Last Saturday we set off on an epic journey South, I would have preferred the Drascombe to the Toyota but it was always going to be a rush so the sail boat would have to wait. Leaving Rona on a very hot summers days is always a bad moment but we were looking forward to a few days ‘off’!’ We headed South and met hundreds of cars loaded up heading North, the tourist season in full swing and looking good by the amount of cars on the road. There was a steady stream until we passed Glasgow, there was nothing much heading South so by 8pm we were in Sale, staying the night with Brian and Gill. A leisurely Sunday was spent with them and at 6 pm we headed to Stroud to shift L’s things.
Monday morning John arrived from Dudley with the hired van and we headed up to London to get a chair, L was particularly fond of. It was the hottest day of the year and the worst day to miss the Tom Tom instructions, ending up in Knightsbridge rather than Earls Court. Looking at the van’s temperature gauge confirmed 40 degrees and no air/con! The i phone map was pressed into service and we escaped central London getting to Camberwell around 3pm. It took seconds to load the chair and off we went back to Stroud, loading half the van, next day we finished it and John took off, we left early evening staying at Carlisle missing the traffic and heat of the day.
Next day Wednesday we left Carlisle early and headed up to Shieldaig to find John and Kenny had loaded the Seaflower (much sweat). John had a much needed beer sitting on the ‘Camberwell Chair’. After a quick lunch we took off for Rona, the weather was stunning, the sky blue and on queue the dolphins turned up half way there.
It was a super show and they played with us for a few minutes then lost interest heading away to the North. We arrived on a good tide and shifted our load without any problems, pressing MV Rona into service with the heavy stuff. Dinner was ready for us and after a de-brief we enjoyed a lovely evening meal.
Next day Calum and Irene helped to shift the furniture and Calum sorted the wash machine we had damaged in transit, I had pulled the lead out of the back. No harm done it was quickly repaired and we moved onto shifting the new bedroom furniture.
Late afternoon it came over grey and we decided to check the lobster pots, we had quite a good fishing and arrived back to find a few yachts had arrived.
The crew of Yacht Harlequin arrived at the door to pay for their mooring and were very pleased to have reached Rona at last.
Next day Calum and Irene left for home (via Kyle Rona for a fish) and we got down to the day job.
As usual the weed had grown around the hull of MV Rona and it had become sluggish. When the tide dropped I got the power hose out and scrubbed it up, I was pleased to see there were no barnacles on the hull this time
After a busy day Friday it was an easy prospect for Saturday, Mike and Lorraine from Perth were coming but no one leaving so a straight changeover. But I had arranged for Derick from the other cottages to come over to try the Estate rifle out, we are stalking next week and I then remembered my old pal Willie was coming via Shieldaig to Rona for a family day out. So all of a sudden it got a bit hectic.
I dropped their luggage off at Seascape and found our kayak visitors on the beach having a break, they were in the bunkhouse for a couple of nights, a wise move as the midgies are a bit mad at the moment. I got back over the hill to find MV Seaflower arriving so off down to the pier to meet them.
Willie, third from the right had arranged a birthday trip for his Father John, born 1933. The original ‘Choppy’. He had fished around Rona years ago but had never been and they were very lucky to have fantastic weather for it. We all had a short walk (and drive) to the top of the hill then back to Seaflower for a wonderful lunch. I asked Willie how the name ‘Choppy’ came about and he recounted the story of how his Father had stood up in primary school and was asked to describe another word for rough sea, to which he replied ‘Choppy’ and to this day it has stuck in true West Coast style. Off course we had our own choppy but that is another story.
It was good to see Willie and his family and to catch up, it had been too many years since I saw them. We enjoyed our lunch and caught up more on what everyone one was up to, Willie’s partner Eva was keen to promote their new ventures, Tore fuels and Eva’s catering, don’t miss it on the Longman Inverness!!!!
After another exhausting day only two yachts arrived which was strange since it was such a fine day but with no wind I guess motoring would not be the same. One of the Yachts had come upon a Sea Eagle which was struggling to get off the water, whether it got too wet or had eaten too much he did not know but the MV Brigadoon was quick to come out to the rescue.
Mid evening there was not much left but to retire to the cabin to read the papers and have a well earned rest.