Our recent trip around Shetland Mainland was one filled with beauty, but also frustration, with many moments of calm and other long stretches of wind, spray and chaotic seas.
It was in many ways, just as it should be: a trip that hung in the balance, nothing certain until the last. It will stand out as one of the best for many years - and yet for me there is always more to these trips than the paddling, more than just time on the water - and time spent ashore is rarely wasted in places such as these - the images below were all taken on days not spent paddling and all represent moments that form an integral part of what makes visiting these places so special - what sets these trips apart.
Our first night on Shetland - an unusual calm beneath the cliffs of Esha Ness.
Late night sun bathes the moor around Priesthoulland - a croft close to the Holes of Scraada.
Sitting for an age on the lip of the Atlantic, the northern skies darken imperceptibly, until the dusk gives way once more to dawn.
Ruined crofts look down upon the Point of Fethaland, the rugged finger that points to the north, the last outpost of Mainland Shetland.
A fulmar catches the sun beneath dark cliffs as the Atlantic swell heaves below.
The Ramna Stacks - their siren song calls to all who gaze on this wild seascape.
Comic yet determined, the puffins that epitomise such wild places.
Stoic, proud and unmistakable, 'Da Drongs'...icon of the Northern Isles.
A last camp and long morning on white sands, swimming in clear seas, final moments eked out to their last...