
I came to find Robbie Tait to share a few words about Humblyband. Ruth has the ambition to tie another string to her bow and experience the art of Shetland's craftsmanship in terms of traditional seafaring crafts. Her love for sheds, wood and tools is unbounded! Her very capable hands will feel at home on this latitude.
So we spoke for a while. Yet Robbie Tait does not hesitate to mention Willie Mouat, Unst's boat builder, Shetland's most northerly master of their craft.
My next visit to the most northerly edge of the realm - the Island of Unst - will focus on the Gardie Boat!In
I'll stick to my Ness Yoal :-)