The distant islands fantasy travel thread

islandhopper
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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by islandhopper » Thu Feb 24, 2011 21:38

humblebee wrote: Sorry! I managed to miss that somehow. Yeah, I saw about the Puff Inn earlier too - it looks like the MoD weren't too happy when they found out that civvies had been using it:
Some bloke in khaki with a handlebar moustache wrote:The ‘Puff Inn’ is a canteen facility for use by QinetiQ and MOD staff and their contractors, and NTS sponsored staff only. It is not open to members of the public. The name ‘Puff Inn’ is a colloquial term for this facility which has been used, misleadingly, for a number of years. It never was, or will be, a licensed public house or ‘Inn’.
What was the programme you edited?

Do you know if the MoD are still there? It looks like they were talking about taking the personnel away and just operating the radar remotely from the mainland or something.
Programme was this - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00gbgx0. It's probably about half in Gaelic, but is subtitled, so I'll try and post here if it gets shown again. It doesn't appear to have aired since 2009 though. It was a nice alternative to all the other programmes simply romanticising the place I thought. I think I got some Ballboy in that one too.
The MOD are still there as far as I know. It would be nice to get rid of them in most ways, and especially to get rid of their incredibly ugly buildings, but they do provide the infrastructure that allows everything else to operate.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by humblebee » Thu Feb 24, 2011 21:50

islandhopper wrote:Programme was this - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00gbgx0. It's probably about half in Gaelic, but is subtitled, so I'll try and post here if it gets shown again. It doesn't appear to have aired since 2009 though. It was a nice alternative to all the other programmes simply romanticising the place I thought. I think I got some Ballboy in that one too.
Cor, I bet that was great. Must try and find that episode of Coast too - think I must've missed that as well.
The MOD are still there as far as I know. It would be nice to get rid of them in most ways, and especially to get rid of their incredibly ugly buildings, but they do provide the infrastructure that allows everything else to operate.
Yeah - I was reading a National Trust statement earlier saying if the MoD withdraws then the money goes with them and all the conservation work becomes 1,000,000 times more difficult.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by Dan Pop-o-matic » Fri Mar 25, 2011 23:38

I can't believe I've only just found this thread! Remote islands are one of my favourite things ever (along with canals and Victorian suspension bridges. I never said I was cool).

Bouvet island in the South Atlantic is the most remote island in the world. It's owned by Norway and there's nothing there except elephant seals and orca. On days like this I wish I lived there.

I'm also keen on Ascension Island, St Helena, Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and Tristain de Cuhna (especially Inaccessible Island). Oh, and Franz Josef Land off the north coast of Russia.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by crystalball » Tue Mar 29, 2011 15:09

Super Furry Daniel wrote:Oh, and Franz Josef Land off the north coast of Russia.
Blimey. Just went to look those up and ended up on a Wehrmacht forum. Ooh, they look beautiful:

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by humblebee » Tue Mar 29, 2011 16:54

Cor wow!

Last week I went to Hashima Island in Japan's Nagasaki prefecture. Nicknamed Battleship Island for its distinctive shape, it was inhabited only from 1887 to 1974, just to mine coal. It's only 15 acres in size, so it was incredibly crowded around the time of its peak population of 5,259 (in 1959). The blocks where the miners lived are still standing. It looks weird as hell.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by humblebee » Sun Apr 17, 2011 20:13

This afternoon I've mostly been kicking around the Bering Sea - that stretch of ocean that separates Alaska from the far east of Russia - and following the chain of Aleutian Islands westwards from Alaska.

I had no idea that the USA stretched as far as this.

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The furthest-flung of the islands with any kind of human life is Attu - where 20-odd servicemen and women inhabit yer requisite military installation. It's 4,800 miles from Washington DC!

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Also, not quite an island, but if you like doing the Google Maps imaginary road trip thing, go along Homer Spit. It's a little four-and-a-half-mile peninsula extending out of Homer, Alaska. At its narrowest point it's barely wider than the road, but then it broadens out slightly and there's a fish dock, a mariners' memorial, some seafood restaurants, a bar called the Salty Dawg and, right at the tip, the Land's End Hotel. Lovely.

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But the thing I love best of what I've learned today is the Diomede Islands. These lie much further north than the Aleutians, in the Bering Strait (the point where there are only 50 miles or so between Alaska and Russia). They're located in the middle of this satellite picture, with Alaska on the right and Russia on the left.

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The two islands are only two and a half miles apart. The larger, Big Diomede, belongs to Russia, while the other, Little Diomede, is American. Traditionally the inhabitants, despite the national boundary, would travel between the islands for "routine visits, seasonal festivals and subsistence trade". But during the Cold War they were prevented from doing so: there was no traffic by boat or air and the border became known as "the Ice Curtain".

The islands are also bisected by the International Date Line, so Big Diomede is a day ahead of Little Diomede. This gives rise to their alternative names of Tomorrow Island and Yesterday Isle. Hee!

