HU3368 : Mavis Grind, The Atlantic Ocean

taken 3 years ago, near to Islesburgh, Shetland Islands, Great Britain

Mavis Grind, The Atlantic Ocean
Mavis Grind, The Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is on the western side of Mavis Grind. The remains of 'tank traps' (large blocks of stone) installed during World War II can be seen at the edge of the water. The traps were placed to hinder any invading force that might attempt to use the crossing to attack the seaplane base at Graven Voe.
Mavis Grind

Mavis Grind is a narrow strip of land (isthmus), barely 100 foot wide at its narrowest point, which separates the Atlantic Ocean from the North Sea and also joins a large chunk of the north-west mainland to the rest of mainland Shetland. Without it, there would be at least one more Shetland Island.

Researchers believe the Vikings moved their boats across land in order to avoid the hazardous journey round the tip of mainland Shetland (LinkExternal link BBC News). The name Mavis Grind derives from the Old Norse: Mæfeiðs grind or the Norwegian Mæveiðs grind meaning "gate of the narrow isthmus".

Since then, various cargoes have made the crossing but the route is probably best known as “a boat draa” where mariners avoided the long and, at times dangerous, journey around north mainland by hauling their vessel overland instead. The crossing was used regularly until the 1950s.

An information board at the site claims that “Mavis Grind is possibly the only place in the United Kingdom where you can stand at the side of the Atlantic Ocean and throw a stone overland into the North Sea”. I did not try this (not least because if the stone fell short, it could hit any passing traffic on the A970 which crosses the isthmus).

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HU3368, 31 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 23 September, 2018   (more nearby)
Saturday, 29 September, 2018
Geographical Context
Coastal  Historic sites and artefacts  Defence, Military  Rocks, Scree, Cliffs 
Camera (from Tags)
Panasonic DC-G9 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! HU 338 684 [100m precision]
WGS84: 60:23.9016N 1:23.2209W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! HU 339 683
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Other Tags
Shetland  Hills  Atlantic Ocean  Bay  Inlet  Rocky Shore  Second World War  World War II  Tank Traps 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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