Good Grief!!

Is it that long ago I posted a blog!!! It has been busy, I’ve been away and now have visitors but I’m grabbing a chance to get an update in. Lorraine is still away in the South, her Mother is quite unwell. So we soldier on here finding it a bit strange to be home alone again.

However to-day the Seaflower is coming from Shieldaig wioth hugh piggot of Scoraig Wind to fit two new ‘outback’ Inverters.

in the meantime the story so far. It is the winter time and that means servicing, maintenance and time away. My list only gets longer. It was the JCB’s turn before I went South, I had new teeth and a plate to weld on so down to work, the welder certainly gives the power system a fright.DSC_0002 copy 7I did go and get my safety glasses after this pic’. All went well and I was pleased to get the bucket up to date and filters changed.

Finished Job

Finished Job

Ok, the welding could be better!!!!

The weather after that dat turned sunny again as the high pressure and easterlies gave us settled conditions, cold but very nice. The sunshine was very bright and the views amazing. Even late sun through the trees threw up some lovely shapes.

Late Sun

Late Sun

Unfortunately i switched the manual focusing on the camera (again) musn’t do that. Of course the weather tends to bring out the visitors, last week it was kayakers, this week RYA trainers, Targa came alongside, I thought it was Rob Adam from Badachro as i’ve heard him talking about this boat. After half an hour I was wondering why they or he hadn’t appeared. So I took a walk down to find them casting off, I stood at the top of the gangway but they did not see me. I was surprised to find out later that they were actually on an RYA course. They maybe need to brush up their observation skills!!!!!!

Targa

Targa

Next day it was off to Portree with the Spindrift to then head South to see Lorraine. We were passed en route by the Targa boat who kindly helped us with my luggage and baggage at the Portree pontoon. On the way South after an overnight stay at Carlisle, I called in at Holmes Chapel after I found out our very good pals from Sale, Brian and Gill were escaping the town to have a few sunny days in their caravan at a CC site. This was a better less expensive breakfast motorway stop after Gill produced proper bacon sandwiches. After a blether  got back on the dreaded M6 for the next two hours.

I picked up Lorraine and headed over to Bath for a couple of days R&R. The weather was incredible and Bath as usual was fun to visit.

The View from The accommodation.

The View from The accommodation.

All too soon it was back in the car heading up the madness of motorways. I picked up my second cousin Henry who was returning to Rona for a few days work, he had been on land management courses and this helps his experience. So it was good to have company which made the journey feel shorter. We made Inverness in good time and visited Julia and Hector MacKenzie, both having 90th birthdays. We had a good chat about the German visitor to Rona 1939/42. A good story. We had a cup of tea and Julia’s famous shortbread picked up another ten of her books, ‘Whirlygig Beetles and Tackety Boots’ and headed West for a late afternoon sail back to Rona.

Julia and Hector at 'Cala na Siath'.

Julia and Hector at ‘Cala na Siath’.

The swell from the North was quite big but not too much wind, after an hour or so we landed to find Rona just as I’d left it.

Next day it was back to work, the weather was good, sunny and warm in the shelter. I put Henry to the shovel which he loves and we carried on with the genny shed step.

Shovelling

Shovelling

We put a concrete pier in and since it was such a good dry day decided to do some roadwork. But when I put the leg of the newly serviced JCB down on the slope up to the cabin. Disaster. The support stayed inside the leg and the ram from the hydraulics came out. There was no support and when I started working the leg bent like a banana. I thought it was not holding so I put the leg down more. Adding insult to the already bent steel. More trouble to deal with.

Bananas

Bananas

A call to my JCB agent Hugh MacKay of Raasay set the search in motion for a new one. We abandoned the roadwork and I set Henry off on a plastic litter pic from the harbours, more of that later this week. The sun was very warm so I thought a service of the outboards was a good idea. The carburettors were removed and thankfully no real problems apart from some dirt in the middle one.

Boat work

Boat work

After refitting them and running them up I tried the steering but it was seized which was no surprise as it had been pretty stiff all last year. I then spent two hours trying to remove the main cable. Nightmare but I did eventually get the 8metre cable out. That night we had a call from one of the visitors in the cottages. he had trapped the escapee sheep in the Seascape garden so next morning in  frosty cold air we set off to transport them back to the fields at Rona lodge.

Henry getting friendly with the Sheep

Henry getting friendly with the Sheep

We headed off after that to the North West corner to create a new path for the deer extraction. However my previous recce had not been so good and we ended up with a pedestrian access. Too many rocks so we will need to return at a later date. Henry stayed back and cut away heather and bushes that were coming on to the existing path and I headed home. Later in the day after lunch we went up to the Scots Pine to knock in the stakes the deer like to knock out in the winter, I must put up a fence. The weather continued to be sunny but bitterly cold and it was interesting listening to the radio with many weather reports of snowfall. Quite surreal.

Stake Work

Stake Work

I left Henry there and headed back to the Lodge to arrange boats for to-day and to get ready for the inverter installation. It remained clear until the sun went away but still very cold.

Late Evening Big Harbour

Late Evening Big Harbour

I released the gearbox oil of the outboards and left them to drain. I got a surprise when I eventually went to bed to see that the Velux windows were covered with snow, I looked out and sure enough the whole of Big Harbour was white. As  write this the snow is falling around us but not here it is windy from the North so I guess it is pretty cold and bumpy for the MV Seaflower to-day.

We await their arrival.

12.15 Tuesday.

 

 

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About Bill Cowie

I've been living on the island since April 2002, alone for the first 5 years, my partner L joined me in 2007. We manage the Island for a Danish family who bought the Island in the early 90's. Their hopes for the Island are to make it self sufficient supporting its inhabitants and that is where we come in. We look after the stock, 3 holiday cottages, machinery, boat and of course the visitors. It is pretty challenging but it is a beautiful place to live and work, we love it and strangely enough we love it even more in the depths of winter when all is quiet apart from the gales and rain. We do a bit of fishing, stock work, stalking deer and loads of other stuff. We have good support from lots of people whom we have met over the years and have become involved in the Island. Too many to mention here but keep an eye on the blog, they'll be there for sure in the future.
This entry was posted in Daily Doings, The Views and of course the weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Good Grief!!

  1. The Olivers says:

    You stayed overlooking the Rec – you probably walked past Will on his way to or from school. See you in August. The Olivers

  2. Andrew McGahan says:

    Hi Bill, can’t believe you were in Carlisle and didn’t give us a call – could have shown you the sights of Carlisle (only takes 10 mins!). Sorry to hear about Lorraine’s mam – hope she is recovering. Really disappointed that we couldn’t make it to Rona in 2012 – hopefully we’ll get back this year. Keep it up with the blog – enjoy reading about our favourite place.
    All the best
    Andrew
    PS – looks like relegation looms for Martin O’Neils men, but what about Ross County and ICT, seems that the little teams are taking over.

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