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by humblebee » Tue Apr 26, 2011 15:54

Oooh, look, islomaniacs - there's a word for us!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islomaniac

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by crystalball » Sun May 01, 2011 13:22

So I've been having a few miserable days recently, what with this, that and the other, but at 4:30 this morning I decided that Atlas of Remote Islands is about the most liberating book there is. It makes the idea of travelling seem ridiculous. The poetry is in the yearning and the fantasy. Of course I wanna give everything up and go live in Tristan da Cunha. But dreaming about it every night is making me write, and nothing has been making me write in the last 10 years.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by tompony » Sun May 01, 2011 19:40

Yeah, it's the most inspiring book I've read since The Usborne Book of the Future. Hopefully my remote islands concept album won't be as much of a failure as my usborne book of the future concept album though (two unfinished tracks and then I gave up).

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by humblebee » Tue May 03, 2011 10:25

This is making me emotional.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by crystalball » Wed May 11, 2011 14:42

I've been reading about the Aleutian Islands too this afternoon. There is something cruel and fascinating about a place being so strategically important, isn't there? And the scenery looks really hypnotic:

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While I remember, there is a good islomaniac quiz on Sporcle, look: http://www.sporcle.com/games/1447/satellite_islands. I didn't do too badly at it today but last night I nearly cried myself to sleep cos I'd missed Iceland.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by humblebee » Wed May 11, 2011 17:31

Who wants to take the Oban to Lochboisdale ferry with me then?

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by islandhopper » Wed May 11, 2011 18:56

Not one for anybody who experiences any sort of motion sickness apparently. Know plenty people who aren't a fan of it but I'm sure it would be really lovely in parts too.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 12, 2011 09:35

humblebee wrote:Who wants to take the Oban to Lochboisdale ferry with me then?
This is the sort of thing that I could reasonably consider. I've nevereverevereverever been to Scotland and was thinking I might change that later this year.
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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by humblebee » Thu May 12, 2011 10:16

islandhopper wrote:Not one for anybody who experiences any sort of motion sickness apparently. Know plenty people who aren't a fan of it but I'm sure it would be really lovely in parts too.
Ah, really? I saw it was a long trip but I wondered if it might be quite an easy-going one because a lot of the route seems to thread in between islands, which (aside from making it really, really fascinating) might have cushioned it from the big tidal currents. But I know nothing at all about any of this sort of thing really so I'll shut up.

I might actually treat myself to some kind of trip though, what with having a year's work and therefore some pounds of money guaranteed for a while. Ideally, something that would combine islomania with a ridiculously long and lonely railway journey.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by islandhopper » Thu May 12, 2011 10:48

humblebee wrote:
islandhopper wrote:Not one for anybody who experiences any sort of motion sickness apparently. Know plenty people who aren't a fan of it but I'm sure it would be really lovely in parts too.
Ah, really? I saw it was a long trip but I wondered if it might be quite an easy-going one because a lot of the route seems to thread in between islands, which (aside from making it really, really fascinating) might have cushioned it from the big tidal currents. But I know nothing at all about any of this sort of thing really so I'll shut up.

I might actually treat myself to some kind of trip though, what with having a year's work and therefore some pounds of money guaranteed for a while. Ideally, something that would combine islomania with a ridiculously long and lonely railway journey.
I just know that some people don't like it. I'm sure folk are mostly ok with it. If you wanted to take a really long railway trip then you should go up to Mallaig (it really is an incredible railway journey) where you can get the ferry over to Skye. From the north of Skye you could then take the ferry to either Lewis or North Uist.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu May 12, 2011 10:57

I wasn't going to post this becasue I didn't think it was distant enough. Recently I read about Isla Cies off the Galician coast and decided that this is a place I could feasibly visit.

It's 2 islands connected by a sandbar which sort of created a lagoon. It looks amazing.

It's a nature reserve and no one's allowed to live there. There's a limit to how many people are allowed to visit, there are no bins so you have to take everything back with you, but you are allowed to camp.
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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by humblebee » Thu May 12, 2011 11:10

islandhopper wrote:I just know that some people don't like it. I'm sure folk are mostly ok with it. If you wanted to take a really long railway trip then you should go up to Mallaig (it really is an incredible railway journey) where you can get the ferry over to Skye. From the north of Skye you could then take the ferry to either Lewis or North Uist.
Thanks - I really should take a look at that sometime. Although in many ways (a bit like crystalball was saying back up the thread) I don't really want to do it, because then it won't be this perfect fantasy any more...

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by islandhopper » Thu May 12, 2011 11:13

humblebee wrote:
islandhopper wrote:I just know that some people don't like it. I'm sure folk are mostly ok with it. If you wanted to take a really long railway trip then you should go up to Mallaig (it really is an incredible railway journey) where you can get the ferry over to Skye. From the north of Skye you could then take the ferry to either Lewis or North Uist.
Thanks - I really should take a look at that sometime. Although in many ways (a bit like crystalball was saying back up the thread) I don't really want to do it, because then it won't be this perfect fantasy any more...
Don't worry, they cleverly make it less than perfect by putting you in a shitty train with scratched and dirty windows.

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Re: The distant islands fantasy travel thread

Post by humblebee » Thu May 12, 2011 11:21

islandhopper wrote:Don't worry, they cleverly make it less than perfect by putting you in a shitty train with scratched and dirty windows.
Excellent!

When I went on the Settle-Carlisle railway, I was very impressed with the way First had energetically marketed it as the most beautiful railway in the world and then didn't bother cleaning the windows of the train.

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