It has Calmed Down To a Hurricane!!!!!!

The weather continued to try us last week, good days and bad but the forecast was for storms over the weekend and Friday dawned with no surprises. we had advised our visitors, who were carrying out their survey work of the ruins, that we might have to get them away early. The weather window on Saturday was too small to chance it so on Friday night MV Stardust came over early in the afternoon and by 5pm the archaeologists were on their way home.

Wendy and Friends enjoy the inclement weather

Wendy and Friends enjoy the inclement weather

The sail over was ok, but with a big swell. Ian the skipper was keen to get back and was raising his eyebrows at the amount of luggage!! However the weight would help to stabilise the boat as the wind got up unexpectantly and Ian reported 30+ knts of wind on the way back but thankfully from the NE.

Saturday morning 6 am it was breezy but sailable, by 8.30/9am it was strong and by 10am it was a no go, so the right decision was made but always disappointing to have to leave early. The group reported snow showers on the way home!! Calum and Irene had left Portree on Thursday night to overnight in Fladda before coming up to Rona 5 am Saturday morning, it was ‘ok’ then. But they reported a very quick change in the weather on Thursday night, one minute flat calm half an hour later a complete change and gusting 28/40knts of wind on the anchor in Fladda South harbour. Although a windy day on Saturday it was quite a good dry day so much was achieved. Calum’s wiper  on the boat had packed in so we got that fixed then looked at the old ATV with a thought on resurrecting it. On Saturday night we retired to Rona lodge for a meal and a social evening listening to the radio. Cuillin FM of course. Arlet had sent up a bottle of Cassis made with Fladda berries, added to a glass of Prosecco it was delicious, high light of the day.

Cassis

Cassis

The rain had started and it was a truly miserable night. Even the old sheep and her lamb were trying to get in the cat flap.

Can I come In?

Can I come In?

We thought it would be a rough night for Calum and Irene on the Pontoon but they reported the rocking sent them to sleep pretty quickly. Nothing to do with the nightcap!

It has Calmed Down To a Hurricane!!!!!!

That was what Calum said as he left Rona Lodge on Saturday night for his berth at the pontoon. I’d asked him how it was as he stepped out of the door.

Riding Out The Storm

Riding Out The Storm

Sunday morning was not much better but at least it was dry. The VHF was removed from the kitchen last year and never put back. It is very handy and it was corrosion that had stopped me re-installing. But I had, had it repaired and with my sparky here we set about putting in new cables and running it into a new location. Calum was keen to get on the ladder onto the roof so I shouted instructions to him, which he ignored anyway.

Risk Assessment Done

Risk Assessment Done

We got it finished just in time for brunch down on MV Kestrel at the pontoon, Irene had put together a substantial Sunday fry up, very satisfying it was too.

Sunday Brunch a La Kestrel

Sunday Brunch a La Kestrel

The afternoon was taken up with prep’ for the landing craft coming on Tuesday. We had to get a plastic tank to the place where we were putting in a new reservoir as the water supply in the summer is inadequate. We decided to take another tank to Dry Harbour and quickly floundered in the mud with the tractor, so Calum was keen to see if the diff’ lock was working and we stripped out the back end of the tractor for a look. It worked but not as it should have and we now have to find a way to repair it, that will be this weekends job. We came down from the shed, late afternoon, very damp and still and found two of Mark Entwhistles yachts, Sleat Princess and Voyager of Sleat in the bay. When we got into the Lodge the radio was picking up the skippers conversation and we were intrigued to hear one of them telling the other that he was going to ‘Pollock’ next day. The other skipper said he had never heard of a place called ‘Pollock’ and after a few calls back and fore a voice from Voyager of Sleat (in the background of the yacht) said ‘Plockton’. Ah well it is easy to make these mistakes!!

Not Heading For 'Pollock'

Not Heading For ‘Pollock’

Irene and Lorraine reported a windswept cuckoo hanging about the house, this is unusual and it was noticeable that there were a lot of ‘new’ birds arriving in the gale, next day the cuckoo duly turned up and perched for quite a while and gave us a super view, although I took this pic through the window and it had been wet on the glass.

The First Cuckoo

The First Cuckoo

Round about lunch time the MV Kestrel departed for Fladda to pick up John and Arlet who were heading South and the sun came out with a hint of a change. It was all hands as the Spanish John was arriving on Tuesday lunch time with hugh MacKay from Raasay who was going to do some digger work.

Early Bird

Early Bird

The Spanish John works out of Mallaig and serves the remoter parts of the Hebridies, it is a very capable boat and Greg the skipper was pretty sharp to Rona which caught me unprepared.

Unloading

Unloading

We got there however and it was good to get the delivery over on a good day. Greg kindly took all our old white goods away, old fridges, cookers and wash machines are difficult to dispose of out here and there are only so many uses for a dud fridge.

Hugh Supervising

Hugh Supervising

After a short time Greg was empty and he set off. We then set about getting fuel to tanks, diggers to the hill and fencing by the ponds.

Nearly There

Nearly There

The fuel is always an issue but this time the leakage was minimal. But the pump stopped and after checking everything and just about to replace the pump I noticed that a pipe had vibrated loose. A quick tighten and we were on our way again.

Faulty Pipe

Faulty Pipe

The last thing of the day to do was fit the ram to the JCB that I bent and Hugh had  had repaired. We need the JCB to load stone so it was important to get it out of the way.

Roadside Repairs

Roadside Repairs

We had a recce of the next days work where we hoped to increase our water storage capacity and with a promise of a good day ahead we retired for the night.

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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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