Lemmings!!!

We will get to the Lemmings!!! Been a busy time, last week, last time I blogged I was heading South.

Naval Excercise Boat

Naval Exercise Boat

Had a good sail in on the Spindrift, there was a chop but nothing to write home about, myself and Kevin were intrigued to see a strange boat coming through from Raasay at speed, it turned out to be a Norwegian Military boat, very fast and menacing looking.

I had an interesting week and got off to a good start, first time flying internally for a while and now I remember why I don’t do it. Sitting in Inverness airport having been stung for £25 for my suitcase (should have known better) I could not believe the wind. The plane we were about to board was rocking in its stand, quite worrying. Then the sand/dust started. At one stage we could not see the plane from the lounge and that was after an elderly lady got blown over when she was boarding. It had been so dry, the wind was at 55knts and we had a sandstorm, so three hours later we eventually got into the air and surprisingly it was a very comfortable flight.

Easy Dust Storm

Easy Dust Storm

After the very nice West Coast weather this winter and the tales of doom and gloom from the wet South I was pleasantly surprised to walk out of the airport into a lovely spring evening.

I had a good visit to Lorraine’s and it was good to see her and her family, she is home tomorrow. I did not do much and it was nice to be driven about. The Cotswolds are very nice and we hope to continue to visit them, even just for the ice cream!!

Winstones

Winstones

Lorraine reckons she is related to Winstones, who have a kiosk up on the Common, great ice cream, worth a try. All too soon I had to head back and the long drive to Bristol airport beckoned, it takes you through the town and worth going that way to see the Clifton suspension Bridge, very impressive

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge

I got back to Inverness to find that the boat would not be able to go on the Saturday so I had a leisurely day visiting friends and looking for a jeep for Rona, I took off late afternoon to Portree and spent a very enjoyable evening with ‘The Mackaskills at Sluggans’ where the discussions centred around Scottish Country dance music (for a change). The weather was calm in the morning so we left first thing to have a changeover with George who was looking after the island for the week. he had had a very wet and windy week and was heard to say he would not be coming back, I think he’ll change his mind. He had done all the chores and reported a yacht in on a wet Wednesday but they did not come ashore. He didn’t find the missing sheep but had walked the whole peninsula looking, no sign. I asked how the hens were doing and he reported no eggs. But after a quick recce I looked in the outdoor shelter and here was 9 eggs. The bigger shelter door had closed in the wind and the hens had taken up temporary residence in the outdoor shelter.

Result

Result

Next day I had four for breakfast, they are pretty small but very tasty compared to the Co-op eggs. I’d been to Cromartie Timber on my visit to the mainland and had bought some pine to make some more traditional fishboxes. We use them for all sorts but this lot are for the cabin.

Fish Boxes

Fish Boxes

Hard to believe that there were hundreds of thousands boxes in Britain, now you struggle to find one! Thanks to Kenny Shieldaig, who supplied an original we could get the sizes. I went to the garage to get the bike but it started to pour, monsoon stuff. So I got stuck into the boxes, two hours later I’d done three and the rain was still coming down, nothing for it but to finish them. That was Monday and not a very nice day. Got all my jobs done, cleaning cottages for Saturday and checking the sheep that have taken up residence at Dry Harbour, I was just sitting down to a cup of tea at 5 o’clock when a guy appeared at the door, I got quite a start because it was pretty blowy out there. A young lad Chris on his folks yacht, out for three weeks. I hadn’t seen it coming in and he was round the corner.  Not the best of weather but enjoying the peace. He had crossed the Minch and it was not too bad but when he turned into the Sound of Raasay, he got a battering with the wind. He was wanting the mooring for peace of mind and that meant I had to go out and check it plus clean the weed from it as we had not used it since last September.

Equinoxe

Equinoxe

It is now Wednesday night, times getting on and I’m off early tomorrow so, ‘Lemmings’ ! I found one of my missing sheep to-day, as predicted, washed up dead of course in Dry Harbour, 20 yards away behind a rock was her lamb. Now these sheep have lived on the cliff area of the outrun since they came and that is where they headed with their lambs once I’d tagged and tailed them, the sister ewe to this one with the twins has not turned up yet unfortunately. My suspicion is that they were harassed off the steep face of the cliff, possibly by the sea eagle, the eagles were around there during the time I was looking for the sheep when they first went missing. I checked both the ewe and lamb but I found no real marks apart from the ewe who had a broken front leg, very strange. These sheep came from Skye, Kilmuir and they have been trying to get back ever since they arrived. Escaping from the parks at any opportunity. But maybe like Lemmings they take it upon themselves to just jump into the sea for no reason, any suggestions?

No 48

No 48

It is very disappointing to loose 2 ewes and 3 lambs, especially when the other lambs are doing so well and look pretty strong. It will take a while to build up a flock at this rate.

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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.
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