Located about halfway between Shetland and the Orkney Islands and known from NRK TV (www.nrk.no) through an excellent program by Dag Lindebjerg. The island is a rock out in the ocean and is easily recognized by its characteristic peak.
In total, there are around 60 people living on the island, a far greater number of sheep and lambs and thousands of breeding fulmars.
I moored in the North Haven, just the name suggests a Nordic link, haven rather than harbour. Apart from the houses, here built in stone and concrete, this might have been a western Norwegian island. Here is a school, a shop and a church (here called Kirk) and a prayer house (here chapel). When the skipper of “M/S Good Shepard IV” contacted me on Norwegian Hardanger dialect, I got associations to small communities in Sunnhordland. The big contrast is the absence of small boats. I had expected a number of small boats that matched the number of cars? While there were a couple of cars outside each house, so I only saw a few small boats on trailers and none on the sea? Perhaps this is due to relatively poor harbour conditions, but still small boats can be pulled on land?
I was welcomed with a proper Norwegian west coast weather, it was horizontal rainfall, just like in Bergen. I still had to go out because the matches I had in the boat had become wet and new matches were necessary for making morning coffee! Wet to the skin despite goretex jacket and rain trousers. It cleared up in the afternoon, but the wind increased. It was a good breeze, and although the harbor was well protected from waves from the east, it was enough movements in the sea for Romans to stretch the moorings.
I did not meet many the local population, wisely they stayed indoor. But, she at the local store. There was this mandatory sign that tobacco was not sold to people under the age of 18, and I asked if it was so that even youngsters between the ages of 18 and 20 would have trouble in buying tobacco at least without their mother being consulted. She did not respond directly, but my feeling was that women took responsibility in this society, and made sure that the youth did not get lost in harmful or unskilled enterprises. Just like they do in Norwegian west coast societies.
Apparently Fair Isle is a great place to live.