The NTS cruise ship, Quest for Adventure, has visited St Kilda twice in the last week although bad weather prevented passengers from landing the second time around. It is an enormous ship capable of carrying over 400 people, and with this many folk wanting to come ashore all Ranger staff pull together to coordinate activities and ensure a successful visit. I work alone for the majority of my stay on St Kilda so I quite enjoy this change of activity as I get to chat to lots of interested and interesting visitors.
The shop in the newly refurbished Manse is bigger than we have ever had on island but still small enough to make us stop and think how we would cope with so many people popping in and out. With so many visitors wanting to buy a souvenir of their visit we decided to take part of the shop outdoors. A separate stall was rigged up to sell postcards and for people to mark their cards with the unique stamp that shows the card was ‘posted on St Kilda’. It was a busy place and we think 200 or more postcards were sold in one day!
The shop was busy from almost the moment people stepped foot on the island. Thankfully we had just had a new delivery of stock and the shelves were fit to bursting with books, clothes and other items that would remind people of their visit to the island.
Unfortunately, sea conditions change quite rapidly out here and after a couple of hours the ship’s Captain honked the horn indicating that passengers should make their way back to the pier. Many hoped to stay longer on the island but all were happy to have made it ashore if only briefly.
See you again next year!