take the chance to have a great look at Scapa Flow in all its glory. From this
height there is a wonderful view of the whole bay to be had, and it is all too
easy to imagine it as it stood almost a hundred years ago, full of massive warships
and their crews sitting at anchor in the peaceful waters of the bay.
the decline of the need for huge naval fleets of battleships and cruisers Scapa
Flow is no longer a naval base with the navy abandoning it in 1956, and the shipping
to be seen here today is of a more peaceful nature, mainly oil tankers stopping
at the Flotta oil terminal.
|Black Craig; north of Stromness|
The gas flare at the Flotta terminal can be seen off in the distance
to the south and this is the point where the North Sea oil explosion of the mid
1970s has impacted most on Orkney. Although most of the wealth and benefits from
the North Sea fossil fuels have headed either to Shetland or Aberdeen, the Flotta
terminal has transformed the island it sits on, and ios now a vital part of the
Flotta is connected by over 200 miles of pipes to the Piper
and Claymore oilfields, and since its inception in 1976, the terminal has provided
about 10% of UK oil output. Most of the employees travel to the island from the
mainland in small tugs, nicknamed "buses" by the workers.
Just before you begin the descent into Stromness, take a final look over
to the mountainous island of Hoy on your right, and enjoy the spectacle
of the St John's Head cliffs, at 1136 feet the highest perpendicular seacliffs
in Britain, too steep even for seabirds to nest on them.
Directions: Walking up from Warbeth Bay climb up the hill until you
meet the road running across you, turn right onto this road and walk back