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Voe Skeery: July 28th-30th, 1811

July 28, 2011

By Sunday July 28th, Scoresby judged that the lines were now dry and in good order, so they were put away. The following day, in a turbulent sea, to the north of the Shetlands, the captain of the Aimwell visited. Later, around 2AM, land was spotted:

[P]resently we saw a rock above water and about a mile and [a half] distance found it to be the Voe Skeery (The Voe Skeery is the most dangerous spot on this Coast to make lying surrounded with sunken rocks very low and 10 miles from the main deep water (45 Fathoms) at [1.5] miles distance. The Aimwell … supposing we did not see the land hoisted a light and fired 2 or 3 musquets.)

Jackson assumes, probably correctly that this was Ve Skerries, off the west coast of Shetland. Considering how dangerous these rocks seem to have been, it is surprising that a lighthouse was not built there until 1979.

As the sun came up the Aimwell‘s “Shetland men” left the ship on one of the boats, and returned home. The following day, July 30th, some returned, to sell fish and eggs to the whalers. One of the men who came on board the Resolution from Shetland had sailed on Scoresby’s father’s ship, the John. He had arrived at the island 22 days earlier, and reported that the John had 16 whales of “size” on a voyage lasting less than two months. Two ships of war seen in the distance.

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