Flying into Kirkwall’s tiny airport you would be hard pressed to imagine anywhere else in the UK where a population of only 26,000, spread across 16 or so inhabited islands, could deliver such an incredible breadth of fine quality food and drink.
There is an honesty box at the end of the pontoon set up for yachties on the Isle of Muck, off Scotland’s west coast.
Sailors stopping off for the night can moor up safely then pay a modest sum for the privilege.
The proceeds from that honesty box go to the primary school just up the hill, funding off-island trips for the children.
There are mooring buoys off the Isle of Rum too. Both the pontoon and the moorings were provided free by Mowi, the salmon farm company which has a farms off the shores of both islands.
My former colleagues in Grub Street were ready with the quips and the gags when I announced I was leaving newspapers after nearly 30 years to join the salmon industry.
“From poacher to poacher,” was how one wag with a culinary bent described my change of career. “Keep up with the splashes (but not the front-page variety),” was another while several commented that they had always thought my copy was a bit fishy.